Wednesday, February 27, 2013


Wow! As soon as I hit Publish, I thought of about 15 things that I didn't remember to write about and THEN the next morning I received an email from Slow Foods congratulating us on being chosen for a grant to raise Old Time Rhode Island Red chickens. Every year, Slow Foods gives out grants for raising an Heritage breed of animal or plant and an occasional food processing concept that has been lost through the years such as Poi, File' or Sorghum Syrup. Previously Slow Foods graced us w/another grant for our Cayuga Ducks. We have blogged the activity and progress of our Cayugas ever since. This year Bill was insistant that we raise our egg production so after some research, we decided on the Old Time Rhode Island Reds to accomplish this. Hopefully this time next year we will have to sell at Market, eggs for consumption, Fertile eggs for others who want to incubate for themselves eggs of this particular bird or possibly chicks. As with the Cayugas, along the way we hope to educate the public to the reasons for keeping this bird in production. Kelly Klober - author of Talking Chicken will be mentoring this project. As part of the grant, we'll be experimenting w/the raising of Milo as a non GMO food source for these birds next Winter. Milo has the same fat and protein ratio as corn. We've already switched over from corn to Milo for the birds already on the farm but while it is local, it is conventionally grown. If we grow our own after harvesting of the grain, the stalks can be used for sheep fodder after it dries out too.
And FINALLY we got some good help. This picture features our new all around handy guy Ike. Here he is planting the 5 Chinese Apricot trees ordered from Peaceful Valley Organic. Also planted were thornless Boysenberries and Honeoye Strawberries. While Billy was here Ike helped  with the garden extension and installing the germination chamber. Ike's studying to be an EMT and needs a flexible schedule but for right now he's INvaluable. What a relief to have someone who can take care of all the things that crop up while Billy is absent. Speaking of cropping up, we also planted Jostaberry bushes in October in hopes of getting a crop this year. Information on Jostaberry which is a cross between gooseberry and currant states that you will get a crop after the 2nd year. These were 2 year old plants so I have my fingers crossed that we will get at least a small harvest this year.
So lots of interesting things going on around here and the next post I promise you will be on tomato varieties. 
We'll be at St.John's next weekend so let me know how those Milo eggs taste.
God's Blessings on you and yours,
Sam and Bill 

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