Pleasant Valley Farm

  (Tionesta, Pennsylvania)
Real Family Farming in Tionesta, PA
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Flowers & Fieldwork

Well my little Morgan, Sara, got her first taste of being a "work pony" this week.  Dan had her pulling a harrow through the garden and she did really well.  She's going to need some time getting used to the traces rubbing a bit when she turns, but overall it's going well.  I'm like a proud mama, she's been my baby for 17 years now.  I just think it's amazing that she's done so many different things in her life and now is working towards being a great field work horse.  Not bad for a little pony no one wanted whom I got through the Equine Rescue League.  It just shows the old Morgan bloodlines really are an all-purpose breed. 

 Everything is starting to turn green!  I swear when I looked at my flower bed on Sunday, there were just small buds and plants coming up, but last night my bleeding heart flower had not one but two blooms on it!  The rhubarb is really growing fast, if anyone is interested I have lots for sale!

We transplanted seedlings this weekend and I am always amazed at how fast they grow.  Everything we got from Seed Savers Exchange sprouted exceptionally well and I can't wait to taste the vegetables!  Our other seed orders are all in now, with the exception of some shallots I was hoping to plant but were sold out.  We're going to start the rest of the indoor seedlings this weekend and hopefully plant the rest of the potatoes.  We should have lots, we're planting 50# of Yukon Golds as well as reds and whites and I'm trying a heritage all-blue variety.

 
 

Cultipacking and other farm adventures

I did my first fieldwork with the horses by myself!  Dan was finishing planting the hay field when I got home from work last week.  As he was sick of spending so much time up there, I got to drive the cultipacker.  It's like a big roller that presses the seeds into the ground just enough so they can sprout.  Dixie and Dolly, our Belgians, have gotten used to the rhythms of field work again this spring and were wonderful to work with. They are a mother (Dixie) and daughter (Dolly) team and both were born, raised and trained at the farm.  It's an amazing feeling to be out there working with them.  I look forward to doing more, possibly with my horse, this weekend.  It's supposed to be near 80 degrees and sunny.

Our seedlings are doing so well we'll be transplanting to larger pots this weekend.  We'll use peat pots and put them out under floating row cover when they start to outgrow these new pots.  We've done a little planting outside- spring onions, a few potatoes and Dan transplanted garlic so he could plow the garden last week.  I started to move the hay off of some of my herbs as well- the hay was starting to sprout!  This is my first year overwintering them and I am simply amazed at how well they've done.  I have so much green oregano I could make a great pasta sauce if my tomatoes were more than 2" seedlings!  The chives look great, I may have to try them on a baked potato if we grill out this weekend.  My sage seems to be coming back, as does the thyme and the lemon basil is huge!  It must not be directly related to real basil as that died at the first nip of frost last fall.

The rhubarb is well on its way up and will be ready for harvesting soon.  We have 2 great patches that produce the nicest you'll find anywhere.  I don't bake, so I have lots for sale if anyone out there is interested!!

Butchering went very well, other than running out of pepper for some of the sausage.  We let the sausage marinate in the spices for a day or two before grinding anyway, so I was able to fix it.  But I'm so happy to have a freezer full of pork again! We do have a a limited amount of extra sausage, chops and roasts for sale if anyone is interested.  Mmmm...pork chops on a charcoal grill...

 
 
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