Today’s CSA Box – Week of May 25, 2015

*Click on produce above for more information and Recipes

News From the Farm | May 25, 2015

I have always been interested in where my food comes from. As a child I loved going to pumpkin patches and you-pick farms. My siblings and I were always excited to have the chance to walk through a pumpkin patch searching for the perfect and biggest one we could find to bring back home. We would also pick the sweetest berries from the blackberry brambles that grow wild all over Nevada County. As a child I was more concerned with getting the darkest berry and the largest pumpkin. That’s still true today, but there is much more to it now.

We have become detached from knowing where our food comes from. There is an expectation that everything we buy in the store is clean and safe. How can we be sure or know for certain? Knowing more about your food can be your own source of food safety and regulation. As consumers we should be regulating the farming practices we like and don’t like by doing what consumers do best, buying. Instead we allow the government and other agencies to regulate and tell us what is safe. 

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I know it’s not possible to visit every farm that you purchase food from. Imagine though, what it would be like if you could see all the farms those items came from. I know that just in the Capay Valley you could get everything you needed from the farms located here. We have multiple organic farms growing a wide range of different fruits and vegetables. There are farmers producing fresh sources of dairy products and meats. You can even get fresh cut flowers, colored cotton, wool, and preserved goods. The most amazing part of all of this is that all these farms can be visited during a day in the Valley. Now I know this would work great in an ideal world. 

Currently, I don’t follow exactly what I preach, but that doesn’t mean I don’t want to. Of course money and time are always a factor. However, living in the beautiful Capay Valley has had endless rewards. Being part of this community has made me realize that food matters. There is one thread that connects us all and I think food is that thread. We all must eat to survive. So why not spend more time getting comfortable with the farmers who grow it?

There is a lot of transparency with the farms here and I love that. Most of the farmers here don’t mind having people visit their farm. They understand the importance of having people come out to visit. As consumers we should also have the right to be able to go out to farms and see what is happening. A friend, who grew up around Agriculture once told me that she would rather eat something from a small local farm than from an organic farm far away. She went on to make the point that we have no idea about what is actually happening on that far away organic farm. However, with a small local farm you can visit them and encourage them to be different.

For all of you that do get fruits and vegetables from Full Belly Farm I encourage you to come and see what’s growing. We always have opportunities for those we help to feed to visit the farm. In fact our next Open Farm Day is June 13th, 2015. This is a chance for us to thank you with a free tour of the farm. It is also a chance to come and check us out and see what we are all about. I look forward to seeing you then. 

Jordan Dixon

Outreach and Education Director

Farm Tour – June 13

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Join us for an Open Farm Day on Saturday, June 13. Family and friends are welcome – there is no charge. A formal tour will begin at 11am, but you are welcome to come any time and splash in the creek, bring your own picnic, and spend the day here at the farm! A farmstand will be set up with produce, t-shirts, and more. Please bring a water bottle, hat, and lots of sunscreen. Questions? Please email hallie@fullbellyfarm.com.

Potential New CSA Site in SF

Full Belly is hoping to open a new CSA site in the “Inner Sunset” neighborhood on Lawton Ave in SF. The site is listed on our web site (http://fullbellyfarm.com/join-our-csa/neighborhood-delivery-sites/san-francisco-csa-sign-up/) as a potential new site to gauge the interest first. If you are interested in joining, please fill out the on-line application form and we will contact you when we have a start date. Please spread the word and tell your family, friends and co-workers about the new CSA site. Thanks!

Special Order Add-ons to Your Box

It is so easy to increase the amount of Full Belly in your life! CSA members can special order almost anything from our farm to be delivered to your pick-up site. Sorry, no Virginia Street special orders. If you would like to order the following items, please contact us at 800-791-2110 or csa@fullbellyfarm.com.

Sun Dried Peaches – $5/1/2 pound bag.

Almonds – $12/1 pound bag

Walnuts – $10/1 pound bag.

Almond Butter – Creamy (Sold Out) or Crunchy – $14/1 pound jar.

Iraqi Durum Wheat Flour – $3/1.5 pounds.

Iraqi Durum Wheat Berries – $3/2 pounds.

Cotton Bags (11.5 x 12.5 inches) – $8 for 5 bags (includes sales tax).

Please place your order at least five days prior to your intended delivery date.

