One more week of fresh veggies heading to your doorsteps. If you are missing are vegetables after next week you can find us at the Rutland Market ever Saturday. Not nearly as convenient but still pretty good. Today was a little more busy then our normal Thursday. The folks that are interested in buy our pigs wanted a test done for a disease that had popped up in some spots in NY. It turns out pigs do not enjoy getting blood work done. The vet and I had an interesting time figuring out the best way to do it without a barn or a shoot to catch them in. It turns out that our pigs have no empathy for the friends when there is grain. As long as they were the ones free and clear of the needle they couldn’t careless. When the test come back next week the first batch of ladies the boar and piglets will be off to their new homes. The two other sows one of which popped out a bunch of piglets this morning are going to go a bit later to make sure the travel doesn’t mess with them. It will be so strange not have the pigs around this coming year. The mix of stress of pigs going free and eating vegetables or all the grain in storage and the entertainment of little piglets will make our spring feel different.
But now with all the chickens gone and the pigs heading out spring vegetable season is looking way better. This year I put to much faith in the new field out back. We ended up getting less then a third of production I had estimated when I was planning out this season. Carrots and beats that were planted out there managed to grow at a snails pace. Next week we will finally be able to harvest some carrots. But we are on track for a delivery of 20 yards of nice compost from Vermont Compost in 3 weeks. That is going to make a huge dent in our fertility needs for next year and improve the soil quality. Next year with better fertility we will be able to do a tighter space of crops and that means more root crops and more salad greens.
We did have some success in the back fields with some nursery crops. We have over a thousand Siberian pea shrubs, hundreds of mulberry trees, and 40 or 50 black walnuts. This was our first time experimenting with field production of nursery stock. The only thing that didn’t work out were our chestnuts. Our refrigerator probably wasn’t constant enough in temperature to keep them in good shape over the winter so by the time we got to planting them they had moved on to a better place. This year I’m going to try burying them outside in a bottomless bucket. Letting nature do the work seems like a better option to me as long as they don’t start sprouting to so for us to plant them out. I’ve also ordered a couple hundred hazelnut seeds to start for next spring. The farm that we buy our plants from has started selling seeds finally and we are going to try our hand at growing them out for ourselves. In theory in the next two years we will start having our own nuts and then we will be done with buying plants for a while.