Thursday, January 13, 2011

Late April at Colvin Family Farm

A Blue Heron in front of our pond

I was tickled early one morning last week to be able to catch this picture of a Blue Heron wading through the edge of our pond! We don't normally have waterbirds land in our small pond, although we've had wild ducks, Canadian geese etc.. before. This picture also has a good view of the different colors of Spring showing through--the white of dogwood, red of maple, different shades of green from willow, poplar, walnut, and grass accented by the blue and white of the sky (also reflected off of the pond), but it still shows the drab shades of Winter gray and brown that the Spring colors are slowly covering--it is a beautiful time of year!

Close-up of Dogwood

A close-up of a dogwood blossom--they are a lot whiter and larger than usual this year! The background of this picture is the water from our pond--I liked how it accentuated the whole dogwood branch!

Apple Blossom w/ Bee

This close-up shows an apple blossom with a bee in it. This tree right here was one of the six that we found in an abandoned orchard when we moved to the farm ten years ago.

Apple Blossom #2

I asked momma to judge between this picture and the last one and see which one she liked best--she didn't choose the one I liked--so since I am making this newsletter (mwaahaahaahaa...the power)--I thought that I'd put "mine" in too--notice how there is a leaf centered on the little group of blossoms--how it and those other leaves sticking up and out frame it against the beautiful background of blossoms etc... If it hadn't been for that sentimental bee in the last picture you'd of only seen this picture!

We got our boxes in! The biggest order we've ever made for boxes--collapsed flat they stacked up to fill a full-size pallet five feet high! The order consisted of:
Single Layer Tomato Boxes      100
1 1/9 Bushel Boxes             100
1/2 Bushel Boxes               100
Produce Bags on a Roll 4 rolls of 1,000
Pint Pulp Cups                 600
Quart Pulp Cups                250
Quart Master Trays              30
Pint Master Trays               50

Making Beds

Getting our field ready to plant is far more than just running through it with a tiller! This shot shows us as we shovel compost from the tractor's scoop into a marked out bed! The boys with rakes come behind and spread it evenly over the width of the bed.

The Beds Look Like This

The beds look like this when they have been marked and compost has been spread over them.

Beds Being Planted

Then they are tilled back in--mixing the compost in and crumbling up the clumps--creating a smooth clean seedbed. You can see in this bed that it has been planted about twenty-five feet in, the rest is blank, to the right is fully planted, and to the left is ready to be tilled in when we need more bed space!

Onion Patch

Our onions have really greened up! When we first planted them they were little brown sticks--they have taken off, and hopefully within a few months will have grown into baseball to softball sized sweet slicing onions!


It is extremely important on several crops that you keep the top of the soil moist if you want to get even germination--carrots, spinach, lettuce, and beets are very finicky about coming up if they have to try to bust through dry dirt. So, we mist the top of the dirt with watering cans (we have fourteen of them) with water that we pump from our pond. Just this past week we purchased a 8.5 hp gas engine water pump. It will pump water through a 2 inch pipe fast! Dad timed us as we filled two 55 gallon drums and it did it in less than 1 minute! That is a handy time saver!

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