Moving on (again)

(written by Sam)

September, as always, was ridiculously busy.  And even more so, because we moved again.  (More about that toward the end of this post).  First, let me tell some stories about the past month and a half.

Fall on the Farm

It’s been quite a warm and dry fall.  We had field tomatoes up until our last CSA veggie box on Oct. 7!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe orchard has been pretty decent this fall.  But lots of coddling moth damage.  Some of the trees that did badly last year are prolific producers this year, and vice versa.  I guess we need more than 2 years of data to decide which trees to keep.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe woodpeckers seem to have some ideas for the orchard.  Perhaps they are going to install an outlet in this hollow tree?

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe geese (and their 3-duck-army) have been patrolling the orchard for a couple of months now, and seem pretty happy with the arrangement.  Well, as happy as geese can seem, anyway.  They seem to have a permanent attitude problem!

Also, they look really funny when they look at something flying in the air above them.  (It’s tough to look up when your eyes are on the sides of your head!)


Only a few squash plants survived the wireworm devastation at the beginning of the season, but the ones that survived are prolific!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERALooks like we’ll be eating a LOT of red kuri squash and Cinderella pumpkins this winter!


OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThey’re beautiful!  I can’t believe I hatched them all from eggs!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAHm, maybe saying that they are so ugly that they’re beautiful is a better statement.


But, dear turkeys, the whole reason you were raised was for eating.  We didn’t really know what we were doing and ended up losing a bit of money on the whole venture.  However, we both really enjoyed hatching and raising them, so we’ll probably do it again sometime in the future.  Next time, we’ll start the turkeys earlier in the year, and if we sell them, we’ll sell them at a very high price, as meat should be!  (And maybe not sell them because we North Americans are so conditioned to expect unrealistically cheap food…but that’s a different story).

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAnyway, they were amazingly tasty!  Due to my own vegetarian background/farmitarian eating rules, I haven’t eaten a “standard” conventional turkey, so I don’t have too much basis for comparison.  But I heard from others who tried it that it was an excellent turkey.

Thank you, turkeys!


The end of Sun Dog Vegetables?

We always said that Sun Dog is our experiment to see if we can make a living by farming.

As it turns out, the short answer is “No.”

But the long answer is “Well, maybe.”  We’ve learned that it’s really hard to farm with just two people (well, really <1.5, since this is not my primary occupation), and especially with animals.  Never taking a vacation as a whole family, and never even taking a weekend away from the farm is really hard.  To do this scale of farming properly requires more than one family on a farm, so chores can be shared.  We also need more (or really, any) money to invest in farm infrastructure.  With proper infrastructure for irrigation, animal feeding and housing, washing stations, hoophouses, deer fencing, and so much more, the reduction in labour is immense.  It’s pretty much impossible to start from below poverty-level income and manage to make enough from selling vegetables to expand and build infrastructure.

So… what it boils down to is that in order to make a living by farming, we need to find someone else who is willing to pay for the infrastructure, and find farming partners.  And the cool part is, we found a way to do that!

As of a few days ago, Adam is the farm manager for the farm portion of the farm-to-table restaurant 10 Acres Bistro.  And all of our animals get to come too!

Moving (again…gah)

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe chickens were first.  As you can see, Elvis is king of the new combined flock.  (We had to get up before dawn and grab them all while they were sleeping and put them in dog crates to move them…I felt like a chicken rustler).

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERANext were the geese and their army.  This we did early the following morning, by picking up the entire coffin full of geese.  Holy crap was it heavy.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERANext were the 4 turkeys we kept for breeding for next year (1 bronze tom, 2 bronze hens, and 1 black spanish hen).  The turkeys were easy, it was their house that was a bit of a challenge.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERALuckily this time we didn’t have to drive 30 km on the highway and take it on the ferry.  Just driving up West Saanich Road was much much less stressful.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIt was really just as funny looking as moving the sandcrawler last year, I suppose.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOnce we got the fence set up, the coop inside, and let the turkeys out, then we herded the geese into the pen too.  And they were NOT happy about having to share their pen with the turkeys.  There was lots of hissing and squawking.  Luckily, the turkeys barely seemed to notice the scathing insults the geese were hurling at them.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAnd lastly, we brought the 4 Khaki Campbells, 4 Welsh Harlequins, and 4 runner ducks.  I thought the geese would be pleased that I brought them more ducks to join their army, but I was wrong…

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAGeese are jerks, as it turns out.

