Sunday, September 13, 2009

FARM NEWS 9.13.09

Whew! This past week was a tough one, what with Alissa out on vacation and Naf still out with a broken arm. Nothing makes you appreciate your crew like when they're gone! It was Cody and Dan, all harvest, all the time. We managed to have fun, I think, mostly because volunteers Ron, Kim, and Daryl keep coming by and rescuing us. My Dad helps out at the farmer's market, our neighbor Meg has been coming on harvest mornings to milk the cow- leaving us to just focus on bringing in the food. Naf even managed to come by with his broken wrist and hand weed some beets...

This week Alissa and Dan will be at the farm with Cody out on vacation. We're bound to have another week of challenge but here's hoping the fun continues.

Last week we managed to bring in all the onions from the field just ahead of the rain, and it looks like a record harvest! I've never seen such onion bounty...2009, the year of the Allium (garlic, leeks, onions.) The greenhouse is stuffed with onions. I think the onion is the most often eaten and versatile vegetable of all vegetables. And perhaps the hardest won as a grower. Nice to have a bumper crop to help fill the tomato void! I'm also considering calling 2009 the year of the sweet pepper, but it has a few weeks to prove itself yet.

Exciting news this week, another hundred chicks will be arriving in the mail, our goal being to revamp our layers for 2010. We'll start them on grass this fall and move them into the greenhouse for the winter. It just doesn't feel right around here without a sizeable layer flock (200 layers! 30 of which will be going to our neighbors at Camp Isabella.) Hopefully having access to more of our own layer manure will help us cut down on how much manure and protein we have to import from Fertrell and North Country Organics to grow our hungry veg crops. It would also be nice to have our own eggs for sale from the barn and at the farmers' market again.
Also, no more white leghorns. These gals crank out the eggs but tend to have low survival rates when it comes to predators and nasty weather. We're going with heavier, less efficient breeds with a greater sense of survival. I also have a hunch they eat more grass as they weren't bred to live in a box like the leghorns. This makes for healthier eggs- more grass and less corn. Our chosen varieties are the New Hampshire Red and Black Australorp. Hearty,tried and true. Basically heirloom chickens!

Pictured is Beatrice in the portable chicken hut with the New Hampshire Red chicks.
This week's harvest:
Winter Squash
Hot Peppers
Salad Mix/Arugula
Your farmers,
Dan and Tracy, Bea and Baxter

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