Mar 012013
 
“Create in me a clean heart, O God,
And renew a steadfast spirit within me.
Do not cast me away from Your presence
And do not take Your Holy Spirit from me.
Restore to me the joy of Your salvation
And sustain me with a willing spirit.” Psalms 51:10-12

“Search me, O God, and know my heart;
Try me and know my anxious thoughts;
And see if there be any hurtful way in me,
And lead me in the everlasting way.” Psalms 139:23-24

sun thru an icy tree

The Psalmist David knew that although other people see our outward appearance God is the one who truly sees who we are and searches our hearts. 1Chronicles 28:9. David was a man after God’s own heart (Acts 13:22) and knew how the Lord desired much more than just outward appearances of worship. It is the Lord’s desire for us to humble ourselves before and truly love Him with all of our heart, soul, mind and strength!

ice at the small pond
It’s a little wet around the edges now… we even have some mud to slop through as I’m doing chores! After such an extended drought it is a blessing to have a little mud again. The snow has been excellent for the ground we have worked up in preparation for planting as it will soften and soak the tilled soil so that it’s very friable, fluffy and loose as it dries back out again. An additional benefit is the snow will also leave some nitrogen for the plants to grow on. Some even say that there are particles of other micro nutrients and trace minerals in the snow and as it melts away it leaves a small deposit of rich minerals on the surface.

cows
How beautiful it has been to get out and do chores morning and evening, tromping around in the snow without the temperatures being bitterly cold. What pleasures of seeing all the browns covered with white. I was very thankful we didn’t receive any more freezing rain than we did or there could have potentially been a lot of problems. All the ice did make for a gorgeous walk going around from the pigs to cows then horses feeding them hay and seeing the sun reflecting through the ice covered branches in the evenings!

icy branch
As our most recent snow melted it was a joy to see our wet weather creek which hasn’t run in many (probably about 8?) months begin to fill and get within a foot or foot and a half of the bank tops! Prior to this month’s rains our small pond had gone completely dry and now we have a fair amount beginning to fill it now.

 

brown eggs1
Eggs! Mom’s pullets have begun laying eggs and her older hens are starting to pick up in production as well. With the days growing ever longer now the production should continue to increase from here on for a while! There are dozens of mixed sized eggs for $3.00 per dozen or pullet only dozens (a size just below small) for $2.00 per dozen available. What a blessing to have some eggs to eat again as the production had slipped way down through the winter months!

Things are really starting to gear up for the up coming growing season! All kinds of things are needing or very near needing to be completed so they will be ready in time. The little hoop house has only been worked on a little this past week, but very soon it will be necessary to have it completed so the transplants can go into it and the big hoop house. Fruit trees are all needing pruned now before the buds advance any further. What a blessing it has been to keep some cool weather around so their buds haven’t broken forth!

messy desk
I have been working on workshop materials and outlines some during our wet cool weather. We had to cancel and reschedule one workshop only to cancel it again as well as another workshop due to the adverse weather conditions! The Lord knows best and I am still very thankful to have the snow! Thankfully amongst other paper work I was able to finish compiling and sending off my past year’s income tax information…it’s always a blessing to have that done!

 

seedlings
Much of last week’s seeding has germinated, grown, and is nearly ready or was ready to transplant. I just finished transplanting two varieties of broccoli, a couple kinds of green cabbage, red Russian kale, lacinto kale and very small amount of red cabbage. Most of the red cabbage isn’t quite ready to transplant yet.The back green house is getting rather cram packed!!! Due to the limited plant starting area I have been forced to use a smaller cell pack (1206’s) rather than the larger 1204’s or soil blocks which I really enjoy if I’m not going to use the transplanter. By the end of the week the remaining plants of different varieties of lettuce, swiss chard, bok choi etc. will be ready to transplant out to the hoop houses.

forking up the beds in the big hoophouse
It was fun getting out one day while the snow was on and getting in the big hoop house to spread a natural fertilizer mix and fork it in lightly. With the rain soaking the beds prior to recovering the big hoop house it really brought up a lot of nice sized earthworms! I have also been leaving the doors closed up so the solar gain would heat the soil and quite a few weeds had begun to germinate. The forking it should destroy many of those germinating weed seedlings and prepare the soil for planting very soon!

Due to NOP (National Organic Program) regulations I couldn’t spread the compost I wanted to in the big hoop house because the application must be at least 120 days prior to harvest. Since we don’t have that many days (yippee!!!) until we begin harvesting I’ll need to wait until this summer to apply the compost for fall crops. Lord willing we should begin harvesting the greens we’re planting now around the middle to end of April!

Time to tackle a few more projects, but may you have a blessed week and Lord willing we’ll see you around the farm again soon!

Farmer Joshua and the Mitchell crew