Autumn

Sweet Harvest and Shortening Days

colourful_autumn_leaves-HDIt’s that time of the year again, when t-shirts are covered with sweaters and sandals turn into boots. For farmers, however, our boots know no seasons nor their changes.

Our well-worn boots have weathered both the cold of last winter as well as the heat of this summer and all temperatures in between. With the inevitable fall of autumn leaves and the brisk chill that comes with a shortened day, we can almost spy the culmination of our efforts. All year we plan for Thanksgiving, a holiday that reaps all the (delicious) rewards of our hard work. Time has flown since the little white and wide-eyed poults (turkey chicks) have left the brooder for greener pastures, running and chasing insects and most importantly growing healthy muscles and tender meat. By the time the holidays roll around, our Toms (Male Turkeys) will average between 18 to 24 pounds and our Hens (Female Turkeys) will average smaller at 14 to 19 pounds. (*Note: some turkeys will be outliers and be larger/smaller than these averages).

Bountiful harvest joins the markets as Taylor and her merry crew harvest in a frenzy to keep up with demand. Back in stock is our savory kale, spicy arugula and crunchy chard! Mix it with some of our delicious beets, roasted in some rosemary and olive oil, and you’ll have the perfect salad.

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Our Music Hard-Neck Garlic

For those that have visited our farm, you likely have met our two resident heritage turkeys, our tom Richard and our hen Lady Bird (both hatched at Frank Reese’s Good Shepherd Farm). Richard is a Heritage Standard Bronze and Lady is a Heritage White Holland.

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Richard

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Lady Bird

This party of two have been joined with their, now almost fully grown, progeny most commonly known as  “Little Richard”, ”Única” or “The Wild One”. We’re not yet sure if this one is a young lady or gentleman but we will certainly keep you all updated once we know for sure! As the amount of light in the day decreases, you might notice a fair share of feathers lying amongst the fallen leaves. This change in daylight is significant for many birds as their bodies begin to shed off old feathers to grow new ones. During this transition, these birds are in high stress and in need of a high protein intake (feathers are ~85% protein!). Lady is in the process of this regeneration and we are feeding her a high protein diet (truthfully she takes care of herself by nipping off the tops of all newly spouted grasses). Currently her pin-feathers (new developing feathers) are growing in quite nicely and she should be ready with her new coat in a few weeks (right before the true cold comes!).

Lady's feathers on the ground.

Lady’s feathers on the ground.

We’re keeping our eyes on Richard who is still strutting around with his full plumage at no haste!

Our Thanksgiving Turkeys

Our Thanksgiving Turkeys

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Afternoon with John

A beautiful Sunday afternoon on the farm.  The sun is shining and the wind is blowing in the cool autumn air, so with the reminder from mother nature of the season’s inevitable change, we prepare for winter.  The daily task of collecting the hens’ eggs turned into making sure the electricity still worked in the portable winter poultry home.  We have a system that sucks all the air out so the vinyl siding sticks to the wooden frame making the house toasty for the winter months (very cool.)

Today marks the second day of work for me on the farm.  I’m Ryan, a new apprentice to join the team at Lima Family Farms.  I am extremely exited for what is coming up in the next few months here at the farm.  While we are gearing up for winter we are planning hard for the Spring/Summer of 2012.  You have to think ahead when workin’ on the farm. We are working on putting together a CSA that incorporates both our fresh produce with our 100% grass feed beef, pastured pork/poultry and eggs.  Also for the 2012 season we hope to have our on property farm store up and running in addition to our growing lists of Farmer markets we hope to get to in the coming months.

Check back for more updates!

As fresh as it gets

Happy layers

Salad Greens, Kale, Swiss Chard only to name a few that are still available

Need eggs? We got em! And we’ll have them throughout the winter!

Categories: Autumn, Farm Life | Leave a comment

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