Thursday, February 21, 2013

Plans and Progress

  • So it's been awhile since I blogged. Things have been cooking around here though. Seeds have been ordered, delivered and some planting has been done. These sheep in this picture are borrowed from my niece Becca. They are part of my original flock that included wool sheep when we first got serious about shepherding. Over the years as we have almost completely switched to grass, the lambs have gotten smaller. Wool Sheep are generally larger and put on weight faster due to a larger muscle mass and a thick layer of body fat under the wool. These sheep are 1/2 hair sheep, 1/2 wool. In fact the dark brown one is from a Navajo Churro. By breeding to our new Katahdin ram(center) we hope to obtain a new ram to breed back next year. Hopefully this will retain the larger lambs of the wool sheep that carry the disease and parasite resistance of the hair sheep. In the foreground in is our faithful guardian dog Rosa checking out the new charges. Just for a kick, here is a pic of how we got them home from Festus. My husband- he can do anything.
  •                                                                                                Sara Black
Speaking of Bill, he was home last week. A grocery store cooler was converted to a germination chamber, the garden was extended approximately 70 ft for better irrigation and rotation for our new varieties of tomatoes as well as the old standards. Perhaps you are interested in what those new varieties will be? For starters by special demand, Cuor di Bue- a dark Pink Italian Oxheart tomato, Pantano Romanesco- large and are deep red with almost a purple tint. Sara Black is a new "black" tomato w/brown streaks. Baker Creek has offered a new yellow called Pork Chop. Later I will post a full list of what will be offered as plants for the market and for sale as produce.

Finally the ducks are laying. Our first duck egg of the season. No, it's not bad photography the egg is really black. A special feature of some of the Cayuga ducks. They lay a black egg that if you scrub hard enough the color will come off. They also lay an assortment of other colors including dark and light green and varying shades of gray down to opaque white. They started a little late this year but we've collected a round dozen since they began. In our partnership with Slow Foods St. Louis we hope to have eggs enough to incubate soon. The Cayuga duck is listed as Threatened on the American Livestock Breeds Conservancy’s Conservation Priority List. This means there are fewer than 1,000 breeding birds in the US, with ten or fewer primary breeding flocks, and they are globally endangered. Sunflower Savannah's goal is to change this through education of the consumer palate to the delicacy of duck eggs while incorporating their insect control capabilities for farm sustainability.
Lastly, barring further weather complications, we should be at Schlafly Microbrewery for the Maplewood Farmers Market on Saturday. Get ready for Easter with a Grass Fed Leg of Lamb and a jar of Cherry Serrano Pepper Jelly. There will be Fenugreek, Mung Bean and Garbanzo bean sprouts and our 5 varieties of Granola. The Market goes from 9-1 don't miss it. Call to reserve your leg of lamb- 573-259-1533. See you there.

God's blessings on you and yours.


Sam and Bill


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