Farm Updates, Spring CSA/What’s in the Store, Eric’s Corner

Work these days falls into three catagories:

Redundant: Animal chores in sub zero weather is simply not that much fun. Eggs need to be collected constantly throughout the morning so they don’t freeze. Animals need to be watered, which is a challenge and snow needs to be removed from the greenhouses. Snow and snow removal are a constant factor on the farm. Much like weeds in the summer.

Frustrating: We are very excited about the confluence of technology and food. Even though it seems a little counterintuitive we feel that the internet has the power to vastly influence the local food situation. So we made a decision to go “all in”. As part of this new effort we decided to embrace social media marketing. Eric’s daughter Louissa took over the reigns as Facebook guru and things were going very well. For some reason we’ve lost the ability to log-on to our Facebook page in order to administrate it. We’ve tried many, many different tactics and have worked with some very capable internet people, but so far we’ve had no luck and the page remains inaccessible. If anybody has ever heard of this and/or has any ideas we’re all ears.

Fun: We’ve got some big projects in the works. These will probably be moved in to the frustrating and redundant categories soon but for now we’re pumped. First, Silas Clark and Ralph (our neighbor) have been helping us build large movable poultry housing. These skidable houses will be 20′ x 40′  and will contain roosting and nesting options for the birds. Second, we’ll be building two 34′ x 96′ top vented Rimol greenhouses, which we’ll use for tomatoes and over wintering 2500 laying hens. Third, our spring CSA is forcing us to expand our crop repertoire. This week we’ll be sowing our first micro-greens. The over-wintered spinach appears to be doing fine and our accidental experiment “over wintered beets” seems like a potential success.

Spring CSA: We’re close to starting the 2011 CSA season. The first Spring CSA pick-up is scheduled for 2/22 at Healthy Living, 2/24 here at the farm as well as Harvest Coop in Cambridge, Mass. There’s still time to sign-up for the first pick-up and if you miss that we have the ability to pro-rate share as well. All shares with the exception of the first box will contain greens.If you’ve joined the spring CSA we will be sending you details shortly regarding the first pick-up.

Best guess for week  1:

3 seed bread from Bread and Butter Farm

1 tub of chevre cheese from Does Leap Farm

1 quart of saurkraut from Arethusa Farm

1 dozen eggs from Poultry in Motion (Eric’s Eggs)

Carrots

Onions

Potatoes

Watermelon radish

What’s in the store?

We are very excited to offer an on-line store for our members. This has been a fun project and we are excited to bring you a wide variety of products from our friends and neighbors. If  you are not going to join the Spring CSA you can still set up an account (called “store access”) and fund it with as little as $100. When you make purchases they will be delivered to the normal CSA drop site and the amount of the purchase will be deducted from your account. Bay of Maine Shrimp, Thick cut pork chops from the farm, Dragonfly Sugarworks Maple Syrup, a full line of “It’s Arthur’s Fault” condiments and the bomb “Master Sauce” from Folk Foods. Hungry yet?? We need your order 48 hrs. before the drop.

Eric’s Corner:

For a kid who grew up in the burbs it’s funny to think that I’ve been farming my entire adult life. The really fun thing about farming is that there’s alway a new challenge. The mountain can never be climbed. We like to think big on the farm, the future is unwritten. Here’s some of the vision.

-Poultry in Motion is a business that we feel needs to happen. This will be a spin off from our farm and will concentrate on pasture based poultry systems. We are very curious about the systems being designed in England. Movable poultry housing with solar powered egg collecting and feeding. Second effort, keeping food scraps out of the waste stream and feeding them to chickens will reduce feed cost, the excess will be composted for additional value. Processing spent hens and turning them in to value added dog food would be the ultimate. The traditional poultry industry is needs a shake up, it is fundamentally flawed.

-Fermentation- lacto fermented vegetables such as kimchi seems like a perfect storage crop.Dry sausage produced on farm would be pretty cool as well.

-We have been peeling butternut squash for seven seasons now and raising pigs for four. The seed we generate from our butternut peeling can be used to finish pigs, much in the same way that Spain uses acorns to finish their pigs. The fatty acids are effected by the oil of the seed crop which departs a distinct flavoring. It’s a great cycle. We are trying to perfect the system and develop a product, such as dry sausage, that will do justice to the pig.

One Response to “Farm Updates, Spring CSA/What’s in the Store, Eric’s Corner”

  1. Kara Hankes Says:

    what do you mean the sead from the squash finishes the pigs? You mean it kills them?

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