garden · Production · Vegetables

Preparing the Garden for a Successful Year

Summer of 2017 was a summer of next to no rain. It made for a difficult first year of gardening for us on our new property. We got a soil test done last year which told us what our garden was lacking. One of them was organic matter. Back in September 2017, we plowed the garden and seeded with winter rye and forage radish. The radishes have long roots which helps aerate the soil, and the rye helps build up organic matter when it’s tilled in.

 

Last weekend, Robert went through our careful orchestration of acquiring the tools we need to do large scale garden work. We borrow a cone spreader from our friends at Green Garden, and a tractor from our friends Dave and Nancy. He also had to borrow a van to transport all the bags of fertilizers home.

IMG_20180408_142947.jpgOur garden is about 3/4 of an acre. Because of the large size, and how poor our soil is, we needed large quantities of everything. It started with 1500 pounds of lime. Lime helps raise the pH of the soil. Most plants want the soil between 6.5 and 7, and ours was at 5.4. In addition, 400 pounds of 19-19-19 fertilizer was added. This adds nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium. And finally, our soil was especially poor in potassium, so 40 pounds of potash was mixed in, which is 0-0-60.IMG_20180408_141816

So far, so good with what has been spread. We still need to till in the rye and spread our plastic mulch. But, it’s progressing, which makes us both happy. We can’t wait to share what we are growing with you!

Animals · Chickens · Ducks · Eggs · geese · Goals · Meat · Production · Video

New Kids In The Flock: Recent Additions to Our Farm

We’ve been told that spring is coming, but we beg to differ. We’ve had alternating days of wonderful weather, with clear skies and reasonable temperatures, and complete garbage. This morning, I woke up to snow dusting the entire yard. Luna wasn’t super impressed with it when I took her out to do her business and care for the animals.

First thing every morning, we let the flock out of the coop. The chickens, ducks and muscovies spend the night in the coop, and the geese stay outside. They are too large, and just too mean to keep in with the rest of the flock overnight. Plus, we have them as “guard dogs” so we want them to make noise if something is amiss. This is what “Unleashing the Feather Beasts” looked like back in the fall.

In the last month or so, we’ve added several birds to our flock. The first were a pair of male muscovies. We got a white, as well as a lavender. Shortly after, we got a trio of females to go with them. We plan on breeding them to raise babies for both egg and meat production. We also acquired three female Toulouse geese, which seem to have bonded with the trio of American Buff geese we have. The plan for those is also raising babies for meat production. Plus, we’ll enjoy some eggs while we wait for the ladies to go broody.

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Our two handsome Muscovy boys

We have also ordered more layers, as well as our first batch of meat birds. The layers are going to be Easter Eggers, to add a little color to our cartons for the market. The meat birds are Red Rangers as well as Husky Rangers. The Easter Eggers will be added to our laying flock after brooding in the barn for a few weeks. The Rangers will be put into tractors to be moved around our pasture. We have several reasons we’ve chosen Rangers as opposed to the usual Cornish Cross meat birds, which we will go into more detail in a future post. Keep an eye out for that one!

Eggs · Production

Announcing the Frontière Farm House Egg CSA

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Releasing the flock onto fresh pasture

Today, February 23, is National CSA Sign Up Day. We would like to take this opportunity to announce our Egg CSA!

Our eggs have been in high demand since we started selling them. We have several customers to tell us how much they and their children love our eggs. Because of this, we decided to offer a CSA as a thank you to these great people.

First off, what is a CSA? CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture. What it means is that the community or consumer prepays for a “farm share” or a set amount of product at the start of the season, and gets great farm produced food throughout the season in return. The consumer wins because their share is worth more than what the products would cost at market, and the farmer wins because they get more money up front to help fund their growing season.

How is our CSA going to work? We will sell CSA punch cards good for twelve dozen eggs, and you will pay for ten dozen. You will choose either chicken eggs, or duck eggs at the beginning, and the cards will be marked accordingly. We are starting with a very limited number of shares, as we would still like to provide eggs to other market shoppers.

Once you purchase your punch card, you will be able to purchase eggs with it whenever you want! They won’t expire, and you can choose to skip a few weeks, or get a few dozen at a time. We do ask that if you need several dozen at once to let us know as soon as possible, so that we can set them aside for you. Eggs can be picked up at the Marshall Area Farmers Market, or if you message our Facebook page, we can make other pickup/drop-off arrangements. We also cannot guarantee that we will have eggs available at the market later in the day. We sell out most weeks, so again, if you need eggs, just let us know ahead of time.

If you have any further questions, don’t hesitate to ask! We will respond as quickly as possible. If you would like to sign up, email us and let us know if you’d like the duck share or the chicken share. Thank you for supporting us as we endeavor to grow our farm.

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Some of our very first eggs