A New Ram

We have a new ram on the farm. He just arrived this Sunday but he is already happy in with the 2 ewes, the weather, and Stella, our Jersey cow. He looks just like the other sheep but he still has his tail. Please be extremely careful around him. For now all the sheep and Stella will stay on the fenced area behind the houses as he gets settled. Please do not enter this area while they are there. For the kids, that means no swinging until they are gone. 

 4 sheep in the shade

4 sheep in the shade

This Tuesday and Wednesday, Seth will be in Modesto at a Sustainable Poultry Network conference, learning more about heritage breeds, hatching our own chicks and more. We plan on starting a flock of laying hens this year and we look forward to being able to offer eggs next year. If you are curious to learn more, check out the sustainablepoultrynetwork.com.

On Thursday, we are pulling the two bulls and putting them back in their paddock at the driveway entrance. Then we will combine the remaining cows, steers, heifers, and calves into one herd. It will be nice to only move 1 group again. Right now the large herd is close by and it is nice to see them for a change but they will be moving back to the fields around the large pond soon.

 The cows 

The cows 

Now we are finally getting the heat wave I was waiting for all summer when it should be more moderate. Still, the nights are cool and the days are shorter so the plants are not fooled. The tomatoes and eggplant are done for the season but all the delicious fall crops are coming in and looking great.

This week's pick list:

  • Hakurei Turnips
  • Sorted Tomatoes
  • Sweet Peppers
  • Hot Peppers
  • Zucchini and Summer Squash
  • Cucumbers
  • Fennel
  • Kohlrabi
  • Escarole and Frisee
  • Broccoli
  • Cauliflower
  • Cabbage
  • Leeks
  • Onions
  • Garlic
  • Lettuce
  • Celery
  • Winter Squash
  • Potatoes
  • Kale
  • Chard
  • Collards
  • Beets
  • Rutabaga
  • Carrots
  • Basil, Parsley, Dill, and Cilantro
  • Strawberries
  • Flowers
 Sunflowers

Sunflowers

We will be offering whole sunflower heads this week. They are beautiful to look at and fun to process. Here is a thorough description of how to process and roast them.

Roasted Sunflower Seeds (adapted from vegetablegardener.com)

  1. Lay them flat on a covered table and rub the front of the sunflower heads. The seeds will easily pop out.Carefully go through the seed pile and pick out undesirable pieces of stem, etc.
  2. If you'd rather have unsalted seeds, skip this whole section and go straight to roasting. For salted seeds in the shell, you'll need a bowl or other container with a couple of quarts of water. Add about 1/3 - 1/2 cup of table salt to the water, add the sunflower seeds, and let them soak in the salt water overnight. Another way to get the salt onto the shells is to put the salt water and seeds in a pot and let it simmer for 2 hours on the stove. 
  3. The next day, drain the salt water from the seeds and lightly dry them with a paper towel. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. *Spread your seeds on a large cookie sheet and let them roast for 30-40 minutes in the oven. You can stir them around after 20 minutes or so, if you'd like. You'll want to watch for the seeds to become a little brown and looking crisp - or you can pull them out when they just look dry. Be careful because the seeds can easily burn near the end.