Tag Archives: Fresh local eggs

Family Farm January update!

Merry Christmas and a happy New Year from the farm!

It’s been a wild open to the winter season!!! We are again reminded why we did not buy land in a valley, as many of the valley farmers we know are currently watching water flow through their green houses and over their fields. We have had our share of “liquid sunshine” here on the farm, and there are some ares that are boggy enough to pull off your boot, and then ask for your sock too. Maintaining dry footing and bedding areas for the animals are about our only outdoor challenge at the moment.

 

Taking advantage of some clear weather to spread more wood chips in the goat pen.


Even with a flat tire on the trailer, the farm help stuck with it, and got the job done!

We love the Christmas Holidays here on the farm.Quiet whispered phone conversations, evergreen needles stuck in socks, more sugar than what’s good for us, and fires in the wood stove. There are also wonderful “dark days” crafts, games and more treats!

It’s also a chance to start thinking of the new year. The farm plan for the CSA is under way, and with one full season under our belts, we can’t wait to start the 2016 Adalyn Farm CSA. It is going to be 100% local. And delivery is an option if your spring and summer schedule is hectic. There are two share sizes available, standard, and premium. If you are still learning to love your veggies, we would recommend the standard share. If you know you love them, then we would recommend a premium share. If you are single, empty nesters or grow a garden of your own, we would suggest you split a share. Splitting a share gives you a full share, every other week, and with the first shares coming out in May, and running for 25 weeks well into the fall, it’s a way to make sure your kitchen is stocked with fresh veggies before and after the “zucchini flood” that most home gardeners suffer from in late July and August. If you are interested in splitting a share, just mention that in the sign up sheet, and we’ll invoice you for half the cost of a full share.

 
These are some sample shares from the 2015 season.

If you have any questions on how this might work, please get in touch!

This really is a fun time of year, when things have slowed down and we look at the crop information from 2015, yields, germination and harvest timeline, taste tests, and recipes that we loved, and if we liked the food, decide what’s going to get care, love and attention again here on the farm, and what’s going to get skipped. Not that running a farm with veggies, hens, geese, pigs and goats ever really has a slow time.

-Your farmers.

Are you ready to sign up for fresh veggies in 2016?

HERE IS THE SIGN-UP LINK!

It’s a brave new world….

For these girls it is anyhow.  They have spent several weeks in the stock tank in the house, then the big brooder in the deck, and now finally, out to one of the chicken tractors.  Mostly green egg layers, and true to form, we will be selling some of these, as well as some one and two year olds.  So if you are dreaming of having a hen, scratching away in your back yard, but don’t know if you want to deal with the ‘chick raising thing’ (possible mortality, the rooster question, and the smell/mess) we might just have your solution….  Just keep an eye on this space, for more details.

For now, let me introduce you to the girls, all wide eyed and full of wonder (and good forage).

~///~

“Hoolyloop house”

It only lasted a few days.  Almost three year olds have an annoying habit of loosing some of the cure ‘ism’s far too soon.  When two, our little one called hula-hoops ‘hoolyloops’ and would correct you if you said it right.  I mean, she’s a kid, she knows what they are really called, right?  Well as we finished the hoop house this spring, she did manage to mispronounce ‘hoop house’ enough to take the name on.  For a while.  She now corrects us “no daddy, da hOOp houtse”  “Dilly Daddy”….  Ah kids.

So here it is, in pictorial story.  I’ll narrate (just in case you can’t tell plastic from grass, and a pipe from a board).


Site selection

Starting the sleeve, finished with the 2×4 for a coushin

Neighbors helping out.. I love our neighbors.

The added benefit of the screw into the ledger through the PVC, it kept the hoop from digging into the ground.

The helpful little farmer.

These people are the three reasons I farm. Growing our own (eggs, chicken, veggies, honey, milk etc) lets us feel like we are giving them the best we possibly can. We started with cold frames in the hoop house for two reasons, 1- chickens 2- they are that much warmer, and 3- the ground is still too wet to work (oops, I suppose that’s three)

The legs are from an old picnic table, it would be in here, but the wood finally gave up the fight against the PNW’s wood killing weather. The legs are GREAT though!

Here we have the clean out crew at work. So far I have hauled out a big load of ‘thatch’ and they are getting into bare dirt in places now… And as soon as the ground drys out I’ll kick them out and direct seed.
There it is so far! I am sure you’ll see more of this summer!

Edit: It was brought to my attention that this pile of photos needed some hard metrics and explanations…

The size of this house was 11.5′ by 30′, dictated by the size of the 6 mil plastic that I could get pre-cut (at 24′ by 50′).  My logic was to have two feet on either side to secure, and 10′ hanging down at each end to tuck in and secure in the door way.  The PVC is 1″ schedule 40 and as my day job is as an electrical PM and estimator, I was able to coerce a supply house to deliver 20′ conduits (so I don’t have a joint at the peak) to the farm.  It cost me an additional $6 total.  The peak of the roof is at about 7′ 6″ (depending on how deep the low spot  you are in is), and if I had made the house a full 12 or even 13′ wide, I would probably still be able to walk around in it no problem.  The pipes that we drove into the ground were 1 1/4″ cut down to 2′ 6″ and pounded about a foot and a half into the ground.  As there is so much of them above ground, I think they help keep the 1″ ribs running vertically a little further from the ground (and that helps with the headroom).  The ridge pipe (a 3/4″ pvc pipe) is there to keep the ribs at the same distance apart, and to give me a place to hang plants, or tie up tomatoes.  The two side ones are for the same purpose.  They ridge poles are screwed to the ribs (careful to have the screw not be long enough to reach all the way to the plastic.

