As I alluded to above, the Vegetable CSA has had ideal growing conditions and we are anticipating wonderful bounties this season. The next couple of weeks are going to be very busy and essential to our success this season: we are planting and seeding all of the frost sensitive crops as well as 2nd, 3rd or 4th successions of all season crops: cucumbers, zucchini, winter squash, pumpkins, carrots, greens, tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, sweet potatoes, beans, edamame, celery, leeks, celeriac and corn.
It is our mission and goal to train the next generation of young organic and biodynamic farmers. It is a relationship of mutual benefit: while we train them in organic farming practices they assist us in our efforts to grow delicious, healthy food. This year we have attracted a very eager and ambitious team of apprentices who have proved to be hard working as well. We have 6 apprentices this growing season most of whom are eager to stay on through the winter season and beyond. This year for the first time, the apprentices have been able to join the CRAFT program in eastern NY and western MASS, visiting other farms and meeting apprentices from all over the region.
Please be sure to introduce yourself to our new apprentices, Christian “Yan” Tutschka , Lucas Jackson, Maeve Mangine, Anna Sauerwein, Madeleine Daughtery & Dominick Grant. Without whom we would not be able to provide you with good wholesome local food.
We are looking for volunteers the weekend of the June 6th to help with mulching tomatoes, eggplant, zucchini, sweet potatoes, cucumbers and peppers. Please email us if you are able to help out and we will give you more details. Email us at email@example.com
Most of you are aware that we have made considerable progress with our creamery and are getting anxiously close to making cheese! We are very excited and have just last week begun to train the cows to walk into the milking parlor: a small 12’x 20’ room with four head gates and milking stanchions. Such a room is very foreign to our herd and getting them comfortable to enter and exit was definitely easier said then done. They have now mastered going out to and back in from pasture through this milking parlor room. Our next step is to separate the male steers from the milking cows by moving them to the Baily Field pasture. This will enable us to concentrate on our dairy herd (9 in all) and train them to stop in the parlor, put there head in the head gates to eat and be “hand” milked as they have been in the pole barn since March. After this is accomplished we will separate the calves from their mothers. The final step is to then introduce the dairy herd to the milking equipment and start milking and soon after making cheese.
With our above average creamy Devon milk (6% butterfat) we plan to make “raw milk” cheeses. Mainly bloomy rind camembert/brie and washed rind Morbier type cheeses. We will also experiment with Alpine Gruyere style cheese and stick with what we make well. The ripening period for raw milk cheeses is a minimum of 60 days. So we hope to offer you a taste of our creations sometime in August if all goes well.
The retail section of the new creamery building is a little bit slower to be realized then that of the now functioning milking parlor and fromagerie. We will keep you informed as to its progress.
Last year we had cleared 9 acres just beyond the “forest pig pastures” and seeded it for new pasture to accommodate our dairy herd’s appetite for grass. During this clearing process we have lost a little top soil and the grass is coming in “spotty”. So we have re-seeded in the problem areas and hope to have full nutritious green pasture next year or even the year after that. We have also leased roughly 6 acres of pasture 2 miles from here to help with more pasture for the beef herd as the pasture in the Baily Field would not be enough.
We will welcome the arrival of 25 heritage breed Tamworth piglets sometime early June. One of the oldest and rarest breeds of swine, they will again be raised in the woods on a fresh piece of “forest pasture” not too far from last years location.
We will be harvesting four steers this summer. Two in the coming month and two in the fall. As always they are purely grass fed. Let us know if you are interested as they usually sell out quickly by the side.
We have started a small shiitake mushroom project inoculating 16 logs and hope to have a harvest this fall.
We have joined the Greenwich Farmers Market and will be selling our produce, beef, pork and cheese every Saturday from 9:30 a.m. – 1 p.m. through November 2009.