Farm Update 07-12-18

Hi everybody. I’m hoping to get a slightly longer, more comprehensive update out this week, though it will depend how quickly I can actually type.

The weather, as people who live on the mountaintop know, has been quite wonderful this year. The lack of rain is a little bothersome, but it is by no means problematic – at least not yet.

AROUND THE FARM
The backlog of work is still being cleared, albeit slowly. It’s just a function of how many hours there are in the day, and how many hours I need (or get) to sleep.

In addition to all the usual work, I’ve been able to get the place a little more cleaned up and presentable, though nowhere near how I would like it to look. This is important to me, since quite a few people ask to see the chickens and they are located all the way back near the house and where I keep most all the equipment. Normally, people wouldn’t see the mess (chaos) behind the scenes, but placement of the coop and pen changed all that.

I also managed to get the hill next to the stand mowed, so anyone who would like to walk up and take photos can now do so without trudging through the tall grass.

IN THE FIELD
The plants are generally doing quite well with all the sunshine, irrigation, and feedings. With the exception of Russet Potatoes, all of the main crops are in the ground. I know that doesn’t really mean much to anyone, since you don’t have access to my planting schedule, but it means a good bit to me.

As most of you know, I am not a big fan of spraying the crops, even with the natural and Organic certified stuff I use. That said, I have been adhering to a slightly stricter schedule this year in hopes of keeping two main pests – Colorado Potato Beetles and 12-spot Cucumber Beetles – at bay in addition to limiting the number of Stink Bugs. It’s tricky balancing the need to spray with protecting the bees, but so far the program seems to be working.

Ok, bad news first. The Kale variety that I planted, which has not been available so far because it developed small thorns, has not responded to the method called for to get it to produce leaves without thorns. While I can feed it to the chickens, who absolutely love Kale, it is an otherwise total write-off. I have decided to start new, different seeds, but it won’t be ready for quite some time.

In better news, there should be the first Cucumbers this week (only a few to start, and intermittent availability), as well as Snap Peas. Zucchini, String Bean, and Broccoli plants should producing greater yields this week.

I also dug test Potato plants to see what might be ready. Looks like for this week that I might be able to get some Adirondack Blue Potatoes, but Reds and Yukon Gold are still not developed enough to warrant harvest (a result of spring-time weather delays).

Check the What’s Available page for the most current listing of what I am currently picking.

FROM THE COOP
The chickens (and me too) are much happier with the cooler temps so far this week. The ladies are working hard to produce top quality eggs.

There’s not much going on this week, except for one hen who has decided to go broody. She knows she doesn’t have any eggs, but that’s not stopping her from pretending she does. I’m just going to leave her be for now, because it’s not like she’s sick or anything, though I do make sure she is getting food and water, as well as taking her out of the next box from time to time so she gets some sun and fresh air. There are steps I could take to break the broody cycle, but I don’t really have the time to do it right now.

OTHER GENERAL INFO
The Cherry and Mango-Raspberry jams have both sold out this past week. They join Strawberry-Rhubarb in the currently out-of-stock list. I’m not sure if I’m going to get a chance to make more of them, at least not until some time in August based on how busy I am currently. I do still have samples of them for tasting, and will base my decision on making additional batches on the feedback and number of requests I get for them.

While I know this is early to mention, if anyone is thinking they are going to want to place an order for larger amounts of any Fall crops (cabbage, potatoes, carrots), please let me know. I am not looking for a commitment at this time, rather I am trying to gauge quantities I might need to meet potential orders.

Lastly, thanks to all the people who have let me know that they either read the newsletter or routinely check out the site for updates. I am actually surprised by the number of people who have told me. I appreciate you letting me know, so I know that I am not wasting my time writing all this out. Thanks.

That’s it for now. Hope to see you all at the farm soon. Have a great week.

Farm Update 07-06-18

This is going to be another short, quick update this week, because aside from the usual work I have to do most things seem to be moving along well.

AROUND THE FARM
I know I said last week that I was caught up with back work. Well, it tuns out I forgot about a couple of things and so at this point I’d estimate I still have about a week’s worth of additional work to make up. That said, the remaining extra work can be slotted in over the next couple of weeks without, I think, too much fuss.

