Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Feeding Poultry Litter To Beef Cattle...

Feeding Poultry Litter To Beef Cattle:

This is the title of a document that I found at the Ag. Extension Office today. I thought for sure that it was going to touch on the issue as being negative. How naive I am...

"Beef producers searching for ways to lower feed costs should consider poultry litter as a possible nutrient source for wintering, growing, and finishing cattle...poultry litter can be an economical source of crude protein, energy and minerals for beef cattle." "Litter contains bedding material, manure, wasted feed and feathers, and it may be from one or more flocks of birds" "Since litter may contain scrap metal, the material should be mixed or fed with equipment with a magnet to remove metal that may cause hardware disease." (that's like saying broken bone disease, as if there may not be a known cause)"Common foreign materials in litter include broken light bulbs, broken thermometers, pieces of metal broken from equipment, nails from construction/repair, etc." "Some animals may refuse to eat an adequate amount of poultry litter rations. Such animals should be culled (killed) or grouped together and fed another ration.(Matt Poore, Extension Ruminent Nutritionist)

This is why we do what we do! I have heard about this on the big documentaries, but to see "how to" do it in my own town is a little eye-opening and motivating! So if anyone is curious why our prices and prices of good beef are what they are, its because we were not aware of this process, which could reduce our feed costs!


Tuesday, April 26, 2011

4/26/11 Pics.

Cedar's the man...

Cute like her momma...

Look closely at the yellow pollen sacks...

See the paper ball? The bees put that there after they finish
their "pollen patty" in the spring...


View of upper field at sunset

One of our lettuce rows, ready to eat...

They were chasing me...

First bean of the year...

First corn of the year...

Marley protecting Keaton while he tends to his garden...

Ready to eat...

Proud young men, tending their gardens...

Sunday, April 24, 2011

4/24/11 Update

How far apart do you plant tomatoes? Well, when we right our book on family farming, the answer will be something along the lines of:

"When planting tomatoes, have your 5-year-old set out the 4 packs of plants at a space of 3 big 5-year-old steps, this will ensure the proper distance between each plant."

Fischer, our 5-year-old, has the job of setting out the 4-packs of plants in the row so that when either myself, or the older boys are ready to plant, they are spaced properly for efficiency! It works quite well. If the only children available at the time of planting are 8 years old, then its 2 large steps. The kids feel so great after they have helped plant a long row of veggies! We have taken the plunge into warmer weather, and now that we have set out many of our tomatoes, squash, and other warm weather crops, there is no turning back! Well, actually, we do have a few back-up plans, just in case! This week we plan to process several chickens. This will hopefully take place on Tuesday, so if you are interested in picking up a bird or two before we put them in the freezer, let us know, and make plans to come by Tuesday evening. If you plan on stocking up during this first batch, please let us know that as well, so we can set your aside for you. Radishes are our newest veggie on the list for this year. We have the more mild French Breakfast variety, and the traditional, but very yummy Cherry Belle radish as well. There is plenty of lettuce, and it has been very good so far, so lots of big salads! Our drop-off in Wilkes will be at Talias, from 4:45-5pm, and at Green Mother Goods in Boone at 1 pm. Please let us know your order for Wilkes (if you can!) by Monday evening so that we can harvest early Tuesday morning, and beat the heat. (the lettuce and other greens keeps much better that way!) Have a great week!

Lettuce - $2.50/head (butterhead, and buttercrunch)
Green Onions - $3.00/bunch
Green Garlic - $3.00/bunch (same idea as the green onions, only its garlic!)
Radishes - $2.00/bunch (French Breakfast/Cherry Belle)
Pea Shoots - $3.00
Sunflower Shoots - $3.00
Wheatgrass - $17.00/tray (we can also take orders for growing trays for you if you would like)

Eggs - $4.00/dz.
Whole Chicken - $4.00/lb
Boneless/Skinless Chicken breast - $10.00/lb.
Legs/Wings/Thighs - $4.50/lb.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

A few Pics...

Fischer putting together a bee hive...

Almost done...

Kids washing the truck...

Our new shirts!


Thursday, April 14, 2011

FRESH the Movie...

