Monthly archives "June 2013"

Happy Pigs & the Silent Auction

P1070233Awww Summer is here! Finally!!! The garden is growing very well and the bounty coming out of it is starting to get seriously huge. It feels great to pack our CSA boxes with copious amounts of spring greens, herbs, baby lettuce, radishes, wild greens braising mix, kale, chard….even if it’s all a month behind schedule, it’s looking good and tasting even better. We’re looking forward to the next flushes of summer goodness – the sugar snap peas, sweet peppers, zucchinis, cucumbers, tomatoes, tomatillos, eggplants, green beans, cabbage, broccoli, jalapenos, carrots, beets, garlic scapes, garlic bulbs, apples (it’s been a great year for our apple trees! lots of baby fruits are plumping on all our trees-fingers crossed for a successfully maturity period.)

P1070235We have have exciting news- we’ve added three pigs to the farm this year- They are a lovely trio who are part Duroc, a breed reknowed for deep red pork with exceptional flavor and texture. Chopper, Tulip and Lecker are living the dream, like all pigs should! Here’s a little video from when we just brought them home:

They love the grasses and shrubs in their expansive pasture, love to dig into the earth and eat grubs and roots. We also feed them an 100% organic grain ration, as well as cull vegetables from the garden and DUCK EGGS, which they love the best. They have the shade of our 1 acre spruce forest when the sun finally starts to shine.

We believe this is the best organic pastured pork you will ever taste. The silent auction we’re holding for this amazing pork closes on 7/15/13. Bid by emailing us, you can submit a bid for a half or whole. A half will be between 80-100 lbs – including bacon, chops, roasts, ham, lard, YUM! Check out the “better pork” prices in the store, and know this pork will be even better because of their diverse and all organic diet, the space, freedom, exercise and TLC they’ll be getting. If we accept your bid you will put down 50% of your bid and the remaining 50% will be due when you receive your pork in December/January.P1070241

 

 

Emergent Patterns

Starting the hoophouse

We had a big meeting and now we have a plan…

It’s been 2 years and 8 months since we moved to our new farm, and after many many hours of backbreaking labor and gallons of sweat and tears, we now have a slightly better idea of the overall pattern of our plans for the land. We have raised hundreds of animals in different configurations, a ton of vegetables, planted some perennial fruit and nut trees and a shrubs, and created numerous experimental berms and swales to learn all we can about the flow of water and what works for us. We’ve tried growing mushrooms and learned how to get a tractor or skidsteer stuck in a field or marsh.

Building the Pavilion

There are so many aspects to one piece of land, whether it is 1 acre or 100 acres, that it is hard to get a handle on the totality of what is going on. It took us a couple years to even understand the weather patterns to some degree, and one lost hoophouse plastic covering to understand the power of the wind. This spring we are understanding so much more about the precipitation, and our need to channel this powerful element to reservoirs  like ponds and swales and away from roads and paths.

We had snow on May 1st which demonstrated that climate change is happening and we need to make some serious plans to deal with the consequences.

We have lived long enough here to also understand the landscape, soil,  flora and fauna, and our own patterns over the landscape as well. Now, with this knowledge in our heads, we start to go forward with a comprehensive permaculture design for the whole landscape. One thing to remember is that a permaculture design isn’t all about landscaping: planting fruit trees, sheet mulching strawberries, and herb spirals. No, it is very much about our human place in this world, and that includes our businesses and our personal lives.

Our ongoing plans include using the Keyline approach to landscaping our farm and creating pocket ponds that water our animals and perennial crops, which will integrate together as a regenerative system. We will be investing in the future with many nut trees & shrubs and an orchard. One of our main focuses will be on developing the fertility of the soil; the organic matter and humus, thus the cation exchange capacity, and overall nutrient availability of our soils, using such tools as a subsoil plow, intensive mob – grazing, and mineral supplements for animals.

As we go forward in this climate, we acknowledge the importance of pastured meat. We live in the Northern Climates, where annual vegetables have a pretty hard time overall because of the climate. There are many grazing animals that can provide an amazing and nutritious food and protein source (as well as other functions), and to disregard this will be to out detriment in the near future. Meanwhile, there are many hardy nut trees and shrubs that can also form the backbone of a complete diet, on a perennial woody plant that never needs tillage or cultivation, in a 3-dimensional vertical space. With pastured animals and nut trees we can re-organize a diet based on regeneration.

We will be posting updates as we continue forward on this path of creating and implementing the next steps of our permaculture design. We are super stoked  and looking forward to taking the next steps in our regenerative agriculture enterprises! Meanwhile we are also excited to visit Mark Shepard on his New Forest Farm on Friday to see real life examples of what we are aiming towards!

duck egg special!

We’re running a special on our Duck Eggs at the following Co-ops:

Mississippi Market’s 2 stores, Eastside Co-op in NE Mpls, River Market in Stillwater and Linden Hills Co-op in Edina!

Duck eggs are amazing, they are our most favorite food in the world! Duck Eggs are a Super Food with more protein, more minerals and vitamins, and higher levels of Mono-Unsaturated (the good kind!) fats than chicken eggs. Duck eggs also have a lower water content than a chicken egg, so each duck egg is more nourishing and filling. They taste rich and delicious, and have an unbelievable luscious texture, and this is where we feel the duck egg really stands out. Because they have extra protein, a gentle cooking is suggested to prevent the protein from seizing up- medium heat and for not too long.

We’re fueled by Duck Eggs and we love our ducks! Our lady ducks are a Heritage breed called the Khaki Campbell. All of our ducks go outside to their paddocks each and every day of the year, in the sun, rain or snow. During the 3 green seasons, our ducks are rotated through a series of paddocks so that they always have fresh grass, weeds and bugs to eat. Happy Ducks lay the best eggs! They eat hay made on our farm year round, as well as a grain/vitamin/mineral mix that has no animal byproducts, preservatives, antibiotics or hormones in it. 

A new favorite combination, for breakfast or dinner- hot hard boiled duck eggs, atop a bowl of steaming brown rice and cool, crispy & spicy kimchi.