The Weekly Digs #101

by Becky

After the storm comes the sun and I was so happy to see it. The snow and ice melted and it suddenly feels a little more like Spring is on the horizon. On Saturday, we had my Mom and Step Dad here visiting and they were welcomed with a nice farm adventure.

Cameron had a very busy and stressful week at work so he was working on Saturday and we all went up to the farm. I was showing my family the house progress and all the while we couldn’t see the cows anywhere.

The land is hilly in spots so it can be difficult to see everything. I just figured the cows were somewhere hidden but as the day went on they were nowhere to be found.

At about 2pm I got a call from Cameron that said our neighbor called and down the road he had seen the cows. We have a gate at the driveway and left it open so I figured those sneaky cows waited until we came in and then snuck out the gate and ran down the road to greener pastures.

We found them about a half mile away in a neighbor’s backyard. A friend had offered to let us use his trailer to get them loaded up or we could walk them back. I’d seen the cows get loaded in the trailer before and knew it would be easiest to walk them back.

My kids and their cousins stood at the back while I led the cows by shaking a bag of Timothy Grass. The cows think of the timothy grass as a treat after eating hay all winter! 

They came no problem, followed me all the way down the road and up the driveway when suddenly they took a right turn through the trees and galloped to where I couldn’t see them anymore! 

The kids ran back down the road and said they had gotten out of the fence on the other side. Ugh! This is when we found out they didn’t sneak out the gate but a tree had fallen on our fencing and they could walk right out to the road.

Our very kind neighbor helped coach the kids on how to herd them along back through the trees. Once the cows got to the driveway instead of going up the driveway they cut across to the other side where there is a pond.

The cows got a drink (it was a very, busy and exciting day for them) and I just stood in the driveway and waited. The kids were distracted and the adults were hot and tired from trying to get the cows back up to the top of the hill.

After about five minutes my brother in law was able to get them moving again. Instead of shaking the bag of timothy grass, which by now wasn’t working anymore, I started throwing it on the ground and would smell it and then follow me. 

Thankfully this time they didn’t cut across again and run to the weak spot in the fence. They walked all the way up the driveway and we were able to get them in the electric fencing. I then gave them lots of timothy grass as a reward. 

We had been letting the cows roam free so they could get to the pond for water but the free range cow time came to an abrupt end! We gave them some all the thawed water we had and some hay and then we all took a rest from our adventure. 

House Progress

With the snow and ice gone, we were able to see a lot of progress on our house this week. Yipee! They finished up the siding and started to do the drywall mudding in the house.

Our builder thinks with delay from the storm we will now finish around the beginning of May.

In the Garden

It’s weird to think that last week it was -15ºF and this week we got up to 70ºF. Early in the week I made some more seed starting mix, made soil blocks, and sowed kale and echinacea in the blocks.

My indoor shelving was full and there was no room under the lights. So I figured it was time to transplant my first batch of spinach and kale. Because I had planned to plant them a week ago they were quite big!

We got the soil all prepared by raking off the mulch into the walking paths, then adding compost on the garden beds. I didn’t add any additional fertilizer at this point, I figured I would side dress as needed since the compost gives some initial nutrients.

I measured out where to put the plants and planted. This year, I’ll be doing things a little differently as far as the garden layout goes. My friend whose farm we visited this year, planted an idea in my head that I am going to run with.

I am going to plant a couple of rows as the “quick crops” like greens, spinach, brassicas, carrots, and other root crops. He told me he always keeps his garden beds full and when one crop is finished another gets planted the same day. 

I am going to do that same thing but on a smaller scale. It doesn’t make sense for me to have a whole row 100ft of spinach or kale because it’s too much at once. I am planting in ten foot sections kale, then spinach, then broccoli, then I have another batch of kale that will be planted, and cabbage. 

I will fill the row with the faster growing crops and then as they finish maturing I’ll take out a section and plant something else. It feels a little weird not to have it planned out exactly but when I asked him how he always had so many vegetables ready at the same time that was the answer. I hope this adds some additional variety to our plates this summer.

The other rows will be filled with the longer growing crops like tomatoes, peppers, potatoes, cucumbers, etc. I have plans to interplant some flowers and herbs with these. 

So this year will be another experiment. But that’s all part of the fun!

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