Did we see spring this year? It feels like we went right from winter to summer. It has been very warm here for this early in May. This has created a whirlwind of activity on the farm.
For some reason it felt like we were really late getting the garden seeded. When I compared the planting dates to last year though, we are actually ten days ahead. This is nice to see, as it gives us plenty of time to complete the spring planting.
A lot of the root vegetables are planted. Carrots, beets, parsnips, rutabaga ad potatoes are in the ground. Peas are planted. Surprisingly the soil has also warmed up enough to plant bush beans and some corn. The sow and boar are busy “roototilling” a new garden area. The strong snouts are perfect for turning the soil while searching for grass and weed roots. This garden will be planted to the “three sisters” (corn, beans and squash).
All the tomatoes, peppers, celery, eggplant, brassica and melons that were started way back in March are in the cold frames waiting their turn to be planted outside. As we watch the weather forecast, that could be as early as June 1st. We do not have a green house yet, but we will be using low tunnels and floating row cover to protect some of the tomatoes and peppers this year.
A sure sign of spring on our farm is babies. Calving and lambing are just about finished. We are still waiting for most of the goats to kid. The geese hatched out their first clutches of eggs. Between the two females they are successfully raising six goslings. The geese are our just for fun creatures. They do help keep the grass clipped around the ponds, and will provide a few meals for us next winter. Mostly they are just here for our enjoyment. Our incubators have been humming along since March. There have been hundred of ducklings hatching. Chicks started hatching this week.
One of our most satisfying activities of spring is getting the cattle, sheep and goats out on fresh pasture. It is our “happy spot” to see them spread out grazing that nutrient dense grass.
Today’s recipe showcases bratwurst, one of our pasture-raised pork sausages. It is such a flavorful sausage that can be used in a variety of ways. When the weather allows for cooking outdoors, we like to light up our wood-fired barbeque for cooking meat. Adding bratwurst to German Potato Salad makes a perfect summer meal. We add a steamed or raw veggie for a quick and simple spring supper.
Just a reminder, the first pigs of the season will be processed this week. There are only a few pork bundles left. If you don’t want to miss out, now is the time to place your order so your freezer will be full of delicious pasture-raised pork for the upcoming barbeque season.
4 Fabulous Pastured Pork Recipes
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Does spring create a whirlwind of activity for you? What is your most pressing activity to accomplish this time of year?