2021 Farm Winter/Spring Update

Hi everybody, I hope you are all doing well. I figured it was probably time that I put out an update, given that I haven’t posted one since last year. I considered posting a few times over the winter, but without any new information to get you, and my reluctance to repeat myself for the sake of posting something, I wound up holding off.

Anyway, since it is now April, and despite it being some time before the farm will be open for the season, I wanted to let all of you know that I am still here, that I plan on operating the farm again this year (this is actually an often asked question in the fall), and that it will be some time yet before there are regular updates for this season.

I am still working all the time to get ready for this season. Currently the work is making preserves and starting seeds. Soon it will move onto field prep and then planting.

This year’s laying chickens are on order and will be arriving to the farm in mid-to-late April. They should be laying eggs by mid-May, and when available I will post details of when and how to get them before the stand officially opens for the season. And for those who are wondering, last year’s hens were given to two other in-need farms in the Schoharie valley where they will live out their days.

As of now, I am planning to raise and sell broiler chickens. However, due to the workload, especially planting early on, I will not be dealing with them until later in the season, so do not expect to find them available anytime soon.

There have also been a number of supply-chain issues already this year, and so far I’m not seeing any potential for improvement going forward. I have managed to secure a good bit of the items I’ll need and will just have to see about the rest over time. This, however, does not apply to seed shortages, since they are planted at specific intervals, and if unavailable at the proper time simply won’t be grown this year. And yes, I have already had a number of seed types that were on order cancelled.

Lastly, since I missed my opportunity earlier, I hope everyone had a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year and that you are all having a good year.

Farm Update and Special Notice 10-29-20

Due to all the goings on here at the farm, this will be a very short update.

NOTICE: Due to the weather conditions (snow and below freezing temps for the whole day) forecast for Friday 10/30, the stand will be CLOSED for the day. It will be open on Saturday 10/31.

There will be both Fresh and Frozen Whole Chicken available for Saturday and Sunday, or until they sell out. The December batch of Broiler Chicks arrived this morning, adding to the chaos.

There will still be a number of produce items available this weekend, so please check out the What’s Available page for the current listing.

For those looking, I was able to make more of both 8oz Strawberry and Strawberry-Rhubarb Preserves.

That’s it for now. Thanks for your support, and see you this weekend.

Farm Update 10-22-20

It’s very quickly approaching the end of the season, with just this and next week left to go. And I’m not going to lie; I’m really looking forward to the last day, though it’s not like the work ends or anything.

As a general reminder, the farm stand will be closing for the season on Sunday 11/1. For those who inquired about getting quantities of chickens later in the fall, the chicks will be arriving next week and should be ready for processing around the second to third week in December. If you have specific requests for sizes, please let me know. There are a few additional birds that might potentially be available for those who did not yet order, so get in touch if you’d like to get on a call list.

I’ll have most of the usual spread of veg this week, along with 2 new types of apples – JonaGold and Ambrosia. I specifically inquired about Winesap apples, due to people looking for them, and was told that the crop this year was very poor.

The laying chickens are doing a wonderful job making loads of eggs, and the broiler chickens just keep eating. I will be processing about 20 or so broilers this week, and then more again next week. Due to scheduling, I may even have some that are processed after the stand closes, but will let everyone know for sure in next week’s update.

I’ve been digging more potatoes, which is the last crop in the field. Looks like a good amount of Russet Potatoes, with lesser amounts of Yukon and Reds found. There will be no Adirondack Blue Potatoes this year, as there were only a couple of dozen very small potatoes in total under just a few of the plants.

Due to other commitments I was unable to make Preserves this week. They are continuing to run low across the board, and some are sold out again. Despite next weekend being the last for the season, I will be making a couple more batches, so people looking to put a few extra aside, or find gifts for the holidays will have some selection from which to choose.

I think that’s about it for the update. Hope you all have a great week, and thanks again for your continued support of the farm.

Farm Update 10-15-20

I just have a quick update for you all this week. As a reminder, the stand will be open Fri-Sun until Halloween weekend, with 11/1 being the last day of the season.