They seem to have settled into a state of slight harassment of each other, but nobody seems too offended by it.  Maybe this setup will work?  We’ll see.

Our new farm

Farming for a restaurant does mean that we don’t have quite the freedom in farming that we have had the past four seasons that Sun Dog has existed.  But I have to say, the benefits FAR outweigh the drawbacks right now.  There are so many parts of running a farm business that we really didn’t enjoy, which we don’t have to worry about anymore.  This includes figuring out where to sell vegetables and marketing them, building endless coops and fences out of scrounged wood, figuring out how to fix tractors, cars, trucks, and various other things ourselves (since we never had any extra money to pay someone else).  We don’t even have to worry about paying for animal feed, and have additional help on the farm without having to pay out of our own pockets.  Adam now gets to completely focus on planning the farm, growing food, and teaching apprentice farmers, and have a steady income, which is certainly more than you can ask for with just about any independent farming job.

The aspect of the job I personally am really excited about is getting to learn about raising many different kinds of animals (and not even having to pay for it!)  We’ve already ridden out the turkey roller coaster, but we’ll also get to learn about meat rabbits and pigs, and within the next few months possibly meat ducks, meat chickens, goats, sheep, and who knows, maybe even a cow.

We hope to keep Sun Dog on the backburner, forging relationships with other farmers in the area in hopes of someday creating a farming coop based in North Saanich.  And in the mean time, we will live and learn in our new home.

What can you do to help?  Well, the main reason the 1 family/1 farm plan doesn’t work is because food is too cheap.  We simply cannot grow it for the prices consumers expect to pay.  We small farmers are competing with gigantic farms in other countries who abuse their workers and the land, and sell their produce to giant multinational supermarket/hypermarket chains, who often sell vegetables at a loss to get you, the consumer, in their door (google “loss leader” if you want to read more about being suckered).  So, if possible, don’t EVER buy your vegetables from grocery stores.  Buy your vegetables (and eggs, and meat) from farmers markets, or from a farm stand is even better.  Get to know your local farmers!  Don’t buy vegetables from California (unless of course, you live in California), even though they’re cheaper and available year-round most anyplace in North America (though that may change soon), and only buy vegetables that are in season in your area.  You can plan ahead to have your favourite seasonal foods available year-round by canning, drying, and freezing (and by binging on them when they are available fresh!)  And, what I think is really the best way to break the corporation-dominated food industry: learn how to grow your own food!  Get backyard chickens and have your own eggs!  Raise your own meat!  The world needs to change, and since we to eat at least 3 times a day, the food choices you make add up quickly and have a huge effect.  Eat local!

Thanks for reading our blog!  It may be a while before I post here again, but we may start posting on the 10 Acres blog.  I will leave a note here if that is the case.

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

So much food!

(written by Sam)

This is the time of year when those long summer days finally pay off into ridiculous amounts of food.  The tomatoes are exploding!  We probably harvested close to 100 lbs of tomatoes on Tuesday.  SO MANY TOMATOES!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAnd they’re amazingly delicious, too (Brandywines! I love you!)  Hopefully the blight holds off until a bit later this year, so we get to fully enjoy them (and don’t get stuck with 100 lbs of green tomatoes to try to use up quickly like last year).

We’ve been drying and freezing them every time we harvest, and Adam has also made a couple of batches of tomato sauce and salsa

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERACanning tomatoes is a bit more work than other foods, since you have to use a pressure canner, but 2 out of 2 partial Italians in the house agree it’s definitely worth it.

Animal updates:

Geese of delicate sensibilities

The geese (and their 3-duck army) have had free run of the orchard for a month or so now.  We set up a flimsy fence which they seem to respect to keep them away from the rest of the farm.  Their favourite spot to lounge happens to be just outside our bathroom window.  And because we’re out in the country and don’t have a close neighbour on that side, we never bothered putting up a curtain.  So now every time one of us goes to use the toilet, we get offended honking, and the geese often just get up and leave.  So sorry, geese!

