Wednesday, May 30, 2012


The age difference between the 'grown ups' and the Youngins is only about a month, but what a difference a few weeks make!  Even when comparing one chick to another one sees size and development differences.  One of our little princesses is about half the size of her sisters of the same age.  She's not a banty, just more petite.

As you note from the picture, although they are all Americaunas their color characteristics can be quite varied.  Their colors also make it difficult to spot them when they're wandering about in the high grass.  At the end of the day, when everyone is back in the hen house, I always do a head count just to make sure that no one is left out for the night. 

Monday, May 28, 2012

Gardening Day

The last weekend of May is our earmark to get the kitchen garden in the ground.  For the last week, we have been working the soil, digging weeds, and carting rocks.  This morning we were blessed with a soft soaking rain.  Already the seeds are springing to life.

Each year we make a few changes out in the kitchen garden.  By rotating vegetables from one location to another, one plant may take something out of the soil and another may put it back.  More importantly, we rarely have problems with bugs or undesireable funguses that plague other gardeners.  We don't use weedkillers of any kind aside from a shovel and some elbow grease.  Although at this time we are not organic certified, we do make an effort to grow our crops and trees in as pure an environment as we can.

There are many tools available to the home gardener.  Some are expensive.  Some not so much.  Personally, I am currently infatuated with the online garden planning tool available from Mother Earth News:  If you have limited space or resources, this tool helps one determine garden layout, how many plants to plan for, and what companions are best for those plants selected (think: tomatoes love marigolds).  

In the coming weeks, we'll talk a little about the garden.  We'll discuss what is growing and I'll try to give you a few tips on what we've learned to hopefully give you a hand.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Apple Country


 Spring 2012 has been a challenge to the Apple and Fruit growers in Michigan and New York.  Earlier in the season, warmer days encouraged the blossoms to form.  Unfortunately, the sudden drop in overnight temps has caused significant losses.  How does this effect the US consumer?  Apples are used in a variety of products.  Next time you buy fruit juice look at the list of ingredients.  Odds have it that Apple Juice will be one of the first items listed.  Apple sauce is one of the most popular snacks moms offer their kids to enjoy.  Apples are also used in baked goods to keep them moist and lower the fat content.  With the loss of this year's crop, we can all expect to feel the pinch at the market starting later this year.

Monday, May 14, 2012

News from the Orchard

50 more trees were planted this last weekend as we expand our orchard with new apple varieties.  We carefully select our semi dwarfs to produce a healthy, easy to pick fruit for our customers to enjoy.