Lamb and Chicken Available

For those interested in our certified organically raised lamb we have a limited amount available for delivery to a CSA site near you. Sorry no home deliveries. Our lambs are all born and raised here at the farm and are fed 100% on pasture, organic vegetables and hay. The lambs are harvested at Superior Farms in Dixon, CA. (Please note this is not a CCOF certified facility and the finished product is not CCOF certified.) They are sold by the half lamb (20 lbs) for $185, or whole lamb (40 lbs) for $350. (Sorry, temporarily sold out. Please contact us if you want to be put on the waiting list.)

We also have soup chickens for sale. These are 2-year old egg-laying birds frozen and packed with heads and feet, that are great for making broth, soup or stew. The cost is $11, delivered frozen to select CSA sites. Sorry no home deliveries. Please contact Becky – becky@fullbellyfarm.com – if you are interested.

Apple Juice & Pomegranate Juice

Our frozen apple juice & pomegranate juice are back.  This juice was pressed from our organic apple & pomegranate crops.  They are not pasteurized.  It will be delivered to your pick-up site frozen. (Sorry, no home deliveries or delivery to the Virginia St, Berkeley site.)  We will make deliveries during the week of June 1st.  Please place your orders before May 29th.

Apple Juice:  $7 for a half gallon or $4 for a quart

Pomegranate Juice:  $6 per pint or $10 per quart

Celebrating Women in Agriculture

Join us on Sunday, May 31 from 10am to 4pm to

Celebrate Women in Agriculture

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Schedule of Events:

10am – Arrival and Welcome

10:30 – Full Belly Farm Tour led by the women farmers at Full Belly Farm

12:30 – Lunch – A simple lunch will be available. A $5.00 donation is requested.

1:30 – Information Sessions in the following areas: Equipment, Creative Land Ownership, New and Beginning Female Farmers, Animal, and Flower Growing. 

3:30 – Closing and Goal Setting

Hosted by Full Belly Farm. Call 530-796-2214 or email for more information.

News From the Farm | May 18, 2015

To our CSA members and friends,

With a mix of joy and a bit of sadness, I will say my good byes to you all, as I will retire at the end of this month.  I have been your CSA Coordinator for 8 years and have enjoyed many conversations with our members. Thank you for all the joy I have experienced in this position and for the friends I have become acquainted with.

I became a hobby farmer at the age of 48, as my husband retired from his corporate job and we simplified our lives and moved to this valley 12 years ago.  Our home was built in the early 1900’s and moving to this quaint valley took some getting use to. We had a wood burning fireplace and no air conditioning and in this hot area, I wondered if I would survive not having the modern conveniences I was accustomed to. [Read more…]

News From the Farm | May 11, 2015

Basil

The way some of the crops work on the farm is that once they arrive, you may see them fairly regularly, until all of a sudden you don’t see them again until the following year. That is the case with basil.  Last year, during the 18 weeks of our warm season, from June to October, we put it in your CSA boxes 8 times. In 2013, as is the case this year, the basil started in May and was in the CSA boxes 9 times from May through September.  We mention this, because it helps to provide a perspective on the feast of basil about to arrive: It is transient. If you have time, you can make some pesto and put it in the freezer for winter pasta dishes, as a way to stretch the season. [Read more…]

News From the Farm | May 4, 2015

Agriculture Climate Benefits Act 

Climate change, and unusual weather may fall with a heavy hand on California agriculture: more frequent and more severe droughts; less water storage in the Sierra snowpack; increased pests and invasive species; heat waves; and reduced chill hours for fruit trees… all of which translate into fewer Full Belly peaches in your boxes? Yes, the peaches may be a problem, but because Full Belly is so diverse, we will try to pick up the slack with more melons and tomatoes.

Setting the Full Belly specifics aside for a moment, people who think a lot about climate change talk about “ADAPTATION” — learning to live with it and reduce our vulnerability – and “MITIGATION” – figuring out how to limit the magnitude and rate of climate change by reducing emissions of greenhouse gases. 

In agriculture, we have to do both – and our CSA members can help us.   [Read more…]

News From the Farm | April 27, 2015

Last Thursday I went to a farmers market where there were no cash boxes and no scales.  It was at John Still Elementary School in the Sacramento City Unified School District, one of 42 districts in California participating in a program called California Thursdays.

There were about six other stands featuring locally grown produce, fruit, rice, and even someone making smoothies. At around 8:00am waves of excited kids, arriving one grade at a time, started gathering around, all with their California Thursdays cloth bags ready to be filled. Many of the kids had family members with them and everyone had just been served a California-grown breakfast.

