Today is the first day of Daylight Savings Time here in Ohio and the "spring forward" by an hour has my internal clock off kilter for the day. We're just 11 days away from the Spring Equinox and after this long, bitterly cold winter I couldn't be happier for spring to arrive! Spring is a busy time on a farm - probably the busiest by far here on our farm - although winter has kept us pretty busy too! So today I'm writing about "Springing Forward and Falling Back" - the title of this blog post inspired by the Daylight Savings Time change today (we "fall back" an hour in the fall for those of you that don't have Daylight Savings Time in your area). On a farm you work with the seasons and in the busy spring you "spring forward" with work too: spring cleaning, de-winterizing, starting seeds, preparing the soil, checking the bees, fencing, rotating pastures, etc., etc., - all the stuff you couldn't do all winter. Of course in the fall you "fall back" and you settle in and prepare for winter.
We started this farm in 2011 and have been moving forward full steam ever since. Many of our local customers have commented that they can't believe how much work we've done in such a short time since we moved here. Honestly, either can we when we look back on the past almost 3 years. This past winter was pretty hard on us with all the snow and subzero temperatures, and many of you know from following us on Facebook that we had to euthanize an alpaca over the winter as well. While I was planning for spring tasks I decided that in addition to "springing forward" this year we're also going to "fall back".
We still have some pretty big projects to complete and I just want to get them done! Gardening isn't fun when you're so darn busy doing other projects that the weeds take over and you're constantly fighting it. Adding more beehives isn't fun when you're so darn busy with other projects that you can't seem to find a day to check on them and when you do you find they've all swarmed. And so on and so forth, so...
This year we aren't putting in a garden. I may do some potted veggies and herbs up at the house for us, but we probably won't have any produce for sale. Instead, we're going to plant cover crops and let the soil rest and replenish (and let the farmers rest and replenish too!). After we sold out of honey so fast last year we wanted to put in more beehives this spring to meet the demand next year, but that's just not going to happen either. Instead, we're going to focus on the bees we have and take our time building hive boxes and getting ready to add more bees next spring.
So this year we're going to spring forward, fall back, and hopefully reach an equilibrium. Going full steam is great because you get stuff done quick, but it doesn't do anybody any good when you burn up your engine! We will have eggs of course - our hens are already laying up to 2 dozen a day from a low of 4 per day this winter. We hope to have 1 or 2 honey harvests this year if the bees made it through winter. We have 2 pregnant alpacas - Black Mist and Alibi - that are due to have cria this spring so we'll have some fluffy little huacaya babies running around on the farm soon! I plan to start dyeing yarn and fleece and we also got a knitting machine that I've been learning to use over the winter, so we're going to have some cool new fiber products available. So once we finish all the remaining major farm projects I plan to relax and have some fun on this farm!
The farm market "Grand Re-Opening" is April 19th and I'm really looking forward to seeing all of our local customers again and meeting some new customers too! I'll be sending out a reminder and posting on this blog as well with more info on the Grand Re-Opening, including some really awesome specials we're going to have that weekend. Until then, have a happy spring!