Thursday, September 3, 2015

Unity Farm Journal - First Week of September 2015

It’s hard to believe that September is already here.  Apple picking has started and cider pressing begins soon.    Our Asian pears are sweet, our Bosc pears are beginning to soften and the last of the berries have been picked.

I was recently asked for the percentage breakdown of apple types in our Unity Farm hard ciders.  Here are the proportions of apples by weight

Sweet cider (refreshing but slightly sweet)
21% Honey Crisp
56% McIntosh
15% Macoun
8% Crab

Dry cider (crisp, well balanced)
23% Golden Delicious
40% Baldwin
13% McIntosh
13% Macoun
10% Crab

“Apple wine” cider (tastes like Sauvignon Blanc)
49% Winesap
32% Baldwin
19% crab

As I mentioned last week, I’m continuing to explore the possibilities for Unity Farm’s unique ecosystem which spans from upland dry oak forest to low land marsh.    Near the marsh there are stands of young willow trees that are quite flexible.    Last weekend, I wove together willow trees creating a building 12 feet long and 6 feet wide, then added a floor and a stone entry way.    I’ve designated this the “Hobbit House”.   On Sunday afternoon, I retreated to the Hobbit House to work on FY16 IT strategic plans.   Hobbits do not have wifi, social media, or instant messaging, so my hours surrounded  only by the wind in the willows were very productive.

Over the long Labor Day weekend, we’ll release the pheasants into the wild and watch their transition to the Unity Farm forests, eager to see if they will return to the barnyard for their favorite meal worm treats.

You never know what will happen on the farm.    Kathy was driving by a local farmstead and found an abandoned Toulouse goose.   The farmstand owner explained the people sometimes abandon unwanted poultry at the farmstand during the night.    Since we have geese, Kathy asked if we could bring the goose to Unity Farm, adding to our gaggle.   Based on the goose’s high pitched call, we believe he’s a male.   Since our other Toulouse goose is named Hercules, we named this new goose, Iolaus, since he’ll be Hercules’ sidekick.   Our farm Transit Connect van is ready to transport any animal anytime and here’s what a goose transport looks like.    Iolaus and Hercules are now watching over the farm along with their traveling companions, two Buff Geese named Xena and Gabrielle.

As labor day weekend approaches, the shadows are beginning to grow longer, the mist is gathering the meadow and night is falling earlier.   We look forward to the changing of the seasons, with crisp mornings and cool afternoons.  

This weekend will including gathering all the lumber needed for the treehouse platform I’m building, which includes

 14 2x8x12,
 2 2x8x8,
 27 5/4x6x12,
 4 4x6x10

All the hardware arrives on Thursday, so if I’m industrious, I’ll have the tree house to work in by Labor Day.   Then again, if I discover while building it that my carpentry skills need a little mentoring, I’ll finish it with the help of a  contractor friend by the end of the month.

Winter is coming...

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