IN THE FIELD
It’s coming to the point where quite a few crops are just about to start coming in. I decided to take a peek at the records from last year to see how far off I was in regards to timing. Turns out, some things are coming in earlier this year than last, while a couple of others (I’m looking at you Cauliflower) are slower. I think the drastic change in weather, especially the warmth, has people thinking that we are much farther along into the summer than we actually are.

Anyway, for this weekend it looks like there should be some String Beans, could be Cilantro, and might be a few Mini Cabbage, in addition to the other stuff I’ve already been harvesting. Please check the What’s Available page for the latest.

FROM THE COOP
The ladies all appear healthy and generally content. They REALLY don’t like the heat and let me know about it whenever I’m near the coop (unless I have treats, then all seems forgiven). All of the named “little chickens” that I make sure get extra food are also doing well. Hand feedings of those chickens have now been cut back to twice per day.

For those who have followed the chickens from the beginning, Spunky is doing well enough now, and has gotten big enough to actually stand up to some of the other chickens that used to continually torment her. She still has issues with some of the other aggressive hens, but is otherwise doing very well.

The eggs have settled down into mostly Large size, though the chickens do still lay a spread of sizes, so others will be available too.

OTHER GENERAL INFO
Jam seems to be a hot item this year, and sales of all the varieties are doing quite well. In addition to the Strawberry-Rhubarb being currently sold-out, the limited run Cherry and Mango-Raspberry are also down the last couple of jars. I’m not sure if, or when I might be making more of either.

That’s it for now. Hope to see you all at the farm soon. Have a great week.

Farm Update 06-28-18

Please note the hours for the holiday week.

Thurs 6/28: 10 – 6
Fri 6/29: 10 – 6
Sat 6/30: 10 – 6
Sun 7/1: 10 – 4
Mon 7/2: 10 – 6
Tues 7/3: Closed
Wed 7/4: 10 – 6

The stand will be open on Wednesday this week to accommodate people who are here for the holiday.

AROUND THE FARM
Things here are on the farm are still moving along pretty well. Most of the backlog work has been done, with a few small exceptions. There is still quite a bit to do, and I often wish there were 4 more hours in the day, but I’ll deal with it like always.

IN THE FIELD
There’s not much news to report here. The weather, despite the rain of late,has actually been very well behaved. The temp swings, like the one predicted for over the weekend are a bit much, along with the other morning being 38F (cold enough to frost, though thankfully it didn’t), And it’s confirmed that the crows did pretty much wipe out the first planting of sweet corn.

Most crops are coming right along. I have a good bit more, things like lettuce, to still put in the ground, but this is normal.

FROM THE COOP
There is sad news from the coop. A chicken was discovered on Monday afternoon that had suffered a catastrophic health event. She was immediately put down to stop her suffering.

The rest of the ladies are doing well, though they don’t much care for the rain. Egg production is in full-swing, with the vast majority of eggs falling into the large size category.

OTHER GENERAL INFO
For those who love jam, the Strawberry-Rhubarb has temporarily sold out. I will be making a bit more, but currently have no idea when I will be able to get to it.

Please make note of the stand hours for this week, and be sure to check the What’s Available page for the latest info.

I guess that’s about it for this update. Hope to see you all at the farm soon. Have a great week.

Farm Update 06-20-18

Just a quick update this week, as I am busy getting everything ready for starting the regular season schedule. For those who missed it, this week begins regular hours.

Thurs: 10 – 6
Fri: 10 – 6
Sat: 10 – 6
Sun: 10 – 4
Mon: 10 – 6
Tues & Wed: Closed

AROUND THE FARM
I don’t want to say it’s quiet and good conditions, cause I would be dooming myself, so I won’t say that that is more or less what’s going on. There is loads of work to do, as is the case almost all the time, but it’s getting done. I’m still not quite caught up with the backlogged work, but it’s coming along as well.

IN THE FIELD
Additional crops are going in the ground on a daily basis. The lettuce is coming along quite well. The one issue I’ve run into is a huge family of crows/ravens that decided to pick out all of the 1st sweet corn planting. This is common behavior for them and is not unexpected. Additional corn is being sown now, but, for sweet corn lovers (myself included), it means a delay.