Chickens have a new friend

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAdam got really tired of watching dozens of tiny little birds flying into the coop every day to feast on our expensive chicken food, so he put together a scarecrow (or scarebird, as Sylvia calls it).  Perhaps he is indeed a scarecrow, since we have not seen any crows out there.  However, the little birds are undeterred.  Oh well.

Many of the chickens have started molting earlier than usual, probably due to stress from the very hot and dry August.  So it’s the time of year where we have to cull out the older hens who aren’t laying very well anymore (some of them may not start laying again until spring, since it takes them a while to recover from molting, which makes it very difficult to manage to break even on feed costs).  Definitely not my favourite part of farming.

Turkeys eat a lot

The turkeys are growing like crazy, but they’re also eating lots and lots of food.  I need to sit down soon and see how much we would need to charge for them to even cover their food costs.  (Farming really sucks sometimes).

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThey’re still quite curious, and love drinking out of the hose while I’m filling up their water.  They’re also quite good at hopping their fence, which makes sense because they’re almost as tall as the fence!  There’s still about 6 weeks until Thanksgiving, so it’ll be interesting to see how big they get (and how much they eat…)

Transgender Duck

Yes, you read that correctly.  I read about a duck who did this in “Storey’s Guide to Raising Ducks” (also a very good book), but I thought it was a once-in-a-lifetime thing that someone who raises hundreds of ducks will see.  But no!  Apparently ducks can actually release the proper hormones to give themselves a sex change, and it’s not terribly uncommon!

The day after we culled the male Welsh Harlequin (the only mature male duck we had), we noticed one of the females mounting another female.  I figured it was just a dominance thing, since they would have to re-establish their pecking order with no male.  But that same female went through a very early molt, and her feathers have been getting darker and darker, and now her quacks even sound more like a male duck’s quacks than a female’s

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOn the left is one of the Dimmer Wits, and on the right is the transgendered duck, who is getting dark breast feathers and dark head feathers.  He (what is the proper pronoun to refer to the duck in this situation, I wonder?) doesn’t seem to be getting the bright orange legs the other male had, but maybe that takes more time?  It’s really amazing to see this transformation taking place, but the whole reason we culled the male duck was because he was eating lots of food and not producing eggs!  And now this guy’s going to do that too.  Kind of annoying.

On the plus side, the young runner ducks started laying eggs last week, so we’re getting a couple of blue duck eggs per day now, too.  The Khaki Campbells don’t seem to be laying very much yet, which is annoying since they are older than the runner ducks.  And NONE of the ducks will lay their eggs anywhere reasonable, they’re just scattered all over the pen every morning.  Oh well.  I shouldn’t complain too much, we got five delicious duck eggs this morning!

The different breeds definitely have different personality traits.  The Welsh Harlequins are all about the food.  They are not at all intimidated by the very large turkeys and will squirm their way in between the turkeys in the midst of a feeding frenzy.  The Khaki Campbells enjoy the little bucket pond more than any of the other ducks.  As soon as I clean it out and refill it every night, at least 2 of the Khakis jump in and take a bath.  And the runner ducks seem to be afraid of everything.  I’ve never seen them go in the pond, they won’t eat food until all of the turkeys are well away from it, and they avoid me like the plague.  I wish they were a bit friendlier.  I also have to figure out what to do with the SIX male runner ducks I have (figures, all 4 of the Khakis end up being female, but only 3 of the 9 runners are).  Anybody want an incredibly skittish, weird looking pet duck?

Fall is coming

This time of year is always a bit disorienting, with sunset happening almost 2 minutes earlier every day, it’s tricky to plan ahead and make sure we’re ready to do the evening poultry chores at the right time every day (currently they’re colliding with Sylvia bedtime, and soon they’ll be colliding with dinner).  OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe garlic and fava beds have been tilled, along with some of the early brassicas and beans.  Apples and pears are around the corner, and the few squash plants that survived the wireworm onslaught have beautiful orange pumpkins forming.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment


(written by Sam)

For some reason this year I really resisted the beginning of preserving season.  Perhaps because it’s a lot of work?  However, as I’ve found most years, once I start it’s almost addicting!

Our old lazy dog Molly always gets SO excited when I open a new bag of dog food and pour it into her food bucket.  She stands there wagging and sniffing and grinning, happily anticipating having plenty of food for the next few weeks.

And that is exactly how I feel when I look at a box full of beautiful canned food!

