What’s New at Quarteramish

In November I accepted the position as 4-H Youth Development Educator in Dearborn County Indiana.  4-H is a program offered through Purdue University’s Extension Service.  It’s great to join the Purdue family as an educator, especially since Purdue is one of my alma maters.  I love the job and I love the people.  4-H in Dearborn County offers 98 projects that help youth explore and develop life skills including STEM projects such as Robotics.  I am teaching.  Life is good.  Since I am employed off the farm now, look for Russell this summer when you visit Quarteramish farm to pick berries or purchase vegetables.  I will be available when I can.  Please contact me to schedule educational events.

newalpacas

Some of our new girls. Isn’t their fiber gorgeous? We fence our alpacas with electric fence to keep out predators because they never test a fence.

 

This winter, we decided we needed additional alpacas in order to have enough fiber to process annually.  We purchased 5 beautiful females and 1 beautiful grey male.  I am excited to announce we will have our first crop of fiber available for sale in June.  We will offer sport weight yarn, rug yarn, and felt pads.   Last fall we experienced our first cria (the term for alpaca baby) birth and are proud to introduce Sophie.

sophie

Introducing Sophie! She was born August 26 last year. Her mother was black and her father chestnut. Cria births are exciting because you never know what color to expect!

The high tunnels have seen improvement too.  Russell completed trellising the raspberries because their vigorous growth made it difficult to walk in the isle-ways.  There is also a new coat of mulch inside and out.  Mulch is used to help preserve moisture, reduce weeds and eventually enrich the soil with organic material.  The “Cadillac of Picking“, as one customer calls us, now offers customers an upgraded experience.  Our kids helped get the project started, and Russell finished the task over a 10 day period, one wheel barrow load at a time.  The second cold winter in a row caused winter damage to this years fruiting canes, especially one particular variety.  This will reduce our Blackberry crop this year, but we will have blackberries for sale.  The season is a bit behind last year due to the cold spring conditions so check out the blog for updates on when berry picking will begin for the red raspberries and thornless blackberries.

Inside the high tunnel.  The vigorous canes on the right are raspberries.  The winter did not effect them near as much as the blackberries because they can tolerate colder temperatures.

Inside the high tunnel. The vigorous canes on the right are raspberries. The winter did not effect them near as much as the blackberries because they can tolerate colder temperatures.

The outside planting took a hit again this winter due to the 14 degree below 0 temps we experienced.  Most fruiting canes outside died, but the plants are coming back vigorous and healthy.  We will look to next year to harvest a good crop outside.

The outside planting took a hit again this winter due to the 14 degree below 0 temps we experienced. Most fruiting canes outside died, but the plants are coming back vigorous and healthy. We will look to next year to harvest a good crop outside.

One more thing:  We purchased chicks this spring: Americana, Black Australorp and Black Sex link pullets.  Australorp and Black Sex birds lay shades of brown and the Americana’s lay colored eggs; blue to shades of green.    By late fall we will have fresh eggs once again.

Like our new updates?  Please let us know!

As Summer approaches remember to Simplify, Simplify, Simplify! and take advantage of Life’s Simple Pleasure’s each and every day!!

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This entry was posted in activities, Animal Care, DIY, gardening, Life's Simple Pleasures, PYO berries, Seasonal, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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