News from the Farm | August 1, 2022

What are the furry, feathered, and hooved residents of the farm up to as we pick, wash/sort, and pack the summer’s bounty?

The cows are munching away on one of their favorite treats, melons. Peony is in front, with Henry the longhorn behind her and Brioche and Iris in the background. We sort through every melon and the many that that don’t make the cut go into a bin along with other produce and floral compost and are brought to the animals. After melons, the cows other favorite treats are winter squash in the fall and carrots in the spring.

The chickens are rotating through various already-harvested orchards, foraging under the trees. The young chickens are still being kept safe in the brooders until they’re old enough to graduate to a coop. During the summer, all the chickens get ice every afternoon to help them cool down. When they get the ice, they excitedly rush over like kids running to an ice cream truck!

Winona just had a litter of 7 piglets!

And the sheep are, as always, being rotated through the fields to clean up after we’ve finished harvesting. One flock is currently working on a chunk of corn and green beans, watched over by Rock, one of our two livestock guardian dogs. It’s impressive to see how quickly the sheep work through a field. They do quick work stripping all the leaves from the plants, but they leave the stalks (not just on thick stalks of corn or sunflowers, but also the green beans). Depending on the feedstock they’re eating, the sheep also will get seconds/compost, but they currently don’t need it given how sweet and exciting their food is. On Friday morning, Becca and Antonio (the core animal team, pictured below) set up fencing around a new section of the field, then let the sheep in. They rushed over to the green beans and started munching away excitedly. By Sunday morning, they’d polished everything off and were ready to move again!

– Elaine Swiedler, CSA Manager with a big thanks to Becca for most of the photos!