Monthly archives "May 2013"

spring, at last

All midwesterners have been breathing a sigh of relief with the recent arrival of true spring. It really felt like it might never come! Better late than never, eh?

Finally we’ve been able to move our young rabbits, broiler chickens and meat ducks outdoors to their pastures, and the gardening has begun in a flurry/hurry. The “Field Garden” on the Southeastern side of our land dried out first, and Andrew got the beds prepared. We’ve got radishes, lettuces, arugula and spinach in, as well as all of our stout, homegrown onion plants and 200 lbs of organic seed potatoes. The potatoes are cut into chunks to maximize the sprouting eyes, so that hopefully we’ll have many more plants growing lots more potatoes. We’re hoping for a LOT of both delicious roots for our CSA members and our own supply. There is nothing like hashbrowns made from organic, fresh and local potatoes! We’re trying companion planting flowers and herbs between the potato rows to help deter and confuse potato beetles. Imagine Bachelor Buttons, Cosmos, Dill, Asters and Sweet Williams and Pinks blooming amongst the potato plants- Lovely!

The soil in our main garden space near the ducks’ area was still a bit too wet to work until 2 days ago, and now it’s all set up. We’ve been seeding sugar snap peas, green beans, scallions, beets, carrots, more “spring” greens, as well as transplanting baby kale, chard, lettuce, strawberries and cabbage. Soon the tomatoes, peppers, tomatillos, eggplants, etc will go in. We can only get so much done each day, and playing catch up for over a month’s worth of gardening work is rather daunting. Our total gardening area is now nearly 2 acres  in size, and we feel rich, as well as ready for all the work to help our plants flourish. The forecast for the next few days is full of potential thunderstorms and rain, so we’ll finally get some time to get the dishes done and housework caught up while our seeds plump with moisture and sprout in the next week.

goat mania!

Our duck eggs are SO Fresh and SO DELICIOUS and now available at the Wedge Co-op, as well as Seward, Mississippi Market's 2 stores, Eastside Co-op, Linden Hills, & River Market Co-op in Stillwater.

We’re practicing “Mob-Grazing” with our ducks this year, where they have a nice new paddock full of fresh grass and weeds every 2 days. The absolutely LOVE it and their egg yolks show this burst of nutrients- gorgeous Orange & super thick. Free-range Duck eggs are our favorite food of all time, this is why they are our specialty at LTD Farm!

The adorable goslings have been spending the nice sunny days outdoors, but they are still too fragile to be out over night, so we let them play in the kitchen!

A mother goose sitting on her nest!

In the foreground, you can see another dedicated "nester," hoping for more goslings in about 2 weeks!

One more....3 of the quadruplets come running when they think a bottle of warm milk is waiting for them!

 

 

 

 

snowmaggedon, again!

We’re having the most crazy spring here. It is May 2nd, and we woke up to over a FOOT of SNOW!!!!!!!! 

 

Just a week ago, we decided we to delay the start date of our CSA. Because the soil is too wet to work, we are seriously a month behind with all the field work required to begin growing in the garden. We had sugar snap peas sprouting in the garden on April 2nd last year, and this year we STILL can’t even WALK in the garden without sinking up to our calves! Once this nonsense is over, we’re be ready to go….we have many thousands of plants started indoors, ready and waiting to be moved outside.

Learning to grow food in this changing climate is going to be a struggle for gardener and farmer alike. The growing season in the Northern Midwest is short enough already, and now with the highly variable weather extremes on either end of the season, we need to choose breeds and varieties which are resilient and can handle these fluctuations.

Luckily we have the most hardy heritage ducks!   ducks going out in the May 2nd snowstorm!   Our Khaki Campbells  are laying their decadent eggs in the early morning and enjoying going outside every day, even in a snowstorm! We’re excited to have just added the Wedge Co-op in Minneapolis as one of the stores selling our delicious duck eggs! We love Co-ops! And boy, do we love our duck eggs….

2 over-easy peppered duck eggs on top of creamy grits cooked in chicken broth, with sauteed mushrooms, onions and pinto beans. YUMMMM.

Fried Duck eggs with goat cheddar and sauerkraut on toast- Our new favorite combo. The trick for a perfect fried duck egg is using medium heat, and for not too long. Duck eggs have more protein and require gentle cooking, but reward you with a luscious texture and a divine, rich flavor!

The geese were moved out of the hoophouse last week, in anticipation of spring. We really thought that would be the very last of the snow for the year!

We just got the first three goslings from their eggs, hatched by a friend. Here’s a little video clip: the new goslings We hope to have quite a few more goslings from our goose experience, but hatching these eggs in an incubator is proving to be very very difficult. The next angle is to allow the mother geese to set up their own nests and incubate their own eggs. We’ll see how that works out. So far they’ve made elaborate nests out of hay and pine needles, but after this snowstorm….we’re not sure how it will go.