Wow! We have been so busy we didn't even notice that two months had passed! There has been so much going on at the farm and so little time to sit down and reflect on it or write about it...
The crops keep being seeded and transplanted planted and seeded and transplanted into the fields. It was so warm that there was a temptation to put crops out early, but experience reminded us that it's best to lay it safe! It saved us from a few nights of worry and days of scrambling to get cold sensitive crops covered and protected when the temperature dipped low and a late frost threatened (it always seems to happen!). So that was a nice little win for us and our plants. They are all out in the fields now and are looking very healthy and are growing nicely without having to recover from being too cold. The weeds are growing like gangbusters and we have had enough periods of dry weather that we have been able to stay ahead of them so far. The soil is showing benefits of the couple of years of cover cropping, soil ammending, and compost spreading that we have done since we moved here. The crops are looking so beautiful and healthy in the fields. Soilbuilding is a long term project, so it's reassuring to see improvements from previous years all ready.
Our 11 cows have all calved and so cheese must be made every other day (and sometimes every day) in order to stay ahead. Cheese making is going really well now and we are looking forward to delivering the cheese shares to members who ordered them. Everything that we are making is so yellow because of the cows 100% grass diet. Yellow cheese, yellow cheese curds, yellow ricotta, and yellow feta! We keep learning more about the health benefits of dairy from cows on 100% grass, but one thing is for sure, the flavor is drastically different from the cheese in the grocery store (even different from Organic and "pasture raised" because both of these are only required to have a portion of their diet from grass). We are a true microdairy with small batches of cheese made by hand. We are excited to have you see and taste the difference! If you haven't signed up for a cheese share but you want to try the cheese, you can find us at the Linden Hills Farmers Market on Sundays. Let us know that you are a CSA member!
Our pigs are growing fat and happy on all the whey they get. The egg yolks are turning darker orange as the chickens are finding lots of great forage. The meat chickens are growing their feathers and running around in the pasture. The calves are drinking lots of milk and learning to graze. The lambs are baa-ing and jumping and loving their pasture. We are thinking the first meat delivery will be in Mid-Late July for those that signed up for meat and are doing our 'eat like a farmer' share.
We are overall very pleased with the health of the farm and the way everything and everyone is growing. It's been a dream that we've been working toward for years to have each piece of the farm be interdependent and complimentary. It's a model that you don't see in many places other than picture books and idyllic packaging of food. But we know it's what people want and how people imagine their food being grown. We feel that it is a healthy model that we are having to develop on our own since there aren't many farms integrating livestock and produce together in a significant way. The learning curve is huge and we've had some hard knocks along the way, but this season things seem to be dancing and folding together gently and beautifully. We hope that you can make it out to the farm this season to see where your food is coming from!
We are also so happy to have an incredible crew working with us this season! Three people have returned from 2013 and 2014 and our new crew members are picking everything up so quickly and doing a fantastic job. We can't say enough about how great they are and how integral they have been to the relative smoothness of the season so far. They are developing and building the systems of the farm that we will use for years to come. We are inpressed and full of gratitude.
So enough gushing about the farm. The first delivery will be on June 18 (June 19th for members picking up at Lunds and Byerely's). Please let us know if you didn't get an email with information about your drop site and drop times.
What to expect in the first delivery:
- herb pots
- Bunched Asian greens
- hakuri turnips (aka salad turnips)
- Pac choi
- Dino Kale
- french breakfast radishes
- salad mix?
- will peas be ready?
We are so looking forward to the first delivery! Please contact us if you have any questions. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org