The 2×4 on the bottom probably could have been 2×6’s, but I was trying to stay under a $300 budget.  The support pipes have a 3″ wood screw through them, into the 2×4, and this acts as a stop for the 1″ ribs.  The plastic is rolled around the second 2×4 and they are screwed together, sandwiching the plastic between them.  The main purposes for the 2×4’s at the bottom are for 1-weight, to hold the entire thing down, 2- give a place to secure the plastic 3- provide an anchor for the support pipes.

I could have done the entire thing solo, but it was really nice to have a couple of extra hands to keep moving with assembly as I head scratched my way through some ‘engineering issues”.  I was able to get the plastic over on my own, but took my time with it.

If I was to do one thing differently next time, it would be to have the perimeter prepped, so that the 2×4 sits in better contact wit the soil.  There is a bit of an air gap, ad I can feel the cold air coming in with the wind.  I assume this gap will be filled by soil as I bring manure into the hoolyloop house.

Snow Day!

Most of you in the PNW will get that today was a big day.  Big snow day that is!  We normally get a little dusting once or twice each year, but with a touch over a foot on the ground at our place now, and more supposedly on it’s way, we have been loving it.  Not to say it’s without hardship.  My lunch hour today was spent pushing snow around.  Our loafing sheds were not built with the intent of supporting more than a foot or so of snow, and so, as I wrapped up with some of the day job work, and had a quick bite, I had to commit the next hour to snow clearing.  The last time I had to do this was several years ago, at about 11pm, with my wife in the hospital (20 weeks pregnant with our second child) and our first, at 4 years old, tucked into bed.  I had the baby monitor on my hip and as I struggled to the top of the step ladder with the push broom, I though to myself “please Lord, just don’t let the power go out” cue the drums, and snap lights out.  3, 2, 1…  and back on again.  I didn’t know if I should laugh or cry…

Today was much better.  I didn’t drag the SLR around with me, but snapped a few quick shots with the cell phone…

Chickens don’t mind the snow, if cracked corn is involved.  Ducks don’t seem to mind either way.  Unless large globs of snow are falling off the trees, then it’s every duck for herself!

That would be the pygora (with the high end thick warm coat) coming out of the loafing shed.  The Nubians? no thank you.

I managed to break the handle off the broom (I supposed they are not meant to push 14″ of snow around), and while in the new tool shed replacing it (can you believe I actually had a spare?) a House Wren managed to fly in the open door…  Very confused about getting out, but he finally figured it out.

Paths were cleared for the turkeys to get to the water as well.  Apparently they don’t have the ground clearance for deep snow…

The two edged sword of working from home?  I ended up working till right before dinner, cause well, I was almost done, right?

~///~

Cluck Cluck. Laying hens for sale!

There is a quote that goes something like ‘the best intentions….’  We have wanted to grow more of our own meat for a long time.  We also wanted to try to support the heritage, non commercial gene pool.  Well live and learn.  There is a reason Cornish Cross are so popular.  We could have had two batches out the door/in our freezer in the time it’s taken to get these girls to where they are now (almost 16 weeks).  We brooded all these girls together, and transitioned them into chicken tractors when they were old enough to handle the cold.  We pulled the roosters out of the pens about two weeks ago, they are milling around with the goats.  Now the hens intended for eggs are almost ready to transition to ‘big girl food’ and move on out to the chicken yard.  We had planned on butchering any roosters, and the extra hens that we have.  Then folks started asking if we had any chickens for sale.  We had planned on selling/processing the old hens, and most of them have sold.

So, we have decided to offer up the young layer hens for sale as well.  They are $18 each, and with a minimum order I’ll deliver them to you (within a reasonable distance).  I did some quick math and each of these birds is worth about $125 in eggs in 24 months.  Boom.  Feel free to shoot me an e-mail me adam@adalynfarm.com or call 425-610-6723 for more info…  We are down to Buff Orpington’s (listed as recovering by the ALBC), but plan on doing this next year with more variety.

Looking big!!!

Will you take me home?

~///~

“Dad, your weird” or “What’s on your Pizza”

Yep.  It’s the same thing I told my Dad.  And now it’s my turn to hear it.  It was ‘make your own pizza’ night.  We made the pizza dough by hand, and used some of our own cheese.  Most of the dough ended up with the normal cheese and olives and such.  I went with an egg.  I don’t remember where I saw it, some foodie site, talking about all the stuff the french put on their pizza’s…

It was also one of the first nights we were able to dine outside (or pik pik as the 2 years old calls it).   Good times.  Although I think if I put an egg on a pizza again, I’ll do it for breakfast.

~///~

Stupid national bird.

Well we now have two ducks we’ll call “Lucky”.  I was working away in the veggies and the geese sounded like someone was trying to pluck them, one feather at a time.  I had been keeping an eye on the sky as it’s “Eagle Season” here.  We usually loose one or two ducks to the eagles each year and had been lucky so far this year.  Last year Farmer J was able to break up a bit of a squabble between two eagles over one of our runner ducks.  She lived, and was dubbed “Lucky”.  Well the other day here mom had a similar run in.  I saw the white head pop up with a bunch of feathers and thought it was too late.  In fact when I did blow through the gate into the duck/chicken run it was to see the eagle beating a hasty retreate empty clawed.

Poor “momma duck” was quacking and flapping up the hill with blood all over her breast, a dragging wing and a really bad limp.  We let her settle down in the alders in the run and left her alone for the rest of the day.  I figured it would be just a matter of time for her to bleed out, and expire, but no, here we are a couple of days later and all she has to show for her brush with the feds is a bit of a limp.  Egg production did take about as long to come back around though….  I wonder if I can bill the boys in Washington DC for that?

Here she is, resting, post battle.  No blood visible when she sat down.