The program was sponsored by the Center for Ecoliteracy, one of several efforts (another notable example is the California Farm to School Network’s Harvest of the Month) bringing fresh and local food to the state’s school kids. [Read more…]

News From the Farm | April 20, 2015

We have had a number of inquiries about the water situation and it seems time for a Beet article on water and California’s ongoing drought. There have also been questions about whether one can eat almonds without guilt, when many are pointing fingers at new plantings of permanent crops like almonds as a clear example of what seems to be wrong with the investments being made in farming and the water needed to support that farming.

There is little that is easy or clear when it comes to the debate about water in California. The issue is complex, affects all of us and requires that we begin to plan for both times of abundance and cycles of scarcity. Indeed it will be our response to the common issue of scarcity that will require wisdom, restraint and clear thinking as to how the over-promised resource gets divided and allocated among divergent interests. It is not easy to look at water without entering into the complexities of weather patterns, climate changes, year to year fluctuations, indigenous water resources, cropping patterns and historical use. [Read more…]

Keep It Running Smoothly

Our CSA sites need your help to stay tidy. Please help keep these volunteer pick-up locations clean by following a few simple guidelines. 

1. Pick up your box only during the hours listed on our web site and sign-in sheet. These are the hours that the host has set. We do not guarantee the boxes past the designated pick-up times. No credit is issued if you arrive late to claim a box, but find none there.

2. Do not leave a mess! Please stack your empty CSA box as show on the bulletin board.

3. Park in designated parking spots. Do not double park and do not block driveways.

4. Direct your questions to Full Belly, not to the host. Please don’t disturb the host.

5. Please notify us five days in advance if you would like to defer your box.

6. Please check the sign-in sheet for the items we have harvested for you. Please do not take an item that is not listed for your name. Thank You!

News From the Farm | April 13, 2015

We would like to extend a warm welcome to gardening enthusiasts to our unique valley on Mother’s Day Sunday, May 10th for the 8th annual Capay Valley Mother’s Day Garden Tour.  Our valley is home to an amazing array of gardeners and farmers – from a 2 -acre homesteading garden to a 20- acre floral production field, we definitely have something to delight everyone. Nine gardens will be on display sprinkled throughout the valley towns of Esparto, Capay, Brooks, Guinda and Rumsey. Along with the gardens there are other points of interest including the new Seka Hills Olive Mill and wine tasting rooms and the Capay Valley Vineyards tasting room –both of which have special delights for mothers on their special day. Our local restaurant, the Guinda Commons, will be featuring jazz music all day and the Yolo Grange Hall is providing a “local lunch box” for those wanting to purchase a locally sourced meal. The tour is self-guided so that you can take your time and linger at those gardens that really draw you in.  

The gardeners themselves make the day an especially exceptional event. For instance, the owner and head “gardener” at the Capay Oaks garden is a world-renowned landscape architect with projects scattered from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil to Redding, California! Ron Lutsko designed the famous Sundial Garden in Redding with an emphasis on environmental sustainability including acres of drought tolerant natives. His woodland-oak landscaped garden here in the Capay Valley is a stunning example of this as well and includes hundreds of special species that Ron has collected throughout the state. [Read more…]

CSA Member Kimber Simpkins’ New Book, “Full,” Shares the Healing Magic of Full Belly

“A waft of country air drifted up to me as I pulled apart the cardboard flaps. Carrots, kale, spinach, potatoes, fresh green garlic, oranges, and a little bag of the freshest walnuts imaginable. Before even opening my front door, I unfastened the bag of walnuts and popped a few in my mouth. They tasted like walnut candy: tender, delicately crunchy, and almost sweet. Eating one, I imagined the walnut orchard, its vast, soft green lanes, the huge grafted trees spreading their arms in a wide embrace of the sky.” 

— Excerpt from Full: How I Learned to Satisfy My Insatiable Hunger and Feed My Soul

As a fellow CSA member, you may have had similar experiences when you open up your weekly box and find all the treats inside. The vegetables delivered to us are more than just food for our bellies, but food for the soul.  Take this comment I once saw left on a pick-up site bulletin board: “The asparagus is so good it made me cry.” Aside from how amazingly delicious it is, there’s something profound and healing about knowing where our food comes from, and knowing that the people who grow it care about every single aspect, from the microbes in the soil to the health of those who pick it – and even the effects on the local economy and the world.  In my new book Full, I share my story about how my time at Full Belly helped me heal my difficult relationship with my body and resolve an eating disorder I thought I would never overcome. 

