Hello beautiful peeps,
Last week I said that I could take a breather from the stress of newborns in the spring. Little did I know that there was more to come. More on that later.
The Spring/Summer Wytheville Farmer’s Market hours start this weekend. From May 1st to the last weekend of October, the Wytheville Farmer’s Market hours are 8am to noon.
The outdoor Independence Farmer’s Market begins on Friday, May 14th. That market runs from 9am to 1pm. See you there.
Sheep and Lambs
I lost my Susie Q. It has been just about a week since she disappeared along with three other lambs all at once. Some of you are already aware of this as Scott posted on our Facebook page. I had no idea I was so attached to Susie Q. It is unusual for me to form any kind of attachment to our sheep and lambs. I love watching them. They are so cute. But there are out there in the field and not being touched by me day after day. No so with Susie Q. She was a bottle baby from day one. I still stare out in the field and think of her.
The good news is that the neighbors have all joined in the search for the culprit or culprits. We have multiple cameras set up out there but no luck yet with finding out the type of predator stalking our sheep. No one else has gone missing this past week, thank God. Of the six living lambs we had this year, only one has survived. And the good news is that he is growing like a weed and doing just fine. Scott again suggested that we breed again for the fall. I’m still passing on that. It will be next year before we have more lambs.
No issues with the calves. All are doing very well as are all the moms. Violet is getting bigger and bigger. She has always been really round in her belly. But as she nears her term, she begins to look like a very large balloon. June 10th is her due date. So still a month of waiting for that blessed event.
Of the 36 quail babies, all are nearly grown now. They are loving their penthouse. On the other hand, I lost one of my breeders. I had the cage door open and was reaching into the back to check on the automatic waterers when one of the hens ran past me and jumped to the ground. I chased her and chased her and chased her. Finally she flew into the orchard. I lost her momentarily as I had to go over to the gate and get that open to continue to chase. I located her again and as I reached for her she flew again. I saw exactly where she landed. However, when I got to that place she was nowhere to be found. I walked in a spiral outward, making a larger and larger circle. I never caught a glimpse of a feather. She just disappeared. I hope she does well. All of the quail are used to their meals being provided. In the wild she will have to forage for herself and she will need a LOT of protein.
The next batch in the incubator is at day seven. Not this Saturday but the next is when the peeping will begin again. It happens so fast.
Finally, Scott was able to meet with some folks that are going to setup and install the pipeline milking system for the parlor area of the creamery. He has been talking with a few different people trying to get someone to come out and take a look at what we already have on hand. We purchased the largest portion of the equipment needed and it has been sitting around waiting for someone to look at it, decide what else is needed, and to make a plan. All of that happened yesterday. Yay, that part is finally moving forward.
As far as the actual building, the exterior painting is awaiting Scott’s schedule in order to be completed. Everything Scott builds is beautiful and I can hardly wat to see the finished product.
The strawberry plants are blooming. Well, a few of them anyway. I am eagerly anticipating the strawberry jam I’m about to make.
The two long rows of green peas are rapidly growing. It will be a little while longer before those first blooms start. I love growing peas. When I was a kid, I hated peas. Mom made me sit at the dinner table for a very long time — until I finished my peas. Somehow as an adult I’ve forgotten exactly what I found so distasteful about peas. I love them now.
The onions are coming on strong. The green shoots are now above the ground cover. I planted yellow, white and red onions. I like the colorful variety. Perhaps I’ve mentioned that I freeze my onions. Did you know you could do that? I chop them up into 1/4 pieces and put them in freezer bags. Then, as I need them for one dish or another, I pull out the frozen package and scoop out the quantity I need. The package gets resealed and placed back in the freezer awaiting the next meal.
The tomato plants are ready for market. I saw quite a few of you checking them out this past this weekend. Saturday’s market marks the beginning of May. It’s nearly time. Get yours this weekend.
I have two varieties. The Jet Star is the best all around tomato I have ever raised. And the Black Krim is my favorite heritage tomato. There is no slicing tomato that can compare.
The California Wonder pepper starts still need a little more time before they will be ready for the garden. I hope to have those ready next week. Same for the herbs. They all just need a little more time to grow in the safety of my home.
That’s it for farm news. Now on to the farmer’s market update.
As I noted above, I will have tomato starts at the market again. They are $3.00 each, 2 for $5.00 or 5 for $10.00.
We will be out of quail eggs until the fall. Look for them again at that time. We do still have quail meat in 1 lb packages $18.
We have all of our grass-fed meats available – ground beef (approx 1 lb) $7, ground goat (approx 1 lb) $12, and ground lamb (approx 1 lb) $10.
Online Farmer’s Market
We are offering meat products on Independence Online Farmer’s Market. You can sign up for that market by clicking HERE. The online market opens on Friday evening and closes on Wednesday evening for pickup two days later on Friday afternoon.
Wytheville also has an online market. For your convenience, you can set up your Wytheville online market account HERE. This market opens on Sunday at 7:00 pm and closes on Thursday at 7:00 pm. Place your order with whatever vendors you choose during that time window and pick everything up at the Wytheville Farmer’s Market between 9:00 am and noon. Anything ordered from the online market is not picked up at our booth. Your purchases are picked up on the covered side of the building. Feel free to come on in an chat with me even if you placed your order on line and picked it up outside.
These items are available at either market. The prices are higher at the Independence Market as their fees are significantly higher. The online Wytheville market are also more expensive than visiting us live at the market. Again, there are fees involved in using online services.
Herd Share Peeps, I’ll see you in my usual location. Add on as you desire. Yogurt, milk and all cheeses and butter are at your service. Looking forward to seeing you on Saturday and/or Tuesday.
You can pickup at the Wytheville Market between 8:00 am and 12:00 noon. Email me to let me know want anything extra this time.
I still have new raw milk cheese shares and a couple of milk shares available. Contact me via email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or phone (276-694-4369).
As always, we love meeting you in person. You can find us at the Wytheville Farmers Market on Saturday from 8:00 am to Noon. Special procedures are in place for your health and safety. Masks are still recommended but not required as far as I know.
As always, you may visit us at our dairy farm in Claudville, Virginia Tuesdays from 10 am to 12 noon and Saturday afternoons from 3 pm to 5 pm. Find out how we raise our animals and why you will love the taste of tradition that is inherent in all of our products. Herd share holders will be able to see up close how their cows are cared for and the cheese operation and where it is stored.
Peaceful Heart FarmCast
In this week’s podcast, “What is a Freemartin Heifer?” is now available. I didn’t know either and had to look it up some years ago. Who knew it would land so close to home only ten years later. There are issues with calf twins who are different sexes. Male/male and female/female have no issues. But the male/female set of twins invariably produces a freemartin heifer.
I want to follow up on my previous FarmCast, The Taste of Cheese where I talked about developing your expertise with using descriptive words. The FREE downloads of Classifying Cheese by Type and Category and Expand Your Cheese Vocabulary are still available at our website. Please stop by and get your FREE resources.
You can LISTEN TO THE PODCAST HERE. Or, if you have an Alexa device, just say: “Alexa, play podcast Peaceful Heart FarmCast.”