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:
And smaller batches of:
Cherry (Sweet) – this is a very limited item
Mango-Raspberry – this is a very limited item
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.