Saturday, March 15, 2008


Spring is here and we are busy at Haldan Farm and loving it. We are busy getting plants started, grafting trees, lambing, and preparing to build a new woodshed.

On Wednesday, March 12th, we welcomed two new lambs. Skelda, who lambed for the third time since coming to live with us, had her first set of twins. Reed came running in after going out at about 8 pm to get some wood for the fire. "You want some cheery news? We have a lamb!"

Up until now Skelda has only had single births so we though that the one lamb was it. We went out to see that all was okay with the new lamb and that Skelda was okay and I just had this feeling from watching her interact with her lamb that we would be seeing another. She was the good mother that she always is, licking her lamb and stimulating it, but she seemed more distracted than I've seen her after lambing. I watched her sides and I could see that she was still in labor. Sure enough, a few minutes later, another was born while we watched! It was very exciting as it was the first birth I've witnessed other than my own children.

Last year, on my birthday (almost exactly a year ago - March 17th), I went to a fruit tree grafting workshop with one of my former elementary students (now in his early twenties!) who was visiting from Wisconsin. What fun! I got very excited about grafting trees and then Reed jumped on the grafting bandwagon, too.

Last weekend we grafted 22 apple scion (the part which grows into the tree and produces the fruit)onto three different varieties of rootstock. We ordered most of the scion, but a few were cuttings from our own trees.

Our gardens are getting cleaned up and the beds prepared. We plan on having a very large garden this year. We would like to grow about 50% of our food this year, increasing each year until we are growing or raising 85 - 95% of our own food.

The children have loved working outdoors and the weather, for the most part, has cooperated - we've had one of the nicest springs I've experienced here the Pacific NW. It has been sunny, but with enough rain to keep things as moist as they need to be. It's also been warm.

As soon as I get to the library or somewhere else that has faster internet access (we can only get dial-up right now) I'll post some pictures.