Thursday, March 31, 2011


Now is the time to get your Turkey orders in! I know it seems like forever until Thanksgiving but it takes TIME to grow those birds. We are getting the Broad Breasted Birds again this year and will have 2 Heritage breeds as well, Buffs and Standard Bronzes. There will be no additional cost for the Heritage Breeds. The price for fresh/ fresh frozen is $4.00lb and $6.00 lb for smoked birds. Since you will be ordering in advance you can let us know at what size you would like your bird harvested and which breed or type you would like. The Heritage birds take longer to mature so the chicks need to be ordered soon. We always get straight run chicks so we can't guarantee the sex of your bird but we can make sure that you get the kind that you want. BE AWARE, Heritage birds have MUCH LESS BREAST MEAT than conventional Broad Breasted Turkeys. All turkeys will be free range with no corn or soy feeds. A deposit will be required at time of order. Thanks in advance!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Thoughts on GM Alfalfa

As we were bouncing around in the truck today the subject of GM crops came up. Particularly GM Alfalfa. I got an earful from a hay growers perspective and while I don't agree, his take bears discussion. He says that the GM crop will save $30 an acre in pesticides, another $50 an acre in cover cropping, and $20 or more in herbicides. $100 an acre doesn't sound like much but when you plant hundreds of acres it appeals to ones bottom line. I asked him what it would take for him to stay with conventional seed and his response was "Buy the field before its planted". So that's what several of us are going to do. He also said that the majority of the Imperial Valley is going with the GM crop. I asked "what about drift?" The response was "It's harvested pre-bloom so there is no drift". Huh? Then what are those purple things in the hay bales? It is sad that these guys can't see the hazards of GM crops. I really wish there was a way to make them see the disaster they are putting in the ground. What do you think?

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Pups "Away" in the pasture

Today Cricket, Monkey, and Flit went with me to take the sheep out to graze. Cricket REALLY wants to work and Monkey is too vocal! Flit just settled in and watched mom and Uncle Tweed take care of business. Every time I sent one of the older dogs "AWAY" to the right all three munchkins tried to help. Cricket is the only one that stayed egaged and tried to follow a "GO- Bye" to the left. All 3 hit the deck for lie down though so at least thats solid. Not bad for 12 weeks! They won't start training for a year and just hanging out is good for them and gets their manners working!
Lils Pup Iris is already bonding with the bottle lamb. Every time he cries she kisses his face! Face and Baba Looey need to find good homes. Face needs to be an only dog or secured with his livestock, he is already super protective and barks at strangers. Baba Looey is really laid back and plays with all the other puppies, he would make a greatcompanion dog.
I think we are finally done lambing and only one more goat has yet to kid. Come by and see them!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Sundown and the end of Another Busy Day

Those of you that braved the chilly weather had a great day wih us at the market. Jason was especially happy because Howard came down to help and brought his computer so Jason had his "music"(sounds like noise to me but different strokes for different folks!) I have to get that boy an Ipod or something! Market traffic was light due to the weather but the offerings were GREAT as usual. Today Ed was there with his Native Plants and The Kickin' Mexican Food folks were back. Tony still has asparagus! Nice selection of veggies and Citrus too. My friends with the Peanut Brittle spoiled me as usual and I had to sneak over to the coffee house between customers and helping the fella's try to find the cow pastures outside of Helendale via telephone! It's hard to direct someone down unmarked roads without being there. We're going back up mid week to start hauling them down here if anyone wants to tag along.
 Two steers will be ready to harvest mid April. The ultrasound shows that they are still gaining and have about .5" of cover. If enough of you want in on these guys we can have Don come harvest at the Winchester Fields, of not, I'll haul them up to Pico for USDA harvest. The Lambs are in and will be ready for pick up as arranged and Beef share pick up is on the 9th of April. Sustaining Members please remember to let me know your choice for Easter ASAP! The special holiday cut list for all members is as follows: Porchetta, Whole or half hams, Crown roasts of pork or lamb, Standing Rib Roast, Chateau Briand, and stuffed leg of lamb. Please call the farm for pricing.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Market, members, more fun.