Preservation season has officially begun at our farm!  So far we’ve done:


OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI estimated this is about 60 lbs of apples off the Transparent apple tree, which has produced quite well in the last couple of years.  Transparent apples are wonderful because they’re so ridiculously early (mid- to late-July!), but as far as apples go, they’re not all that tasty.  They seem to have 2 states: unripe, and horribly dry and mealy, with about 20 seconds of perfectly ripe in between.

Luckily, they make GREAT applesauce, so that’s what we did with almost all of them this year:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAHad a couple of hiccups along the way, of course, being the first canning of the year, and the first canning in this house.  The biggest problem was we managed to bust through the bottom of the sieve, so a lot of peels ended up in the applesauce.  After we realized the sieve wasn’t actually doing anything, we decided that our applesauce would just have peels in it this year and ran the immersion blender through the whole giant stockpot before canning.  Oh well.

I figured I made about 6 gallons of applesauce, and canned most of it to save for winter.  Yum!

Another experiment I started is sauerkraut.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAdam grew some just beautiful, amazingly dense green cabbages (this one probably weighed almost 5 pounds).  And some kind of buggy purple cabbages (stupid whitefly).  I chopped it up, along with a few grated apples.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI followed a recipe from The Lost Arts of Hearth and Home (which is a book I totally totally love).  Although really, it’s so easy it can hardly be called a recipe.  Chop cabbage, add about a tablespoon of salt per pound of cabbage, and mix.  Let it sit for a few minutes, and the cabbage will make its own brine!  Then pack it into jars.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWeigh down the cabbage with something heavy (or be creative…legos are replacing the weight in one of these jars), loosely cover (cloth is fine), and let them sit in a cool place (<20 C) for a week or so.  And poof!  Sauerkraut!  Bacteria are cool like that.

Adam harvested all the garlic, about 600 heads in all

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIt’s curing in the garage (apparently farmers used to cure it out in the field, but now there’s so much UV light that makes it through the atmosphere that the garlic gets burned if you cure it that way. Yikes.)

And last, blackberries are exploding into tastiness all around us!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI’ve already made a batch of (completely failed-to-gel) jelly (I mean…syrup…yeah, that’s it).  And there are still tons and tons of blackberries scattered around the farm, threatening to take over from the perimeter.  Blackberries somehow manage to be so tasty and so threatening at the same time.

The days are quickly getting shorter (we’re closer to the equinox than the solstice now), the chickens and turkeys are starting to go to bed at a reasonable hour, and sometimes at night it’s feeling a bit cold.  The preserving will ramp up in the next few weeks as the last vegetables ripen (c’mon tomatoes! You can do it!)

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Turkey Parabola and Disbanding the Army

(written by Sam)

As usually happens with the farming season, June and early July have been pretty darn busy.  I guess that’s how farm blogs usually go: “Hey, it’s the beginning of the season and I’m so excited and ambitious!” Next post, 4 months later: “Well, it was a great growing season…”  So at least I haven’t slipped THAT much yet.

We’ve now delivered 8 farmshare boxes, and I think they’re pretty decent now.  So far each box has had lettuce and kale, and we’ve rotated through the early vegetables like radishes, peas, and garlic scapes, and are starting to get into summer vegetables like beets, zucchini, and broccoli.  We had our first yellow plums in the box this week, and transparent apples and Mirabelle plums will be ripe shortly.  Of course, there’s still a few disappointments, like the carrots, eggplants, and early zucchini plantings (all destroyed by wireworm), and the artichokes, which didn’t survive the winter, although the new planting is growing nicely.

Now, on to the poultry tales.

Disbanding the Army

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe turkeys were getting way too big for their little coop, the mature ducks hated the coffin, and the goose-and-runner-duck army was growing too large for the coffin.  We rigged up an old market tent and some chicken wire to protect the ducks and geese from owls at night, but it was not a very good solution.  It was time to build yet another coop.

The expensive expensive food was also disappearing disturbingly fast, and we figured the geese were to blame.  They grew SO FAST.  They’re only 8 weeks old, and weigh easily 10 pounds already.  So no wonder!  But, the nice thing about geese is that they are supposed to eat mostly grass, with only a small supplement of grain.  Natural lawnmowers!  But, if given access to grain, they will happily eat that instead of grass and get fat.  So we needed to separate the geese from their army.

