"Sustain me according to your promise, and I will live; do not let my hopes be dashed." Psalm 119:116
March is upon us, and the spring planting, prepping and raising is in full swing. One can walk into most grocery stores and find a rack of packaged seeds begging to be purchased and planted. Farms all over the state are busy hatching chicks, getting their own ready for the planting and the grazing. It's an exciting time and it's a hopeful time. We have hope and promise that our bellies will be full with the the bounty of God's creation. For farmers in Michigan, it also means that there is hope that their needs will be taken care of by the profit of their farms. In this household "farming" is not our lively-hood. We have the privilege of dabbling in sustainable living. There's nothing at stake, yet. The excitement abounds in the Opatik household, as each day brings more tasks to prepare our garden,
raise our chicks,
and plant seedlings.
We are praying for better weather this year. Because of consistantly cool temperatures, last summer was the worst growing season that anyone can remember. From large-scale farming to backyard tomatos, production had taken a substantial hit. One farmer we spoke to harvested a yield of only 2,000 lbs. of tomatoes from a crop that typically yields over 6,000 lbs. For his family it meant a 60% hit on their income. For us it meant that we had to actually buy tomatoes at the grocery store last summer. I think I harvested only 2 dozen tomatoes all summer allowing me to can only 4 small jars of sauce.
I have hope that this season will be much better and that our shelves will be overflowing with jars of garden fresh tomatoes. According the 2010 Farmer's Almanac, my hope may be fulfilled. We are expecting a warm and rainy summer.
This week we brought home four more chicks! This time we went to Zephyr Creek Farms www.zephyrcreek.com where we purchased two Silver Laced Wyandottes, and two Barred Rocks. These are beautiful birds, truly works of art by our Creator.
When the Silver Laced Wyandottes are full grown, they will look something like this:
and the Barred (Plymouth) Rock like this:
Mike and Michael are working hard at finishing up the chicken tractor. They moved the coop from the basement where the design was well thought out, to the garage where it was framed in, and now to the backyard where final construction of the nest house will take shape.
As always the kids are having a ball with our newest chicks. As I type this, they are upstairs playing with the 4 "babies", as the pullets are starting to enjoy less and less little hands scooping them up. The four newest ones love the embrace our our children's hands, at least for now.