Dear Friends and Patrons of Cross Island Farms,
Spring and Holiday Greetings from Cross Island Farms!
FRONT PORCH FARMSTAND OPEN: Just in time for your spring shopping, I have just restocked our self-serve 24/7 front porch farmstand with organic produce. Right now we have our pastel-colored Americauna chicken eggs, duck eggs, an assortment of hoop-house grown greens, and inside various USDA inspected cuts of goat and beef including hot and sweet goat sausage. We expect to have our USDA inspected pastureed pork by the end of April. Please calll ahead if you are interested in meat to be sure we will be available to help you.
OUTDOORS: Outdoors here on Wellesley Island the snow is gone from the ground which is still frozen in spots, and very muddy in others. David has been working steadily on our new perimeter fench enclosing the “back 40″ which will almost triple our potential pasture area (in a drought period) once completed. I have been tending plants growing in our hoop houses and preparing some garden rows for late March planting of onion, leek, chard, kale, and head lettuce sets, and early peas. I have been using a new “toy,” a “broad fork” which is a 20 inch wide no-till 5-tined tool used to aerate the ground without disrupting soil life beneficial to plants, and without turning up weed seeds.The two-handled tool is inserted in an already-raised row left from last season, stood upon and pressed down with full body weight, slightly tilted back with two wooden handles on either end to loosen the soil, and then removed and reinserted 6″ to 8″ down the row. It is a mildly aerobic work-out not unpleasant duriing these cool early spring days.
ANIMALS: The chirping is loud and constant in our living room where two batches of incubated eggs have hatched 31 Ameracauna chicks which will be two weeks old this Sunday. Winkin’, Blinkin’ and Nod, our three new Large Black piglets are enjoying the moist side-yard soil where they are rooting away with their snouts in search of roots, grubs, and any other tasty morsels they can dig up. Tired of a long winter’s diet of dry hay, our cows and goats are impatient for the grass to green up. Our turkeys have begun to lay eggs and appear to be sitting on them. The ducks as well have resumed laying. Our four pregnant does are expected to give birth in April. In the midst of these cheerful signs of the season, some sad news: our buck “Mustard” is no more. He was failing for a few days with an unknown ailment and yesterday lost his ability to exist. We are grateful that the rest of our goat heard appear to have made it through the cold season healthily.
EDIBLE FOREST GARDEN: The first shipment of plants for this new venture has arrived: black walnut, chinese chestnut, almond, peach, paw paw, persimmon and Cornelian Cherry bare-root, dormant trees keeping cool on the front porch for now. We expect to have a back-hoe ooperator here next week to dig a pond, create an accessible entrance, build mounds and a swale and dig holes for planting. And then the fun (and hard work) begins!
Wishing you all this season’s best.
Cross Island Farms