Diary of May 2014

Before June gets too far along I thought it prudent to post the farm ledger for May. May was a hot gorgeous month with very little rain. We are making up for that now in sodden June (but more on that for the next post). Suffice to say, we got sunburned and it felt deserved and restorative after the winter we went through.

To watch the way in which the frozen earth here in Vermont has melted and become so viciously alive again is humbling in a way that hitherto was foreign for me. It is hard to reconcile that just a mere 2 months ago our house was encased with snow and ice. Here we are, as was promised, reddened from sun, not from cold. Sleeping on the porch. Fencing sheep in undies and a t-shirt. Dancing naked on the rocks of the pond. Worshiping the closeness of a sun we forgot could give such warmth.

May was a spectacular month.

May 3rd:  ramp harvest. 20 lbs in 2 hours. It was our first "date". My parents were up and watched Leland.
May 4th: Trevor  up for a visit and Vermont buying trip. Bought all of our ramps. We have vague plans to harvest again but I honestly can't imagine we will without somebody here to watch the babe.
May 9th:  Tractor clutch died, has to be trucked to the shop. Nearly runs Nick right through the back of the equipment shed.
May 10th:  Albert (the bull) breaks out of stall. Mounts Annabelle. Possibly breeds her. Nick's mother visiting and caring for Leland.
May 11th:  With tractor broken and no way to feed out remaining 4 round bales we are putting everyone on pasture earlier than expected. Cows out. Mamas and babies and Winnie in one pasture. Albert and steers in adjacent pasture.
May 12th:  Walked Bella, Annabelle and Busy over to pasture at the neighbors for 2 months. The walk over began as complete chaos but we managed to end rather gracefully just in time for the audience of our neighbors.
May 13th: Found a home for the two doelings and the buck. Going to keep and milk Chickadee, but cannot have a herd of goats, however small. Must focus on the sheep and pigs.
May 14th: Rototilled a new kitchen garden. Just a few paces West from last year's, but I think the combination of the slight change in space and raised beds should result in a dried, healthier garden.
May 15th:  Raleigh (the boar 5 month old) is trying to breed Rose. The height difference may be hard to overcome for a few more months. He is a little pig with tremendously large balls.
May 16th:  (evening) Wicked downpour. The kind of rain that makes you sit up straight in bed. A freight train of a storm.
May 17th:   I found one of our milking Devon mamacows with lying on her side this morning with her horn stuck in the ground. Despite attempts to get her up and a call for the vet she died. Possibly bloat. Possibly grass tetany according to the vet.
May 17th: (evening)  middle of the night Monsieur (our first and oldest rooster) carried away by a fox.
May 18th: Planted potatoes with mom and dad (in mulch, not in dirt?!?!).
May 20th:  Forest flowers abound. Alpine strawberries. Trillium. Spring beauties. Violets. Sheep shearing this afternoon with Mary.
May 21st:  Moved sheep to garden pasture
May 22nd: Asparagus harvest! Bed looks to be in pretty bad shape. Mental note to pay attention to it.
May 24th: My 30th birthday.  Chickadee kidded, 2 boys.
May 26th: Second kid born died but he didn't look good to begin with; planted 36 tomato starts.
May 27th: First kid born died. Selenium deficiency? Asparagus beetles in the asparagus bed.
May 28th: first kale, chard, and arugula harvest. Anxiously searched for morels.  Misha found one, but way past its time. Rumors of a man finding hundreds in the next town over. Angry with myself for not knowing my property well enough yet as to know where she hides her mushroom jewels.
May 29th: Wild chervil is blooming. Fortunately none on found on the farm, yet, but pervasive nearly everywhere we drive.
May 31st:  Took the VW to New Hampshire to see Nick and Lindsay get married. Camped in bus with baby who slept like a....baby.

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