24 December 2010

Kizzie and Achilles Leave Home

Today is the day for Kizzie and Achilles to go to their new home. We will miss them lots but they are going to a good home and I know they will be well taken care of.

02 December 2010

Mum, Look What I Found!

Sometimes things grow that we didn't plant. Sometimes your children come running in to ask what they have just touched. Sometimes that child is old enough to go back outside with a camera and document the event. Today was one of those times.

Some of you may have seen one of these before, for those of you that haven't I apologize.

The thing my son discovered and touched is known as - I don't think I can write it - if you have small children reading over your shoulder, please send them away now. Are they gone? Feel free to scroll down now.

This is a Mutinus elegans, but is more commonly known asa dog penis fungus. Makes perfect sense once you know, doesn't it? Here is a close-up pic for the braver among you.

07 October 2010

Important Info about Fall Shares

Our fall season begins next week. If you signed up for a fall share you should have received 2 emails from me today. If you signed up and did not receive an email, please contact me asap.

25 September 2010

Sponsor a Cheese

On 30 August 2010 the FDA issued a press release that announced the recall of 68,957lbs of raw milk cheese from Morningland Dairy in Missouri.

There are a couple of problems with this. The first is that Morningland Dairy had not yet agreed to a recall. The second is that the dairy has been given no notification of exactly which cheeses failed the test and how that cheese had been handled prior to testing. Under the law (and cheese making has a lot of them) the dairy was supposed to be given a sample of the cheese for their own testing purposes. This has not happened.

Morningland Dairy has been in business for 30 years but this recall is in danger of shutting them down for good.

Did you catch the "raw" bit in the description of the cheese? Raw milk is a hot topic right now, but cheese has been made this way for as long as cheese has been made.

The latest news from Morningland Dairy is that although the FDA tested the milk barn and cheese plant with all tests coming back negative, the Missouri Milk Board Inspector has said the dairy must destroy all of their unsold cheese before they are allowed to resume making or selling cheese.

They are too small to take on the government, and at this point there are several agencies involved.

A friend of ours and of Morningland Dairy came up with the idea of sponsoring a cheese to help the dairy through this ordeal.

Morningland Dairy cannot sell any cheese and we cannot buy any, but we can sponsor a cheese that is going to be thrown away. That's right you can send a donation and ask the dairy to throw away a few pounds of perfectly good cheese in your name.

Please join us in sending a couple of dollars (please make clear that this is a donation and that you understand you cannot buy their cheese) and words of encouragement to:

Morningland Dairy
6248 County Road 2980
Mountain View, MO

Call your friends, spread the word, sponsor some cheese!

Links for further reading:
Latest news from Morningland Dairy Blog

The FDA "voluntary" recall notice

26 August 2010

RIP Borat aka The Big B. 2007 - 2010

It's a sad day on the farm today. Our big rooster was killed last night. We don't know why he didn't go into the chicken house like usual and we don't know what killed him. From the feather trail we can tell he put up a good fight. I wish the cows could talk, they seem to know what happened. I don't know how much they understand but they are quite subdued today and even Miss Velvet the noisy was quiet when we found poor Borat's body.
Borat and I did not get along and I tried to avoid him. This means I have no photographs of him, but he was a magnificent rooster. Black and white with a slightly yellowish sheen to his feathers. A huge comb and wattle - always the brightest red. And a big arched tail.
His flock will miss him.

27 July 2010

Needing Inspiration?

Today's newsletter recipes were taken from this wonderful book and I recommend it to all CSA supporters and farmer's market patrons. There are wonderful hints and tips about preparing and preserving all sorts of vegetables as well as short bios about various farms around the country. I wish I could say it included Karl's Farm, but this was published the year before we began our CSA.

There are very few vegan recipes but lots could be made so by eliminating the cheese (seems people eat a lot of cheese!)

19 July 2010

Not everyone hates the dust!

While Karl and I moan about the crunchy grass and never-ending heat, Royal has found a great new way to entertain himself. While bulls do paw at the ground as a sign of aggression, that isn't what he is doing here. He likes to decorate himself with greenery when the roses are in bloom and now it seems, he thinks dust is the perfect accessory. It helps to keep the flies off him too - always a battle in the summer time.

13 July 2010

Beans, Beans, they're good for your... Cattle!

The more they eat, the less they rattle! ha ha

Each week the cows (and bulls) wait impatiently by the fence to see which vegetables we have harvested. From nearest to furthest is Velvet, Royal, Achilles, Kizzie and Tessie.

Spent bean plants are a hit with everyone from the youngest calf...

to the largest bull.

29 March 2010

Introducing Achilles and Kizzie

Today Tessie decided to give birth in the rain and mud and as far away from the barn Karl built for her as she could possibly get. Labor was as quick as Velvet's last week - less than thirty minutes from waters breaking to calf on the ground. We bought Dexters knowing their reputation as good mothers, and although Velvet's predator response went a little haywire at first, she soon calmed down and everything has been going nicely ever since. Tess already knew the drill, being Velvet's dam, and is very laid back about the mothering thing.

Velvet had a bull calf and he is called Achilles, Tessie had a heifer and we are calling her Kizzie. We are still not sure on their colour as they are a lovely chocolate brown at the moment - presumably they will be black like their sire.

09 March 2010

Tractor broke down today! Needs a new clutch and a couple of seals, all of which need to be ordered. While I am waiting for those I get to help Karl build the new barn - he hopes to have it finished before the calves arrive. Yes, we are officially on calf watch! Velvet looks ready to go at any moment and Tess isn't far behind her even though they should be due until at least March 22nd.

14 January 2010

Great excitement at the farm today - the faucet and water hose unfroze and we were able to fill the water trough for the cows. Goodbye 5 gallon buckets, goodbye aching shoulders, goodbye, goodbye. Cows drink a lot. On a normal (ie. above freezing) day we stick the hose in the trough and fill that while we fork out the hay, serve up the minerals and treats, collect eggs from the hen house, and fill the chicken feeders. It's simple, quick and only needs done once a day. When the hose is frozen we have to carry out several 5 gallon buckets multiple times a day and each cow has to drink their fill before the water freezes again.