Our ranch has been a nursery since mid-April...baby chicks, baby horses and new seedlings! There is no season like Spring! Especially in the country.
We received our 96 baby chicks, yes I said 96, via U.S. Postal Service. We received an early morning call to pick them up and once there we could hear the peeps echoing throughout the Post Office. They were in two boxes, very hungry and ready to get out to start their life.
Why 96 chicks, you're thinking, right? It's crazy but we decided to increase the number of chicks for selling. I plan to still have my standard number that will fit in the Dot House and will furnish us and our friends with eggs; but, Mark has seen many ads searching for laying hens and/or unusual chickens.
Once we got home from the Post Office, before we could put them into the nursery, each chick had to have its beak dipped into water so it would drink for the first time. It takes quite a while to dip 96 little beaks!
4-H is such an excellent and worthwhile program for children to learn about nature, becoming responsible for animal care and showing animals, growing things to make the connection of where our food comes from, and making things from scratch by hand like woodworking, sewing, cooking, art etc. I encourage you to check it out for your kids or grandkids because in this day and age, our children, especially from urban areas, are so far removed from these things. It is a solid foundation for life.
The tomatoes seeds are started inside and should be ready for the garden in late May or early June once the soil is warm and ready for them. The radishes, Swiss chard, spinach, lettuce, beets and peas are all in the ground and coming up. In fact for lunch today we enjoyed the first radishes, lettuce and asparagus - delish! I've done at least two succession plantings of each with one more planned. That should keep us in greens for quite some time. I feel I've finally gotten the garden structure just as I want it ideally. I can easily rotate crops for maximum health of the plants and the soil in the tanks is just luscious with the good top soil with which we started and the compost that I've added this spring. The soybean mulch is working wonderfully keeping the soil moist and almost weed free. It all feels so manageable this year. I'm happy.
We're lucky I like to mow because that is the big "job" (read Work) that needs to be done weekly. The yard looks so park-like when it's done. Mowing is one of those jobs that gives instant gratification. Plus I get in a minimum of 10,000 steps on the days I mow. Good for the old heart and lungs I'd say.