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Ready or Not! May Farm Update

It’s finally May and the bitter chill has left the air in these parts and has been replaced with a humid warmth.  The ground has come alive with spring rain and I watch the chickens run around the yard snacking on worms and fighting over frogs for dinner.  Inside the greenhouse it is sometimes as warm as 90 degrees and I love being in there on these spring days.  This is when the greenhouse  comes alive.  Miniature tomatoes, peppers, celery, salad, onions and more waiting patiently in their trays for the weather to break and allow them to burst forth into the job they were predestined for, growing and nourishing another generation. 

The garden is partly planted to greens and onions but we are waiting a few more weeks to plant the majority of our summer crops when the soil warms to above 70 degrees consistently.  This year we are focusing more on common economical crops and less on quirky culinary crops like dragon egg cucumbers and black tomatoes (although both will be available).  I still feel this urgency to grow and feed our community in abundance.  I don’t know what will happen to our food system over the next few years but we are not afraid, just prepared.

We just let the cows out onto fresh pasture after a long and cold winter.  They look like thousand pound toddlers bucking and romping in the tall green grass.  It was such a euphoric sight to behold.  Spring pastures make lots of beta carotene in the milk, turning the cream into a rich dark yellow and the butter becomes more robust in flavor.  Spring milk is my favorite milk!

              Every other day Kelby brings home 20-30 (and sometimes more!) gallons of milk that we separate into cream and skim.  We jug some cream and with the remaining I churn pounds of butter for our family and farm store.  We have been using the skim to make cheese but also to feed the chickens and fertilize the garden.  Its amazing to watch how everything jumps with the addition of the microbes that raw milk provides to nourish the soil.