Organic food. Local food. Real food. Delicious!

Thursday, August 24, 2017

What's next on the farm?

Thank you to those who attended Open Farm Day. It's always such a boost to meet people who share our concerns for healthy, locally grown food. If you missed our event, but would like to visit the farm, please contact us. We're happy to set up a tour time for you.

Lots going on this time of year. We are busily canning, fermenting, and drying produce: apples, herbs, cucumbers, tomatoes, green beans, bell pepper. We'll plant our fall pea seedlings, and seed winter greens. Orchard and gardens are being weeded & mulched in preparation for next spring's growing (I know, seems early to think about May 2018, but it's so worth it to put growing spaces to bed tidily). Our broiler flock is 6 weeks old and enjoying the abundance of crickets in the field. Today we'll start aggressively dealing with our Spotted Wing fruitfly outbreak, which has decimated our blueberry crop: cleaning spoiled fruit off bushes, hanging vinegar traps, and putting some young chickens to work cleaning up dropped fruit. We hope to complete a large arbor structure to accommodate kiwi, grapes, groundnuts, perennial climbing greens, sugarsnap peas & runner beans, and other vining-type crops.

We're also trying to be mindful of carving out time for fun and family. It's very easy to work dawn-dusk, with so many varied farm tasks vying for attention. but VT summer is short and sweet, and for the first time, both our children will be attending public school as full-time students. So we're making time for bike rides, kayaking, board games, and family dinners. Maybe we'll manage a couple more hikes before winter sets in. We'll be hitting the county fair this weekend, which is a bit more stimulation than I need, but I know the kids will have a blast.

Happy end-of-summer to you and yours!

Friday, August 18, 2017

Open Farm Day, Wednesday August 23, 3-6pm

Join us for an Open Farm day this Wednesday August 23 from 4-6pm. It's the perfect time of year to see our operation in full swing: veggie garden & greenhouse, orchard, berry patch, edible landscaping, sheep and "teen" lambs, hens, young chickens, and geese. We'll be on hand to answer questions about homesteading, small farm operation, and our products. Sample blueberries in our berry patch & fresh-picked veggies in the greenhouse, check our our cozy, naturally-tanned sheepskins, or place reservations for fall-harvested chicken, lamb, and mutton. If you'd like to walk our pastures to visit the animals, sturdy footwear and long pants are recommended.

Looking forward to seeing you Wednesday!

UPDATE: due to an outbreak of spotted-wing fruitfly in our blueberry field, the berry patch will likely be closed. Fruitflies have turned most of the berries to tasteless mush. We are treating with organically-approved spray and hand-picking spoiled fruit, in an attempt to save later-ripening varieties. Thanks for your understanding.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Chickens and lamb and sheepskins, oh my!

After several years at "homestead" scale, we've expanded into a microfarm. We are now Socks Family Farm, LLC. In addition to the lovely chickens we have raised for years, we are selling lamb, and tanned shearling sheepskins. Check out the Products page for info on these items.

On the subject of "lamb":

I'd like to answer a question about lamb as a meat. I've been asked many times why I would eat baby sheep...they are so little and cute! So the answer is: I don't, because lambs aren't lamb. Confused?  "Lamb" as an animal means a baby sheep, but "lamb" as meat means a sheep in the range of 6-18 months old. At this age, the sheep is pretty much full grown, but without the stronger flavor of an older animal ("mutton").

Most meat animals are harvested full grown but young. The amount of food is maximized, while still being tender and flavorful. But we don't call the meat from an 18 month old steer "calf", we don't call the meat from an 8 month old, 300 lb pig "piglet". Why we call meat from a 100 lb year-old sheep "lamb" is a mystery to me. if you know, send me an email!