The offerings at tomorrows market are going to be a little slim due to the fact that many of you would rather come to the home farm to pick up. This is Great! Mostly because we can Custom Harvest for Farm members and are required to harvest and process USDA for the markets. Our farm members always come first so even the animals we have harvested under USDA inspection fill farm orders before we go to market. Please remember to place your orders by Tuesday for Market pick up or we can't guarantee to have what you want on Sunday. Farm Members, your CSA options will go out by e-mail this week. Remember that your best savings are by purchasing shares in an entire animal. Lock and Loaders, remember that your next round begins April 11.
The Cattle tour will coincide with the Breast Cancer Benefit Poker Ride this year. Those of you with horses are welcome to participate, those of you that aren't horse people can still come out and enjoy the dinner, dancing, and silent auction. I will post the date as soon as it is set.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Updates on the new site and some ideas

The New Website is well underway and should be up soon. Sorry for the delay. I would like to include a new project on the new site. Since we have both a bottle baby and a bucket calf this season I would like to chronicle their journey from Pasture to Plate. It takes 7-10 months for a lamb to reach harvest weight and condition, and 22-28 months for a steer. You would get to follow the process and see how much time and effort it actually takes to get a Grass Fed and Finished animal to the table. Some of you may not want to "KNOW" the ins and outs but it will definitely change some perspectives. For example: That cute lamb that follows Jason around like a puppy right now won't be so cute at 130lbs. The calf that wants attention and likes to be petted at 90lbs won't be so cuddly at 1400lbs.
 I'm planting 2 pastures at the home place for these guys, one to grow on and one to finish on. They are by no means the same space as the range cattle and sheep enjoy but will demonstrate the feeding system on a micro scale. It should take a total of 1/2 an acre for the lamb to rotate through and about twice that for the steer. The pastures will require irrigation and close management so that they don't get over grazed. In a totally range based system you can just about triple the needed space per animal to bring them to finish. The Growing pasture has a good base in already(I just have to take the farm flock out in the open field so that it isn't stripped bare before we get started!) and will be overseeded with Annual Rye, Brome, Fescue, subterrainian Bermuda, and Clover. The finishing pasture is going in from scratch with Ladino, Trefoil, Beardless Barley, Oatgrass, and White Clover. I'm experimenting with no Alfalfa in the fields this year just in case they don't get GM Alfalfa stopped. Both babies are doing well and the grass should be plenty high enough by the time they are weaned. "Shadow" the lamb is already nibbling on baled grass and 1321 won't be far behind. They are both currently on Cow's milk right now (Thank God for the Dairy!) with a little baking soda added to the lambs milk to bring the acidity up to what he needs. Oscar has the garden ready for planting so all the seed starts go out in the next week or so. We now have a pair of Emu chicks as well. I'm not quite sure what we will do with them but they are here. I'm not a fan of birds to begin with and 6 foot birds that kick like a mule are definitely not my idea of a farm animal! But Oscar wants to keep them and with as much as he does around here I just can't say no. (Thats how I got chickens and an extra horse too.) Well let me know what you think of the ideas and be sure to send me yours if you think of anything in particular that you want to see growing around here.
Until Next Time

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Shearing day went off without a hitch. We beat the rain and Lily took home all the wool! Jason and Ian worked like a well oiled machine getting the girls into the barn for John to shear. Dr. Charlie stopped in for a bit and we all decided to wait for some sunshine to fire up the BBQ.
The Farmers Market went well today too! Cody is home from overseas and came to see us despite the threat of rain. It was great to see him after a year!
Angela made us all smile as usual with her morning goodies. Jason says that if she was Native American her name would be "Dances with Cookies" You should see her fabulous flowers, and if I bring babies her stall has puppies too! Tony was there with his awesome veggies, Fresh asparagus makes me swoon! Paul at Java Cafe did a brisk business today because all of us vendors were frozen! He has Great Coffee any day of the week.(He likes our steaks and ham slices too!) Come to the market on Sundays between 9 and 1 and then hit his shop for a beverage.
Until next time

Friday, March 18, 2011

Shearing Day

Shearing Day is Sunday March 20, 3pm to? Rain or shine! We have set up the barn to accomodate the shearer, sheep, and spectators wthout everyone getting drenched in the process. After the shearing is done there will be a BBQ for our members sand guests to enjoy. Lamb in the Asador, Pit smoked ham, Chicken and side dishes from local produce. Come join us for an informative and entertaining afternoon.