The geese are so big that they look like fully grown geese, but they still peep and cry when you pick them up, which is what we had to do to separate them from their beloved runner duck army.  We set up a small pen in the orchard for them, so they can mow the lawn for us under the apple trees.  And we thought we had found the solution.

The next day the geese barely moved.  They just sat in the shade and did nothing.  It was really sad.  Later in the day, we moved the duck/turkey pen into the pasture section of the field, and had to herd the ducks over.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIn the chaos of trying to get 3 separate duck flocks to move 100 feet together, the runner duck army broke away and found their goose leaders!  They were so happy!  And so were the geese!  They found a weak spot in the fence and busted through so they could be together.  We watched for another day, and saw how much happier and more active the geese were with ducks around, so we decided on a compromise.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOne of the ducks (a tall white runner duck) had always flocked closer with the geese than the other ducks (maybe he thinks he’s a goose?) so we left him with the geese.  And the Welsh Harlequin female (the Dimmest Wit, the only one), has a hard time keeping up with the runner duck army, so she also got to stay.  And the geese seem pretty satisfied with their much smaller army.  Good to keep your generals happy, I suppose.

The Turkey Parabola

We decided to build a really light and large turkey/duck house.  We weren’t trying to make a predator-proof house, just something that would stay inside the electric fence and keep owls out.  I had originally thought we would just do a half-circle, because it’s easy to figure out how long the frame pieces need to be, but that would make a house that’s only 4 feet tall.  Adam really wanted to make it taller, but we wanted to keep it narrow enough to fit on the back of Noo Noo if needed for longer moves.  We could always just wing it, but how would we know how much wood to buy? (Yes, we’ve finally exhausted our landlords’ junk pile in the back of the property, and had to resort to actually buying building materials this time).

Luckily, we’re both gigantic nerds, and we know lots of math.  After a short debate about whether an ellipse or a parabola would be easier, we settled on the parabola.  So, the equation of our turkey coop (in feet) is

y = -0.36 x2 + 6

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIt’s just a 2×4 wood frame with reinforced corners for the bottom, and some 2×2’s for the door frame and some framing on the back.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe hoop wall/ceiling is made out of 2 “concrete panels” which I think you’re supposed to use in pouring large concrete areas (like a driveway).  We added some chicken wire on the back, front, and door, and it was ready for the turkeys to move in!  The best part is it’s light enough for me and Adam to pretty easily carry it.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAnd the turkeys have given their seal of approval.  Hm, we’re going to need to reinforce that roost pretty soon…

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe turkeys are still delightful.  When we put them onto a new patch of grass, they ran around happily cheeping and catching little leafhoppers.  And they still come running up to the fence every time we walk by.  They are also incredibly curious: while I was doing some repairs to the chicken wire on the coop (staples are NOT strong enough to hold in the turkeys and frantic ducks), they kept coming up and pecking my fingers while I was working!  Somehow annoying and endearing at the same time.  They’re really starting to look like little ugly turkeys now, instead of cute little chickies.

Chicken Update

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAs an experiment, we put the chickens onto weedy, grassy pasture, untilled and unmowed, just to see how long it would take them to break it down.  This is pasture that has only been growing weeds and grass for at least a decade, so this is a pretty big job.  It took about 6 weeks for 25-30 chickens (we killed some roosters in that time, so the count went down a bit).  Good work, chickens!  They were quite happy yesterday to get some fresh pasture (and bugs) after being in the same spot for so long.

But, the most exciting news!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe chicks that I hatched back in February have laid their first eggs!  I can tell because they are tiny eggs, and because I’m suddenly getting way more blue and green eggs than ever before (way to go Elvis!  Thanks for the Ameraucana genes!)  What’s interesting though, is I had read that the blue/green egg colour genes are dominant, but this doesn’t seem to be the case.  Some of the new tiny eggs are brown.  Perhaps Elvis is not purebred?  Anyway, I’m happy to get more eggs.  Thanks, chickens!

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The Poultry Army

(written by Sam)

Tomorrow will be veggie box #4.  Some things are growing really well (like the lettuce, garlic, and swiss chard), some are mediocre (kale and tomatoes), and some are really quite bad (ALL of the squash plants got killed by wireworm!  Didn’t even know they could do that…)

But, let’s talk about the birds.

