3.13.2016 Farmer’s Day Out

On Tuesday of this week, I had a girl’s day out.  I met my fellow farmers at Heaven’s Edge Farm and we spent the morning processing extra roosters.  Butchering chickens is not a frequent thing in my life for a multitude of reasons.  Probably less than 100 in my life and it always takes me a while to find something approaching a rhythm, to remember where the knife goes and what all the parts are.  But doing an unpleasant job with pleasant friends certainly made the chore less spiritually bruising.  Not necessarily any faster. At any rate, I now have five roos in the freezer and two spares down in the bachelor bunker waiting for my pullets to grow up.  (They’re 9 weeks old already.)

Strangely, my roos had the toughest, thickest skin I’ve ever seen in a chicken.  Like slicing through a football.  None of the other farmer’s chickens with skin like that.  Must be the genetics of the roo that fathered all those boys. He’s a Copper Marans. I guess I need to read up on their genetics.

On Wednesday, my first batch of compost tea was ready and I loaded it up in my tow behind sprayer and hooked that up to my riding lawn mower (which had maintenance issues – new battery and a flat tire.)  Only after I was rigged and ready did I discover the sprayer had its own set of maintenance issues.  It seems I did not get it totally dried out before storing it for the winter.  Water had frozen in the trigger mechanism of the spray handle and cracked the plastic housing wide open.

I tried swapping out the part with bits and pieces off other sprayers, but none would fit.  So off to town to find a reasonable facsimile.  Over an hour later I had a workable but leaky sprayer.  Off to the orchards to spray the trees on the theory I will be coating the trees in good bacteria and fungi, thus keeping the bad bacteria and fungi no room to colonize my trees.  One spray down.  Three more to go.  I hope it works.  The Satsuma plum burst into full flower the day after I sprayed, filling the air with the most incredible aroma.  (Bees are loving it.)  That tree will be loaded this year providing we don’t get any more frosts.

There’s a blush of green on the pastures now.  The ground has firmed up.  No more boot sucking mud.  I’ve traded in sweat pants for scrubs and after morning chores, the jacket gets left on the porch.  All of the trees look like they are going to in bloom at the same time.  One more week and this farm will look like something out of Middle Earth.

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