This season's first batch of broilers went out on a cover crop of oats and peas last week. Our broilers and our laying hens are eating certified organic feed from Organic Unlimited this season. They'll supplement their grains by foraging on our cover crops of oats & peas; sorghum sudan & cowpeas; buckwheat; and rye & vetch.

Something that always makes Sarah and me laugh is the packaging of eggs from the grocery store. Those companies love to advertise their free-range eggs from hens fed an all vegetarian diet. Well, I'm glad to say our hens are NOT fed a vegetarian diet. Our hens are able to forage for worms, crickets, grasshoppers and any other insects they can find! Truth be told, chickens are omnivores and should be fed that way. What do you think?

Our first few fields are filling up with plants. The sugar snap peas and snow peas are up! Our first planting of lettuce mix is up too, along with our greens mix and turnips. I'm always amazed when the first seeds of the year germinate and I'm reminded of this passage from Rudolf Steiner's Agriculture lectures:

In the seed we have an image of the whole universe. Each single time a seed is formed, the earthly organizing process is led to its end, to the point of chaos. And each time, within the seed-chaos, a new organism is built up out of the whole universe. The parent organism simply has the tendency, through its affinity for a particular cosmic setting, to bring the seed into relationship with the forces from the proper directions, so that what emerges from a dandelion is a dandelion and not a barberry. But the image reflected in the individual plant is always the image of some cosmic constellation and is built up out of the cosmos.

Strawberries are also in the ground and growing well. We dug many plants from Joppa and also planted several hundred feet of new plants. We're also growing potatoes again this year. We took last year off because we had gotten very frustrated with low yields. This year we planted Adirondack Blue, Red Gold, and Ohio Early potatoes. The plan is to have these in the shares during July and August.

This week we'll be planting our onions. Our transplants look great, better than previous years, and we have been hardening them off for an extra long time so they'll have less stress after we transplant them. We harden off most of our transplants by moving them outside the greenhouse so they are exposed to the elements. The cooler temperatures, harsher sunlight, and stronger winds get the plants ready for the "real world" of the field.

Toad and Lady spent some time on the riding cultivator last week. Well, I spent time on the cultivator, and they pulled me across the field. We made a few passes over the lettuce, kohlrabi and yukina savoy. And we brought Princess out of the barn to help cultivate the peas with the one-horse cultivator. Our International 584 tractor has been logging the hours too! I've been using it to plow some larger sections of the field and to pull our heavier disk.

Well, that's all the news from here.

Tom

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