Tag Archives: Sustainable farming

Things not yet seen.

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Oregano. We trimmed this several weeks ago for our CSA, and today I was thinking about how it’s grown back stronger and better since we trimmed it. Although at the time it looked rough.  We feel the same way right now, rough.

Hebrews 11:1 talks about faith in things not yet seen. While that perspective fits with farming on any given day, it is especially true for us right now. We are at the point on our transition to farming, that we need to step out in faith, towards our goal. Right now, that means opening the order forms to start accepting deposits and orders for 2016. It also means making the go/no go decision on a winter CSA/Farm Share. We think our community would like access to local fresh vegetables through the winter, but we can’t be sure. We are also not sure that enough folks would find out in time to put us at the threshold to go for it.  The winter CSA/Farm Share decision is also complected by my full time job. If we offered it, I would need almost all of the daylight hours to get the planting done in August and September, to be able to have the veggies grown for the winter. I have a very understanding boss, but I’m not going to ask him to pay me while I do a bunch of fall planting.

Having faith doesn’t mean making poor decisions though, and there are just a few more details to work out, before we open the store.

If you want to support us, please keep your eyes on our social media. We also will be doing some kind of capital campaign. We have some problems that we need to address before we go full scale.  We are a resourceful people, the Apollo 13 astronauts were able to fix their doomed craft with tape, socks, the cover to the flight plan, some parts from flight suits, a bungie cord and some lithium hydroxide canisters. We are no less resourceful, and although not a space ship, a covered wash station would be really nice.  We have also had folks who are not close enough to be customers ask how they could support us, and be part of the farm.  We want to serve our community, but in truth, the community we are part of stretches from Stanwood to Puyallup, to California, Mexico and New York.  So stay tuned!  If you have questions, please feel free to get in touch!  Farmers(at)adalynfarm.com

Adalyn Farm offerings for 2015

Hello, and welcome to 2015!!!

We are so excited and have so much to share with you.  First off, click through to our “about us” above, in the website header.  It’s new and updated, although it might be better said that it’s more in-depth, since we aren’t really new (we’re in our 30’s after all), and we haven’t really been updated (unless you include Farmer Joscelyn’s various surgeries). You’ll find our story there, as well as our management and farming practices spelled out.  We are scrubbing up some other little rough spots, so there might be more to see over the next few weeks.

(Gratuitous picture of food.)
 

We are super excited about the outcome from our farm meeting a few weeks ago.  In short, we are planning on more animals on the farm this year and a test Vegetable CSA.  We are raising pigs again, as well as turkeys for Thanksgiving and 2 batches of chickens.  All are pasture-raised, organically-fed and humanely-processed here on our farm just as before. For the chickens, we will have two different pick-up dates to try to accommodate more people.  Turkey and pigs will be done near the end of October, with a last batch of pigs done in December.  All of the details for each of these items can be found through the links below.  If you want to get in line for some of the tasty meat, simply click on the links that interest you and follow the instructions.  If your mind is currently blown, just reply to this e-mail and we can send you copies of the info. sheets for anything you are interested in.

Info. on PIGS!!

Info. on TURKEYS!!

Info. on CHICKENS!!

Now, how ’bout that Vegetable CSA?  Well, after hours of garden planning and talking through work load and expectations, we are sticking to our guns and running the Veg CSA as a test this year.  What does that mean? It means that we are running a very small (10 share) CSA for a pilot group of customers that will be patient as we work out the kinks and give us the needed feedback for improvement.  If all goes well, we will be going all-in on this in 2016.  In fact, it’s shaping up to be the cornerstone that our farm is going to run on.  Although we both prefer raising animals to plants, a living just can’t be made on 5 acres with only animals.  With a small 100 member CSA, it’s within reach, and we can still run our goats, pigs and various poultry, all without compromising our care and stewardship goals for the property.  Did I mention that we are excited?  It’s all out of our hands, but God-willing, we will be calling ourselves full-time farmers in just a few short years!

How can you help with this awesome dream?!?!  Well, if you’re not already a customer, please consider allowing us to grow food for your family. Additionally, if you have friends who care about environmental stewardship, where food comes from and local economy, please consider sharing this message with them.  We can assure you this e-mail will forward flawlessly.

