January 2014

Winter Update, CSA News and Internship Opportunities

. . . Jan 15, 2014 | posted by Josephine
Our Guinea hogs

It may only be January 15th, but it is already January 15th and the greenhouse planting has already begun. We have spent many a cold day planning out 2014 with new additions to our farm including American Guinea Hogs, internship opportunities (info here)and expanding our CSA.

We hope you all have been enjoying time with friends and family, eating lots of fat and sugar filled holiday treats, and maybe even getting in a little rest and relaxation.  My mother came down from Maine to visit, arriving just in time for nasty weather the Saturday before Christmas.  After the storm front passed and the tornado warning expired, Mom and I went out to check on the seven-week old pullets.  Perhaps I shouldn’t have been surprised to find them all bedded down outside their shelter, soggy and sitting in standing water.  Quickly we moved them onto dry straw inside the shelter, bringing into the house one particularly wet and pathetic chicken, weak, shivering and unable to stand.  I thought it was a goner, but half an hour under the heat lamp and the rest of the night in the bathtub and she was good as new.
 
If that wasn’t enough livestock excitement for my mom, the next day we decided Guinea Hogswe really did have a problem with intestinal parasites in the pigs, so on Monday mom was able to help out with the fun task of administering de-wormer medication.  Mom got to hold the pigs down while I gave them each and injection behind the ear.  Pigs can make a lot of noise, and they don’t like being restrained.  As soon as we got one on the ground the melodramatic squealer would start screaming bloody murder.  It is an effective defense.  Every muscle in your body wants to let go, but Mom held on!  Obviously the experience wasn’t too traumatic for the pigs – the moment of release they ceased squealing, hopped to their feet and looked around as if to ask “okay, who brought the snacks?”   All in all I’d say it was a lovely visit.
 
Sign-up for 2014 CSA

Download application here. You will need to print the application then mail it in.
 
It’s hard to believe we are about to embark on year three!  We are giving our 2013 members a two week head start before we open registration to new members.  Please don’t wait to send us your deposit, we do anticipate selling out early.  We are increasing the number of shares from 30 to 45 but we are capping the number of Saturday market pick-ups at 20 (we can only fit so much in the truck!).

As of the writing of this post 11 Saturday spots are already full.
 
The biggest change is the new egg share structure.  We have found it impossible to predict how many eggs we will get from month to month.  This year egg share members pay a flat fee based on our costs of production and receive a proportion of eggs laid each week.  We have set the number of egg shares available based on the prediction that each shareholder we get an average of a dozen per week.  Because of the natural (and unpredictable) fluctuation in production, all egg shares are from April through November only.  Half egg shares are also available from April through November.
 
Our new high tunnel will help us get a jump start on spring and will hopefully mean more abundant and diverse early season shares.  We have also revamped our planting schedule to make August has more variety.  We will not be growing sweet corn this year but are adding Napa cabbage, and  butternut squash is back.  We look forward to growing and raising food for you in 2014!