It’s January 2017. We survived our first full year out here on the farm. It wasn’t an easy year. I’m not going to lie. But most of it had nothing to do with the farm and so I will just stick to the farm stuff. The good, the bad, and the ugly…
The greenhouse took off and worked better than I had hoped. My tomatoes went in as baby plants around April and lasted until the end of November. They would have kept going if we had put some heat in there but for Colorado that is a great growing season! We had cucumbers coming out of our ears, and the grape-vine doubled in size. I figured out later in the summer that planting the herbs directly in the ground versus containers was much better and those took off. I am hoping a few will even come back in early spring. We installed automatic vent openers and with those, a small fan and the doors open we could keep the heat from getting to be too much during the hottest day of summer. The only real problem was the bugs. It was difficult to get enough good pollinators in there and at the end the eggplant was taken out by aphids and the tomatoes were covered with whiteflies. I’ve heard this can be an issue for greenhouses so I will be looking at ways to fix this without using any commercial pesticides for this coming year.
The chickens are doing well. We lost a few to a sly fox who figured out that between us and the neighbors he had everything he needed. We went back to only letting the girls free range when we were outside and eventually he was no longer an issue. I suspect he tried to get the wrong farmers chickens and was met with an untimely demise. We will be on high alert this coming spring though just in case. Our spring chicks from last year are laying full-time now and seem to be handling the cold weather just fine. We will add another round of baby chicks this spring.
The goats. We had a sad situation with our Missy girl and had to learn a hard lesson the worst way. Such is farm life. One of our dogs attacked her while she was out grazing and she did not make it. After much research I learned that dogs and goats really aren’t great together. Dogs are in fact one of the biggest predators of goats. So, we have updated the fencing to make sure no dogs can get anywhere near the goats. They have a lovely new shed in their yard so that we don’t have to walk them in and out from the barn as much and the naughty dog has been sent to a training class. We also have a sweet new goat named Mina. She is currently 2 months pregnant with her first kid and due in April. Her and Mary get along great and we are hopeful we will be getting milk by the Spring.
Looking forward. A few big projects for 2017 will include.. 1) Getting started with honeybees which I am so excited for. I’ve heard it’s a great addition to any farm and we do love honey around here! 2) I am continuing to work on the garden and would love to get corn going this year and a few more fruit trees. 3) The greenhouse can still be improved in terms of overall yield and I still working on this, which I am guessing will be for many years to come as it can always get better. 4) And so many more! I will keep you up-to-date on the farm and how things are going around here. Even in the winter there is always stuff to be done. Thanks and Happy New Year!