Spring has arrived, bright and beautiful. This appears to be the earliest spring we have seen in our six spring at Crystal Spring Farm. While it feels odd, we hope to be out in the field this week, preparing ground and planting our first field crops of the year.
In the barns we have further proof of spring with 115 new lambs born over the past three weeks. This large number of lambs, born over such a short period, is a new experience for us. Usually we have this number of lambs over a six-week period. But this year, in the interest of keeping farmers well rested before the farm season we decided to shorten the lambing period. We made this decision way back in late July when we put our teaser ram (a vasectomized ram) in with the ewe flock. As advertised, this ram got the ewes all excited and brought their estrus cycles into sync. At the same time we put this flock on the best pasture we have on the farm. Having top nutrition encourages the ewes’ bodies to release more than one egg at a time. So after six weeks with the teaser ram and an ample supply of top quality pasture, the ewes were all in great condition coming into heat in early September. This is when we pull out the teaser ram and replace him with two viable rams who spent three weeks doing their jobs. 150 days later we have lambs.
So far we farmers really like the shortened lambing season. The lambs appear to be enjoying it as well as they form big gangs in the barn, running in circles, jumping over hay bales and teasing their mothers with selective hearing (sound familiar to any parents out there?).
Maisy the world’s best farm dog We have sad news for all of you that knew and loved our farm dog Maisy. Maisy passed away in December. She was a great dog and for the past couple seasons had been on the payroll as our official CSA pickup greeter. We loved her very much and miss her sweet even presence around the farm and in the house.
CSA Lamb Open House. Mark your calendars for Sunday March 21st from 1-2:30pm. We will open the barns for our CSA members to come and enjoy an afternoon visiting with our new lamb flock. Farmers will be on hand to help young and old touch and handle our new lambs. This event is just for CSA members. There will be another open house for the general public coming in early April.
Crystal Spring Farm Eggs are Coming! In addition to new lambs we also have a new flock of laying hens that have been on the farm for the past few weeks. These birds arrived as chicks and with care will go out onto pasture in late April and start laying amazing pastured eggs for sale at CSA pick ups by mid-July.
Seedlings…We started this past week in the greenhouse with our first seedings for the coming vegetable season. Leeks, onions, shallots and several flower varieties were started this first week with many more to come.
Furniture auction to benefit MidCoast Hunger Prevention. Brunswick Furniture designer Michael Perkins will be auctioning off over thirty original pieces to benefit the Midcoast Hunger Prevention Project on Saturday April 3 from 7-9pm. Michael is a friend of the farm and a skilled craftsman. This will be a great event. For more info about Michael’s work go to his website http://www.vintageperkins.com/
Crystal Spring Farm Day Camp sign-up open. Maura has added several new options and programs for kids ages 3-16 during the summer vacation to experience a real working farm. Coming off our wildly successful first year we are really excited about this year’s expanded programs. For all the details and registration info see our website. http://crystalspringcsa.com/farm-camp
Five Years at Crystal Spring Farm. Farmer Seth will be giving a slide presentation at Curtis Memorial Library on March 24 at 7:00 p.m. chronicling the first five years he and his family have spent living and farming at Crystal Spring Farm. This is one event of many to celebrate the Brunswick-Topsham Land Trust’s 25th Anniversary.