Thursday, June 11, 2015

Unity Farm Journal - Second Week of June 2015

It’s mid-June so the farm is filled with Summer greenery, rapidly growing fruits, new animal babies, a flurry of harvesting/planting activity, and beekeeping.

Here’s a view of chives near the hoop house, ready for harvest.  The orchard grass is growing so fast, we mow it weekly.

Our baby geese continue to feather out and in a few weeks we’ll add them to the barnyard.   We’re also raising baby pheasants per the picture below.   They are the size of ping pong balls and constantly bouncing around the brooder.   Our intent is to release them into the wild of our forests once they are mature enough to defend themselves.

We check on Daisy, our pregnant alpaca, multiple times per day.   She’s nearly at term and spends her time lying comfortably in the hay.   The baby is so large that I’m sure she’s anticipating the birth.

On Tuesday, all of the alpaca began alarming and Peter, who helps us when I’m out of town,  explored the cause of their concern.    On the lawn outside the paddock, a newborn fawn lay resting, temporarily abandoned by its mother.    Peter examined the fawn to ensure it was not sick/injured and then carefully placed it in the nearby forest.   Within the hour, mom returned and the unsteady fawn rambled along behind its mother.    Mother and baby are doing well, feeding on grass at the edge of the paddock.

All our 22 hives in 4 locations are doing well.   Kathy believes we’ll have significant honey production this year.   What to do with all that honey?

Our mead recipe calls for 22 pounds of honey in each 6 gallon batch.  Last Sunday’s batch is fermenting vigorously.

Our honey lager recipe calls for 10 pounds of honey in each 15 gallon batch.  This could become our Unity Farm signature beer.   I’ll keg it in 3 weeks and know for sure.

This weekend we’ll harvest snap peas,  shitake mushrooms, lettuce, and chard.   The tomatoes are doing well and a few cucumbers are nearly ready.    Kathy is attending a queen bee rearing class and I’ll do the usual weekend farm chores.   Maybe for the first time this year, I’ll sit down on Saturday afternoon and enjoy a glass of cider while overlooking the fruits of our labor.  Then again, there will always be something to do at Unity Farm.

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