Beyond that, I will still have laying chickens until about the second or third week in December, so eggs will still be available by contacting me to set up a time to come by the farm.

Currently, I am still digging potatoes and also processing more broiler chickens. There will be about a dozen or so available this week, and they will be on the smaller side. I will also be processing broiler chickens for the following two weeks, with greater numbers of chickens being available at those times. For those who decided to place orders for the broiler chickens in December, I did receive enough advance orders and will be getting the chicks next week. They should be ready the second and third week of December, depending on how large you want them. Please get back in touch with me if you have specific requests.

There’s not a whole lot more exciting information to pass along at this time. The work is shifting to fall cleanup and prep for winter, and I’m setting up the maintenance and repair schedule now. The interesting thing that’ll be happening will be taking the tractor over to Oneonta for a somewhat major repair, which I unfortunately cannot do on the farm, though that won’t be until sometime after the stand closes.

I am doing my best to keep up with preserves, but there are still types that are running very low stock, or sizes that are sold out. I will continue to make them as I can for the next week or two. Preserves will also be available for purchase after the stand closes, just get in touch like for the eggs.

Can’t think of anything else for now. Hope you all have a great week and thanks again for your support of the farm.

Farm Update 10-08-20

Hope everyone is having a great day. Just a quick update for this week.

As I’ve mentioned, the farm stand will be open through Halloween weekend this year, and the last day will be November 1st.

Here on the farm, operations are quickly moving to fall cleanup and harvesting the last of the potatoes from the field. That’s pretty much all I have left of my own stuff at this point, as the fall crops I had planted have already sold out. I’m doing my best to source as much locally grown as I can. Given the number of people around, and the demand for them last week, I’ve made sure to get extra pumpkins so there should be plenty. I was also able to get some small-sized decorative Indian Corn. Hopefully the larger ones will be available soon too.

The Laying Chickens are all doing well and producing nice larger-sized eggs. This past weekend, while egg sales are remained brisk, I did have some left for sale until the afternoon on Sunday.

Also, as was noted on the board at the stand, fresh Chicken will be available next week (10/16), as the newest batch are still too small. This also brings me to another point. I am not taking any advance orders for the current batch of Broiler Chickens, however, I have been asked if I would consider getting one more round of chickens, specifically for pre-order, because the people asking wanted to get 10 or more frozen chickens each for over the winter. These birds would not be ready to be picked up until well after the farm stand closes, probably sometime in early December, depending on the hatchery’s schedule. If I get enough orders to justify doing it, I will get about 100 birds altogether. All of the birds would be frozen, the minimum order would be 4 chickens, and a deposit would be required. If you have any interest, please come by the farm stand this weekend, as I will need to make a decision shortly.

For the jam lovers out there, I am still making more Preserves as we head into the late season. It has been quite a challenge to keep up with the extra demand this year, but I’m trying my best. Small batches will continue to be made right up to the stand closing for the season. At that point, as with the eggs, you can contact me to see what I may have available for purchase.

That’s it for this week’s update, as it’s now time to go dig even more potatoes. Have a great week, and thanks again for supporting the farm.

Farm Update 10-01-20

Just a quick update for this week, because I still have loads of work still to do and only just realized what time it is.

As many of you know, most of my veg finished up with the freezes we had last week, though I do still have a few things of my own. Most of the stuff at the stand is coming in from other farms, with as many items being locally sourced as I can manage.

Local Brussel Sprouts are finally available this week. And this week will also see the last of the Local Blueberries, of which I only managed to get 3 flats. There are loads of different Pumpkins and Gourds for holiday decorating or pumpkin carving.

For those who have been looking to get some more Preserves, I was able to get a batch of Strawberry-Rhubarb and one of Peach made this week. There are still very low supplies of the others for now, as far more people are stocking up than I had expected. I will be doing my best to get even more made for next week, though when they are made will depend on when my order of pectin arrives.

Additionally, I have decided that the stand will remain open until Halloween weekend (10/30 – 11/01). After that, anyone who would still like to get Eggs or Preserves would need to get in touch with me.

