Sunday, February 16, 2014

A farmer's valentine

Kim and I do not celebrate Valentine's day, we never have. It's not really a political statement, just a choice we have made. For a partnership like ours to work, we have to shower each other with kind thoughts and sweet sentiments all year. It makes the hard days easier not to save up your romantic gestures once a year. Of course, romance to us may be a little different, there is nothing like your partner offering to scrape rabbit cages or lock up the hens at dusk in my book. No judgement on those who do celebrate, its just a choice for us.

Truly though, the best gift either of us could recieve at this point would be from the love of the universe, an ease in the winter weather. We respect the seasons, and know the value of snowfall and cold. But boy, have our shovels and wood bins been heavy. We are ready for the thaw and mud, for seed and chicks.

The greenhouse is a tiny window into seasons changing. So far, despite wind, sub zero temps, feet of snow and low light- we have salad greens hanging on. They arent growing tall, granted...but the slightest shift of weather may bring that. Amonst the rubble of pots and summer storage is a small pen, with 4 tender lambs. They have taken residence there under our watchful eyes and for bottle feeding convenience. The greenhouse, attached to our kitchen has windows that overlook the lambs, who bleet the second they hear you, hungry or not. Few things say spring much like lambs, I picture them bounding them through that bright, lime green early grass. In that fantasy the farm is free from its storm debris and the hen house has been cleaned. The rabbit cages are spotless, the goats' pasture is restrung. New chicken coops are built and painted and new piglets are lounging in the sun, winter pigs now residing in the freezer.

There is wisdom in not rushing seasons, finding the beauty even in your exhaustion and exasperation.  All things are temporary. But tonight I'm day dreaming for the changes of spring, for winter's demise. I love the cold and snow but feel like a child who has had too much dessert... sick with the sweet confines of winter's work.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Digging Out


In order to get the chores done this morning, we had to shovel a path to the barns. Here is path number one... about 18 inches of snow overnight, if not a bit more. Farmers don't get snow delays! 

 



Unfortunately, though we made to the first barn, the second barn was still too far and too deep to avoid shoveling. See it in the distance? Hang on pigs, breakfast is coming!




The goats were no help at all. They decided to just stay in bed. 





So. you just have to start shoveling. 




And shoveling, and shoveling...



Eventually, we made it all the way out to the other barn. But someone else on the farm was greatly appreciating our hard work....




Rather intrepid, no?




She made it!




No big deal, just a few inches. 




It's a little tiring, getting everyone all set in this weather...




But we're still smiling... sheepishly... 



And enjoying the view!


Now, for some breakfast.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Snow Day

In between trudges to the barns to check on the animals, we managed to nap, watch t.v. and... plan our seed order!

We have been ordering from FEDCO seeds for a million years. Some folks are partial to Johnny's or other places, but something about that scratchy catalog, with it's wordy descriptions and hand drawings just hits the spot for me. Plus, I like knowing we're supporting a cooperative. We love the etchings in the rough paper journal so much they are framed on our wall. This year, with the transition out of the vegetable biz, we luxuriously skipped vegetables we know don't do well here, rather than struggling to find an alternative that may come through for the CSA. We focused on our favorites, bought things we didn't *really* need, but wanted to eat through the summer in copious amounts anyway. See ya later, peppers! Screw you, water melon! Hello, sweet, tomato after tomato... more kale please!

I think you know you have made the right choice in your business when the joy starts to come back, pushing the stress aside. Farming is never going to be easy, but it seems to us that by focusing on our successes- we are in for a much more enjoyable year. I can't wait to fall back in love with the garden. And, eat my weight in the prime products, rather than salivating while setting them aside for the CSA.

Of course, all of that will only come when the 18 inches of snow we're staring at are a distant memory...

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Gorgeous Does seek Handsome Buck for long hay chews, maybe more


Two Young, Fit, wormed and vaccinated Alpine Cross Does seek companionship from a Buck in the next two weeks at a charming country home in the Hudson Valley.

The two ladies are best friends, about a year old, but need work in the diary industry, and thus are looking for the companionship of a Fellow for a month or so in these cold winter months.

They enjoy hugs, fresh hay, clean water twice daily (or else), left over Christmas trees, and screaming joyfully in the proximity of any human. Occasionally, they like long walks on a lead, for tree pruning and chicken harassment. They are very social, and have visitors often from school children and relatives.

The right Buck will be an Alpine or Boer cross, Obherhasli potentially. He will be mindful of electric fences, available immediately, and willing to stay for 4 to 6 weeks. Alternatively, the girls are interested in a romantic getaway for the same amount of time, though their presence would be sorely missed. Ideally, the Buck will have a history of success in his romantic endeavors, but no one will be ruled out for youth. 

In form of compensation, a small stud fee is available, or rights to any offspring can be considered.

To schedule a date with these two fine gals, or request further information- please contact the humans at: reisenshinefarm@gmail.com


Seriously though, if anyone has a buck- shoot us a message. 






Monday, February 3, 2014

Combining Forces- Lineage Farm Vegetable Shares now available in Capital Region!

We are pleased to announce another farmer collaboration for next year!

As many of you know, we have phased out our vegetable operation for next year... but we are SO excited to offer vegetable shares through fellow sustainable farmers Jon and Jen at Lineage Farm. Lineage Farm is a biodynamic vegetable farm in the Hudson Valley. They offer vegetable shares in Poughkeepsie and Brooklyn, and last year were gracious enough to offer our meat shares for their deliveries too.

Lineage Farm members can again pick up any of our meat shares at their drop off locations! 

We've expanded our partnership, and the good folks at Lineage have tailored a Capital Region share, available bi-weekly during our meat-share deliveries. If you want to check out Lineage Farm's good work, you can visit their website!

The Capital Region Share will be delivered bi-weekly on either a Tuesday or Wednesday evening (location to be confirmed shortly). Each delivery is sure to be packed with delicious, fresh vegetables- and to check out the specifics, Lineage has provided us with this brochure to share with you!

Bi-weekly pick ups of pork, chicken, beef, turkey, lamb, rabbit, eggs, and now vegetables- it's a pretty amazing opportunity!

Plus, when you work with us, you are supporting up to 3 local farms depending on which shares your choose- so you can really feel good about your purchases. You money is supporting small agriculture, AND getting you delicious products.