Just wanted to remind everyone that we will be at Talias in N. Wilkesboro at 1pm this Saturday for a screening of FRESH the Movie. We are very excited about the response we have been receiving and where things seem to be headed! We will be offering a few items for sale as well, Buttercrunch Lettuce, Eggs ((WE NEED EGG CARTONS PLEASE!!!)), Pea Shoots, & Green Onions. We would also like to encourage picking up a great cup of coffee and maybe a yummy salad and be sure to thank Jim & Kathy Kozak for allowing this to happen! Please email by Saturday if would like any of the items listed above. Also, feel free to leave a donation to help offset the cost of the screening if you can, if not please still come, we want everyone to be able to participate. If you have any questions after the screening, please feel free to offer them during an informal discussion after the showing! Oh, and one other item of interest: Our farm has officially been Certified Naturally Grown! Check it out, it's a neat program!

Buttercrunch Lettuce - $2.50/head
Spinach - $6.00/lb
Green Onions - $3.00/lb.
Pea Shoots - $3.00/bag
Eggs - $3.50/dz. (the chickens really need to eat!) ((WE NEED EGG CARTONS PLEASE!!!))

We have also ordered a batch of gourmet French chickens known as the “Red Bro”, which are part of the Poulet Rougue family. We are excited about this bird due to it being a heritage breed that is known for its meat, having an excellent texture with an outstanding flavor. These birds will be on the menu by the end of August. Meanwhile we will be processing our first batch of Cornish-Cross chickens on Tues. the 19th, so if you are interested in picking up one before it hits the freezer, (like maybe for dinner that night!) please let us know so we can schedule you in!

Glory in the Crimson Clover...

Butterflies in the Lilac Bush...

Broccoli and Cabbage...

Asparagus is starting!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Fam Update 4/10/11

I hope everyone is enjoying the beautiful weather we are having this weekend! The rain/sunshine combo has been very enjoyable here on the farm and apparently the plants love it as well! It is very rewarding to see all of the crops we have worked so hard for start growing, and soon our bellies will agree! This week we will have a few new items to offer; pea shoots and sunflower shoots. Our lettuce is very close, and the onions are still growing strong. Hopefully everyone has received our email about the screening of "FRESH the Movie" that will take place at Talias in N. Wilkesboro on the 16th of April at 1 pm. If not, there you go! This will be an informal, but very informative meeting that will address our current food issues and what others/we can do about it. The showing will be free, however feel free to make a donation towards the cost of the license. Bring your friends, grab a coffee, maybe even a pastry, and enjoy the show this Saturday!

This weeks pick-up will take place at Talias Espresso on Tuesday from 4:45-5pm. We will not have a Saturday delivery in Boone, however feel free to make an order and pick it up here in Wilkes on Saturday at the screening!

Eggs - $3.00/dz, $4.00/18 ct, $5.00/2 dz.
Pea Shoots - $3.00/bag
Sunflower Shoots - $3.00/bag
Green Onions - $3.00/bunch

If you would like to reserve a chicken from our first batch, please let me know. The whole birds will be 4-6 lbs @ $4/lb (we had to adjust the price to help offset the double cost of the organic feed!), and the boneless breast/tender packages will be $10/lb and the legs/wings/thighs package will be $4.50/lb. All of these prices are very comparable to any bird raised this way. The bonus with Harmony Acres birds, is that our birds are fed certified organic feed, from a local (greensboro) mill which guarantees the use of non-GMO grains! We are still trying to get a feel for how many of you are interested in thanksgiving turkeys, so please let us know soon so that we can make our order in May. Thank you! -Dale and Cory and family...

Sunflower shoots...



Sky turning 11...

Monday, April 4, 2011

By the way...

