Tuesday, 31 May 2011

New Fence

Notes from the farm...
Things have been going much better over the past two weeks! We got most of our fence installed, and we’ve been selling our arugula, rhubarb, chives and wild-picked fiddleheads at the Eat Local Sudbury Store! We’re still behind on our planting due to wet weather and lack of time, though.

Our meat chickens and turkeys are doing really well and we are really enjoying our six baby Embden geese. We call them “Rowan’s Geese” because they follow her around everywhere. They have been a great learning experience for her – she feeds them, takes them for walks and especially loves giving them “baths”!

New Fence:
We’d like to say a BIG “thank you” to our wonderful friends Steve, Marjorie, Arik and Melanie for coming out on the long weekend to help us fence! The weather was HOT and the work was hard (drilling holes, moving concrete, installing posts) but they were a tremendous help and we couldn’t have done it without them! We still haven’t finished installing the page wire, but with Aaron’s family visiting this weekend, we are hoping to finish up. The finished fence will be just over 1200ft and will keep the poultry much safer!

Duck Egg Frittatas:
I am happy to announce that you will now be able to buy our delicious duck egg frittatas at the Eat Local Sudbury Store! Faced with a surplus of duck eggs, I decided to make and freeze two types of frittatas at our local inspected kitchen in the Wanup Community Hall:
·         Sundried Tomato, Spinach and Feta – all ingredients are locally or Ontario-grown except for the spinach.
·         Caramelized Onion, Sweet Potato and Goat Cheese – all ingredients are locally or Ontario grown except for the sweet potato.
The frittatas are frozen and just need to be heated in the oven for about 30min at 350F before eating – perfect for a quick and healthy supper! You can also buy the frittatas from me directly – just send me an email and I can bring some along on my regular Tuesday night delivery to Market Square.

Duck Egg Promotion:
As I mentioned last newsletter, we will now be selling our delicious duck eggs through an egg club membership similar to our chicken eggs. Our chicken egg memberships are sold out, but the duck eggs are a tasty alternative! Duck eggs are larger and more nutritious than chicken eggs. Please spread the word!

Allison Muckle
Rowantree Farms

Monday, 16 May 2011

Duck Massacre and Meat Bird Mix-Up

Notes from the farm...
It hasn’t been the best week for Rowantree Farms! Since I’m a “bad-news-first” kind of girl, here it is:

Duck Massacre:
We woke up on Saturday morning and noticed that several ducks were outside of their shelter across the road. When we went out to round them up, we saw the remains of a duck in our path – looks like the work of a fox. After doing a head count, we found that 12 were missing, and we found the remains of 3 ducks. It looks like there was a small gap between the bottom of the shelter and the ground where the ducks got out and/or the fox got in. Very disheartening. It was a financial (as well as emotional) blow – we had spent about $450 to raise those ducks to adult-hood, plus we have lost the revenue from their eggs over the next two years! As a result of this unfortunate event, we’ve decided to bite the bullet and install a predator-proof welded wire fence around our entire pasture. Some of our wonderful friends have offered to give up part of their long weekend to help us install the posts and wire – thank you!

Meat Bird Mix-Up:
We were due to pick up our 120 meat chicks and 50 turkey “poults” last Thursday evening. I had been very organized and ordered them 5 weeks in advance from my local feed store, plus booked their appointment at the abattoir. When I called the feed store to find out what time I could pick them up, they informed me that they had gone out of business and would not be getting me my chicks! I didn’t even get an apology from them for not giving me the heads up. After a couple of stressful days and many phone calls, I was able to secure a delivery through Canada Post of my original order from the hatchery. This only sets me back about 5 days, which shouldn’t be a big deal.

And now for the good news...
Produce season has begun! We will be selling ARUGULA (mild, nutty salad green) and CHIVES at the Eat Local Sudbury store this week starting Wednesday (11am-6pm). Looks like lettuce and rhubarb are on the way, with spring garlic greens not far behind! Also, I will be foraging for wild FIDDLEHEADS in Sudbury this week. If you’d like to order some, please email me or call me at 694-0165 to place your order!

Egg Washer:
We recently purchased a Kleen Egg Turbo Egg Washer in order to save time on this labourious task! I’m still not sure, though, whether it is a time savings or not. It is a little too big and awkward for a short person like me – the model in the picture is not the one I received! We have been using it to clean both our chicken and our duck eggs from the past 2 weeks. PLEASE let me know (by email or phone) if you notice any differences (good or bad) in your eggs as a result of our new system!

Duck Egg Promotion:
We will now be selling our delicious duck eggs through an egg club membership similar to our chicken eggs. Our chicken egg memberships are sold out, but the duck eggs are a tasty alternative! Duck eggs are larger and more nutritious than chicken eggs.

Haven’t tried our duck eggs yet? Try a sample dozen – on sale for the month of May for $5!