Dear Friends and Patrons of Cross Island Farms,
Once again it has been far too long between epistles, for all at Cross Island Farms have been extremely busy. Briefly, we have the following news:
BABY PIGLETS: Last week our sow, Yorky-Girl, gave birth to 13 adorable healthy piglets (o.k., one runt with a splayed leg) in a makeshift shelter SHE BUILT out of brush in the back of her large, wooded paddock. If you come for a tour you can see them in their natural environment. It is fascinating! (View pictures on our facebook page)
WIND PROJECT: Our electricity-producing 10KW windmill is up and spinning. Early in the morning a couple of days after it was erected it was encompassed by a double rainbow! (View pictures on our facebook page)
You are invited to a ribbon-cutting ceremony to inaugurate this small wind project on Thursday, August 18, at 10 a.m. here at Cross Island Farms.
OX TRAINING: At this juncture we fear that “Babe,” our young heifer, is winning the battle of the wills with Farmer David. I observed a recent “training” session during which she coquetishly pranced back and forth for half an hour, teasingly evading David’s attempts to harness her. We will keep you posted.
THE GARDENS: While David has a been locking horns with our Ox-to-be, I have been waging war on a variety of ravenous insects intent on damaging my precious vegetable plants.
First came the onslaught of the cucumber beetles, attacking the young squash, pumpkin and cucumber plants. I nearly gave up tryinig to conquer them until I observed that they congregate inside the plants’ flowers in the early morning. So each morning before the sun rose I took to breaking off each flower with the bugs inside and crushing it and them between my hands. Over time, this technique appeared to diminish the beetle population.
Next came the potato bugs infesting this year’s meager potato crop and, surprisingly, my healthy eggplants. How do they multiply so fast? Twice daily I went on patrol scouting out the critters, as small as a pinhead to 3/8 of an inch across, and with a combination of glee and disgust, crushed them between my fingers and the leaf they were dining on. It took several weeks of this daily ritual before the critters were subdued.
With August comes the plague of grasshoppers. They love to tatoo the tops of tomatoes and peppers with their teethmarks. I haven’t figured out how to combat them yet. Suggestions are welcome.
MEAT CHICKENS: This year for the first time we have raised 20 organic, pastured meat chickens which are ready for harvest. We sampled a couple the other night and they were deeeelicious. Contact us to reserve yours.
DUCKS: Our Silver Appleyard ducks have grown so fast that only a couple at a time can fit in the pool created by our “born again” (with the recent rains) artesian well. You can see them frolicking in their pen shared with our meat chickens in our front yard.
BEEF: We have USDA inspected cuts of our Wellesley Island born and raised grass-fed beef for sale at the farm now, and are accepting reservations for a mixed quarter or a half of another of our organically raised and grass-fed beef for September delivery.
VEGIES: Our self-serve farmstand is well-stocked with a variety of seasonal vegetables including greenand yellow zucchini, gourmet eggplant, exotic cukes, heirloom onions, garlic,kale, chard, fresh parsley and basil, a variety of beans and an abundance of ripe tomatoes. We expect to have corn within the next week or two.
Well that’s it for now. Hope you are enjoying the “Dog Days” while they last.