FROM THE COOP
As is the case around the farm, it’s the same in the coop this week. Nothing outrageous, nor unexpected has happened. The ladies didn’t like the heat on Sunday and Monday, and were rather vocal about it, somehow thinking I had the ability to change it, but they made it through.

The chickens are now laying about 80% large-sized eggs, so there should be a good supply of them.

OTHER GENERAL INFO
There will be a little more being picked this week. Please check the What’s Available page for the latest info.

Hope to see you all at the farm soon. Have a great week.

Farm Update 06-15-18

Hi everyone. I was hoping to have this update done earlier in the week, but field work takes precedence, so… Anyway, things are generally moving along well.

For the most part the weather has been cooperative, with the exception of the heavy wind on Thursday. The winds like that happen every year, the day after I plant the pre-started String Beans in the field. The usual result is snapped stalks and stripped leaves. Same thing happened again this year. Oh well.

AROUND THE FARM
Most projects are in full swing at this point. The last major crops scheduled to go in the ground this week are pumpkin, winter squash, and melons. For those of you who have been regular readers of the updates you’ll recall that my experience with melons is they will only grow one out of every five years. If I remember correctly, this is the year they should grow. Fingers crossed.

Bugs have returned, almost en masse, but missing a few types for now. The worst of them are what I call cabbage fleas but are really named flea beetles. The have the ability to do significant damage to all cole crops (cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, and even kale), as well as several others. I’ll be ramping up my efforts against them, in hopes of limiting the damage they do. The potato beetles are also showing up in increasing numbers. Oddly, they are primarily going after the Blue and Yukon potatoes this year. Normally they pick the Reds above all others.

As planting continues the greenhouses slowly empty. I am pretty sure that I’m going to try growing tomatoes and a few other things in them as we head into fall. Yeah, yeah, I know talking about fall already and we’re only just coming into summer. Well, given how long it takes to grow plants, I have to think about it already.

IN THE FIELD
As I mentioned the bugs are now here and being dealt with accordingly. I’ve picked up extra Neem Oil this year in hopes of being able to apply it more regularly. Thankfully it’s been drier this year, at least so far, so the fungal problems of last year have not shown up yet.

Squash, pumpkins, beans, and a few other items are all on the list for planting again this week. I also have second planting tomatoes to put in, but they may have to wait till next week, depending on how things go.

All in all, I’d have to say that most things are on track, though slightly delayed from the late April snowfall we had here on the mountaintop. Let’s hope the summer plays out in a nice and mild fashion.

FROM THE COOP
Generally the chickens are well. There is both sad and somewhat funny news from the coop this week.

In the sad news department, an ill chicken was found in the coop on Monday. She was immediately separated from the flock for further examination and treatment. She was diagnosed with an unfortunate, but not altogether uncommon, problem, which is sadly terminal. I’m going to spare you all the gory details and just say that when the diagnosis was confirmed, to prevent needless and unavoidable additional suffering, the chicken was, after being allowed to play outside in the grass for a time, immediately put down.

In lighter news, I have come to find that chickens, if not necessarily having a sense of humor, certainly are capable of making one laugh. While refilling the feeders in the pen the other day I noticed an abnormally large chicken that I had not noticed before. I thought it rather odd, as this chicken appeared to be almost twice the size of all the chickens around it. Now, I pay fairly close attention to the chickens, so I can spot problems quickly, and couldn’t figure out how this massive chicken came to be. And when I say massive, this chicken looked the size of a small turkey, quite literally lumbering across the pen from place to place, with the other chickens moving out of her way to let her pass. I figured I better look into this and see if the chicken was well and/or if there were any problems (note – laying hens are typically much smaller than meat chickens).

The chicken, who I immediately named Big Momma, was quite wary of my approach and managed to allude me for a time. Eventually I was able to grab hold of her and was greeted with quite a surprise. Well, it turns out this chicken is a world-class con artist. To help explain this charade let me mention that chickens naturally have the ability to control the position of their body feathers, which allows them to stay warm or cool themselves as required. When I finally got my hands on her, she was the proverbial all fluff and no substance. This was just a normal-sized adult chicken. She had somehow figured out that if she made herself look much larger than normal, the other chickens would leave her alone and let her through without issue.

