Hello beautiful peeps,
I just picked a pint of strawberries from the plants Scott planted just a couple of months ago. They are delicious. I’ll be bringing a snack for myself to the markets this weekend. Strawberries and cream, I think.
The Spring/Summer Wytheville Farmer’s Market hours are 8am to noon from now to the last Saturday of October.
The outdoor Independence Farmer’s Market is on and will continue through the 2nd Friday of October. That market runs from 9am to 1pm. See you there.
NO MASKS REQUIRED FOR THE VACCINATED at either market. It’s a beautiful thing to see everyone’s faces.
All the sheep are doing well. Still looking for that dog to protect them. Still studying so that we can take the best care of our dog. There is a lot to learn. While livestock guardian dogs have great instincts for protecting, there is still a great deal of behavior training that needs to take place. And I’m still not clear on exactly what we need to do immediately when we bring home the new dog. Exactly how do we acclimate him or her to our home and make them part of our family? There are lots of things we are learning about what and how much to feed, what health measure are required and so on. We have lots of good advisers and feel like it will all work our fine. I am eagerly anticipating our newest family member.
Rose and Butter are very well trained in coming up to the milking shed when it is time for milking. If they are not there when we arrive, I just call them and wait a little while and they appear. This is so much better than having to walk a quarter mile to go find them. In all honestly, they are currently in a pasture that is rather close. They can easily hear me call them. Once they return to a pasture in the back 40, it will be back to walking that quarter mile.
Still anticipating our final calf. And the next round of artificial insemination will start up shortly after that birth — the 17th is the date there. And we start the process all over again. The circle of life on the homestead.
Virginia and the twin calves are doing well in the calf pasture. Hansel and Gretel fight over the bottles and compete for who can finish first and then try to steal the others’ bottle. They are so cute.
We moved the new baby quail to the penthouse. Since there are only 18 (we lost one), they are all on one side up there. We kept all of the girls from the previous batch. They had already started laying eggs. Yay! So, I decided that we had the extra space since only once side of the penthouse is being used and we could use some extra eggs. After replacing some of the older laying hens in the lower, breeding cages, and a couple that were missing due to health issues, there were 10 left in the penthouse. We also kept one rooster just in case his services are needed. Not sure when the next date is to start collecting eggs. I know it will be soon. And that circle of life will also begin again.
As of this evening, Scott has completed the primer coat of paint on the inside of the building. He says there are a few places that need to be touched up. I’ll leave that to him. It looks great to me!
The guys that will install our modified milking system didn’t make it this week. Will they make it next week? Only time will tell. We had major problems with the portable milking machines this week. Because of that, it is now likely that we will have these guys do a little bit more with setting us up. We are not going with the complete pipeline system. That was just too expensive for us at this time. No, we are instead going with a simple connection to the pump that we have, creating the vacuum line.
The vacuum lines are connected to the inflations that connect to the cows. The milk is sucked into any number of buckets that we want. I’m not sure of the details on how that will work. But at this point it makes sense to have a better machines than the elcheapo machines we are currently using. Of course, we will still have those on hand, because who knows when the big one might run into some issue or another. We always have to have a backup.
We found out the hard way how important it is to have those automatic milking systems functioning. Butter is extremely easy to milk, though it takes a while because she produces so much milk. Rosie on the other hand, is impossible to milk by hand. Her teats are about as big as my little fingers. There simply isn’t enough to grab onto there. Next year she will have finished growing and they will be much larger. But right now, she has the smallest in the world.
And it’s not like milking a goat where they are small and you might get a quart or so of milk. No, Rosie produces over a gallon and a half, sometimes more, in the morning. Fortunately when the issue occurred, we had already captured some of her milk. We did end up sending her back to the pasture without milking her completely out. That is not something we really wanted to do. She will start to produce less and less milk if she doesn’t get milked all the way out. By evening we were back up and running, thank God. At first we thought we were going to have to drop a couple thousand and get a new machine. However, Scott did an amazing engineering job and the one we have is working again.
The peas are in full bloom. I saw lots of little baby pea pods too. It won’t be long now before we have peas at the market. The green beans are still not planted. Maybe this coming week.
As I mentioned above, the strawberries are ripening. A few days ago, it was just three berries. Today it was a pint. There are lots and lots, hundreds, of berries that are small and white. I need to stock up on sugar so I can make Scott some yummy strawberry jam. We are going to be truly blessed with strawberries over the coming weeks.
I still have tomato and pepper plants ready for you. It’s time to plant. Come see me at the market.
I have garden sage, parsley, basil, and thyme for the market this time as well.
That’s it for farm news. Now on to the farmer’s market update.
Wytheville Farmer’s Market
As I noted above, I will have lots of plant starts at the market again.
I have a very limited quantity of quail eggs. Independence market will get first dibs on those. I may have a dozen or two for Wytheville market. We shall see. We have quail meat in 1 lb packages.
We have all of our grass-fed meats available – ground beef (approx 1 lb), ground goat (approx 1 lb), and ground lamb (approx 1 lb).
Online Farmer’s Markets – Independence and Wytheville
We are not offering products via the Independence online market at this time. Come see me in person at the market. You can still sign up for that market by clicking HERE. There are many vendors that are selling their local products there. The online market opens on Friday evening and closes on Wednesday evening for pickup two days later on Friday afternoon. Again, we will be selling all of our products at the outdoor market.
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.
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 or at the farm Saturdays 3 pm to 5 pm or Tuesdays 10:00 am to 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. We are at Independence Farmers’ Market on Fridays from 9:00 am to 1 pm. Masks are no longer required at the Farmers Markets.
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, “Livestock Guardian Dogs” is the topic. It has been a long time coming, but it is finally time that we take this step. A few years ago we were traveling all the time and only on the farm on weekends. There was no way we could have a dog. Now things have changed and it’s time for us to take the next step in protecting our livestock.
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.”