My book on sale now online (my website, http://www.kimberyoga.com links to Indiebound and other online retailers) and bookstores everywhere.  Sign up online for my email newsletter if you’d like to find out more! 

–Kimber Simpkins

News From the Farm | April 6, 2015

April 1st Shenanigans

A few days ago I went to say “hi” to our pigs.  There’s a whole family in the pasture next to my house – Mom, Dad, Grandma and 11 piglets. Someone had turned a sprinkler on to keep the pasture green.  Some of the water was falling on a slope, and the slope was getting muddy as it absorbed the water.  Mama came walking up the slope towards me, perhaps to get a scratch on her snout? No, not a scratch on her snout – instead she lay down in the mud and wallowed around, spreading the mud all over herself. Next she positioned herself just right, across the top of the slope and went slip-sliding down the hill.  This was no accident.  As soon as she could get back on her feet, she walked up the hill and did it again!  After 5 or 6 repeats she was done, and just lay in the mud, enjoying her fun and foolishness on April Fools Day.

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News From the Farm | March 30, 2015

One of the things that we have been committed to experimenting with in the last few years is reduced tillage on our farm – in other words, fewer tractor passes through our fields and less turnover of the soil. Among other things, we normally use tractors to cultivate out weeds, turn under our cover crops and make beds ready for planting after we have disked a field. There are two ways that we are thinking about reducing the use of tractors and soil turnover.  One is using black poly mulch on our beds and the other is using our cover crops as mulch. The former has proven itself to have been an interim success, while the latter is our ultimate hope and long-term strategy.  

The use of poly mulch on the surface of our beds started about three or four years ago, despite our immense dislike of plastic.  We trialed it in our early tomato plantings, and what we quickly realized was that the plastic cover significantly reduced our energy and water use.  Petroleum comes in many different forms, plastic is one, but diesel fuel is another.  Even after the first time we used the plastic, it was clear to us that we were seeing several big benefits with regard to energy, water and soil/plant health. [Read more…]

News From the Farm | March 23, 2015

When I arrived at Full Belly back in the heat of July, the farm was well into its tomato season. As a wide-eyed city dweller with zero previous farm experience, coming on as an intern at the height of tomato season was a whirlwind introduction to how hard every person here works to create the beautiful produce that we see in our CSA boxes every week. My very first hours of work on the farm were spent harvesting Sun Gold cherry tomatoes. Several hours after that I was folding tomato boxes for packing and distribution. A few weeks later I was learning the names of forty plus varieties of heirloom and cherry tomatoes so I could help identify them for customers at the Marin farmer’s market. By the end of the summer, we were squeezing buckets worth of tomato seeds to be saved for the very plants that we now see in our fields! 

Over the last few months, it has been incredible to watch those seeds become over 45,000 plants in our greenhouses.  And in the past week, we have steadily been transplanting ALL of those tomatoes in preparation for another summer season! Time flies when you’re having fun farming! One of the most delightful moments that we as interns have in our yearlong internship is witnessing the full circle of farm life, like these new tomato plants. Can’t wait for caprese salad again! [Read more…]

News From the Farm | March 16, 2015

Full Belly Farm is blessed to have some wonderful folks working here every day, and this week we want to introduce one of them to our CSA members, Inigo Encarnación, who has been working here since 2011. 

Inigo was born in the state of Guerrero, in southern Mexico, in a small village called Huehuetonoc.  That’s an Amuzgo Indian word signifying the tambor, a musical instrument. Inigo has three older sisters, two of whom are now teachers in Mexico. His father grew corn, beans and squash for the family, and had several cows.  Inigo helped out in the fields and enjoyed milking the cows with his father, who he called Jefe. [Read more…]

News From the Farm | March 9, 2015

Flowers

I remember quite clearly writing my annual “flower article” last year and starting off with a confident statement about how consistent the flowers were despite mother nature’s follies of no rain, warm climate and sudden whacky freezes. Well, this year I might have to rescind that statement  – but just a little. Yes, this year nature’s idiosyncrasies might have fooled us all, including the flowers, with her warm, balmy days all throughout January (the driest and warmest in recorded valley history) then brief flooding in February and then back to a sunny and warm March. How could we not be just a tiny bit confounded to know what the time of year is?