Again, we love to hear from our customers and would be happy to send you more info. on any of our available offerings for 2015!

-The Adalyn Farmers

Spring is coming, the grass is starting to grow, and the birds are getting louder every morning.

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Community Seed Exchange (Take that you big, nasty government/big ag bully.)

I saw at least two stories over the holiday about seed banks and seed exchanges being in trouble.  The premise is that seed companies need to sell seed that has a standard germination rate, set by the “industry,” so folks don’t spend good money on bad seed.  In order to enforce this, some states have laws about seed that is distributed being germination tested.  Most community seed banks can’t afford this, or do it in-house as many commercial seed companies do.  Really it all comes back to money, and trying to protect the consumer, but it gets hijacked by some brain stem with a pulse in government who doesn’t want free seed being given away unless it is germination tested…..  Sound silly?  I thought so.

So, for a second year (Not in a row, that would be too puny.) we are coordinating a community seed exchange.  The details are below, and the only request is that you jump on Facebook and indicate that you are coming.  That way we can make sure we have enough zip-tie handcuffs for all you wild law breakers out there.  Just kidding about the handcuffs, but we do need to have an idea of how many folks will be there.  It’s also a bit of a potluck/snack bar, so please let me know if you want to bring something, and I can put you in touch with the person that is coordinating food. After all, too much guacamole is too much of a good thing, especially if there are no chips to go with it.

From the Stanwood Community Seed Exchange:

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“Are you ready for the 2015 garden season? Do you save seed from your garden to re-plant next year, or do you want to learn how? If you have seed to swap, plan to bring 4-8 shares (enough for a family garden), please germ test the seed if at all possible, and please pick just one or two of your favorites. Details on the actual exchange process to follow… And we do have a start on some door prizes…. And just to be clear, you don’t need to have seeds to swap to come, but if you don’t have seeds to swap, you won’t be able to participate in the seed exchange.

Our goal is to involve folks in the Stillaguamish Valley and surrounding areas, as we all share common seasonal variations that make gardening here unique. I am trying to line up a few folks to give informal talks or presentations, and we plan on having a light snack/lunch potluck. Kids are welcome, with parent supervision, because seeds are small and kids are quick.”

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Keeping knives sharp, caring for us, our community and the land. And the CSA.

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I like knives; they are an incredibly useful tool. I especially like sharp knives. In fact, it’s almost a family joke that whatever knife I’m carrying will be shaving sharp. This idea has permeated into our close community, and I get asked from time to time to recommend a good sharp knife. Typically I will get into the specifics of knives, their uses, blade style and personal preference (Yes, I’ll head down any good rabbit trail.). Given that almost all knife manufacturers ship their knives shaving sharp, people get the sharp knife they asked me about.

What never comes up in these conversations is the maintenance, the required care that any knife will take to maintain its razor edge. I can tell you a secret; the maintenance is constant- one must be careful about how the cutting edge is used, resharpening is frequent, and the blade must be protected while in storage.  And don’t forget more resharpening.

We feel the exact same way about our farm and the food it produces.  Just like some folks would rather buy a new knife when their old one is dull, some people want a quick, easy solution to their food needs. We are willing to do the work, not only to have the best quality food available for us and our community, but to ensure that the production process (growing) of that food is humane, sustainable and realistic. What I mean by this is we want to make sure the earth is maintained through the growth of the food for now and with an eye on the needs of the future. That it’s humane; the needs of the animals as living creatures comes before the profit that they represent. That it’s sustainable, not asking more of the farmer or the land than it can give perpetually. And that it’s realistic; I wouldn’t buy a knife that required sharpening after each use, and we won’t grow food that places unrealistic expectations on the animals, the land, the production system, or us.

All that said, the knife still needs to be sharpened, the soil fed, animals cared for and our community provided for.  That is where we are headed in 2015.  We will be offering more to our community: more chickens, turkeys and pigs.  In fact, we will probably be producing all the animals we feel we can on the property we have now without compromising the standard of care for the land and animals.  We hope to be able to offer beef as well and will be offering our first trial-run of a Vegetable CSA.  Given our long-term goal of full-time farming and the realistic limitations of the property that we are stewarding, vegetable production looks to be our best option for our primary income stream.  After several years of running meat animals on pasture, we know that for us to expand, we will have to dive into vegetable production.  We just don’t have enough land to raise the number of animals we would need for full-time farming to become a reality.

