Monthly archives "December 2015"

Happy New Year!!!

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Happy New Year everyone! So- I just got LTD Farm up and running on INSTAGRAM!!! Click on the icon below to find the farm account- I’ll be sharing pictures there much more frequently now, yay! Isn’t it amazing to see how quickly technology is developing, and for small scale farmers, this one in particular is so fun and gratifying.

Instagram

After one of the warmest starts to winter I’ve ever experienced, the snow season has finally arrived. This is a bit of a relief, as the “Autumnal Mud Season” was lasting a bit too long in my opinion! Now the bedding in the duck barn will stay drier and more comfy for the duckies, and the ladies have clean fresh fluffy snow to run out on during the day. They even take snow-baths like little penguins! I can trek out to the hayfield to visit with the cows in my winter boots and snowpants and stay clean now too. Ruby and Lola are figuring out the best way to tackle the enormous round hay bales is to begin in the center! I know they will end of “wasting” a lot of hay by not surrounding the bales with a hay feeder, but this is actually part of the plan, I want them to help add as much organic matter to the soil up there as possible. Along with their manure, I just bet that the hay yield next summer is going to go up significantly. I can use all the hay I can get for so many things on the farm- the ducks’ bedding, mulching the gardens, feeding the goats and the cows too. Feeding the soil and the microbial life naturally like this is what is so important about natural and regenerative farming. Sure it’d be cheaper and easier to spray on some petroleum based fertilizer, but that is just not good for anything! The last picture is of some young Muscovy ducks that I’m raising as a trial. They are really cute now, but soon their faces will fill up with what are called Caruncles, kind of a bumpy warty mask. Muscovy meat is supposed to be some of the best duck, more dark and lean like goose, which they are actually more related to than to ducks.

Stay tuned for the release of the 2016 calendar and my CSA offerings, I’ll be offering pastured meats and hosting a number of Open Farm days next summer and fall. Have a Happy New Year!

Duck Egg MUGS!!!!!

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I designed my first custom mugs through Snapfish.com! I’d ordered cards from them before and had been very impressed with the quality, so when I saw they offered custom-made mugs I knew I had to do it- I have been wanting to make some “farm bling” for a long time! So, here they are! They are lovely and heavy mugs with super lustrous printing, I’m in love with them! There are 2 styles, pictured are the fronts and backs of each one. I’ll be bringing them to Stillwater and Minneapolis this coming Saturday 12/12, here’s the offer: 1 mug and a dozen of the freshest (and last of the season) Duck Eggs for $20. Come meet me at either River Market Co-op in Stillwater from 10-11am, then Seward Co-op (on Franklin) in Minneapolis from 12-1 that day, please make sure to email me so I know to reserve your mugs, I only had 30 made and there are just 12 left, send me an email —   farmerkhaiti (at) gmail.com

Today I harvested the last of my 2015 Bubsters, which is what I call my broiler chickens. I called them my Tubbies when I was bringing them their dinner in the barn, where they would be brought in to be safe at night. These darling birds are one of my favorites to raise, they are so joyous, so vivacious and personable, they love to eat, and so do I. Have you had chicken that lived a 100% joyful life before? You will be spoiled for life, the flavor and tenderness reflects all the love, the care, and the adoration I have for my Bubs. I hand-harvest them here on the farm myself, and because of that (state laws) I can only sell them to you on the farm. I’ll have 6 of them available fresh until 12/10 then I will stick them in the freezer. Let me know if you’d like to have a visit out on the farm to pick up your own gorgeous fresh chickens, I’d love to meet you! ALL SOLD, thanks Jackie!!!

On a personal note, after my Thanksgiving fiasco with my vegan sister, I had a wonderful visit down to Iowa this week to see my dearest friend Heidi. She and I met and worked at Seward Co-op together, and have remained very close friends through the years. We created a “bit” of a spread to celebrate our reunion, isn’t cooking together the greatest thing ever? There’s some of my own homeraised Bubster transformed into the most INCREDIBLE fried chicken, along with duck egg mayo coleslaw, mashed potatoes with goose fat, and luxurious giblet gravy. Girls know how to put it DOWN!!!

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giving thanks

Hi guys! So- I’m going to be experimenting with returning back to my roots of this being a bit more of a personal blog again, now that I am running the farm on my own. Let me know what you think.

