Monday, July 22, 2013

The Turkeys and Their Doting Aunt Zinnie

The turkey poults have been here five days now and have more than doubled in size. They were getting crowded in their big plastic tub, not to mention very messy and a bit smelly, spilling water and feed, so I decided it was time to move them to the coop. Zinnie assisted.
I penned them in a big wire dog crate in the middle room of the coop.  That way they won't get separated from the group and lost in some corner and, more importantly, the grown chickens, ducks, goose and guineas can't hurt them.   Hopefully after they have been in the coop (protected by their crate) for a week or two, the other poultry will accept them as part of the family and not bother them.   By then they will have outgrown the crate and I will give them the entire middle room of the coop.

Zinnie was like a doting aunt, so attentive and gentle with the poults. She would nudge a stray back to the group with her long nose, and even when they pecked at her nose curiously, she did not flinch.
After they were all moved in, Zinnie stayed and kept watch for some time. The two Jersey Giant hens have claimed the crate as their evening roost,  so I hope the turkeys don't get pooped on too much.

These Little Farmers Went to Market

On Friday night, Rog fired up the new, bigger better clay oven to bake its first batch of breads.  We got a pretty late start because we were hosting a book club that evening, so Rog was baking by flashlight. However,  because this oven can  bake 19 loaves at once, we weren't up all night. like we would have been with the old oven that can only accommodate 6 loaves at a time.
The breads were delicious--white, whole wheat and rye sourdough. We haven't done the Farmers Market much this year because we simply have had too many farm projects going on, but we wanted to be there to  promote the launching of our KickStarter!
Our booth was next to Chris and Lisa's Fresh with Edge produce booth. Chris and Lisa are  operating their innovative Aquaponics system at Squash Blossom Farm this summer, using our silo pond to raise the fish that nourish the veggies grown in towers in our greenhouse.
They drew quite a crowd -  people  were curious and excited about their beautiful columns of live, growing greens!
I took a few minutes to  visit the other vendors - I am usually home Saturday mornings doing the chores and preparing to open the farm and store to the public, so I haven't been to the market in a long time. I purchased some beautiful carrots, of which we are between crops in our own garden.

One of my favorite vendors, Margot of Many Hands Farm, with her  beautiful bouquets.
Kari and  Jodeen of Wink's Herb 'n Garden selling their herbs and artisan pasta.  I bought some cilantro fettucine which we made with shrimp Saturday night for dinner - delicious!  If you watch our Kickstarter video, you will see Kari starring in a supporting role as she packs pasta.

Meanwhile, at our own booth, Rog was busy selling out of all the breads, tarts, scones, and all but two black-bottom cupcakes (which we were forced to eat ourselves, darn!)

We made a lot of happy connections with our bread-loving customers but our Kickstarter postcards promoting the Squash Blossom Farm Kitchen project  did not arrive in time to distribute at the market,  so we plan to be there again next week. (If you want raspberry tarts or  sourdough bread,  better arrive early!) 

Sunday, July 21, 2013

The Promise of a Pot of Gold?

Last evening as we went out to the garden to pick the raspberries, a rainbow arched across the sky.
 Gordita smiled happily at the scene.
As usual, Zinnie hung out with Gordita while we plucked the berries.
Pretty sweet to pick berries under a rainbow!  Could it be a happy omen?!? We have just launched our ambitious Kickstarter campaign to raise funding for a certified kitchen, which will allow us to expand our baking operations, host events with farm-fresh food, and offer culinary classes. We have been working toward this ever since we moved to the farm almost 6 years ago. Now, in 30 days we need to raise  $25,000 to make this dream a reality! We are stunned by the generous support we have received in the first two days - approaching 10% of our goal! ---but we still have a long way to go. Will there be a pot of gold at the end of this rainbow?

To see our Kickstarter video and campaign details, or maybe even make a pledge and receive a fun farm-related reward,  visit the Squash Blossom Farm Kitchen Kickstarter page.

Thank you! I promise to post relentlessly about our progress!

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Hot Turkeys and Squash

Ten baby broad-breasted bronze turkeys arrived today!  They are two days old - still have their egg tooth on their beaks. It is so hard to imagine they will be big enough to be Thanksgiving feasts in just four months! They grow up amazingly fast.
The weather is really hot and humid. We are in a heat warning until late tomorrow night.  Even though poults need to be kept warm,  I decided to keep them in the house for a couple days rather than the coop so I can better keep an eye on them.  They are corralled in a big translucent plastic tub in my office, sweetly peeping as I write this.
Zinnie is helping keep watch over them.
I was relieved that LaFonda doesn't look like she will be  calving imminently. I hope she goes through labor on a cooler day.  I filled up the wading pool in the shade of the front yard and both cows have enjoyed cooling their tootsies.
The tomatoes appreciate this sultry weather--these (Cherokee Purple, I think) are about the size of softballs now. We can't wait for them to start to ripen!
Finally, after doing nothing for months, the squashes are beginning to grow.  This is Buttercup,  a favorite winter squash.  Last year we had a very disappointing squash year, so really hoping for enough to store some through the winter this year!