Friday, October 21, 2016

Success and Slow Food

Market List;
                 Last week for Salsa-Really
Probably - Last week for Tomatoes,
                Super Food Salad Mix,
                    Lamb Stew Meat and
     Sale on Lamb Bones-2.00-3.00 a pack.
           Cleaning out the Freezer folks.
    Processing next on 10/31

It's been an eventful family crisis packed summer. I haven't blogged as much as I usually do about Slow Food but that doesn't mean that things have not been Slowly happening. Two years ago, our Slow Food Grant was on Heirloom fruit. The focus was on Quince. As many of you who follow this blog know, through a Slow Food Grant, we purchased some Black Republican and Black Tartarian Cherries, a Russian Quince and after a long involved search and a 10 month wait, the rarest of all quince, the Meech's Prolific Quince arrived. 

When the whips arrived they looked like this;
                                                        But after a season in the high tunnel, this is what the 5 looked like.

This year I wrote a grant for raising Citrus in the High Tunnel.  Only part of the money needed was available for what is going to be a pretty involved project. Eventually we want to heat the high tunnel by Radiant or Infrared Floor heating powered by Solar. I ordered 5 Meyer Lemons and a Dancy Tangerine. They came in great shape and have bloomed several times and set fruit 3 times. They are still in pots so they aren't able to support much fruit production yet but we intend on taking the next step and putting them in ground soon. I am encouraged by how many times they have blossomed already. The trees that have fruit on them are also blooming simultaneously while the fruit is growing. Truly, it's pretty amazing.

Speaking on the High Tunnel, the tunnel was built using mostly recycled materials. When we first started, it was made from corrugated clear roofing on a lathe arbor. Slowly over the years and after our first Slow Food Grant, Bill has expanded and slowly replaced all that with  double wall Thermoclear and recycled glass doors, windows, tarps Etc.
       Last week, Bill and worker (Bill also) replaced another long wall with yes...doors.

Already this Fall we are lambing again. Some of you know that we are breeding for size and color. We have mostly white females with a couple of black and white. We bred 2 years ago with a Hamp lamb for bulk in size, St. Croix Sheep-thanks to our 3rd Slow Food Grant for increased multiple births as well as a lower bone to meat ratio. Last year an almost entirely black, large bodied ram was born. We called him Indigo and are using him for a sire this year hoping for some distinction in color to make it easier to tell them apart at a glance. The lambs at the top and these are some examples of this gene pool.

We have had a few black and white sheep but they are almost always males. This is our first brown and white spotted and she's a female so we get to keep her.  
It must be mentioned that part of our grant for St. Croix sheep included fencing that allowed us to enclose the back part of our property which bordered by all the other fences that we have put up, makes it safe for our sheep to graze on an extra 10 acres of grass.
This has lead to a healthier all around flock which gains weight faster.

Finally I'll mention our favorite grant, my Cayuga ducks which supply the market with eggs and a couple of times meat. I love my ducks. The Cayuga's are a breed of duck named after Lake Cayuga in New York. They are thought to be descendants of the Wild Black duck and Mallards. At one time they were the favored duck for meat until the Pekin duck became readily available in the US. a white duck of course being easier to clean. There are only a few breeding flocks in the country but my assertion, everyone should have a few Cayuga ducks. They are funny, fairly quiet ducks which do not fly. Their eggs are delicious for plain eating and will give your baked goods a lift you won't believe. They lay well and as fierce mothers as well as good brooders. They eat bugs and grass and are hard for a predator to spot because of their color.
This is them making a picture of my farm look like a painting.

That's it for now, the update on Slow Food on Sunflower Savannah. We'll see you Saturday. Stop and get the last of the season's Heirloom tomatoes which was another part of the subject of our first Slow Food Grant.  

God's Blessings on you and yours


Sam, Bill and Jubilee who is doing a great job.

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