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So much has been happening around here! Today we moved the high tunnel back along its tracks, in order to let the greens out under the blue skies. We plan to eventually put tomatoes and peppers in the new space that’s covered by the tunnel. Pastures and fields are nearly done being seeded, box elder trees are getting cleared and chipped, and fences are being put into place. The old barn foundation has been moved, and our driveway is being redirected.

We have ten ducks that are growing like weeds, on weeds! In addition to their feed we’ve been filling them up with whatever we pull out of garden and flower beds, and oh, they like it. They also very much enjoy the fact that their cage is mobile, and so they get fresh green grass beneath them every few hours or so.

The farm at La Finca has, this week, both a new orange cat and a new golden puppy.

And, my personal excitement is the three hives of bees we now have buzzing away several yards from the white farmhouse. We peeked in today, a few days after the initial install, to retrieve the queen cages and check on the girls. Despite a brief (and, for new beekeepers, stressful) robbing incident between the colonies, the bees are doing well, building up comb on their frames and top bars with purpose. It’s a thrill to see the bees zooming in towards their hive doors with the bright orange spots of pollen on either side of their bodies.

Today at our team meeting we sat down to discuss plans, ideas, and steps forward. And then we ate well, as is best when you are working hard to bring about good things.

Our collaborative high tunnel project began in August of 2011, with the placement of one high tunnel on RNH land and three at other farm locations. Spring’s early onset is surely toying with our outcomes, and will leave us considering how the tunnels might perform in more typical Wisconsin weather. Or, perhaps this early spring will be our new normal; only the years following can tell us for certain. In any case, we’re thrilled to be seeing green after this strangely beige winter. Here’s a peek inside our high tunnel this April afternoon:

This week projects some cold temperatures, but we’re discussing moving the tunnel back on its tracks in the very near future. Meanwhile, there is always weeding to do, and plenty of other projects have us brainstorming and planning. RNH now has three more people on site with new ideas to flesh out. Welcome to me (Erica) and Cella and Emmet! And happy April to all of you.