Lastly, given the number of orders I still have pending for Chickens, I will no be accepting any additional advance orders at this time. I do have a small number of Frozen Chickens, but there will only be a few Fresh ones available this week and they will be on a first come basis.

I think that’s everything for this week. I hope you all enjoyed the 24 hours (Sun – Mon) of peak foliage this year, as the leaves in this part of the Jewett valley are now into the browning stage. Hope you all have a great week.

Farm Update 09-24-20

Whether we’re talking about the behavior of the deer, the brazen encroachment onto the farm and terrorizing of the animals by the coyotes, or the multi-morning 25F temps that left virtually everything frozen solid, let’s just say the last week has been interesting. And despite all that, operations on the farm continue unabated, though with a few extra safety precautions.

Given the freezing temps over the week, there will be very little for me to pick. I will still be able to harvest potatoes and kale for now, and will be checking to see if there are any onions of carrots worth harvesting shortly. Beyond that there is not much else that will be going on in the field, except for the start of fall cleanup.

Although they are a little more on edge, and paying pretty good attention to the treeline, the laying chickens are still laying good amounts of the larger sized eggs.

The newest, and last batch of the year broiler chickens arrived on Tuesday. They’re currently 3 weeks old and will need a little time to come up to size. I will be processing chickens this week and next, though there will be fewer available per week than previous weeks.

Due to the extremely high demand, well above my expectations, Preserve supplies are running very low, and in some cases are sold out for now. I am making more as I can, but my ability to do so is limited by my fixed work schedule, so expect some types will be unavailable for a week or so. I will be making more of most types so people can stock up before I close for the winter.

Can’t think of anything else to pass along at this time, so I guess that’ll do it for this update. Thanks very much for your support of the farm. Have a great week.

Farm Update 09-17-20

I hope you are all doing well and enjoying what looks like it might be the last of the warmer times. Current forecasts are showing overnight freezing temps on both Saturday and Sunday nights, with even more cold scheduled farther out. Maybe the deer are onto something.

Anyway, work on the farm is continuing. I’ve harvested what I could of the pumpkin crop, given the deer at hundreds of them. I also got some extras so there would be a nice selection for people looking for both decorating and pie pumpkins. I was able to get Strawberries again this week, and also some Peaches, though not the Pennsylvania ones (these are from New Jersey). I also have Local Blueberries, whose season will be ending shortly.

Fresh Chicken will be available again this week, with the birds running on the larger side. I haven’t weighed them out yet, but they are bigger than many of the birds from last week. I will have fresh ones available next week as well and then there will be a gap of a week or so, since I get the next round of 3 week old birds this coming Tuesday.

Preserves keep running low, and even out, despite my best efforts to keep them well stocked. I will be making even more as we go into the Fall, since as far as I can tell demand is high. I apologize if the type or size you may be looking for is sold out, but more will be made soon.

If there are any bow hunters looking for a place to take deer easily, please get in touch. I really need to have the population thinned down a good bit.

That’s about it for this update. Hope you all have a great week, and thanks again for supporting the farm.

Farm Update 09-10-20

Hi everybody. I hope you all had a wonderful holiday weekend and got to enjoy the near perfect weather. Since it is now past Labor Day, let’s just touch on what the schedule for the farm stand will be going into the Fall. As is usually the case, I commit to being open until at least Columbus Day weekend (10/9 – 10/11). If the weather stays decent and I still have Pumpkins to sell, then I would stay open until around Halloween (10/30 – 11/1). If there are still a lot of people around at that point, then I would consider staying open until the weekend before Thanksgiving (11/20 – 11/22). So as of now, there is still about a month of time that I will be open. Hope this clears up any confusion about the schedule going forward.

