Sunday, May 17, 2009

And after the rain comes the rainbow...

HURRAH! the weather report doesn't call for any significant rain for the next 4 days.
Hopefully that will dry things out enough to finish getting the first plantings into the garden. :)

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Dexter bull + White Park cow = skunk

Yep that's right now we have a skunk calf. lol
We bred our Dexter bull, Will to our 2 White Park cows. White Park calves are usually white with a black noses, black in their ears and black "freckles" on their backs and legsThe crossbred calf came out with a black body and head and a white stripe down his back like a skunk.
Looks like 2009 is in black and white around here :)

Pasture raised, hormone & antibiotic free all natural

They're here again - our pasture raised, hormone free all natural chicken!! This year we changed the type of broiler we raise to the Poulet Redbro. These new birds are more agressive foragers and have a more natural growth pattern than the Cornish Cross.
It's been a challenging spring to raise chickens on pasture with all the cool wet weather. We've kept plastic sheeting over 3 sides and the top of each chicken tractor to retain warmth and protect the growing birds from the weather. We've had to move the tractors more often than usual because of the wet ground. But it's all been worth it!
We'll be processing our first batch of broilers this week.
Every spring the first batch is like learning how to process birds all over again. It takes Brian and I a while to get our rythm back. Once we hit our stride, we'll be able to process about 100 birds in a day thanks to the scalder and chicken plucker that Brian built.
Some folks wonder why we process all the birds we raise ourselves. There are a couple of reasons: 1. Chickens that aren't stressed out from travelling hundreds of miles to a processing plant are better tasting and tenderer. 2. We like to know how the meat is handled.
In a processing plant, chicken carcasses can soak in cooling vats for hours in water that is changed infrequently.
On the farm we take care not to stress the birds any more than is absolutely necessary. We pay close attention to how the meat is cooled and handled and packaged.
We believe that you will taste the difference, but you won't know if your don't try it.
Try one and decide for yourself.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Spring Planting

It's wet, muddy, wet, soggy Oh and did I mention it's wet?
This has been one of the wettest springs I can remember. Last week 2 of our CSA Workshareholders, Nate and Danny, came out and braved the rain with me to plant all the cabbage, broccoli and cauliflower that had been waiting in the greenhouse.
After a very soggy morning, we came inside to dry off and enjoy a lunch of homemade chicken and noodles. ( Both the chicken and the noodles were homemade! lol)
By this time it was truly pouring down, so we headed to the greenhouse. The guys rearranged flats , cleared weeds and tilled up about 1/3rd of the greenhouse so that we could tuck in 39 tomatoe plants. Why 39? Well that's just what would fit in the space we had to work with.
Now we are hoping the wind and some sun will dry things out so we can till more garden and get the strawberries, asparagus and bramble fruits weeded and mulched. Oh and maybe the sheep will finally dry out enough that we can shear them!

In the mean time, the blue herons and the geese are enjoying the ponds and I'm enjoying watching them and listening to the frogs. :)

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Pile O' Piglets

These are Petunia's piglets when they were just a day or so old. I love this pic. Baby piglets are sooooo cute!!