The bulk of our spring flowers were planted months ago, way back in October, which my feeble memory has a hard time remembering. Yes, back when the leaves were turning a golden fall yellow, we were digging thousands of holes for tulips, ranunculus, and iris.  We were transplanting thousands of little snapdragons, godetias, sweet Williams, delphiniums and Canterbury bells. The tractors were loaded up with special seeders and we planted rows and rows of sweet peas, larkspur, nigella, calendula, flax and sweet smelling stock. [Read more…]

ATTENTION ALL SOUTH BAY & DAVIS CSA MEMBERS

 South Bay CSA Members

The Full Belly Winter Market stand at Flea St Café, Menlo Park is moving to the Chocolate Garage (Gilman St, Palo Alto) starting Jan. 10, 2015.

CSA boxes will be available for pick up at BOTH sites. Pick up hours are:

            Flea St Café – 10am to 1pm on Saturdays

            Chocolate Garage – 9am to 1pm on Saturdays with Market hours 9am to Noon

Davis CSA Members

There are TWO new pick up sites in Davis starting January 2015.

            East 8th Street, Davis – 3 to 7pm on Wednesdays

            Mace Ranch, Davis – 1 to 7pm on Wednesdays

For more details to go Join Our CSA, email us at csa@fullbellyfarm.com, or call 800-791-2110.

News from the Farm | March 2, 2015

 Lambing Time

The trick is to be extremely quiet. Don’t slam the truck door, don’t make a squeak as you squeeze through the gate and don’t, whatever you do, turn on your flashlight yet! The night check is all about listening first – your ears alone will tell you right away what your check has in store for you. There might be a ewe cooing to her freshly born lamb over here, while another ewe is maahh-ing desperately over there – has she lost sight of her lambs in the orchard, is there a predator nearby, or is she about to go into labor? Sometimes one ewe will give birth to three lambs and another ewe is absolutely sure those three lambs belong to her, and at 3 o’clock in the morning, it’s up to you to figure out which ewe they actually belong to. Sometimes there are two ewes that have obviously given birth, four lambs around their legs, and you witness all four lambs nursing from both ewes. Sometimes there are a few fresh lambs in one corner and no ewes taking ownership of them. Sometimes there is deafening silence, which means you can head right back to bed. (That one doesn’t happen very often!) I’m talking about lambing season, folks, and for the animal team here at the farm, this season’s almost over.

Farming animals is quite different from farming vegetables. For example, a farmer can plant a seed, water it, weed around it a few times, and then let Mother Nature take the reigns for a while until it comes time to harvest. His carrots won’t die if he takes a day off. On the other hand, a farmer who keeps animals has many mouths to feed other than his own, every single day. And it doesn’t stop at food – they need clean cool water, fresh straw for nest boxes, clean coops. The cow has to get milked at dawn and dusk, the eggs need to be collected in the morning and afternoon, and everyone needs to be moved to new pasture every couple of days. It’s a rather demanding trade, this animal husbandry.  [Read more…]

News from the Farm | February 23, 2015

What we put in the CSA boxes last year

Veggies in Your 2014 Boxes

(Not including Fruit or Alliums)

Number of weeks out of 48 

Bunched Greens

41

Carrots

24

Potatoes

22

Lettuce and Salad Mix

19

Beets

16

Eggplant

15

Tomatoes – mostly heirlooms

14

Peppers (Flamingo, Jimmy Nardello)

14

Winter Squash (mixed varieties)

13

Broccoli

13

Cabbage (Green, Napa or Red)

11

Herbs (chives, dill, parsley, rosemary)

9

Basil

8

Spinach

7

Cucumbers

7

Turnips

6

Summer Squash

5

Asparagus

5

Red Daikon

4

Green beans

4

Fennel

4

Cherry Tomatoes

4

Kohlrabi

3

Celery Root

3

Rutabagas

2

Radishes

1

Black Eye Peas

1

Artichokes

1

Every year we like to look back at what went in the CSA boxes during the previous year.  This year I compiled the table that we are including here so that you can think back about how you used the vegetables that we put in the boxes over the 48 weeks that we made deliveries in 2014. [Read more…]

News from the Farm | February 16, 2015

With weather in the 70s and blossoms on the trees, it’s spring fever for certain. And with thoughts of spring come thoughts of planting, and seeds. Indeed, such were the thoughts of an enthusiastic group of farmers and gardeners from the Capay Valley and beyond, who gathered at the Western Yolo Grange Hall in Guinda at the end of January for the 2nd Annual Seed, Plant and Scion Swap. It was a chance to bandy and barter all manner of plant matter, from seeds to starts to fruit tree cuttings. Seed and plant exchanges like this one have sprung up across the country in recent years, and represent a hearty interest in community resiliency and local self-sufficiency.  Regionally saved seeds can be selected for, and therefore more adapted to, the specific climate and environmental challenges of a locale, and for farmers or gardeners, saving their own seeds expresses independence, knowledge and access. The exchange and preservation of seeds can be organized relatively informally, as a once a year community seed swap (like here in the Capay Valley) or it can take on the more formalized form of a seed library. Across the United States, there are now over 300 seed libraries, all providing low-cost or “free access to seeds, protect[ing] the diversity of our food sources, and educat[ing] community members about growing food and saving seed.” (seedlibrary.net)

