Time flies when you’re having fun!! I haven’t written in awhile so I thought I would take a minute to reflect on where we have been and where we are going!
I can’t believe the year is a little more than half-way over!! It just seems like yesterday that we were heating the greenhouses to sprout spring seedlings and now were starting to think fall! Crazy!! I can already tell that our operation has gotten ever so slightly a little bit bigger than last year. For those of you that come out to the farm you have seen the transformation and know what I am talking about! So with that being said here’s what we have been up to:
- Our nursery added vegetable plants for home gardens as well as we were able to offer more variety of perennials with additions of hanging baskets, mixed herb pots, and potted annuals in six packs. Our herb varieties grew to 15 different varieties that can be used for both culinary and medicinal purposes.
- We added a few more goats to our herd and our yard now houses ducks that have just started to begin to lay delicious eggs. We raised our first batch of broiler chickens and we now have pastured raised chicken in our freezer. We have received awesome compliments from our customers on how well they taste and are glad to say they are pretty much sold out! We do have feet and necks left which make great broth!
- We made huge strides in our egg program by partnering with Relish Café & Bar and Raleigh Cake Pops. We love to support local whenever possible and working with these two local establishments has been wonderful! We did however have a small set back with our laying hens recently. We had a raccoon come visit us just a few weeks ago and took out approximately a dozen of our layers before we were able to trap him. We thought we had done a pretty good job in securing the girls in the coop but this little bugger found another way to get in on multiple occasions. Anyone that raises pastured chickens knows that a few losses here and there is inevitable but in all the years that we have been raising chickens we have never had loss like this at one time. The raccoon really had us stumped as we tried countless times to nab him. We finally did but not before he made a dent in our laying flock numbers.
- Our vegetable garden is a little more operational this year than last year and we are now offering a few vegetables at the markets. Speaking of markets we added another market to our schedule which means we are reaching more people each week. The Vance County Regional Farmers market is a beautiful brand new facility that houses a classroom, restrooms, and 18 vendor spaces. We have met a lot of great new people and customers at this market. We look forward to be long term vendors at this location.
Although I am thankful for all of our accomplishments so far there is still a lot yet to be done. I keep a log of all things that we want to accomplish in the future to keep us on track. We are constantly thinking of how to make the farm better and how we are going to meet the needs of our customers. Having full-time jobs slow us down a bit but I keep telling myself….there is always next season. Add a little bit here and add little bit there and we will get where we want to be. Just keep moving forward!!!! : )
So what’s in store for us the second part of the year??
- We will continue to be at both the Oxford Farmers Market as well as the Vance County Regional Farmers Market. All of our items that we offer can be ordered through our website as well.
- Our pumpkins and mums have been planted so be sure to look for those come fall time. We will be planting some fall vegetables in the garden this season so our vegetable offerings at the market should continue.
- We have been asked if we are going to continue to offer broilers for sale. We are still undecided as to whether or not we will be raising another batch of broilers. The processing plant that we used to process the chickens has since closed their poultry operation so our only method would be to do on-site processing on the farm. We will keep everyone posted on our plans for more broilers. If we decide to raise another batch it won’t be until the spring.
- We will be adding more laying hens to replace the hens that we lost to the raccoon as well as to replace some older laying ladies. This will boost our egg production and ensure that we have enough eggs to keep everyone happy! : ) These girls will start laying in the spring.
We have a few other exciting items on our agenda and as the year progresses will share details once things start coming together.
In the meantime we want to say thank you to all of you that have supported our farm in one way or the other. From sending us messages, sharing our facebook posts, and telling others about our farm we are grateful! We always say that we couldn’t do what we do with you and we mean it!
Thank you for supporting our farm and we hope the 2nd part of the season is just as great as the 1st part!
We have always had a dream to own our own farm and take pride in working hard to produce our own food. That dream is now coming true before our eyes and we look forward to sharing our experience!