This time of year, weeks seem to zoom past in a blink of an eye. Here's some of what we've been up to lately.
During the hot spell last week, we rigged up sprinklers to spray down the meat birds and pigs periodically. The sheep and cows were moved to shady paddocks where they stayed comfortable. Needless to say, we've been very happy for cooler temps and RAIN this week! We did not get any sizable rains this time last year, so we are looking forward to see more grass growth through June!
We had our first chicken butcher day about two weeks ago and will continue processing every other Friday through October. If you are in the market for fresh chicken, be sure to stop by the farm store this Saturday 2-4pm (or every two weeks thereafter). Our chickens are also available at a discounted price when you purchase 10 or more at once.
You can also find our chickens periodically on the menu at Rye and Marche as well as in the meat case at Marche Provisions Market Hall. We are so excited to be working with the newly formed Heart of the Valley Growers Cooperative. This group consists of a handful of small poultry producers who are working together to supply bigger accounts like Marche. It would be difficult for any one of us to do it alone but together we can meet their demands. We are looking forward to seeing how the Cooperative develops and grows to make local, pasture-raised meat and poultry more accessible in our area.
After busy days, it is so peaceful to walk down to the pasture at dusk and say goodnight to the farm. This photo captures our multi species rotational grazing approach - meat birds in the foreground in their moveable chicken tractors; layers egg mobile on the left hand following the sheep and cows on the far right grazing their paddock.
The only animals who didn't make the pic are the pigs who are rooting their way through the woods. We have been using them to help clear the blackberries in the wooded areas of the farm. Here is a shot of what they can accomplish in one week's time.
The pigs do a great job uncovering fallen limbs and trees. We'll go behind them to cut up trees and haul off the wood and limbs. We are also planning on using them to till up areas of the pasture that has some invasive weeds and reseeding in the fall. It never ceases to amaze me how powerful these pigs are. Nature's tillers.
We are gearing up for our next CSA session that runs July - December. Our CSA is year round but we do ask our members to make a commitment to the 6-month session, just as we make a commitment to raise and provide our members' beef, pork, chicken and lamb . It is a mutually beneficial relationship that has become the cornerstone of our farm. We still have a handful of spots available so check out our website to read more about how it works and to register. Click here to read what our members are saying about our CSA.
Hope to check back in more regularly, and keep sharing tidbits from the field and kitchen :)