Late Winter Update 2013

Dear Friends and Patrons of Cross Island Farms:

AN EARLY MORNING SKI: A beautiful sunny day after a frosty night here on Wellesley Island. Got out early for a quick ski on the crusty snow accompanied by our boys, Snow Toes and Splash Gordon. As Snow Toes prances over the snow with his feathery tail waving gracefully, he could be mistaken for a black wolf. We traverse the property approaching a far corner where this week David pounded 16 posts through pond ice, posts which will comprise a perimeter fence enclosing the entire back 40. As we near the corner Splash trots out of the scrub with a deer’s leg bone dangling from his mouth. With head held high he proudly carries it all the way home.

SEASON EXTENSION: Then out to the hoop houses to inspect the plantings to date – no apparent damage from the cold night. By the end of this month all 6 rows will be planted with beet, radish, carrot, arugula, cilantro, pea and snap pea seeds; kale, collard, lettuce, parsley and bok choy sets, and wintered-over greens like spinach,baby chard, and kale, dormant until recently, now beginning to grow again in response to the increased length and intensity of daylight.

THE MENAGERIE: Our ducks, turkeys and pregnant and virgin goats recently moved in together in a paddock near the house, a serendipitously happy result of predation of the ducks and turkeys by a racoon, and the need to have our pregnant does closer now that they have entered their third tri-mester. It’s a joy to observe how well they all get along together. We expect baby goats beginning early April when the weather can be bitter and the moms sometimes need assistance drying their newborns. Our mama pig, Yorkie girl, is expecting in the next couple of weeks.

NEWEST ADDITIONS: Winkin’, Blinkin’ and Nod, two female and a male “Large Black” piglets, are happily settled in a sheltered pen from which they soon will be able to venture outdoors at will to join the ducks, turkeys and goats. The Large Blacks, also known as Devon Blacks, are a very rare pedigree developed in England during the 1800’s. They sport adorable droopy “dumbo” ears that cover their eyes, are extremely docile and friendly, reportedly can glean a good deal of their nutritional needs from foraging, and yield excellent meat.. They are a delightful addition to our menagerie.

PORK: On the sales front, we have one half pig available for late March harvest so you can supply your family with Cross Island Farms certified organic pastured pork this coming season. Call us or visit our website for more details. If half a hog is too much meat, we will have an assortment of USDA cuts of pork including hot and sweet sausage available at the farm beginning early April.

FEEDER PIGS: Eight of Yorkie Girl’s yet-to-be born brood have already been reserved, but depending on the size of her litter (she’s had up to 13 live births) we may have more available and are accepting reservations for them now.

BEEF AND GOAT: Our freezer is well stocked with a late fall harvest of various USDA inspected cuts of our grass-fed goat and beef.

EGGS AND VEGGIES: We have storage onions, parsnips, squash, garlic and fresh eggs available at the farm and the Clayton Food Co-op. Small quantities of greens will be available as they are harvested from the hoop houses. Easter is less than a month away: what better way to celebrate than with Cross Island Farms’ (already) pastel-colored free range organic eggs.

Wishing you a happy and healthy spring!


Dani Baker
Cross Island Farms

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