Archive for May, 2018

other jobs


In addition to the farming work, we’ve got a load of pottery to refire before the street fair on Friday.  Don’t miss the First Friday on Fourth for June; the Valley is a good place to live!

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On summer evenings we send two people out to cruise the alleys in our local village, picking up bagged grass clippings and hedge trimmings to mulch the gardens.  Overage goes to thirty hens who are penned for the summer on this garden patch, and next summer this should be one of our most fertile beds.

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New cheese drying and the last of fall 2017’s mature cheeses waiting to be cut.  There’ll be about a four week wait before the first of the spring cheeses is ready for tasting.  The interim will be trying, even eked out with fresh soft cheeses and mozzarella —


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Cheese making has many permutations.  There are enough curds in a ten-gallon cheese that we can steal some for the chickens’ daily protein ration and never miss them.  Whey goes to the pigs, except the quart we’ve reserved to backslop the next cheese.  Now the cheese cabinet is nearly full, it’s time to buy in a couple of extra calves and take the burden of milk processing off the cheese makers.

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Protein can be harvested from lots of sources.  Ground beef or pork offal frozen in tins is cut into chunks and fed out as a high quality protein ration for the chickens.

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Here’s our new five gallon Daisy crank churn, gentler on cream than our electric propeller-dasher churns:


and here’s the butter:


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catching water


Our attendance at Dan Kitteredge’s workshop in NC last year, and a bumper potato crop to follow, convinced us of the value of irrigating vegetable crops even when we’re not in drought, a choice we previously considered unnecessary.  This new nine-IBC array may be overkill on the back of a 60 x 24 foot shed, but we’re determined this year to catch as much water as possible.

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