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Here’s to you and yours having an awesome holiday season. I hope you are able to focus on spending quality time with those you cherish and not get stressed over figuring out gifts! I can HIGHLY recommend the “Extreme Alpaca” boot socks as a special gift that will actually get used, you can get them from my neighbors down the road with the beautiful Suri alpacas, Chris and Jess of Whistling Pines Ranch. And if you know someone who adores Duck Eggs, I have some cute custom LTD Duck Egg themed mugs coming, I’ll update this post when I have pictures. Let me know if you are interested!

It’s been a heck of year here on the farm, and the past month in particular has been bazonkers.

The lady ducks are all on vacation from laying eggs, I have eggs for a couple more deliveries then the 2015 duck egg season is over. This means I get a break from cleaning eggs each and every day, do you know I personally collected and cleaned and candled over 80,000 eggs this year? My wrists are ready for a rest! During my egg time this year I listened to some phenomenal books on tape, which as a busy farmer, I never had the patience or free time to sit down and read.

Last week, I was finally able to get the ducks’ barn completely cleared out after 4 YEARS of deep bedding, with the aide of a rented HARDCORE Bobcat, with a special grappler attachment. My friend Klaus operated it, and me and my team of friends worked feverishly to fork all the bedding off the sides and into the middle rows to get it all accessible for the machine, which just barely fit in the barn. We also ended up needing to take the entire east side of the barn off so the Bobcat could get in, it was an insane and exhilarating and exhausting day! Now I have the world’s most lovely (and enormous) compost piles ready to have the most kick-butt garden next year. YAY!!!

I was able to get the cows’ more permanent fencing set up before the ground froze solid, now the girls have a channel that leads them from their water source, up to the hayfield, where there are plenty of round bales of hay to keep them occupied through winter. They will add their fertility up there as they eat, which will increase the hay yield next summer. Ruby still has not had a calf, and I don’t know if she will, only time will tell. Lola is doing wonderfully and is so sweet and beautiful! She possibly is going to have a calf next summer, but again, only time will tell. Overall, the Highlands have been an amazing and fulfilling experience for me this year, I just love them!

Turkey, goose and chicken harvesting happened right before the barn clear-out. Every year when I begin in on this difficult job I think, maybe not again next year, this is so much work to hand harvest my birds, and after tending them for months and months it’s hard to not get a little attached. But when I see my customers faces light up when they pick up their beautiful birds, it brings it all together for me. I absolutely love to be able to provide “my people” with humanely raised and harvested pastured meat, that also happens to be supremely delicious meat as well! I’m formulating the offerings for 2016 and will post the CSA sign up soon.

This ethical-meat-raising farmer had an awkward Thanksgiving. I’m the oldest of four sisters and one of them is an extreme vegan. She’s so hardcore about it that she didn’t speak with me for nearly 5 years because of my choice to “be the change I want to see in the world” by raising animal products how I believe they should be raised. She thought/thinks what I do is horrible, even worse than factory farming, because I know and love and care for my animals, and then harvest some of them. I don’t think that’s worse, I think that’s respectful of the beings, to acknowledge their life and contribution, and make sure they live a wonderful life while they grow. Anyways, this spring, this vegan sister finally opened herself up to having a relationship again, which meant the WORLD to me! I love her and think she is amazing, hilarious, talented, and just wonderful. She has a daughter who I adore and I was so glad to have them both out to the farm twice this summer.

Thanksgiving and Turkey Time brought the old conflict to the surface though. She assumed I would be bringing turkey I had raised to the dinner, and last minute said she was not going to be attending for “personal reasons.” Immediately I read between the lines and I assured her I can do an all vegan Thanksgiving, if that’s what it is, no problem! Turns out she didn’t even want to talk to me about whether I was even planning to bring meat, so she just had decided to not come. What? Just communicate, people! Things are still a bit raw between us, but I also know that the holidays can be a trigger of intense emotions and memories. When my family lost our dear Mom 8 years ago, we lost the family organizer and planner, strategist and coach, tradition keeper and referee. We all feel her loss especially during this time of year. So my lesson is to be kind, be patient, and be good to each other.

And if you are one of my beef people, here’s the link to the summer sausage I made in the pictures. It is outstanding!!!