In case you haven’t been by the farmhouse, our chicks have hatched! They’re all housed in the brooder (the black plastic tub) under heat lamps to keep them warm until they can regulate their own body temperature. Until the chicks become “teenagers” at around three weeks, it is difficult to determine their gender. Once their gender can be identified, the males will be separated out from the females. The females will stay on the farm and the males will be taken back by Chicken Mike. Depending on how many females we have left after gender separation, we may do another round of hatching. Once the chicks are around a month old and have become fully feathered we will be able to move them to their coop.
On Wednesday fourth and fifth graders from Polly Ann McRoberts Elementary School took a field trip to the farm as part of their environmental arts day. They participated in soil sampling and soil pH tests and learned why these types of tests are important for the health of our soil. The kids also learned about the process of propagation. With the help of our farm team they propagated herbs and were sent home with some of these to plant on their own. Chicken Mike taught a short class all about chickens and the kids enjoyed meeting and spending time with our new chicks.
Beds were emptied on the North Farm this week to prepare for transplanting. The transplants from the community seeding event that took place on the 10th of this month will soon be going in these prepared beds. If you weren’t able to take part in that event, residents seeded 45 trays with varieties of cucumber, basil, eggplant, and tomatillo. These beds will give us a delicious bounty in a few months’ time.
After an incredibly dry spring we finally received a decent rain out on the farm! Since that much-needed rainfall, the seeds of our cover crop that were direct-seeded on both the north and south farms are beginning to germinate. As the cover crop grows it will help to replenish nitrogen and organic matter in the soil as well as deter erosion and root-knot nemotodes.