You need to understand, she didn’t just swell up – that state is quite obvious when a chicken does it. She figured out how to puff up without looking like she was puffing up. And the best part was she figured out that being that size meant that she had to waddle and not just walk about like a normal chicken. It was, and is, a truly impressive sight, and had me completely fooled as well as all the other chickens. Since I caught her, she now only does it from time to time. But boy oh boy, what a show it was.

OTHER GENERAL INFO
The main news here is that regular season hours will begin on June 21st. The schedule will be the same as in past years – Thurs – Sat and Monday 10 – 6 and Sunday 10 – 4, closed on Tues and Wed. In addition, due to July 4th being on a Wednesday this year, I am currently planning on being open that entire week. More info on that to follow.

The veg picking this week will still be on the slim side, so please check out the What’s Available page. For the flower lovers, I should be able to get a couple more bunches of field flowers picked again this week, so keep an eye out and grab ’em when you see ’em.

Hope to see you all at the farm soon. Have a great week.

Farm Update 06-08-18

Hope all of you are doing well out there. Work on the farm continues as always. Due to the late start from the late April snowfall I am still getting some work done now that should have been done then, but hey, those are the breaks. The 3-week backlog of work from then is almost complete. I figure it’ll be another week or so until I’ve kinda caught up with where I should be for this time of year.

AROUND THE FARM
More of the same crops are going in the ground this week, and as it does, planting will continue through into early August. The greenhouses I built are doing an exceedingly fine job on helping the plants grow to a nice size and really fill out before they are hardened for field planting. I’m also pretty sure I’m going to try using them to extend out the tomato and couple of other crops’ seasons.

IN THE FIELD
The plants already in the ground are generally coming along well. Thankfully, the weather this year has been much better than last, and even though it’s still on the cooler side the drier conditions make for a better overall situation.

Given that it is still early in the season, there will only be limited crops again for this week. Please be sure to check the What’s Available page for the most up-to-date listings.

FROM THE COOP
There is sad news to be reported. Very early Wednesday morning Stinky the chicken succumbed to complications arising from the intestinal infection, which resulted from her contracting Thrush. After initially responding well to the medication her recovery plateaued, and then suddenly reversed on Sunday evening. Realizing what was going on I made her as comfortable as I could and continued the treatments in hopes she would still eventually recover. Sadly it was not to be.

The rest of the ladies are doing well and are now churning out eggs. The overall size of eggs continues to increase, so that now the vast majority of them are at least large-sized.

In other chicken-related news, the coyotes are back. They were heard just inside the tree line just before dark on Wednesday night. I’ve rechecked the security of the coop, and hopefully it will keep the coyotes, as well as the other predators out.

OTHER GENERAL INFO
Once again this week there will be limited amounts of a few veg items. I’m still pushing a few crops along as quickly as I can, but can’t make them go any faster for fear they will either bolt or keel over from the stress. If you come by the farm and don’t see an item that’s listed as available, please ask. Because I’m unsure of how many people I’ll see per day this time of year, I don’t pick a whole lot to put out, but I may be able to cut more of those items I am currently harvesting.

I guess that’s about it for this update. If you have any questions please shoot me an email or text.

Hope to see you all at the farm soon. Have a great week.

Farm Update 06-01-18

Good morning, day, or evening, depending on when you’re reading this. I held off this week’s update so I could hopefully have a better hand on what might be ready, and also to have a better idea on what problems the weather was going to cause me and you.

AROUND THE FARM
Most work is progressing as it normally would this time of year. The past couple of years I haven’t opened the stand until near the end of June, so being open so much earlier this year makes things a little more interesting.

Irrigation work will be a priority this week. Besides that, it’s pretty much just the usual prep and planting that goes on this time of year.

A major plant pick up was made from Kerns Nursery this week. The greenhouses I set up, as well as the area where I store the plants waiting to go in the ground were all full. And I mean full. Now it’s down to planting it all.

