Tuesday, April 16, 2013

What's So Funny?

Sometimes people notice cartoons or other items that remind them of us. Sometimes we wonder *why* certain things remind them of us, but that is another question.

I was feeling the need for a little humor this morning to go along with some rumination on my part.

Spring Time - Where are you?


The first robin of Spring at Genuine Faux Farm was sighted and heard on March 15 this year.  In fact, our records show that this is pretty normal for us.  The difference this year from years just prior is that we were actually having temps closer to normal for Winter.  And, we weren't having the ridiculously warm temperatures in early Spring that we've had the last few years.  In fact, up to this point, we've probably had a Spring that is closer to the norm if you look at the averages.  But, now we're tending towards a bit colder weather.  And, we haven't really had that many warm days that offset the cool days most Springs.

Maybe we're all just being a bit impatient.  Average lows in Waverly for mid-April are in the mid 30's (subtract a degree or two for our farm).   Our recent lows fall within that norm.  Our daily high temps, on the other hand, should be close to 60.  And, if we had some sun, I don't doubt we'd reach those temperatures.  But, with the clouds, we're running about 10 degrees below the norms for highs.  Ok - maybe we're just a bit justified in being anxious for Spring

Is this weather good or bad for the farm?

Photo: Too funny!
Aside from our being anxious to get things growing, this weather may be a bit of a blessing for the farm.  But, it is always a frustrating thing how quickly a blessing can become a curse when it comes to weather.  The weather has not allowed us to do any field work, some of our plans to get some things in the field early and covered with low tunnels did not happen.  The frost did not go out until everything got really wet.  And, when things are really wet, you can't do anything in the field either.  The net result is that we are starting to get plants stacked up in trays with less space to put them in than we want.

On the other hand, we have had great weather to get paper work done.  And, this time of the year always has a great deal of tension between office work and field work.  Mother Nature knows this and is trying to tell us something.  I can hear her now!  (* Rob...Rob.... stop typing in a blog and get your paperwork done! *)

Um... Ok.  I'm not sure that's what I wanted to hear. 

Hey! That's not a robin!

Photo: poultry month?

We do have hen chicks (about 10 days old now) on the farm to go along with the adult laying hens.  The broiler chickens will arrive at the end of April.  May brings the ducks and the turkeys.  And, as I type this, Tammy is running up to Frantzen Farms to get starter feed for the chicks.  For the most part, we appreciate the opportunity to raise poultry on the farm.  But, there is a reason we have a bit more affinity for Winter than many people do.  November through March requires only that we care for the laying flock.  But, once we get to April, things get so much more complicated.

We just remind ourselves that we're getting better at this every year.  At least, we tell ourselves this.

There's something every season

Each year on the farm brings its own concerns.  Usually, those worries are weather related, but we've been working on ways to handle that.  This year, both Tammy and I admit to being very skittish about anything having to do with chemical sprays.  And, more specifically, we are not looking forward to the aerial applications that are going to happen again this season throughout the state.

We were both tested a week ago as we were driving in to Waverly in the morning.  What should we see on the horizon but an airplane making the familiar swooping patterns of the crop duster?  This plane was diving around the new intersection of highways 63 and 3 east of Waverly.  Its mission was to drop seed onto the medians and newly sculpted areas around the road.

While we were able to deduce that this was likely the purpose of this plane, neither of us handled seeing the plane at all well.  We've never enjoyed hearing or seeing them, nor are we big fans of the ground spraying equipment.  But, now, when we see these things we both feel as if they are a direct and imminent threat to our personal well-being.  Whether this is irrational or not may be left open to discussion.  What matters is that we're going to have to find a way to deal with the realities of living in the middle of land dedicated to corporate agriculture.

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