Spring is finally here…with the exception of a small blizzard that blew in Friday evening, of course. The weather right now is capricious – gorgeous one minute, hurricane-like the next. But we haven’t yet spent spring on our farm, so we’re ready for all of it. Here’s what we’re up to these days!
Why the long face?
Despite this photo, our pastures are greening up rather nicely, so we have a new resident at Quiet Farm. Temporary Pony belongs to our neighbor, and since we have grazing land available and no animals to graze it, Temporary Pony lives at Quiet Farm until she goes to her new home later this spring. She is a lovely, spirited horse who likes to sprint along the fence line, and she also runs straight at you full-bore when you’re out in the field – heartwarming and yet terrifying at the same time. It’s a pleasure to have an actual animal here; it makes our farm feel much more legitimate!
You’ll wonder how you ever lived without this potion.
I like keeping my refrigerator and pantry stocked with all manner of interesting homemade condiments and pickled things and spreads and vinaigrettes for dressing up even the simplest roasted vegetables. One of my favorites is garlic confit, which is very simply whole garlic cloves simmered gently in olive oil until soft and creamy. The cloves can be spread thickly on toast or tossed with pasta or added to soup, and the oil itself is good for anything, especially salads. As long as the cloves are covered by the oil, this will keep indefinitely in the refrigerator, but you’ll never worry about it spoiling since you’ll use it everywhere.
Looking west towards the Grand Mesa.
Our commercial orchard neighbors have been testing their fans this past week (the tall white posts in the picture above). Once the apple trees bud out, a hard freeze can be devastating. If the weather is forecast to turn particularly cold, these giant fans will activate to keep warmer air blowing through the orchard, thereby protecting the delicate buds. The enormous fans sound like a fleet of helicopters landing nearby, but hopefully we’ll have a mild spring and they won’t need to be used much.
Let the growing begin!
Our unheated sunroom is quickly becoming a propagation space. Of course, we still don’t have any beds ready outside to transplant all of these gorgeous little sproutlings into, nor do we yet have a game fence to protect them. Perhaps I should revamp my to-do list.
Western Slope bears can read, hence the sign.
One of our biggest accomplishments this past week was successfully setting up our beehive and its accompanying Bear Defense Perimeter. I brought the (mostly empty) hive over from the Front Range in the backseat of my car (seriously, don’t do this) and we set it up in the northwest corner of our property. Colorado Parks & Wildlife generously provided us with an electrified fence to repel hungry black bears, who can do monumental damage to beehives. CPW isn’t expecting an aggressive bear season this year because the wet winter means there is plenty of food up on the mesa, but there’s no reason to take any chances.
Coming up: refurbishing the chicken house! Homemade granola bars! An agritourism workshop hosted by the state of Colorado! Have a great week, friends!