Farm update: April 15

Things are getting busy here at Quiet Farm! The weather is (mostly) conducive to working outside, and we’ve got a list of projects lined up. More trays of seedlings are potted up every day, we’re working hard on finishing the chicken house so we can bring pullets home, and plans for installing our game fence are coming together (I get to drive an excavator!).

Deldee 02 sml

Run, Pony, run. But not right at us, please. It’s scary when you do that.

Temporary Pony is alive and well and running around our pasture at top speed while performing complicated dance moves. Someday soon she’ll leave for her new home, but she’s certainly provided plenty of entertainment (and no small amount of terror) during her time here.

Granola Bars 01 sml

And they freeze well, too.

We’re outside for much of the day now, so I’ve been making granola bars and fruit smoothies to keep us fueled. Most storebought granola and energy bars definitely have a “health halo;” they claim to be healthy but are actually loaded with sugar and other junk ingredients. My homemade versions usually start with a nut butter base and contain plenty of seeds, dried fruit and oats. If you haven’t made your own energy bars, give it a shot; this cookbook is a great place to start.

Bones 01 sml

Maybe we should start CSI: Western Slope?

Since the weather’s been nice, there has been a lot of raking and pruning and sweeping and tidying outside. We have found so many fascinating things while cleaning up our property: hammers, bullet casings, gorgeous quartz stones, gardening tools, bird nests, old glass and of course bones. The circle of life is very real on a farm, and it’s always interesting to see what’s hidden under piles of rotting wood and buried in abandoned irrigation headgates.

Garlic Shoots 01 sml

After a six-month nap, the garlic is ready to face the world!

The garlic I planted last fall is peeking up through its straw mulch. I only planted one small bed – maybe sixty or so cloves? – and with the way we eat garlic, this won’t last us long, especially because I’ll need to save the largest cloves for next year’s planting. But the green garlic is delicious sautéed with eggs, and it’s so pleasing to see something that’s been dormant for six months come back to life. Spring is truly the season of rebirth and awakening.

Orchard Wood Piles 01 sml

Ready for burning if the weather demands.

We’ve had some distinctly cool nights, but the orchard fans have only come on once thus far, at about four in the morning. Our neighbor’s peach orchard is prepped with spent wood for burning if the temperature drops too low. These trees have already budded out and a hard frost would be devastating; peach trees are much more sensitive to early cold than the hardier apple trees we’re surrounded by. Just know how much work goes into each bite of food you eat, friends.

Hopefully we’ll soon have a completed chicken house to share. Have a terrific week!

7 thoughts on “Farm update: April 15

  1. Good luck with the excavator. We always had a saying with heavy equipment. You got your lever A, and you got your lever B. If you don’t know what lever A does, you better just leave ‘er B. Hope your class went well with a good turn out.

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    • Hi Sara! We actually have no idea how the orchard fires work, and kind of want to see it in action to understand – but of course not really, because that means the trees are threatened. If we ever figure out how they keep the fire under control, we’ll be sure to update! And yes, the pony is beautiful…and also VERY high-spirited. 🙂

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  2. Most of us in my generation can remember the last remnants of the apricot orchards around Los Gatos. The pruned were farther towards Campbell. Anyway, apricots were actually less common than cling peaches a very long time ago. No one knows why the peaches were phased out, but no one my age remember them. If we ever get around to selecting an official town tree, it will be either native of or cultural significance. Therefore, the peach tree may be a candidate, along with the apricot tree. I would prefer the apricot tree.

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