IN THE FIELD
As stated above, what’s going on is planting. On Thursday this week I managed to set a new personal record for amount planted by hand. I put in 49 flats of plants. My previous best was 32 flats. Needless to say, my back is killing me today.

Over the next few days the “big” crops will go in the ground – Corn, Tomatoes, Zucchini, and Pumpkins. I just need a couple more days of dry, so I can get the plastic mulch laid out for them.

To explain, there are certain crops for which I use the black plastic mulch. Generally, these are the crops that are in for most, if not the whole season. Having the plastic on the ground helps keep the weeds from overtaking the plants, and also limits the water loss due to evaporation.

FROM THE COOP
The ladies are continuing to do well. I’m pretty sure all but one of the chickens are laying. I know one is not because she is sick.

The sick chicken (since named Stinky) was pulled from the coop last week when I spotted her acting strangely. At the time she was suffering from thrush, which is apparently immediately systemic in chickens. Anyway, after beginning the treatment for thrush she responded well and was getting better, when all of a sudden she became much sicker with a secondary intestinal infection. She is undergoing treatment, so she will be kept separated from the flock until the medication “flush out” period ends.

Aside from that bit of excitement the chickens are just being chickens – pecking and scratching, eating, sleeping, and laying eggs. Oh, and occasionally getting up to a bit of mischief, but nothing too bad.

And since I can already hear the questions, yes there are a few chickens to which I have given names. There is, of course, Stinky, the sick chicken. I don’t think I need to explain why she has this temporary name. There is also Spunky, who is a special-needs runty hen (partially blind, somewhat deaf, with a severely malformed beak) that the other chickens peck at and continually torment. She earned her name by being exactly that and surviving despite the constant attacks of the other chickens. Due to Spunky’s problems and the behavior of the other chickens, I have to hand feed her 3 – 4 times per day. Then there is Missus, who got her name as being one of only a handful of other chickens that would even go near Spunky without attacking her. She was also the only chicken that would perch for the night with Spunky. The last chicken so far to get a name is Little Red. She had somehow escaped my attention and is now probably the smallest of the chickens. I try to make sure when I am feeding Spunky that I also get her some extra food.

OTHER GENERAL INFO
There will be small quantities of a few veg items this week, in addition to the eggs, preserves, honey, and maple syrup. Please be sure to check out the What’s Available page for the most current listings.

Thanks again to all who came by the stand this past week. I would also like to apologize to those who took the time to come by on Monday, due to the holiday, thinking I would be open. Please understand that this is still very early in the season, and that I am only running limited hours so I can get all my work accomplished.

Hope everyone has a great week.

Farm Update 05-24-18

Well, another day has started, and the list of things to do is as long as ever. And while I know I’ve been less than diligent about updates, I’m sure all of you understand just how busy I am these days, especially with the chickens.

AROUND THE FARM
As far as general announcements go, first off, let me say thanks to those who came by the farm this past weekend. I hope you’re all enjoying the eggs.

Second, since I have opened up more than a month before I normally would, I have to stress that it will still be some time before I have any real amounts of veg to put out for sale. While there are some crops that are much further along than in the past, the weather conditions here on the mountaintop preclude me from getting a whole lot in the ground as early as I would like.

Third, the stand hours will be the same for over Memorial Day weekend – open Saturday and Sunday.

IN THE FIELD
Most of the main field area has been tilled, with less than a third left to be plowed. The weather has made this a very difficult proposition this year, with the limited number of days when I can actually do the work. Still, progress is being made, and it will all be done shortly.

A whole bunch of additional crops have already been planted or seeded, including Potatoes, Snap Peas, Cilantro, Radish, Scallions, Beets, Broccoli, Cabbage, Kale, and Onions. Over the course of this week, I will also be planting Tomatoes, Cucumbers, and Zucchini. So, all in all, the field is filling out quickly.

Of course, with the veggies going in, the bugs have come out already. The little flea beetles have been doing a number on the Broccoli plants, and I am responding to them with the usual natural and organic treatments. I’m sincerely hoping the rapid emergence this year is not an indicator that the bug situation will wind up being over the top this year. Guess I’ll just have to wait and see.

