Our flurry of field seeding and transplanting continues: Spinach is in! More brassica mix! More lettuce! Carrots and turnips! Raspberries! Tomato plants in the ground in the back half of the greenhouse!
Also, a whopping six beds of potatoes have now been planted in Field 2. We bought some of our seed spuds from Wood Prairie Farm, but for the bulk of them this year we decided to go with the Maine Potato Lady. We picked up our spuds last Friday on the way up to the big annual Fedco tree sale. My dad and stepmom were here at the farm waiting for us when we got home in the afternoon after our long day of errands up north. We had dinner and then faced the prospect of cutting up over 200 pounds of spuds for planting. Jerry and Mary Louise offered to help, so we cleared off the dining room table, got all of our cutting boards together along with sharp knives, and got to work. It took well over an hour to finish, but with the group approach it was pretty speedy and a lot of fun. I will remember that evening fondly with every potato I eat this year!
I also need to step back in time a little to give a shout-out to other relatives of mine for their help in making our chickens a little happier this spring. A couple of weeks ago, my sister and her family visited the farm and were on hand to assist with a few chicken-related projects. First off, our new flock of Black Star hens needed to have their wings clipped so they could finally leave their coop and venture out into the world…a world limited by a portable electric chicken fence, alas, but still allowing them much more freedom than before! Each young hen needed to be caught and clipped, so I wound up inside the coop grabbing chickens and passing them out to Sonya and my nephew, Jake. Sonya held the birds on her lap while Jake stretched out each wing so Son could trim the ends of the feathers. Think of it as a chicken haircut…painless and quick and ensuring that the wings don’t create enough lift to get the chicken over the fence. My niece, Sheridan, helped, too, by banging on the back of the coop every now and again to encourage the hens to move forward.
Later, my brother-in-law, David, helped me finally move the older hens’ coop out of the muck at the edge of Field 2 and onto drier, greener ground near the front of the greenhouse. The coop had been stuck out there all winter, and it was extremely satisfying to get it free! I had taken the hens’ fence down to make the move possible, so there were chickens wandering all over the place. We got the whole family out into the field…even little Lydia!…to help catch/herd the chickens to get them over to their new spot. All in all, quite a day for all of the birds here at Summit Springs Farm.
To close, a reminder that we will be doing our very first market of the season this coming Saturday 5/9 in Bridgton. We don’t have any veggies yet but will be selling seedlings, tomato plants, and fresh eggs. The Bridgton Farmers’ Market happens every Saturday from 8 until 1 on Depot St. in the parking lot behind the Magic Lantern Theater, right behind the Renys on Main Street.