Just because it’s been a long time since we’ve posted (on our blog) doesn’t mean we have been taking it easy!
Yes – it’s been forever. I feel guilty every day for being lax on our blogs and email subscribers. But let me tell you – this year has been just as busy, if not more so, than last year! And, unfortunately, when you have to work full time and farm what seems full time, something has to go and in our case it’s the online presence.
But if you’re feeling left out – don’t!! We’re also on Facebook and Instagram and we post at least weekly! We are also a vendor at our local farmer’s market in Princeton (Illinois), so you can always visit us in person at the market or the farm.
What you’ve been missing:
Eggs, eggs, the Incredible Edible EGG! Of course – we still have eggs! Our girls aren’t laying as well with the heat and some are getting older, but we continue to sell out at the farmer’s market and to our usual customers. We’ll probably keep our current numbers through the winter then re-assess what to do for next year. So be sure to keep us in mind for your local egg needs! If you have suggestions on the best way to get you eggs (meet one day a week in Princeton, contact as-needed, or …?) please let us know!
Building up Protein! This is our first year doing meat chickens and we couldn’t be happier! In fact – we decided to do a final round to be processed mid-September! We’re still learning and adapting, always trying to make better products, better processes, and a better customer relationship. This has really filled a gap in our local farmers market and we hope we can continue providing quality, farm-fresh meat to our community!
As the Chief Chore Girl of the farm I have to say that the work can be a bit more than I realized. It’s only a few minutes in the morning and 20-30 at night, but handling the logistics of feed (MAN those guys eat a lot!), hauling water (YOWZA they drink a lot!), moving the tractor* (we move 1-2 times a day so they get fresh grass!), and orders (THANK YOU!!), adds on to our day. Since it’s a new endeavor I’ve been doing my best to be meticulous in records to know if we’re charging the right amount to make it worth our while.
*The chicken tractor is something new – built out of scrap 2×4’s, cattle panels and a tarp, my dad helped me design and construct this back in May and has been an amazing addition to the meat bird operation. Unfortunately I didn’t get enough pics of the process to do a tutorial, but there are hundreds out there on blogs, Pinterest, and YouTube.
Of course, you can’t have meat birds and not eat chicken! (Although … there are days where I still can’t bring myself to eat one of their brethren …). Roasting a whole chicken is a new experience for me as a cook but we are loving it – and the leftovers! Some day I will blog about our “Multi-Meal Chicken” where we roasted a chicken and turned the leftovers into chicken and dumplings. Mmm, mmmm, good!! In the meantime, here are some pics of the birds and our dinners!
Don’t forget the garden! But we have … it’s a disaster! It’s another thing that’s been a bit neglected this year. My main goal is some herbs to get us through most of the year and our tomatoes for sauce. Right now we have been getting too much rain – causing the tomatoes to split, which makes the chickens happy (and a reprieve from the tens of pounds of zucchini they’ve been fed) but my sauce making a bit difficult.
Spring of 2022 is already in my sights and I’m definitely still looking at a plant sale, but the garden may have to scale back (Just when I got Colton to make it bigger!!). HOWEVER –
The Crazy Sweet Corn Kid is looking to expand the sweet corn! I’m not one who was a huge sweet corn lover but this year might have me changing my mind! Colton did such an amazing job with his small patch this year I was able to take two laundry baskets to the market, one to Wyanet, and Colton took a couple to work, but we had people asking for more! We’re not sure if it’s the variety of corn, location, growing conditions, perfect harvest time, or just good luck, but we’re considering expanding the area to offer more sweet corn and more staggered throughout the summer.
Bringing back the barn. Last August we lost our barn (pretty much the logo of our farm) to Derecho. It was a mess and we were pretty stunned. In fact, I think we spent at least a week in shock. We were finally able to finish rebuilding a barn. While nothing like the original it’s something we can grow into and know we have a sturdy structure to house my horses (and some equipment if Colton has his way).