FROM THE COOP
The chickens seem to be doing quite well. Dealing with the chickens is quite an interesting experience. The eggs are slowly getting bigger and bigger.

One hen the other day decided to make a break for it. When I opened the door she got the better of me and made for the hills. Took about 20 minutes to catch her and get her back into the safety of the coop and pen. The only thing that helped was that she circled back to see what the other chickens in the pen were doing and if they had gotten any treats that she might be might be missing out on getting.

When I say the safety of the coop and pen, I am quite serious. There are great number of predators in the area, including bear, coyote, fox, fisher cats, weasel, hawks, osprey, and a bald eagle. Right after I got the chickens and had them come outside the very first time, within minutes a fox popped out of the tree line to take a peek and observe what these potentially tasty new additions to the neighborhood were up to and if they were easily accessible. Needless to say, they are not easily accessible – fully sealed and secured coop, and double-layer fenced pen with both behind high-power electric fencing. (Note to all – DON’T TOUCH THE ELECTRIC FENCE)

OTHER GENERAL INFO
As I said above, the stand will only be open on Saturday 10 – 6 and Sunday 10 – 4, including over the holiday weekend. There will be no additional hours this week, so please plan accordingly. While I would like to be open extra hours already, I simply have too much other work to accomplish over the next few weeks. I’m hoping you all understand.

I think that will wrap it up for this update. If you have any questions, feel free to send me an email or text. Calling right now will likely only go to voicemail due to work with the tractor, and will delay a response.  Lastly, be sure to start checking the What’s Available page as it will once again be updated on a regular basis.

Farm Update 05-14-18

Hi everybody. Work on the farm is moving along at a feverish pace. Plants are going in the ground, the animals are settling into a nice routine, and, knock on wood, the weather has actually been behaving itself. Yeah, yeah. I know I’ve doomed myself by saying so, but whatever.

AROUND THE FARM
Most of the preliminary work is now fully complete. I was finally able to track down and fix the shorted wire in the electric fence around the field that was giving me problems since last year. There is also anti-deer netting that will be added to the fence this year, but that won’t be put up for another couple of weeks yet.

The cold frames/mini-greenhouses I built this spring are doing very well. They are both pretty much packed with plants at this point. These are plants in addition to the ones I get from Kerns Nursery. I’ve started plants on the farm since I began growing things here, but given the volume of plant starts I had to build the cold frames just to have a place to put everything, as there was simply too much to keep the old way. For those curious about them, they are each 10′ x 20′ and hold about 100 trays of plants each.

IN THE FIELD
Another pick up of plant starts from Kerns Nursery is scheduled for today, and many will be going directly into the ground over the next couple of days. First planting Potatoes are already in the ground, as are Onions. Next to go in will be Broccoli, Lettuce, Kale, and Cabbage. Either later in the week, or early next week will be Tomatoes and Zucchini, along with Sunflowers and Gladiolus (for those looking forward to the flowers, I ordered more and additional varieties of Glads this year).

I know people are already looking for veggies, but here on the mountaintop it will still be a while before many of them are ready. That said though, I should have some crops ready earlier than usual, and will be putting out what I can along with the eggs, preserves, and other items when I get the stand set up in the very near future. Please keep an eye out for the announcement of the stand opening.

NEWS FROM THE COOP
The chickens have been laying. They started about two weeks ago, with a single egg the first day, growing to the current amount of about 5 dozen per day. They are still smaller-sized eggs, though getting bigger, and in a few more days I will start selling them. Please keep a lookout for the announcement.

Regarding the eggs, at this time I will not be taking advance orders. They will be a strictly first-come, first-served item. Please check the hours listing to see what days and times the eggs will be put out. If you are unable to make it to the farm during the soon to be posted hours, you can text me to arrange a time to come by, but be aware that this time of year I am extremely busy and will be limiting the number of off-hours appointments, so I ask that you try your best to come by during regular hours.

For those of you looking, I will also be putting out preserves along with the eggs.

That’s about it for this update. Keep checking back for updates on hours and availability.

