Thursday, June 25, 2015

Unity Farm Journal - Fourth Week of June 2015

We brought our alpaca mom and new baby, Daisy and Danny, home after a brief thunderstorm cleared.   Nature concluded what we’ve always known - Unity Farm is the end of the rainbow.

Mom and baby are healthy, happy and content.   Daisy has become an overprotective mom and Danny eats vigorously every hour.   We’ve kept them in a shaded pen to give them quiet recovery time from the trauma of being driven to a hospital and kept away from the farm for 4 days.    Danny’s IgG is nearly 1700, which means he has a fully intact immune system.  He’s gained a few pounds and is a non-stop bundle of energy.

What a great outcome.

We moved the geese outdoors into the duck pen.   The geese are happy but the ducks are not sure.    They tend to hide inside the duck house.   We’ll keep the geese in the pen for a few days so that they recognize it as home before letting them free range.   We’ve had a female coyote visiting a few times a day this week, so we want to be conservative on releasing new animals to free range.

We moved 17 chicks into our mini-coops inside the main coop.   We added buff orpingtons, barred rocks, cuckoo marans, americaunas, and andalusians    In another 6 weeks, they’ll also free range.

The mead is nearly fully fermented.   It started with a specific gravity of 1.100 and now is at 1.010.   We expect about 14% alcohol.   I’ll age it for one year before bottling.

The bees continue to gather nectar from the acres of summer wildflowers growing in the orchard.    The hives are so large and healthy that Kathy needs a ladder to maintain them.  So far, no swarms from the Unity Farm hives!

We are harvesting strawberries, peas, cucumbers, broccoli, and chard this week.   The garlic harvest is approaching and many of our tomatoes are large and plump.

Inspired by our bounty of tomatoes, mushrooms, fresh basil, and more garlic than we can consume, I’m convinced my next project should be building a wood-fired pizza oven.   I have to do something with the extra cords of wood we store for winter every year - why not whole wheat thin crust!

This weekend will be filled with trimming and trail maintenance tasks now that the burst of Summer growth has turned our orchard and trails into a wilderness.    Some weekends are animal focused and some are plant focused.    Not a single weekend goes by without a new adventure.

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