The first round of birds are in their breeding pens and we are now collecting eggs to go into the incubator. March 30th our first round of goslings will hatch and then three weeks from today we will have chickens next, then turkeys and ducks. The ducks are finally laying well again after that cold snap we had this winter and are back up to maximum production. The geese started laying eggs about a month ago and the Heritage turkeys are starting to lay pretty steadily.
This year we are also going to be plowing up another 1.5 acres to plant a large garden. We will have vegetables for sale, plus we’ll be able to supplement our birds diets with fresh greens. We’ll be planting more asparagus, strawberries (3 types), rhubarb, garlic, yellow potato, red potato, candy onions, red onions, white onions, yellow onions, beets, broccoli, carrots, spring mix lettuce, butter king lettuce, romaine lettuce, Kale (white Russian & red Russian), spinach, radish, sweet corn, bell peppers (green, yellow, red, orange), jalapenos, 9 types of tomato plants (grape, cherry, pear, two types of canning tomatoes and the rest are normal tomatoes), green beans, snap peas, cucumbers, pickling cucumbers, zucchini, spaghetti squash, yellow squash, 3 types of watermelon, muskmelon, four types of pumpkins, Indian corn, and gourds. We will have all of these for sale at the Dixon Summer Farmer’s market as well as for sale at the farm.
We are also going to try to start developing an orchard to have fruit in the future as well. We’ll be adding on four varieties of apple trees, then two varieties (each) of pear, peach, plum & cherry. We’re also going to grow red and green table grapes, rasberries, and blueberries. It’s going to be a busy busy spring, but will hopefully pay off in the summer & fall with a bountiful harvest. There isn’t much more I enjoy than working in the garden.
The first week of may I am picking up two nucs of Carniolan honey bees from Davis, IL to add to our farm as well. This will be my first experience working with bees, but I have been doing a lot of research as well as working with a mentor on learning all I can on raising bees. I am going to raise them not so much to collect honey as I want to raise them just to pollinate the orchard and the garden.
Other than that, everyone is doing well on the farm. Even though it doesn’t feel like the first day of spring today, it won’t be long until it does!