As everything seems to in spring, Two Dog has begun to grow. For a number of months now it’s been only the core of Two Dog and the occasional visitors keeping the farm lively. But now the ranks of Two Dog have swelled, and more than doubled. We have two new interns, Andy and Laura, and one wwoofer, Margaret, on board. Andy arrived in March and helped with some of the sugaring operations, and is now doing a swell job running the greenhouse, with Sue’s input here and there. Laura and Margaret, who are sisters, arrived last week and are just starting to find their place in the spring shuffle. We’ve got a full growing season ahead, but it seems that we’ve lucked out for yet another year, and landed some very intelligent, and hard working people.
Beyond Two Dog’s population boom, growth seems to be happening every where we look. The grass is green and just starting to be of that length which cows can curl their tongue around and snap off. If you never seen a cow eat grass, or never paid attention to how effectively they mow grass with a rather dull instrument, their tongue, you should. I doubt you could mow a lawn with your tongue. Give it a try though, I’m sure someone who lives with or near you, or even just drives by would be very amused.
Back to farming and no more tom-foolery. The vegetable seedlings are well on their way to long and prosperous lives, even if they do have to undergo the torture of “hardening off” which is forcing them out into the cold to toughen up for the varying temperatures that accompany this time of year.
Last but certainly not least on Two Dog’s list of growing things is the pigs. We’ve got a new batch of nine pigs, mixes of Tamworth, Hampshires, and Berkshires, that are roaming and rooting in their luxurious new spot along the gardens, and on top of our compost pile. When we first had them they were behind my house in the little pig house, but they have since received a first class upgrade to their new digs. Where the dirt was becoming rather compacted and bare in their old spot, they now have soft soil, compost, and lots of vegetation to root and carry on in. For my part in farming, I can say that there are few things as rewarding as seeing animals in conditions that you know they enjoy. Besides amused and enthusiastic pigs, we’re hoping that their current home allows the critters to turn the compost, fertilize some of the garden, and reclaim some space to be used in future garden expansion.
Unlike the expected and usual growth of spring, the weather has been anything but usual. March was record-setting hot and with 80 degree temperatures felt more like May. As we moved into April the heat slacked a bit, but the weather stayed warm and dry. In mid April it was dry enough that the National Weather service issued a forest fire warning for this area. In the past couple of weeks though, we’ve got some significant rain and the dust has reunited with the soil and decided to stay put for a while. Now to keep the roller coaster going the temperature is supposed to dip into the low 20′s the next few nights which is not good news for the young and tender buds and blossoms of various trees and plants. For Two Dog the blueberries and recent garden transplants are our main concern, though many other plants such as apples could be at risk as well. Oh well, mother nature may be unpredictable, kind at times, harsh at others, but at least as bosses go she really isn’t too concerned with how I spend my time.
Off the farm Two Dog has begun working with the Garden Arts Fresh Market in Manchester, VT. Currently we’re selling syrup, pork, beef, and greens at the store. As the days lengthen and the vegetables begin to come into season we’ll be offering a large selection of fresh organic produce and vegetable seedlings. We think the world of the folks at the Fresh Market, and we’re looking forward to working with them, so stop by and check the place out. They are located on 557 Depot Street on the corner of Highland Avenue in the renovated Mobil gas station.
That’s all for now. We’re hoping to get back in the blog and not lag so far between posts.