Mid-June 2021 Updates from the Farm
While updating our egg count numbers after another delivery, I realized I haven't posted a blog post in about six weeks, and I figured I'd share some of the recent goings-on around the farm.
The regular rhythm of food waste pickups and egg donation drop-offs have continued, with the warming weather making things a bit easier.
The food pantry at the church have gone from being open on Tuesday and Thursday evenings to being open on just Wednesday, which has consolidated our drop-offs each week.
In the interest of continuing to make things easier all around, especially after a few weeks working with our new food waste buckets, we bought 10 more.
We were typically getting more than 10 buckets of waste per pickup, which meant we still needed to use some bags. The bags were heavier, messier, and more likely to leak than the buckets, and we're hoping to use buckets as much as possible going forward.
The picture at the top of this post is of our last pickup...not 100% buckets yet but getting closer. If we need to, we will buy 10 more buckets (to go from 30 total to 40).
We managed to take a much needed vacation around Memorial Day. We were lucky enough to find some good farm sitters who made it possible. We had to skip three food waste pickups, and had to skip one egg drop, but we were able to do an extra large egg donation upon our return.
In addition to the family getting a much-needed rest, the vacation gave the compost pile a chance to rest for a couple of weeks.
The timing of the rest was good for the pile, as days before vacation we had completed a Cub Scout cleanup of a local historic cemetery. I was able to bring home something like 38 lawn and leaf bags full of chopped up leaves, grass clippings, and woody debris. It was a perfect large dose of carbon for the pile, which gets LOTS of nitrogen in the form of food waste.
The "happiness" sign was spotted in a shop while on vacation in North Conway, NH. I probably should have bought it.
The flock is expanding! We had one of our older, larger hens go broody, so we acquired some fertilized eggs for her to sit on.
The egg sitting led us to three healthy chicks...which I believe are bantams.
We then went out and picked up two baby turkeys, which momma hen took to very well and are growing well.
The turkeys are Narragansett's, and we don't to eat them, but if we end up with one of each gender, we may sell fertile eggs.
If we end up with two females, we may either sell or donate the eggs they lay.
If we end up with two males, hopefully they get along and don't require us to make any difficult, gravy-related decisions.
Increasing the size of momma hens brood was a delivery of sixteen day-old chicks about a week ago. We had ordered them a few months ago to continue to grow the flock and keep a mix of ages in the flock to keep egg output at a good level.
As of this posting, I'm happy to report the mother hen is doing a great job taking part of her ragtag group of babies.
I spent last weekend building a temporary run for the "nursery" coop. It's truly amazing watching a mother hen care for her chicks, and teaching them to scratch and turn the ground looking for little tidbits.
I believe this puts our total flock size for poultry somewhere in the range of about 85 birds, but they're hard to count!
I'm really liking "summer chicks" instead of "spring chicks"...I feel the warmer weather allows the chicks to develop more naturally without as much use of heat lamps and the like.
In addition, these chicks probably won't start to lay until the days start to get longer in late January or early February. Spring chicks tend to start laying in the fall and then slow down or stop over the winter, which gives you a short "first" laying season.
There's a photo above of a couple eggs collected recently. We really do get all shapes and sizes!
Anyway, that's an update of what's been going on around the farm. Lots more projects to take on this summer, but lots of activity going on that is keeping us busy!