Turkeys want out

They turkeys are wayyy too big for the brooder.  But we have to build a new house for all the ducks and geese before we can move them outside.  Hopefully soon…

Also, they start flinging themselves at the chicken wire every time they see a person.  I’m not sure if they really like us or really hate us.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAA few days ago we got home to find them proudly flaunting the fact that they had managed to bust out of the brooder.  It took me a few minutes to track down the two who had wandered away from the group.  I didn’t find the last one until he decided to fly across the garage from his perch at the very very top of a tall shelf.

Mama hen

The four chicks are doing well.  I think we can move them in with the big chickens pretty soon!


Weird-looking racoon

We lost a few of the smallest chickens (that batch of 6 chicks hatched by a local teacher and given back to us is now only 1), one every night or two.  We reinforced the fence, moved the chickens to a totally different part of the farm, and tried a new even more labor-intensive way to set up the fence (using a long cloth to keep the grass from touching the electric fence wires).  And they were still slowly disappearing.  We were pretty frustrated that the stupid fence wasn’t doing its job.

Then one morning, Adam found a beheaded gosling that had been partly pulled out of the chicken-wire cage, and that was the last straw.  He did a stake-out that night.  Around 1am he heard a commotion and ran outside.  He grabbed a hoe on the way, thinking he’d whack whatever was eating the birds.  He thought it was a pretty weird-looking raccoon that was trying to grab the birds through the chicken-wire, when suddenly, it flew silently away.  It had been an owl the whole time!  No wonder the fence wasn’t keeping him out.  One of the goslings had some pretty deep wounds on his head and neck, but Adam cleaned him up, isolated him for the night, and in the morning, he rejoined his friends and seems to be doing just fine.  He has earned the name “Scarface.”

Army of Ducks

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERARemember how I kept saying I wanted a whole army of ducks?  Well, I think it’s safe to say now that I’ve gotten my wish.  However, I’ve come to the realization that I am not the commander of this army.  The real leaders are the goslings!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThey even manage to scare off the adult ducks from time to time.  And the runner ducks follow them loyally.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe best part is when the geese run really fast, they stick their little wing stubs out!

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

First Farmshare Box

(written by Sam)

We delivered our first farmshare boxes today!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThis first box of the season consists of different kinds of greens. The pea shoots are good chopped in a salad or braised for a stir-fry. The baby greens can be eaten in a salad or cooked. There is some superficial damage to the greens due to flea beetle (not actually a flea), which chews little holes in the leaves. Also included is a head of garlic stored from last fall (garlic keeps pretty well, though it should be used soon as it is starting to sprout).

  • 1 bunch kale
  • 1 head lettuce
  • 1 bag pea shoots
  • 1 bunch Swiss chard
  • 1 bag of baby greens (spinach, beets, kale, mustards)
  • 1 bunch dandelion greens
  • 1 head of garlic

I’ll try to keep updating our recipes page with our weekly recipes this year, so check that out for some tasty ideas of what to do with all of this delicious produce.

Posted in Uncategorized | 3 Comments

Hatch all the birds

(written by Sam)

They hatched!  The final tally: 4 goslings, 10 ducklings, and 14 turkeys!!  Not bad at all.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIt got pretty crowded in the little brooder!  After about 48 hours, I separated the ducks and goslings and put them in the big brooder away from the turkeys.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERATurkeys are hilarious!  The poults have very different mannerisms from chicks.  They are much more curious, too.  Every time I stick my face up against the grate to see how they’re all doing, a few come running over to get a closer look at me.  And they peck EVERYTHING.  That’s part of the reason I separated the goslings and ducklings so quickly, they didn’t seem to appreciate all the curious pecking.  They peep like chicks, but they have a different pattern to it.  Much more musical.  Chicks sort of go “PEEeeep PEEeep” while the turkeys say “peep peep PEEP” with each peep a half-step or so higher pitched than the one before.  Makes it sound like they’re always asking a question.  (Which goes well with the high curiosity levels).

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe goslings seem to imprint a lot more quickly and easily than the ducks.  Sylvia spent quite a lot of time playing with all our previous ducklings with no effect, but after just a few minutes with this gosling, he decided that Sylvia is his mommy.


OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAYour cute picture of the day.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment