harvesting, chevre, and the hoophouse fertility

7/24 harvesting Holy shit. Today went perfectly. Weather perfectly overcast and a bit cooler, and everyone on time. We have the best customers EVER. Peaceful existences until the peaceful ends for the chickens. We’d been up early to do chores and set up our “mise en place”, as it were, for the harvesting set up. Beheading stump with sharpened cleaver, then the scalder (a turkey fryer bought on craigslist), the plucking table, then the evisceration station. Everyone came at 8:30, some delicious blueberry coffeecake made with duck eggs was brought, and we got down to business. As each bird was … Continue reading harvesting, chevre, and the hoophouse fertility

Chapter 31 – workshops

A huge part of our business plan in 2011 was teaching on-farm workshops, featuring a variety of homesteading and small farm topics. We filled our website’s calendar up with workshops on soap making, goat care, cheesemaking, permaculture, beer brewing, conscientious cooking with ethical meats, fermenting, making jams and jellies, making homemade bread and fresh butter, canning, pickling, wine-making, making pizza, butchering chickens, and raising turkeys. We had some of the classes themed for special events, like “Beer Brewing and Making Pizza” for Father’s Day, and our CSA members each received 4 passes for workshops as part of their membership, so … Continue reading Chapter 31 – workshops

Chapter 30 – moving pigs

The weather warmed in late March, and despite the snow that still remained on the ground, we suddenly had t-shirt weather! As soon as the soil began to release the suspended moisture it had held over the winter and wrung it out like sponge, we prepared to move the 3 pigs out of the hoophouse. They had grown into immense beasts over the winter, and while they weren’t bigger than me, they were pure muscle; dense little hulks around 200 pounds each. The three girls’ snouts were as strong as bulldozers and they had had begun digging a deep crater … Continue reading Chapter 30 – moving pigs