Tuesday, February 12:

The spinach we planted last fall in the high tunnel has been providing us with salad since December.  We make note of two considerations for next fall’s plantings:  1) a variety with an upright habit of growth will make better use of the space in the tunnel, and require less cleaning after harvest; and 2) it does not pay to skimp on thinning.  A crop that will be occupying the same space all winter needs plenty of room; thin rigorously.

We butcher our two biggest hogs this weekend.  Although the pigs make very good use of the forages, fodder crops and dairy products we provide them with, during the last two months the five of them have consumed about three bags of feed every two weeks.  Three sacks times fifty pounds divided by five pigs is thirty pounds of feed per pig per fortnight, or fifteen pounds of feed per pig per week.  That’s about five dollars per pig per week.  It is precisely this five dollars that we hope to save this year by starting our own piglets in May when there is plenty of milk and garden trash, and having them ready to butcher when the weather turns cold.