Sunday, March 31, 2013

Spring, wherefore art thou?

When I look out my office window, all I see are fields of white.  It is the tail end of March and we still have lots of snow left on the ground. Unlike last year when we were in T-shirts and some neighbours were getting their fields ready to plant, I am still sporting a winter coat in the evenings and wearing insulated boots.  

Yes, the red-winged blackbirds and robins are back but I am sure that all of them are checking their travel itineraries and wondering what went terribly wrong.  We just sheared the sheep and I think a couple of them have the OSPCA on speed dial.

The sap is running... sort of.   We are having on and off again runs where one day it runs like crazy and the next two to three we get nothing at all. We only tap a few trees around the yard to produce enough for our use.  We are hoping to get about 8 litres of syrup and we are well on our way to producing that.  This year we are trying a turkey fryer to boil down sap and then we finish it off and bottle it in the house. This summer I hope to put up a little three sided shed that I can put a wood stove in to boil sap down outside the house.

This spring brought a new Maremma pup to the farm. His name is ZeusHe is about 4 months old now and is a pen with two 8 month old lambs.  Unfortunately they do not have the temperament to correct his puppy nips so we will be putting him in with the rams today. They will teach him what behaviour is acceptable and what is not.  He also is getting introduced to our other dogs: first Mayla and later Titan. Mayla, is on reduced duties due to her multiple dysplasias.  Zeus was purchased to replace Mayla when we are no longer able to keep her comfortable. I still have a hard time believing a breeder could sign a health guarantee for Mayla and then totally dishonour their guarantee. This is definitely a case of buyer beware.

Shearing the sheep revealed developing udders.  Lambing starts in about 5 weeks.  There is lots to do before then.  I just hope the fields start drying up and growing so we can put the ewes out soon after the lambs are born.  

We just set up an incubator with 31 Partridge Chantecler eggs.  We have lots of orders for chicks and mature birds so we will be filling the incubator at least twice this spring.  

The day lilies have started to sprout.  Hmmm, maybe spring is not too far behind,