Farm Update 04-24-18

Howdy folks. I realize it’s been a while since the last update. I’ve been extremely busy trying to get the farm going, despite the crazy weather, which has caused massive delays.

For those of you in the area, you know full-well how cold it’s been. For those who are not here, the weather has been downright atrocious, with continuing freezing conditions and up until just recently, ongoing snow. Yes, you read that right – snow. Even now there are still small patches here and there. All this means I have only been able to work in the field with the tractor for a couple of days so far this Spring. It is getting marginally warmer on a weekly basis, but the temps, with odd exceptions, have been regularly running about 10 degrees below average for quite a long time now (this is similar to how last spring was, though the overall weather was better last year). All this makes it that much more difficult to get anything accomplished. Now, enough of me bitching about the “perpetually bad” weather, and on to happier news.

The plant starts at Kerns Nursery are coming along nicely. Hopefully, despite the weather, it won’t be too long before I can start getting hardier crops in the ground. Similarly, I have quite a few plants started here at the farm. In fact, I have so many right now that I am running out of space to keep them. Luckily for me, with the weather slowly improving, the hardier plants should be going into the field within a couple of weeks.

THE CHICKENS HAVE ARRIVED!!!

Yes, the ladies are in the house. The well-secured, tripled-fenced enclosure and coop seem to be keeping them happy so far, and they are settling in quite nicely.

It will likely be a week or so before they start laying, and another week or two before they are laying regularly enough for me to sell eggs. I will, of course, post an update just before I start selling them, along with the new early-season schedule so keep an eye out for info.

For general information purposes, the chickens:

– come from a certified Salmonella and Avian Influenza-free hatchery
– have been fully vaccinated (health documents are available on request)
– are being given Organic, GMO-free certified feed, which will be supplemented with my own veggie scraps
– are cage-free, though they are penned in due to the number of predators in the area
– are antibiotic-free

(Note – please DO NOT call or text me about eggs just yet. I will be posting an update with expected availability as soon as I can.)

Due to my desire to have non-medicated animals, I will be keeping the chickens in accordance with USDA and NY State Ag & Markets bio-security protocols. This means that there will be no general contact with the chickens, and no outside food allowed. Also, due to the adherence to this rule set, all outside animals brought on to the farm property MUST be leashed, and they MAY NOT enter the property beyond the parking area near the stand.

And in the first of many notices on the topic, and mainly for the people who wander around the farm and through the field, the electrified fence surrounding the chicken area will be ON and ACTIVE 24 hours a day due to the large number of predators.

 

 

Now, I shouldn’t have to say this, but I’m going to say it anyway:

DO NOT TOUCH ANY ELECTRIC FENCING unless and until you are explicitly told that a specific section is turned off.

I have had people visit the farm who grab it and then ask if it’s on, or think it’s funny to grab it and pretend to get shocked. My question to the people who do this is, “Would you grab the end of a stun gun?” Please be aware that the fence charger is sized to provide enough of a shock to stun and scare adult bear that weigh over 350lbs. That means it will shock you badly enough to burn you, in addition to giving you one hell of a jolt, so DON’T DO IT. While I normally have the field fence off during the day as a precaution against such reckless behavior there is no guarantee unless you check with me. And allow me to restate – the chicken fence will be ON all the time.

Back to happier things, the preserves are mostly done. They are available now, so you can text or email me to arrange a time if you would like to purchase some, and they will also be out for sale when I start having eggs.

The primary types of preserves I’ve made this year are:

Strawberry
Blueberry
Raspberry
Peach

And smaller batches of:

Orange Marmalade
Cherry (Sweet) – this is a very limited item
Strawberry-Rhubarb
Mango-Raspberry – this is a very limited item
Cranberry

For those who would like a little more information on veggies you can see the 2018 Crop List, which has been recently updated to show all the changes for the year. I will be finishing the initial prep of the field over the course of the next week, and with any luck getting some plants in the ground within a few days. Let’s all hope that this season turns out to be better than last season.

I guess that’s about it for this update. Given how far we are into the season already, I will make more of an effort to get updates posted on a more regular basis.

I hope all of you had a wonderful winter and look forward to seeing you on the farm again soon.