Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Pounds, Seeds and Eggs

Winter came on strong and I have to say I enjoy seeing the snow on the ground - a winter without white just doesn't seem right. The pigs don't mind the snow and the pullets are experiencing it for the first time - some walking right over it and some attempting to fly over it, or fly-running. The animals are endlessly entertaining.

We have finalized our annual report for the past season, and our crop review, which helps to inform business decisions for next season. 2015 CSA planning in near finalized and we'll be opening up shares to 2014 members shortly, then to the general public in January. The field plan and financial plan for 2015 is underway.

I am a super nerd and I love the planning process and paperwork - I am somewhat in my element with this. Thorough review and planning is important for a sustainable business model and very much so for a small farm.


Part of our season review is updating all our harvest records, looking at yields and performances of different crops and varieties. Despite the conditions of spring, crop losses and challenges, we produced a bounty of produce this season!

I am proud to say that we harvested over 10,500 pounds this season. Our half acre of cropland produced over 7,100 pounds of veggies and fruits, and our orchard produced over 3,300 pounds of apples.


One major item on the December agenda is picking out seeds for next season. Inventorying our stock we have on hand, pouring through beautiful and tantalizing seed catalogs and selecting varieties to trial, next to our proven standards.

We love Seed Savers Exchange, High Mowing Organic Seeds, Johnny's Selected Seeds, Bakers CreekTurtle Tree Seeds, as well as The Maine Potato Lady for seed potatoes (because there is more than just Yukon Gold).


Last weekend the pullets (young chickens, generally under a year) started laying their first eggs! At 28 weeks old, to the day, I pulled the first blue-green Americauna egg from the nesting boxes and continue to get eggs each day now.

Pullet eggs are a little smaller than regular eggs. With the breeds we now have all the eggs will be brown or blue. We love our beautiful ladies and were happy to bring them chicken coop 3.0.

The coop has a new hanging feeder (wasting less feed and keeping the feeder cleaner), a new roost, new windows and the walls are now fully insulated against the cold.


Last Sunday John and I went our separate ways for farm happenings. John went up to the Good Earth Food Co-op (St. Cloud), to attend their Customer Appreciation day and offering sampling of ARF apples, which Good Earth had kept in stock on their shelves this fall :) My trip brought me to the Land Stewardship Projects Minneapolis office to gather with the group of farmers all taking the "Journeyperson" course through LSP. It was a day of conversation on farming topics, networking, updates and farm financial planning.

ARF apples...we keep turning them into apple butter. A nice stock is set aside for 2015 CSA and Farm Share members!

I adore this photo, so I had to share it. We continue to be so very happy with the members of our herd. Suzy is one of our gilts (unbred female) that we are looking at breeding - her disposition is wonderful and her physical traits are great.

The pig barn continues to come together at the high school and we can't wait to make this the shelter for our pigs!

Let us know if you are interested in stuffing a stocking with one of our 2014 ARF t-shirts! We still have a few in stock, email us for sizes, guys and gals fits $20.00 apiece. Cheers!

Articles of Interest

The Health Risks of Conventional Potatoes

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