Seasons at Procter Farm

  (London, Ohio)
Procter Farm
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Musical Chairs

baby chicks eating spinach

The new chicks, golden comet pullets, have moved into the winter housing in the corn crib. Here they are eating overwintered spinach from the greenhouse. They need to be kept separate from the adults until they are the same size or they'll get bullied too much. The two flocks will be combined in the fall when the adults move back into winter housing.

seasonal pasture set up

All the barred plymouth rock hens and rooster have moved out of winter housing and out onto pasture. They are so happy!

eggmobile

The new eggmobile, complete with 26 nest boxes. Its actually an old trailer. The wheels make it convenient to move.

hen using new nest box

A hen checking out the new nest box.

new eggmobile

An inside view of the eggmobile.

tomatoes

Can you believe its almost time to plant tomatoes?! This first planting will go out on the next dry day.

 
 

Early Layer and Alien Tomatoes

 

egggs

Over the last week one hen has begun to lay eggs!

Her first one was more like a sack than an egg, because the yolk and white were contained but not in a hard shell. After that though she has been consistently laying 1 egg each day, not early in the morning like I would have expected, but rather in the late morning. If you notice in the picture below, the eggs get progressively bigger. The hen's first "real" egg was so small but I am confident that they will end up at the propper size once she gets the hang of it. Hopefully the rest of the hens will follow suite soon!

 

What are those strangely-shaped tomatoes you are seeing at the farm stand and farmer's market? They are an heirloom variety called brandywine and, believe it or not, they are suppose to look like alien fruit! Their ridged exterior is no indication of thier inner flavor though. Johnny's Seed Catalog, where I bought the seeds for this tomato from, describe it as "very rich, loud, and distinctively spicy"!

tomatoesHeirlooms are often sought out for thier rich and robust flavors and the ability farmers have to save the seeds from year to year. Heirlooms, or indeterminant plants, will continue to grow, flower, and produce fruit until the cold kills them off.

So, the next time you are shoping for tomatoes, remember to look past the odd exterior of the heirloom and see if the flavor more than makes up for any difficulties in slicing rings for your sandwich!

 
 

Chickens in the Coop, Tomatoes Potted Up

tomato1

The Brandywine plant is an heirloom tomato, which means that the flowers are openly pollinated and seeds can be saved from year to year. They produce excellent-tasting fruit and grow indeterminately, which means that there is no set number of flowers and fruits that the plant will produce. They can grow and grow until the frost and winter temps arrive.

tomato2

The sun cherry, as the name indicates, is a nice golden cherry tomato that is known for its sweetness.

tomato3

Pink Beauty is one of my favorite determinate tomatoes. It produces nice pink fruits that are uniform in size and color. These, along with the 2 other varieties above have just been potted up into these 50-cell trays. They came from the 20-rows whose picture was featured a couple of entries ago. Scroll down to see how much they have grown!

hardening off

About a week before seedlings are to be transplanted outside they need to be hardened off, which means they need to be accustomed to wind and temperature fluctuations. While they are making these adjustments consistant watering is still provided. All of these alliums (onions, leeks, scallions) will be planted the week of April 30th. If you are interested in helping out with this activity, please let me know!

dchicks exploring

The chickens are slowly becoming bolder with leaving thier coop. I moved them out last week but we had such cold and windy days lately that they haven't been very interested in going outside until just recently.

no eggs

No eggs yet! It takes about 6 months for chicks to begin to lay eggs, so I am expecting eggs around September or October.

perching

It is very exciting to see the chickens using the roosts! I don't think they actually sleep up there yet but it is exciting to see them growing and doing more "chicken-y" things!

adorable

 
 
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