Inspirational, right? Perhaps you already use your local seed library or seed swap, or perhaps you now want to start one. But did you know that there’s an important campaign under way to ensure that these models of local and regional seed sharing don’t become unfairly targeted by state department of agriculture laws that were written with commercial seed transactions in mind? [Read more…]

News from the Farm | February 9, 2015

As if breaking a spell cast on the land, rain came and the farm breathed a sigh of welcome.  The driest January on record for the region is now past and the sobering reality of three consecutive years of warm temperatures and little to no rain and low Sierra snowpack should be reason for the farm community to consider the practices they employ and develop comprehensive strategies for the long term. 

The impacts of the last few years touch many parts of our farm. Our fruit trees are short on the chilling hours that they require for healthy bloom and fruit set. Things are blooming early – by more than 2 weeks – which may mean more susceptibility to frost later in the spring. Winter rains are needed to replenish our wells. When the small side creeks that border the farm flow even for a few short days, we can measure a rise in well water levels as the ground acts as a reservoir for the beneficial winter rains. [Read more…]

News from the Farm | February 2, 2015

“In the next 20 years, 400 million acres of farmland will change hands.” Severine von Tscharner Fleming was speaking to a gathering of young and not so young farmers and farm allies in Capay Valley at the Guinda Grange Hall. She came equipped with facts, stories, models and strategies to share – all with a purpose to ensure land access to a rising generation of agriculturalists.

In the Capay Valley, we are fortunate to have a growing community of young and beginning farmers and ranchers. The challenges they face to build a successful career are numerous, but perhaps the biggest is reliable access to land. Nationwide, the price of farmland has risen dramatically in recent years, more than tripling in value from 2003 to 2013. What’s happening to farmland in the U.S. is part of a larger phenomenon also occurring in developing countries. [Read more…]

Harvest of the Month

We recently enjoyed a visit from Bill Jensen who works at Northside Elementary School in Cool California (a bit east of Auburn). He came to pick up vegetables for the Harvest of the Month program, a statewide effort to increase access to fruits and vegetables in schools throughout California.  Bill explained that the school’s garden doesn’t come into production until March and he needed some broccoli to serve.  The students will develop presentations for the classroom and prepare a recipe to take home.

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In Bill’s photo, kindergarten students are harvesting their first crop of carrots.

News from the Farm | January 26, 2015

It feels as though there is so much to write about at this moment in time: the blooming almond trees, the 75° weather, winter/spring cooking, and our new farm babies.  We got news yesterday that our neighbors at Pasture 42 welcomed a beautiful little girl into the world.  Delphine Louise joins Arlo Alois Muller (4 months) and Teodoro Rodriguez Ochoa (3 months) in the one and under crowd here in Guinda, CA.  Since our newest little farm boys have not gotten an official Beet welcome, here they are with their ringleader, Rowan.  We are elated to introduce them to you. 

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[Read more…]

News from the Farm | January 19, 2015

There are few seasons on the farm that we meet with such jittery anticipation as lambing season.  For the next few weeks there will be a flurry of “getting ready” tasks as we approach the February date when the first lambs are born. Fences must be set up for the hugely pregnant moms, greenhouses constructed for housing the tiny new lambs and their mothers, supplies purchased for any lambing emergencies. There are 85 ewes this year that will be giving birth in a one month time period to over 120 babies which can get really chaotic if you are not prepared! We have been raising this many sheep and lambs for over 20 years but still feel taken by surprise each year as they begin.

One of the hardest things is “psyching” ourselves up for the sleepless nights ahead. Despite the fact that 90% of the lambs will be born without any fanfare there are potential issues that can arise and we must be there any time, day or night, to help out. We do lamb checks every two to three hours during the night and as frequently throughout the day. Rainy nights and the full moon will definitely bring on a barrage of lambs – a well documented fact known by shepherds throughout the ages – so we have extra recruits on those nights. [Read more…]