We've continued to have a wonderful season both weather-wise and market-wise. The weather has been moderate and the markets have been kick-ass and our customers return with compliments about our food. But there are always problems when farming with the wild and the bobcat kills of our chickens have been upsetting this year. Twelve of our laying hens have been taken as of now and there's a killer loose that appears to know traps and refuses to go in one. Juan found its "dining hall", an area beneath an oak littered with bones and feathers which may also be its living quarters, a little way up the hill from the coop area. We dislike harping on this, but it's been an overweening concern. We take good care of our animals and feel responsible for them, but we also understand that the wild animals need to eat too which is why we leave most of our land untouched. There is plenty for everyone...wild turkey, pig, deer, coyote, mountain lion, hawk, eagle, snake, lizard, pack rat, mouse.... It's just that chickens are so easy to catch and every other critter requires work.
Our other issue right now has nothing to do with animals either wild or domestic, but human rules and regs that make it seem as though small businesses are in the cross hairs of every regulator or agency with which they are required to deal. The insurance on our land and business was canceled recently after a number of years because, it seems, being honest and using one's website to promote one's business is not commensurate with keeping insurance. After these many years, the agency finally decided to look at our website and found that we were selling USDA slaughtered/butchered pork and beef. Although it's apparently OK to sell as much chicken as you want off your farm or at markets without the insurance company questioning, other meats raise red flags and end the coverage. Pasturing yaks and having people visit the farm are also large problems for insurers. We apparently live in a time where anything out of the ordinary is deemed a threat whether it be color, religion, nationality, accent or animal. Our personal biggest fears are more related to human activities which is part of why we're out here demoing what we believe to be the right direction.
Moderate temps for most of month. Drizzle for 2 days mid-month. Incredibly perfect weather.
Clement markets great. Boonville good. Mendocino good. On-farm sales great.
Aquaponics: Watercress stream outside is lovely. Tomato box not done yet. Now experimenting with growing in sand. Goldfish and crawdads are reproducing. Rhubarb is happy. Tomatoes, peppers and cukes putting on fruit. Celery gone to seed and restarting. Chives flowering but continue to grow. Scallions reseeded themselves.
Now have 4 pair of King Pigeons and two babies. Waiting for 10 pair before harvesting for squab.
Cactus garden in driveway area looks good. One is setting flowers. Winter will be the test. Rusty, antique rototiller fits context perfectly.
Pork and beef selling fast. By end of month near half sold out of beef. Talking of slaughtering another in a month.
Chicks all doing well although many more than usual are roosters. Will talk with supplier. Bought 10 more because of bobcat predation. Eggs sell easily.
Bobcats have killed 9 chickens. 3 cats have been trapped but still losing hens.
ChiChi up and running again with bionic knees. (She is very sensibly afraid of bobcats!)
Solar dispute continues.
More sausage and bacon made. Sells out quickly.
Avary kids had fun visiting farm and seeing animals.
In ground/producing –kale, thyme, oregano, mint, chives, celery, choy, beets, fennel, lettuce, spring onions, dandelion, Mexican mint marigold, husk cherry, anise hyssop, tomato, squash, eggplant, shelling peas, cucumber, Armenian cucumber, melons, broccoli, cabbage, lemon grass, rhubarb.
In aquaponics/producing/experimenting – mint, garlic, chive, scallion, celery, strawberry, raspberry, marionberry, ginger, turmeric, lemon, pepper, orange, tomato, onion, rhubarb, broccoli, lemon grass, radish, cucumber.
Total VAPs for June: 680
Fava Bean Soup, Catsup, Mulberry Jam, Pickled Eggs, Mint Jelly, Mint Pesto, Marionberry Jam, Beet Marmalade, Kimchi, Wild Plum Jam, Wild Plum Jam w/Brandy, Tayberry Jam, Dill Pickles, Bread Butter Summer Squash, Pickled Espelettes, Raspberry Jam, Rhubarb Jam, Cowboy Candy, Spicy Pepper Syrup, Blackberry Popsicles, Plum Leather
Calendula, bachelor buttons, society garlic, roses, dahlias, nicotiana, comfrey, fennel, pincushion, love in mist, hydrangea, gladiola, geraniums, holly hocks, lambs ear, geranium, passion flower, Mexican mint marigold, yarrow, chrysanthemum.
Fruit & Vegetable
Harvesting first fig flush (the birds are winning!) – Kadota, Black Mission – very large harvest for a first flush.
Raspberries in greenhouse fruiting.
Trapped 3 bobcats so far this season and lost 9 chickens.
Young chickens doing well. Too many roosters though.
All garlic dug. Good crop.