Next, I would like to just touch on an issue for which I have been contacted numerous times over the last couple of weeks. The farm has no dealings with, or ties to the Hunter Foundation. When I first opened the farm stand 5 years ago I did sell produce to the Hunter Foundation for their popup market for one season. Since then, and also a couple of years ago, I sold produce from the stand, the same as I would to any other customer, to the chef at the Deer Mountain Inn. That is the extent of my dealings with not only the Hunter Foundation, but also it associated entities. I trust from this point forward I will no longer need to re-answer this question.

Back to the farm itself, things are moving quickly into Fall. Aside from the leaves turning and the geese flying south, the deer have decided to take it upon themselves to mow down everything still growing in the field. Not only did they eat ALL of the Gladiolus, they continue to eat the Tomatoes and have now also taken to eating the Pumpkin and Zucchini leaves. If their behavior is any indicator, it’s going to be a bad Winter. I am still harvesting what I can, and filling in where I can with what I can find at the wholesale market. No peaches this week, though I as able to get a couple of flats of both Blueberries and Strawberries. Local Tomatoes are getting scarce, and it looks like quite a bit of other Local stuff is also ending. Good news, though. Local Apples are in good supply, with regular Macintosh joining the selection this week.

The layer Chickens are doing fine, and laying a good supply of larger sized eggs. I’m curious to see if the demand is still as high for them this week. I also processed more meat Chickens this week, so I will have them fresh over the weekend.

In the bad news department, the coyotes have decided to return. Just last night, as it was getting dark, they started howling a short ways inside the treeline behind the house. While I had been hearing them for the last couple of weeks, this is the closest they’ve been since I previously ran them off. I suspect I will soon be having encounters with them again, so if for some reason you come to the farm after sunset you can expect to find me carrying a weapon.

Besides all that, things continue apace. I will be making more preserves as I can, since I am again near selling out of a couple of types. I will also be processing meat Chickens for the next couple of weeks before the next gap between groups happens.

I guess that’s about it for this week. I sincerely appreciate and am very thankful for all the support of the farm. Have a great week.

Farm Update 08-27-20

I suppose if this update was titled it would be something like – The Woodchuck Strikes Back, or maybe – Revenge of the Coyotes, or perhaps Skunk Wars. And yes, all three are here, and all three are serious problems. Hope all of you are doing well in what has quickly turned into Fall here in the mountains. For those I talked to last week, it certainly seems like that feeling of change was accurate, as the quickly changing and dropping leaves are demonstrating. Ah well, and though it is what it is, I’m just glad I ordered as much firewood as I did.

The few crops that are still growing like normal in the field are doing fine so far. As I thought though, Sweet Corn won’t make it this year, as the cool down will slow their growth to next to nothing. The forecast lows over the next week (in the low to mid 40’s) will also surely take their toll. Deer have been actively eating the Tomato plants and any fruit that are even approaching ripe enough to pick. Can’t say that in the 14 years I’ve been growing stuff here, that I have ever seen the deer go after Tomato plants, much less Sunflower and Gladiolus leaves. Then again, maybe they know something we don’t.

Anyway, the chickens are still laying at full steam, and with the feed issue apparently resolved, they are laying many more Large and XL-sized eggs. Jumbo eggs are still fairly scarce, but do make an occasional showing. In the less than positive chicken news category, I have had to separate and bring one of the layer hens inside, as she was being constantly pecked and harassed by the other hens. If anyone is looking for a pet chicken, she is available to a willing and able home. Additionally, the new batch of meat chickens are getting bigger every day, and I swear there are times you can see it happening.

I was able to make some more Preserves this week, so the smaller size Raspberry and Strawberry-Rhubarb are once again available. I get the feeling that I will probably have to make a few more batches over the next couple of weeks just to keep from running out completely before the end of the season.

Lastly, I would like to make a request. For people who come by the stand would you please let me know if you are planning on being here past Labor Day. I usually scale back operations pretty quickly afterwards, since kids are usually back in school, however, given the current state of things I get the sense that more people than usual will be around after that time and I would like to make sure that I either harvest or get enough that it will at least come close to meeting demand. So if it’s possible, please let me know.

That’s about it for the update this week. Thanks to all of you, I sincerely appreciate your support of the farm. Hope you all have a great week.