Friday, March 27, 2009

Veggie CSA Update

Hello Veggie CSA Members!

I meant to get an update on here sooner than this, but the days and weeks have been just zooming by lately! Now that we're having a few rain days, I'm getting caught up on my "inside work" list, which includes this blog update.

Spring seems late to appear this year (BRRRR!!!), but we've been planting like crazy nonetheless! Radishes, turnips, kale, collards, lettuce, broccoli, beets, onions, garlic, strawberries, sugar snap peas and potatoes (just to name a few) are all in the ground and growing happily (they'd grow even happier if it was just a bit warmer...) but all is good, and soon we all will be enjoying spring's bounty.

We are planning on the first Veggie CSA delivery to be April 29 (for on-farm and Carrboro folks), April 30 (for RTI folks) and May 2 for Durham Farmers Market folks. If, for some reason, we need to push the first delivery back a week (May 6, 7 & 9), I will let you know at least a week in advance. The only reason I would do this is if we don't have enough veggies ready to go by the end of April, but I'm pretty sure we will.

Soon, I will send out an email to you all, with a bit more information on how our Veggie CSA will work this year (boxes, missed weeks, etc). Until then, if you have any questions, don't hesitate to contact us!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Crazy Maggie

We had a pack of stray dogs come into the pasture today to bother a bunch of our chickens. Maggie used her scary bark, the bark when we first heard it we thought it was a Rottweiler that wandered into the yard and not our little 45 pound puppy. The strays thought so too and thought twice about breaking into the pens to kill the chickens and ran off our property.

There she is when we got some snow on inauguration day.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

March Chicken CSA Newsletter 2009

Hi everyone who signed up for a Chicken CSA for Spring 2009!

Your first batch of birds are a couple days over 4 weeks old, out on the pasture and doing very well, surviving the cold nights in the winter that doesn't seem to want to end. I'm trying to schedule a processing date with our processor, Chaudhry Halal Meats, for the 2nd to last week in April, and as soon as I confirm I'll let you all know when your first pickup date will be.

I attached a few pictures of your birds in the pasture I just took a few minutes ago. They are picking the sunny side of the pens as it's only in the 50s today. They're also staying close to each other for warmth (kinda like penguins do). These guys are on brand new pasture that has never seen a chicken. We always wait a year before re-running chickens on the same pasture, that way any diseases that form in the manure have a chance to run their course and die before another batch of birds goes on there. One of the main advantages to having chickens on pasture, and especially keeping them in moveable pens is they always get a clean spot each day. Most chicken diseases are picked up through the manure, so having them on clean ground daily eliminates the need for us to give them antibiotics like most of the housed operations have to.

Your second batch of birds arrived in the mail on Monday and you can see a picture of them - they are still in the brooder and still afraid of me so they're huddling a little. Once they figure out I'm the guy with the feed they come toward me instead of run away. The silvery stuff behind them is aluminum foil woven into bubble wrap called reflectex, an insulation that reflects 90% of the heat. I made a little cube of reflectex in each of our brooders so I only need one heat lamp per brooder and only need to run it for the first week and a half or so, depending on how cold it gets. Then the reflectex works to keep them warm on its own, so we ultimately use less electricity.

Thanks and let us know if you have any questions!