May is definitely baby time in midcoast Maine in general (baby eels, baby birds, baby tadpoles in vernal pools, baby leaves on big trees…) but at North Branch Farm the baby-ness is amplified by human meddling and we have possibly somewhat more than our fair share of tender young things.
Firstly, we had baby pigs. Seven piglets came to live at the farm a month ago and are happily fulfilling their pig-ly duties: rooting in the dirt, running in circles, testing the electric fence with their noses and squealing in surprise to find it’s still on, and eating or mushing beyond recognition any food put before them.
Secondly, we had onions. We seeded them in the greenhouse at the usual time, the first week of March, and grew them and grew them through this cold, gray spring. I gave them all flattops a couple weeks ago and then on May 9th, 10th, and 11th, all 16,000+ allium seedlings–mostly onions with some shallots and leeks thrown in–got towed out to the field…
…then came out of their potting soil and went into the ground. Wet weather like we had on Saturday makes for a sodden onion planting crew and very happy onion seedlings.
And thirdly, we have baby cows. And do we ever have baby cows. Mara had a baby bull first, at the end of April, and his name has settled in somewhere in the vicinity of Maurice. Next up, one of our favorite milkers, Delilah, had a heifer calf (hooray!) who now goes by Dahlia. Just today, during a very busy day on the farm, two first time mommas, Juna Rose–daughter of the infamous Sadie Rose–and Radish calved out, and both gave birth to healthy, ruddy, rugged heifers as well. Three cheers for cows! Not long and we’ll be swimming in the milk, but for right now we’re just wading in milk and colostrum. We’re now officially halfway through our expected calf births and eagerly awaiting the last four.