This Month On The Farm: March 2021

 


Hellloooooo there!  Hoping this finds all of you doing well.  Things are going very well in our neck of the woods.  The temps are rising, the sun is (mostly) shining, and the snow is GONE!!!  Last week, as a matter of fact, we said a final farewell to the last of the snow piles.  It was rumored that we were possibly going to receive a bit more snow but we lucked out and received rain only.

Jay cleaned out all of the birdhouses we have spread around our property.  They are very well loved and used by an assortment of birds so we wanted to make sure they were ready to go!  He even did a few minor repairs and gave them all a fresh coat of paint.  It's so enjoyable to watch the building of the nests and the raising of the littles.  Bring on the tenants!

We have missed drying our laundry outside so as soon as we could make it to the clothesline, we began hanging it outside.  Next year I need to remember to shovel a path so it's accessible earlier.  I think I told myself that last year too and then completely forgot once it was snow season......

Here's what else has been happening:

Garden - can you believe I am including the garden???  That makes me quite happy.  I have some greens and peas planted and will plant a bit more seeds this week.  Potatoes are curing to get ready for planting and last years garlic and carrots (I plant a late crop in the fall and they come up in the spring) are popping up.  The asparagus should be coming along soon as well.


CSA - (Community Supported Agriculture) so I know I can't possibly grow all of our veggies that we'll need for the year.  Lacking both space and time, it's just a reality.  We eat a LOT of veggies.  We I take the "fill your plate 50% with veggies" seriously.  We decided to join a CSA again this year.  Having joined a different one a few years back we like the idea and it worked out well.  

This one will be a free choice which is perfect because I will still grow a large amount of the veg I can fit into our garden and will use the CSA to fill in with those either I don't grow much of or doesn't grow well because of our shaded yard.  The goal is that between our weekly CSA and our garden, we shouldn't need to purchase much more.  In fact we're hoping the only additional veggie purchases are bulk veggies for preserving.  We will still have to purchase fruit since we grow only a small amount and our CSA is only going to offer melons.


Oliver - he's doing pretty good, all things considered.  He's had many good days and a few bad so we just keep on keeping on.  The surgery that would be required to fuse a portion of his spine does not have a great success record I am told so, as long as he's happy and comfortable, we'll continue with what we're doing.


Jackson - well, poor Jack does indeed have heart disease.  I had mentioned late last year that he had a cardiology appointment in February and it was confirmed at that appointment.  Also of note, the cardiologist absolutely LOVED him.  Really - he just couldn't get enough of him.  We had to do the appointment over the phone because of the pandemic (Jack was with him, I was in the car) and he just kept telling me what an amazing cat he is.  The doctor commended Jack on being the perfect weight and having the teeth of a 2-year old.  Not bad beings he turned 10 in March!  

The good news is that his heart disease started so late in his life that his doctor said he should live a healthy long life and will likely die of something else and not the actual heart disease.  At some point he will have to go on medication but until then, his cardiologist will monitor him and Jack will continue being his passive-aggressive handsome self.


Kitchen - I've been working with both whole-wheat Einkorn flour and all-purpose Kamut flour for bread, baking, etc. and so far I've enjoyed them both.  Both are ancient grains that are high in micronutrients and easier to digest.  I'll share recipes soon.

Usually we've fired up the grill by now but not this year.  We want to give it a thorough spring cleaning first and that hasn't yet happened.  So, the kitchen continues to be a busy place.

homemade air fryer fries
I have also been using my air fryer a lot more which is good because there's nothing worse then buying another small kitchen appliance only to have it sit on the counter.  I've made Jay's frozen burger patties (from frozen in 10 minutes), his chicken wings, hot dogs, and most chicken dinners (chicken cordon bleu, baked marinated chicken breast, etc.).  It works perfect because at dinner I'm only cooking a half of a chicken breast so why turn on the oven?  I've also made homemade fries (delicious!), egg rolls, crunchy spiced chickpeas, taquitos, sweet potato fries, smashed baby red potatoes, etc.  We also use it for reheating - it's perfect for reheating pizza!