Given that 2015 will be our first year of a Vegetable CSA, we are starting small and keeping it simple: on farm pick-up, no crazy new garden produce you aren’t familiar with, and a willingness to iron out the details as we unfold this new part of Adalyn Farm.  We are super excited and extremely motivated to work our way through the hurdles. Until then, Merry Christmas, and we look forward to serving you in the New Year!

Fall on the Farm.

It was getting cold.  But then yesterday, it was 70…  That does mean that winter greens are a full go.  In fact, we are trying out some really late sowing.  Elliott Coleman has written several books about winter greens, and he lives several degrees north of us.  So we get more sun, and less snow.  It’s a process right?

So’s the farm.  Turkey’s go to ice camp later this week, and we had a stretch of nice weather, so I figured I’d show you around the farm.

Leaves and webs

Mist and spiders…

Root Veggies

We love winter root veggies.  Roasted.

Chard delta

Chard Delta (like a river delta, get it?)

Spinach

Spinach (with renegade Bok Choy).  So far pest damage is almost nill in the hoop house.  #ftw

Safe turkeys

Just a few more days.  Moved twice a day, you should see them hit the grass when they get moved to a fresh spot.  Even with a full feeder.  Crazy.  #pasturedturkeys

So, there is the farm!  For today anyhow.  It changes from day to day, and really from moment to moment. Next year is going to be similar but really different too, as in more of the same. We are looking forward to next year. After this winter, cause just like the garden, and pasture, and dairy does, we all need rest.

Growing beef. (Grass Camp)

Time to send then to grass camp.  It’s been a lot of fun, the five boys have pulled bottles out of our hands, run up and down our driveway in a mad panic (with us not much calmer) and sucked on many an offered hand (or non offered elbow, or boot top, or flap of fabric)

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Here are the boys, all of them over 90# and two over 120# getting the last of their morning grain on the farm.

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We are glad we moved them when we did.  They all just fit in the back of the short bed truck, and it was a grunt to get the big one in…  (note cute skinny calf butts, and the unkind reflections in the truck tailgate)

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They all got a window seat, and also helped clean off the interior of the canopy with their Velcro tongues.

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Unloaded at the the new home!  They will eat their way through the 8 acres of fenced paddocks at our friends farm till September of 2015.  They still have a long way to go, and lots of good food ahead of them.

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Meat Chickens are on their way!!!

Went out via e-mail to our subscribers a few days ago.  There are just a few left…

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It’s finally time!  The cute little fluff balls will be showing up via US mail next week!  That’s 100 little nuggets, that will get all organic feed, fresh air and  sunshine in our chicken tractors, to spend all their days on our farm.  Then we’ll process them and you can pick them up!!  We will be processing them on Saturday August 16th, and yours should be ready to pick up in the afternoon!

The birds will be $5.25 per lb this year, and probably won’t quite be the #5.03 average they were last year, as they will be getting done about 5 days earlier.  We require a $15 per bird deposit, and at this point we are limiting folks to 10 birds per family (we have had folks ask for 25 or 30 birds in the past, and as much as we wish we could run the 1000, or 2000 birds a year that would allow us to do that, we can’t and really want as many folks as possible to experience local, organic, free range chicken)

“How can I get in line for these?!?!?”  Well, as we have kids, we are aware of trying to keep everything fair.  We will send out the pre-order/contract to folks in the order that they reply to this e-mail, they will have 48 hours to get the deposit to us, and as folks get us their deposits they will get their place in line.  So, it might take a few days for you to get the order form if other folks are in line in front of you.  Yes we did think of just sending out the order form, with our PayPal info and such, but, we didn’t want to deal with returning deposits for dozens of birds if lots of folks responded without checking to see if we still had some available.  You can also call if you would rather, or have questions, but we do need the signed contract and deposit to hold your birds.

Thanks! and we are looking forward to seeing you in August!!! (or before, if you want to come and see your birds ‘on the hoof’)

The Adalyn Farmers
360-474-7427
19313 22nd Ave NW
Stanwood WA 98292