Happy day after the vernal equinox! Here are some perky and punctual jonquidils that opened up just yesterday. Even though the world still seems half asleep, everything is stirring. The sap is rising, metaphorically, and circulating literally. I feel this in me, too. A few weeks ago, I was compelled to visit my favorite local herbal shop for some spring tonics. I’ve been drinking blood cleansing teas made of nettle and burdock, red clover and violet leaf. I am craving all green things, to eat all the green. I often eat according to what colours I’m hungry for. It’s a fun and pretty darn informative way to get intuitive feedback on what one’s body needs. Just listen. It will tell you. This year is all about listening.
Usually, I notice spring first with the change in the angle of the sun and the restlessness of the breeze. This year, though, spring has rung in with sound. The frogs are out in mighty chorus—the spring peepers, pickerels, and southern leopard frogs—announcing that spring has arrived. The toads will be next, and then later the bullfrogs will add their baritone to the summer sound. A pair of barred owls have been conversing like love struck teenagers every night for the last week. Wild ducks have been visiting the lake, and just today, we saw a blue heron circling above. And what else has come to roost at the farm this spring?
Meet the 4 Buff Orpingtons. Question. What do you do when you spend several years dreaming about raising chickens and reading books on raising chickens and deciding that the perfect chickens to raise would be Buff Orpingtons, and then one day you go into the local farm store for some Sav-a Lam and see that they’re stocked with all manner of poultry and waterfowl—which you are, of course, obligated to peruse—and amongst the countless pens of countless Leghorns and Rhode Island Reds and sex-linked this and thats, lo and behold there are four lone Buff Orpington chicks tucked in a tub in the corner? This is not a trick question. Clearly I was meant to take them home. The end.
I will go back for some Leghorns. Lol. In a week or two, they will go live in the chicken house with the rest of the flock, but for now they are in their cozy box in the front porch where I can listen to them peeping as I work on various projects. What else? Gardeny goodness. I planted a millionty seeds and am curious to see how they fare starting indoors. I will bore no one with photos of a table full of little cups of dirt. Garden plans are being tilled in the fertile fields of my mind. These plans involve raised beds, fencing, and part-time garden-wandering chickens… If I’d been here in time, I would have prepped the garden in the fall. As it is, I am very late and will have to make do with what I can get done in the next month. No need to feel bad about it though—something will grow.
The sheep are enjoying the first nibbles of spring grass. Here you can see a very chubbeh Phillip in the forefront. He is such a pet.
We are very seriously considering adding a couple wool sheep to the farm to try out. (By which I mean for me to play with their wool). I’m looking at Clun Forest, Romney, and Cheviots, but am listening to any and all advice from those with wool sheep raising experience. A shepherd/spinner friend has also recommended Montadales and Coopworths. I am unfamiliar with both. So far, I am most interested in the Cluns as a hardy dual purpose sheep, but have never seen or felt Clun wool. Anyone?
Finally, Ronin is a happy farm dog.
Be well and listen hard.