The summer seems to have gone by in a flash!
It was just yesterday we were figuring out how to lay plastic for the flower fields and having the lambs and goat kids running underfoot. We aren’t sure where the time went, or even how we managed to get by on so little sleep. A lot of learning took place this summer about what we like, can do, and have to do in order to have our farm running the way we want. We didn’t get to do everything we wished to, but there is always next summer.
The flower stand had a great first year with bouquets going home with customers for birthday parties, funerals and even a wedding. We grew a number of different flowers such as lilies, delphiniums, hydrangeas, zinnias, amaranthus love-lies-bleeding, snapdragons, celosia, dahlias, gladiolus, a variety of sunflowers, as well as many others. We were able to try new design ideas using clematis, blackberries, and other vegetation from around the farm.
Currently our dahlias are doing awesome
We have approximately 30 dahlia plants this year and they are amazing. They are the size of David’s hand, full of color, and quite majestic. Although we do not have the stand open currently we are still available for private orders using these gorgeous blooms.
For dried flowers…
…we currently have our statice available at Teacup farms in Barker where you can also find a number of other local products and goat milk & cheese. We will also have gomphrena, and hydrangeas available soon we will keep you posted, or feel free to let us know what you are interested in.
Prepping the flower gardens for Fall
You might be thinking we are starting to slow down now that we are out of the busy season of summer, and to some extent that is true, but there is still lots to do with the gardens, pulling up plastic, digging and storing bulbs, and most excitedly deciding what we should plant for next year. It is our hope to improve and expand the flower bouquets and selection, between planting new varieties and planning on going to one or two markets. We are always open to suggestions so feel free to let us know what you’d like to see for next year. Also it is our intention to provide DIY buckets of flower stems so that you can get fresh flowers to make your own bouquets, perfect for those hosting parties, showers, and weddings.
Those of you that know us know we love our food
We loved growing all our own veggies this year, especially the fresh peas, and kohlrabi. However between both of us working full time and wishing to grow our cut flower business we just don’t have the time to do everything, so we are not going to have the vegetables next year. We will be growing strawberries, blackberries, rhubarb, pumpkins and gourds. There are many lovely vegetable stands by us so you can still get some fresh produce on your way out to the farm.
In the poultry department David had three big incubators going for the summer and hatched out approximately 100 quail, 70 cochins and frizzles, 40 Easter Eggers & Rhode Islands, 60 guineas, and we lost track of how many ducks we might have hatched. I’m not sure I’ve ever cleaned as much as I have this year. Every week you could find us moving the chicks into bigger pens as they became older and bigger, cleaning their pens, and trying to decide who to keep, and then moving the younger ones into the newly cleaned pens, over and over every week.
We addeed a few new breeds to the farm, in chickens we have added egg layers-Barred Rocks, Australorps, and Wyandotte’s in silver, gold, and blue laced. For bantam chickens we now have Bearded Silkies in white, black, blue, and porcelain. We also added some beautiful Large Fowl Cochins, in splash, black, and blue. New turkey breeds include Red Bourbons, and Midget whites. Silver Appleyards, and White Crested are our new breeds of ducks. Our male Sebastopols also have two new girlfriends for the spring. We are very excited to see how everyone settles in and start getting eggs, and chicks for next year. If everything goes according to plan we will have a steady supply of chicken, duck, and quail eggs available next year, as well a limited supply of goose eggs in the spring. Watch our website as we update it to include all our new offerings.
This year we were fortunate to be able to have our sheep and goats at David’s Grandfathers farm, where they rotated between three green pastures. In total we had 26 lambs and kids born and raised on the farm. Unfortunately we couldn’t keep them all, but we did keep a few of our favorites.
SheepTwo of our katahdin ewes were bred by our Finn ram, and the cross produced some of the softest wool. This being the first year we had finns, we aren’t sure how the crossed lambs will mature but plan on keeping them for the first year to see what they look like when full grown.
Four new white katahdin ewe lambs from Living Water Farms joined our herd this summer as well as a black and white katahdin ewe lamb from our friend Dan. Three new Finn ewes from Stillmeadow Farms also joined our small little herd. We also added a big boer buck named Garth, and are still planning on bringing home a Nubian buckling named Prince George, and a Nubian doe named Margaret.
Rabbit Show in Palmyra NY
This September we attended our first rabbit show in Palmyra, where we entered five French lops, and one lion head. Lily our senior French lop doe took Best of Breed, Jesse our junior French lop buck won his class. White warrior our junior lion head buck took Best Opposite. We did take one of our giant chinchilla does to show, but no one else brought any to compete against. We did however have a couple past breeders of the GC look at her, and she was very well received. At the show we purchased a pair of black lion heads and can’t wait until we can have some more lion head babies. We now are raising, Giant Chinchillas, American Chinchillas, French Lops, Rex, and Lion heads.
At the moment we are getting ready for winter, and buttoning down the hatches. If winter is anything like last winter we will really have to tighten up the coops. As excited as we are about everyone we have at the farm, we aren’t excited about chores in three feet of snow, and freezing temperatures.
We know we haven’t been that great at keeping up with this blog but we will try to be better. Hope you’ve enjoyed the updates and the pictures!