I have a quick topic that I have been wrestling with as to
whether or not to share on our business blog. I have
decided to go ahead because, it is key to what we are doing here:
As many of you know, we had a very rough winter here with
our family due to a neck injury that I received in November
of last year. Basically I ended up in bed, unable to take
any noise or light and restricted to being able to
occasionally make it to the restroom. We were scared to say
the least. "What about our farm, and soap business?" was a
common question that would be on our minds constantly during
this time. I visited a friend in Boone who is a doctor, and
from that point we realized that what we had going on was
very different from the norm, because at this point we did
not realize I had a neck injury. I was then referred to 2
other specialist (eye and brain) and they were stumped as
well. The brain scans (all 4) showed that I was perfectly
normal, so what in the world was wrong?
 For about 2 weeks,
Cory was on the phone with the world, and we tried
everything suggested, but when you have
Parkinson's/MS/stroke/drug withdrawal symptoms, patience was
running out quickly! It was finally suggested,after a month
of being in bed in a dark room without any normalcy in my
life, that we see a chiropractor. A local chiropractor
actually had to make a house call and from that, looking
back know, I realized that although my main symptoms had not
changed, I was not waking up with my "normal"
headache-before-the-shower in the morning anymore (although
I could barely get to the shower). When
symptoms did not change and the possibility of Lyme's
disease was now in the picture, we were referred to another
chiropractor that had the ability to have blood work done. Upon
visiting him, and after hearing our story of our trips to
Boone and Winston for about 6 weeks now, he recommended that
we not do blood work, but that we take a better look at my
"atlas". (where my brain sits on my spine) The x-ray
revealed that my atlas was indeed about 3 degrees off,
meaning I had a crooked head. (because I am not a doctor, I
am sure these terms sound silly!) The "adjustments" needed
for this are fairly extreme at first, but I had been through
the ringer up until that point; so we thought, "Can't hurt
to try". With-in a week, things were changing. It took about
another month to get back to where I felt fairly normal,
meaning I wasn't shaking uncontrollably anymore, my reflexes
and nervous system were calming down, and I did not appear to
be on "overdrive" any more. We were very excited to see the
progress, as you could imagine! I feel about 100% now, and
we are having a blast here on the farm getting things back
in order for the season.

The reason I felt compelled to share this with you, and how
Dr. Nieland "saved my life", is because as I was planting
the other day, I realized I would not be able to this of
things hadn't taken the course they did, and I hadn't been
refereed to him. When a doctor "cares" enough to go out of
his way to help, it makes a ton of difference. I was
privileged to have 3 of them that cared out of the 10 I saw,
but the main difference came from the last one, Dr. Nieland,
who went above and beyond "normal" chiropractic care
(actually they should all know what he knows; in fact the
neurologists should as well!) to save our farm! Now, all of
you get to benefit from his work, so stop by his office, Family
Chiropractic on Boone Trail by the hospital, when
you get a chance and thank him!

Chicken Moving...

Here is our newest video...

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Farm Update 4/3/11

It is now April! Weather has been beautiful all weekend, and we have accomplished a whole lot! Friday and Saturday, and a little today, we spread about 5000 lbs of granite dust. Its amazing stuff! We also had a lot of well composted horse manure to mix with it, so the fields are getting a good spring feeding! Compost tea is also loved around here! This year is going to be great!

Well our bees did not make it this Saturday, so we will have to wait a couple more weeks, maybe due to the weather. I needed a little more time anyway, with all of the rain we have been having.

We are having our first meeting this week for the new and improved N. Wilkesboro Farmers Market. Cory and I have decided to be on the board so that we could hopefully help steer it in the direction that it needs to go! If any of you have any input on what you would like to see at a market here, please let us know! We want to have a good market locally, and prevent the need to drive elsewhere for good stuff. Everyone likes to take a trip now and then, but wouldn't it be nice to live in a destination town? You know, a place that has a market and a downtown that people talk about and want to come and visit occasionally?!?

Well again, it is April now, so this is a reminder (friendly of course!) that the final CSA payments are due, unless we have already discussed different arrangements. If we fail to receive your payment, all rights to good food will be taken; kidding of course! This is just a reminder, because if your like me you need a reminder to even wake up in the morning! Our newest addition to the farm, outside of granite dust, is a 4 wheeler! It has been a huge time saver for sure! We are very thankful to have one now, and have no idea how we ever did with out!

The other news is that we are entering in to becoming a Bio-dynamic Farm. Actually, we sort of found out that that is closer to our practices than the other titles, so we have been eating and sleeping bio-dynamics all week! We love this life!

 This week we have eggs, eggs, green onions, some spinach and soon we will have lettuce! Also, the screening for "FRESH" will be coming together soon. Just a heads up, we will be asking for a donation at the door (anything is fine) to help offset the cost of the license to show the film. The company that put this film together asks that it be handled that way. There will be a Saturday delivery in Boone, at Green Mother Goods around 1 pm. And, we will be in Wilkes on Tues. 4:45-5pm at Talias. As I get to know the other business owners in the area, I am more and more encouraged to stay as local as we can. These are great people that are providing awesome services for our community, and what is even better is that they really care about you!

Shop local! 
    Eat Local!
       Live Local!

preparing the tomato plot...

Isn't that nice...granite dust and composted horse manure...
A little tedious, but well worth it...

Newest farmhand...