It has been an exciting month here at Clearwater Farm. Our farm family has grown to include 12 quail and 4 rabbits! It’s been a fun endeavour to learn more about these animals and their behaviour and what habitats, food and socialization they prefer. Did you know that rabbits shouldn’t actually be given carrots to eat on a regular basis? Only once in a while as a special treat. Carrot tops are healthy for them to eat often though! Quail eggs are beautiful and tiny. Three of them are equivalent to the size of one chicken egg.
The rabbits are very social and like to be pet yet also scare very easily. The quail are sweet and curious and make more cooing noises as they grow, especially the males with their crowing. Rabbits like to play and have fun and for them this included sneaking their way over into the quail side of the coop and outdoor play area. Luckily, as we assumed, the quail and bunnies get along great and it was quite fun to see them interact. We decided however not to let them stay together all the time since the bunnies were eating all the quail food, knocking over their water and the quail seemed a bit overwhelmed sometimes with rabbits hopping all around them!
The 24 fruit trees we planted in the fall, with the help of many children, have been getting lots of love and attention this spring. They’ve been given layers of compost, extra soil and chicken/quail poop straw bedding. Small garden beds are being created around each one where beans, marigolds and other plants have been seeded.
The seedlings we’ve planted in the greenhouse are sprouting and we are very excited to soon plant them outside in the garden rows. We’ve been adding fine details to garden beds and working on garden rows by weeding them then putting layers of compost, cardboard, soil and straw on them to suppress weeds and keep moisture in. Don’t get us wrong, we love weeds, but they have their place and in garden rows is not one of them since they will take nutrients and energy away from the plants we’re trying to grow in those specific areas. We love eating dandelion greens in salad and the bunnies love them too!
We also had the amazing, humbling opportunity to take part in the planting of some very special seeds. 800 year old squash seeds, Gete Okosomin – the Ancient Grandmother Seeds, that were discovered preserved in a clay pot during an archeological dig on First Nations land in Wisconsin. Thanks to Shelley Charles, Elder from the Chippewas of Georgina Island, who invited Clearwater Farm to be a part of planting some of these ancient Indigenous seeds here by the shores of Lake Simcoe. What a beautiful gift that reminds us of the importance of community and resilience.
With much anticipation, we are excited to announce that our outdoor oven has a hand made door. This means that we can begin using this oven to bake a variety of delicious goodies! We’ve already experimented with making pizza and it was a fun success!
We have had many nature sightings over the month too. We discovered a salamander, baby rabbits, snails, bumble bees, mud daubers, a meadow vole and many migratory birds such as the baltimore orioles!
We have also noticed that the leaves on the trees have grown much bigger every week and that the weather is warming up significantly. How about you, what have you noticed about nature?