Hoo Dini (not original name)

Dear Friends and Patrons of Cross Island Farms,

It’s mid-October and many fall projects are underway here at Cross Island Farms. Today David is heading for a friend’s stand of black locust trees that had a major blow-down during the ice storm of ’99. In the informal barter agreement we have with our friend, David is cutting and clearing the downed and damaged trees, using the straighter trunks for end-posts for our fencing project here at the farm, and cutting the remainder for firewood for our friends. The posts are needed for a major fencing project underway here which, when completed, will add about 5 additional acres to our pasture behind and around the second vegetable garden. David is anxious to finish the project because we have plans to create a third vegetable garden inside that perimeter so we have more options for our crop rotations. It will be our pigs’ job to till and fertilize the quarter acre plot, but we don’t dare put them there until the perimeter fence is complete and secure. We do not want a repeat of “pigs on the loose” even though it makes great copy.

We are proud to announce the addition of two new doeling goats to our herd, formerly named Ellie Mae and Jill, but as of this morning re-named “Hoo” and “Dini”. They arrived two days ago and spent their first night in the shelter of one of our greenhouses, then moved to an electrified pen adjacent to the other female goats to begin acclimating to their new brethren. Dave gave them a small run-in shed for shelter for the night. The plan was to merge them with the rest of the herd later today. This morning when I went to check on them, they had disappeared from their pen. And they were not hiding in their shed. As I concentrated my attention I could hear their faint cries in the distance. Sure enough, they were perched together atop the larger run-in shed at the far end of the paddock containing the rest of the herd. Hence their new names. Stay tuned: I have a feeling this will not be the last of their shenanigans.

Speaking of goats, the last two afternoons David and I took two delightful strolls through the back of our property (where our four campsites are scattered) in the company of our three male goats, Kikoman, and his twin sons, Salt and Pepper. These three are beautifully marked black and white animals, tame like puppies, who happily kept pace with us, pausing occasionally to sample a tempting morsel of weed-top or branch-tip. That is, when they weren’t attempting to mount each other. Watching the goats, especially the twins, who make such an attractive pair, we decided it would be great fun to train them as a team to pull a cart or a sled and help with the hauling work around the farm as well as to add to our attractions as an agritourism destination. Now all we need is a dedicated volunteer to do the training. Any takers?

One more note on the animal front: We harvested our first certified organic grass-fed beef last week and picked up our own “mixed quarter” from the butcher this morning. Can’t wait to sample it! We will be harvesting a second beef in May of 2011 and are accepting reservations now. Imagine having Wellesley-Island grown steaks and burgers on the grill to share with friends and family throughout this coming summer’s season! Go to our web-site and click on certified organic grass-fed beef for more info.

On the vegetable front, the main harvest is in. Potatoes, onions garlic, pie pumpkins, winter squash, drying herbs, are stacked, spread, and hanging on the porch for now. Before the porch gets below freezing they will be moved to an unheated room in the house to stay viable all winter and into the spring. And there is alot still growing in the ground! Leeks, beets, carrots, parsnips and Brussels sprouts are getting sweeter with each frost, and will winter-over in the ground if not sold before then.

All of the above are planned contents of this year’s “Thanksgiving Holiday Gourmet Vegetable Assortment” which can be picked up on the farm, delivered locally or shipped to friends and family for a unique holiday gift. Reservations are being accepted now and I have attached this year’s announcement FYI. Now that Columbus Day has come and gone, we want to extend a heart-felt THANKYOU to all of our friends and customers for supporting us through this past summer’s season.

Best to you and yours for the holidays ahead.

Peace,

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