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Agrarian Harvest

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Spring??? Please!!!

It’s an exciting day at Agrarian Harvest! It’s 50 degrees outside and the snow is melting!! This is a great feeling for us after having cold temperatures and lots of snow to deal with this winter. We had 6 days this winter that we were actually snowed in. The wind blew and the drifts kept building up in our lane. There was no getting out. Which is fine for me, but the farmer goes a little stir crazy. Snow days are fun, especially when we get the whole family to go out to play fox and geese, sled or build snow forts. But after a month of it (or just one day for the farmer) we are done with winter. It can go away and bring on Spring.

And the farmer is getting ready for Spring. He has been busy filling trays with potting soil, planting shallots, leeks and celery. He’s also been getting the cold frame ready for plants. We had a duck nesting in cold frame. She managed to hatch a couple of eggs, but the ducklings didn’t make it. She was a first time mama and it was just too cold.

We are excited for another year of farming and very eager to get plants growing. By the way, our rock chucks didn’t see their shadows. I know this because it was cloudy all day. As I type this, they are busy running around the rock piles, telling me that spring is on its way. So we feel that famous groundhog way over in the East is wrong.

 

February Happenings & Plans

This month is going to be a full of getting seeds planted and started. We also plan to get lettuce, spinach and arugula in the ground for early cutting for farmers markets and CSA.

We have pigs ready for butcher. They will be going to the butcher as soon as can get the trailer back to the corral to load them.  If you want a whole or half pig, now is the time put your order in. We will have more pork by the cut available in early March. Until then, you check our pork page for the cuts we currently have available.      Pork

We will once again be offering a vegetable CSA this year. And we now have four pick up locations, we added Ketchum to our pick up locations.  Here is a link to our 2017 CSA application.   csa2017

 

Managing & Thrashing

It felt kind-of like a “normal” farm around here this week. We had our wheat thrashed with an actual combine, no harvesting by hand (with market garden farming everything except our peas and beans are harvested by hand). Getting the wheat thrashed takes a little pressure off, but kept the farmer busy with “normal” farm work instead of the market gardening type of work. It feels good to check a harvest off of the to do list and have it be done for the year. Now to swath the straw, bale and stack it, water the stubble and let the pigs out in the field.

Speaking of pigs, we are having issues with pigs. We have not been able to keep them in this week. Apparently the old saying is true, it’s greener on the other side of the fence. We have spent a lot of time putting the pigs in and fixing fence. Some say that pigs respect a hot wire. Well, ours don’t! They go right through the hot wire, lift the panels up, destroy the woven wire (they will go through and destroy three fences in 30 seconds flat!) and go where they please. . . .  which has been into the squash and corn patch. So we will have very little corn and winter squash this year thanks to the pigs.

So that leaves us thinking: what to do now? What to do differently around here? And most importantly, how to manage pigs that don’t want to be managed?

For the market garden farming, the ladybugs have arrived! The kale is not on20160725_111740ly covered with aphids now. It is also covered with ladybugs that are feasting on aphids. The ladybugs are not as abundant as the aphid population, but the ladybugs are plentiful and busy feasting. It is a beautiful site to see from our point of view.

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In this picture, there is another insect (middle of photo) on the kale along with the aphids and ladybugs. We don’t what kind of insect it is and have not taken the time to research it or its identity. If you know what it is, please let me know.

And the apricots are ripe and plentiful! The sweet taste of fruit in the summer is so pleasing and such an easy snack. When we get hungry when we are out working, we simply stop by the apricot tree to have feast of apricots. And now to think of recipes to use apricots.

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February Awakening

I like to do what I call human hibernating for the winter. I stay in the house, keep the fire stoked, homeschool, read several books, watch movies and go outside very little. The farmer on the other hand stays inside most the day too, but there are still chores to do and animals to care for.

