Farm Update for Friday, September 15th

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Well, seasonal change is affecting many things here on the farm.  First and foremost egg production is dropping.  My chicken egg numbers have dropped to about half of what they were two weeks ago.  I think many of my chickens are now molting.  Small feathers everywhere…  They’ve leveled off but the fact remains that I will now have to start splitting my chicken egg volume between the two market days (Wednesday and Saturday).  I’m averaging 80 to 100 eggs per day, which means about 56 dozen eggs per week, which is less than I sell on a typical Saturday.  So…if you would like eggs I strongly encourage you to either buy more when you do buy them or simply come early to the market.  I believe I will run out every market for the rest of the season.  But I want to emphasize that running out is no big deal–kinda like not having fresh, local produce year round is no big deal either.  I won’t go into the nitty-gritty on the trade-offs related to having your apples in June or your watermelon in March–you can glean that.  But I just want to note that there are plenty of other foods that we can consume when the egg levels drop.  Plenty of shifts we can make in how many eggs we eat, when we eat them, what we use them for, etc.

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I have–on the heels of reading THE PLANT PARADOX and having numerous conversations with people in my life about food, eating habits, etc–started skipping breakfast most days of the week.  This has played a role in the 40 pounds I have lost since April but I also notice that I am not missing this meal.  I do not feel genuinely hungry in the morning.  And–it ensures that I do eat a good lunch which carries me through the middle and latter portions of my day.

Getting low on eggs is also not too bad of a situation as I stare down the end of the outdoor Sara Hardy Market season–or at least an undefined and known lapse in it.  The last market day is October 28th.  How will I sell my products in the minimum four-market absence at that point?  Not completely sure yet.  I have spoken with some of you at the market about potential schemes–and all are still on the table.  More to come…  😉

While chicken eggs have dropped duck eggs have risen to an almost consistent 10 eggs per day, which means I can almost guarantee about five dozen per week now.  The quail have leveled off around 20-25 eggs per day.

However, there are plenty of proteins coming off the farm (currently pork, chicken and lamb leading the way) with more diversity about to come.  In the coming days to weeks I will have: goat, rabbit, more chickens (almost sold out now), duck, and quail.  The lamb is still moving quite well.  There will be one more ram lamb taken to RRR–as soon as he hits the appropriate weight.

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This week I moved my pigs to a corn- and soy-free diet.  This feed is coming from Hall’s Feeds on Long Lake Road.  Read THE PLANT PARADOX for more on this.  All of my poultry has begun a five-week incremental shift to being corn- and soy-free as well.  the thought was that the pigs would have no trouble with the change (and thus far that has been true) but that we might want to ease the birds into it.  The plan going forward is to have my herds and flocks grain-free throughout the late spring, summer and early fall–and then have them on this no corn/no soy ration through the winter, along with hay as appropriate.

I did not raise any turkeys this year.  Decided to pull back and am glad I did.  I do still have six frozen birds remaining from last November’s processing.  The weight range is 14 to 20 pounds and they are going for $3 per pound.  If you’d like one please call ahead if picking up at the farm or reserve one and please prepay and I can bring it to the market for you.  I will be a raising smaller, heritage breed next year in pasturing mobile coops.

I finally got into the semi-neglected garden this past week and brought tomatoes and beets (w/greens) to the Wednesday market.  You will also see garlic and kale coming now.  The weeding and bed prep begins for the winter and next spring.  The pigs are getting quite a treat right now as they receive all the wheelbarrowfuls of weeds and annuals gone to seed.

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Rendered pork lard had sold out mid-week but there is now plenty coming for tomorrow’s market and beyond.  🙂

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Okay–that’s all for now.  More elaborations and pics to come.  Thanks for reading.

Stuart