Dear Friends and Patrons of  Cross Island Farms:

Hope you had a good winter and are enjoying the arrival of spring.
THE PIG PARADE:  Today’s main event was the trial run of our six 200+ pound feeder pigs thru the chute where they will meet their maker this Friday.
Dave spent several hours securing the long run from the pigs’s large natural paddock on the Northwest side of our property to the chute located just behind our farmhouse.  I was recruited to close several gates behind the porkers as they passed thru so they could not retreat prematurely.
It was afternoon feeding time.  Dave had filled a bucket half full with grain.  When the pigs saw it in his hand, they scurried toward him with expectation.  He led them out of the corner of their paddock and from there, in what appeared from my vantage point to be a quite orderly procession, along the inside of our perimeter fence line, through a gate, over a small running stream (the pigs hesitated a little during this crossing, walking gingerly through the current) thru several more gates and finally through the chute to a trough half full with grain.
When they were through chowing down this small portion of their twice daily ration,  Dave signaled with the pail, and they eagerly followed him back the way they had come, returning to their paddock to consume the balance of their meal.
The separately pastured goats approached the fence adjacent to the pigs’ runway and watched curiously as the pigs paraded by, first in one direction, and then, a few minutes later, in the other.
It all went remarkably smoothly.  We can only hope things will go as well when the butcher visits.
BABY PIGLETS:  9 baby piglets, born in late February, are growing very fast and are a joy to watch exploring their environs.  We are offering them as feeder pigs now or will raise one  for you for a summer roaster or fall harvest.  Send us a deposit to reserve yours.
GOAT KIDS DUE:  Our 7 female goats are expecting (we hope) in April.
NEW BABY CALF:  A new 2 week old bull calf arrived last week, a gift of an organic dairy farmer who cannot use male offspring.  Within hours of his arrival, the calf bonded  with our “brooder” cow, Hanna, and is now reluctant to leave her side except to romp joyously around their paddock.  He is yet unnamed.
DUCK NEWS:  Our ducks have begun to produce eggs, which we will soon be collecting to incubate into baby ducklings.
EASTER EGG SPECIAL:  Our chickens have been laying up a storm of pastel colored eggs perfect for Easter egg hunts (no dyeing necessary).  We are offering a special on our certified organic eggs until Easter:  BUY TWO DOZEN, GET ONE DOZEN FREE, while they last.  The eggs are available at our farmstand, located inside our front porch until the weather warms.  Local delivery is also possible.
VEGETABLE  NEWS:  We had a hard frost last night which may have done some significant damage to our wintered-over greens and some new plantings which had become accustomed to last-week’s summer-like weather and were shocked by the 60 degree drop in temperature.   Otherwise, we had a very successful winter in our hoop houses which more or less withstood wind and weather and yielded a continuous harvest of greens from  December through the present.  Our vegetables are also available at our front porch farmstand.
SUMMER SEASON CSA:  It’s time to sign up for this season’s vegetable CSA.  Please email if interested and I will forward the announcement to you.
Looking forward to seeing you when you visit this spring or summer..

Dani Baker

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