. . . .  Then in February, it feels like there is a great awakening among plants, animals and people.  The weeds start to grow, the tulips and daffodils are peeking out of the ground, the fruit trees are pruned and developing buds; and we feel alive and full of energy again. It’s like the sun suddenly rose shining warmth and new hope for the first time in months.

 

Our seed orders start to arrive in February and the weather starts to break. A true change in weather takes place; the air is warmer and the precipitation changes from snow to rain, transforming into Spring. We started our February by working the ground in the cold frame getting it ready to plant. Then the exciting part, actually planting our first seeds of the year: arugula, spinach, lettuce, and onion. The arugula is up and the spinach should be soon behind it. Spinach has longer germination than arugula. The lettuce was planted a couple of weeks after the spinach and arugula so we are still waiting for it to come up too.

 

The first part of February also brought our first pig roast. We had a Super Bowl party/birthday party for the farmer and decided that was great time to e20160206_181331xperiment with roasting our first pig. Who doesn’t want to be invited to a party to eat an experiment?!!!  Be aware before you read on, how we cooked this pig may sound or actually be a little redneck-ish, but, hey, that’s just how we are. We started it the night before in a pit we lined with rock. We started wood pellets and 10 pounds of charcoal briquets on fire and got it hot and cooked down. We torched the hair off the pig with a weed burner and wrapped the pig in woven wire and put it in the pit. Then cover the pig and pit with a piece of tin roofing. It cooked and smoked all night. We checked it periodically and rotated it a couple of times. We thought it was done at noon the next day, but we didn’t take it out of the pit until 3:30. The Farmer put the whole thing in a large cooler and brought it in the house. When we were ready to eat, we started cutting it up and taking chunks off. It was good, although, I like my meat well seasoned. So I can’t say it is my favorite way to eat pork. But it was a fun experience and very neat to have a whole roasted pig for all the guest to see before we ate.

 

The sight and sound of new life really is in the air of our farm now. Our chicks have arrived and the brooder is full. This causes great excitement and happiness on our farm. Spring, hope, growth, energy and life are in the air and happening at Agrarian Harvest!DSCN7272

Thanksgiving Traditions

For Thanksgiving, we go to the parents’ houses for big family gatherings. And we always eat turkey, the bigger the better, that way there are lots of leftovers. Four years ago, we started our own little Thanksgiving tradition. We cook our own Thanksgiving feast at our house for our little family the night before Thanksgiving. That way we have our own Thanksgiving leftovers to eat the days after Thanksgiving.

I usually cook a chicken or two, once again the bigger the better, or a turkey. Whenever I buy a turkey, I always buy the biggest one I can find. We love poultry leftovers and you can make freezer meals of the leftover meat! This year I didn’t buy a turkey since we raised so many chickens this summer and still have lots in the freezers. So the plan is to cook a couple of chickens.

It is has been a desire for me to cook or roast a whole pig. I know people do it all the time, we have customer who come buy small pigs from us to roast whole. So I’ve had this strong desire to roast a pig ever since this Spring when we had piglets that kept getting out and rooting up my yard, flower beds and garden. When they would get out and make a mess or kill my plants, my first reaction was being mad. . . . .  then I started looking at them a different way. . . . . . they were a feast on legs. They were the prime size to kill and roast whole.  We have not done that yet, but I have tried to convince the other half to do it since it is too big of task for me to do on my own.  I kept thinking that summer would be a great time to do it, but it was so very busy for us so we didn’t take the time to try something new. And those pigs have grown up and gone to the butcher, but we have another batch that are the perfect size to roast whole again. Now I’m thinking that Thanksgiving and Christmas is a good time to roast a whole pig for those large family feast! 20151125_102403

So if your family already has a tradition of roasting a pig for Thanksgiving or Christmas and you are looking for a pig, or if this is a new desire for you too and you need a pig, then give us a call (visit our Buy page or Contact Us page). We have pigs of all sizes and pork available by the cut.

Happy Thanksgiving and Happy Feasting!!! We hope everyone has a Thanksgiving full of blessings and love!

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