Coop - the Coop Girls are doing well and laying a nice amount of eggs.  We've lost a couple of the older girls over the course of the winter and a few, also older, have gone into egg-laying retirement (they continue living their natural life here on the farm), so we are definitely getting less eggs this year then in the past.  This is all fine though.  We've decided to only sell to 3 of our regular year-round egg customers going forward, and then that leaves enough for Jay to enjoy.  Because we are letting the flock naturally reduce, we will eventually get to where we are only receiving enough eggs for our use.  That's the goal.

less chickens = happier flock = happier chicken-keepers



Business - Cobble Hill Farm Soap continues to keep us rather busy.  We returned to our farmers market full-time (every Sunday) in March.  This time of year we always ramp up soap production as well so that we have a good head start on the summer rush.  We are, however, back to struggling to find containers for our lotions and bug spray.  This was an issue last year partly because of the massive amounts of hand sanitizer being produced and partly because of hoarding.  We thought it would be back to "normal" this year and sadly we were wrong.

Some of our craft shows are planning to have events this year and a couple are not.  Those that are not just don't have a venue that allows for social distancing on both the vendor and shoppers behalf.  Hopefully they'll be up and running next year.



What I've Been Reading - (affiliate links) Although my reading has slowed a bit, I'm trying to continue my habit of picking a book up a couple of evenings or mornings per week.  I've very much enjoyed reading books by Debbie Johnson and discovering those by Elin Hilderbrand (thank you Daisy for recommending her!). 

I read the entire Comfort Food Cafe series (6 books) by Debbie Johnson.  The first in the series is Summer At The Comfort Food Cafe.  It's an amusing and enjoyable series where each book features a different character who resides in the village of Budbury (England) and has a connection to the Comfort Food Cafe.  The series is heartwarming and engaging and I appreciate that all of the featured characters continue to make appearances throughout the entire series. 

Almost Amish: One Woman's Quest For A Slower, Simpler, More Sustainable Life
by Nancy Sleeth - I really enjoyed this book and the way in which Nancy writes.  She builds on the core principles of Amish life to explain how making conscious choices to limit (or eliminate) technology's hold on our lives and getting back to the basics can help us lead calmer, more focused lives that result in stronger relationships.  This is a Christian-based book.

I read the entire Winter Street series (4 books) by Elin Hilderbrand.  The first in the series is Winter Street.  The books take place at the Winter Street Inn on Nantucket and follows Kelley Quinn's dysfunctional family through celebrations, chaos, heartbreak and love.  Elin's writing is straightforward, engaging, witty, vibrant, and detailed.



That's March in a nutshell around here.  How about you?  Did you read anything good?  Are you getting your garden up and going?

6 comments

Kathy said...

Your Cobble Hill farm products look amazing. It must be a treat to use the clothes line again for your washing. Living in a sub-tropical climate we can grow veggies all year long, hang the washing all year long, I couldn't imagine having a back yard of snow however if you grow up with it I'm sure it would seem very normal and that's why Spring is so wonderful in that climate. Have a good week. Kathy

Staci at Life At Cobble Hill Farm said...

Hi Kathy - thanks so much! I envy you on being able to grow year-round. I do enjoy the seasons but it would be so nice to be able to do that. Funny enough, I did not grow up with snow and the extreme temps we receive here. I'm actually from the opposite coast! :) Have a great week!

Unknown said...

So happy to see a new post and hear that everything is going well! Your fries look absolutely amazing! We have been on the fence about an air fryer. My husband, who does not cook, thinks it will be fabulous. Me, Not quite there yet. I'm afraid it will just be another gadget. Interested by your comments, though. Glad to hear that Oliver has had more good days than bad. Such a sweet boy! Thank you for an update - I just love seeing your pictures and hearing about your little farm.

Staci at Life At Cobble Hill Farm said...

Unknown - Air fryers are something I get asked about. I'll try to get a post up in the next week or two outlining my thoughts on them. You can certainly do without them but there are a few things they can do better (my opinion) then an oven or microwave. I hear ya on not adding another gadget. I resisted until just a few years ago. Thank you so much for visiting!!!

VegiChik said...

So glad to receive your email updates again! Always uplifting. I have been enjoying novels (Christian fiction) by Deborah Raney this Winter & Spring. Read 1st one for free via kindle-now hooked😉!

daisy g said...

Very productive, and yes, I'm amazed that you are gardening already! The CSA sounds like a good fit. We use Misfits and have been pretty pleased with it.

Your products look fantastic. I love the simple packaging, as we are trying to cut down on the amount of plastic packaging we purchase.

I will have to check out those books. Haven't read the winter series of Elin Hilderbrand yet. Thanks for the suggestions.

Have a great week!