We’ve been so busy around the farm that sadly, I’ve neglected to communicate our triumphs and tribulations. We finally have everything planted, with the exception of some succession crops. As we all know, Spring was late but we’ve worked hard to catch up and have larger plantings of corn, fingerling potatoes, golden beets, chiogga beets, purple carrots, heirloom tomatoes, paste tomatoes, pickling cukes, winter squash, fennel, melons, Early Jersey Wakefield cabbage, & Cinderella pumpkins, to name just a few, than ever before. With a little cooperation from Mother Nature, we should have a grand harvest.
Our first batch of pasture raised, organic meat birds have all sold and they are they best chickens we’ve ever raised. Juicy, tender and succulent, we were extremely pleased with the result and decided that it was worth all the extra effort. Raising birds on the pasture is not only a lot more work but fighting off predators is stressful and cuts into our sleep! We’ve learned, the hard way, to outwit the racoons and eagles who seem to have nothing better to do than hang around, watching for an opportunity to snatch one of our tasty chickens.
We’ve been having fun with lavender – made lavender cookies and the most delicious beverage ever- lavender lemonade for the Cowichan Agricultural Society meeting the other night (recipe to follow). Not only is this wonderfully thirst quenching, it’s pretty to look at. This has to be the original pink lemonade. I poured boiling water over the lavender petals, getting a murky grey color infusion. The addition of fresh lemon juice resulted in a lovely alchemical reaction as it tuned a pretty, soft pink. We can’t get enough of the stuff around here, especially on hot days.
2 c. boiling water
3 T. dried lavender or 1 c. fresh
1 c. lemon juice
1 c. sugar
8 c. cold water
Steep the lavender in boiling water for 15-20 min. in a covered pot. Strain and add lemon juice, sugar and water. I add the sugar first to dissolve and then add the juice & water. Chill.
Meet our new little pollinators. We added some European honey bees to help out at the farm and they set the pace for shear busyness.
We’ve finally had some success hatching out our own chicks. We let one of our Buff Orphington hens go broody and she hatched out 5 healthy little chicks. We put them in their own little nursery and they couldn’t be cuter. What a great mother she was! They’ve joined one of our other flocks now, and we’ll integrate them with the rest of the layers as they develop pecking order skills.
Crazy drama going on down at the pond. This was the scene that Jeremy stumbled upon while going to collect the eggs the other day at lunch.
Never a dull moment, I’m off to harvest the lavender, but I leave you with this sweet pea photo – you can almost smell them!