Monday, June 14, 2010
Update on the Farm: We Finally Got Our Steer
Lots has been happening on Our Tiny Farm! The vegetable garden is growing well this year. We harvested all the broccoli heads and froze most of them. Doesn't look like we are going to get as many side-shoots this year as in previous years. Don't understand why. We are growing the same variety we usually grow, Packman. The Chinese cabbage, which was supposed to be bok choy, all came off at once. I made several salads, included it in stir-frys and soup, and finally started adding it to almost every dish I made. I just couldn't use it all; my creativity gave out. Fortunately, the ladies (chickens) liked it very much. But next year, I don't think we will plant Chinese cabbage. We will concentrate on growing produce we can process and store. Items like Chinese cabbage, that we only use a little of, we'll buy at the tailgate market.
The peas have also been producing well. I have cooked up bunches and we've frozen quite a bit. Hubby just informed me tonight that there are leeks ready to use, probably a few radishes, and some young onions. The cauliflower is just starting to head up. We enjoyed our first blueberries and black raspberries, too. Yum.
We haven't paid much attention to the herb garden because daughter has kind of taken it over and incorporated it with her flowers. She is putting in a big flower and cutting garden on the back of the house. Fun watching her become a horticulturist. She definitely uses her plants to relax and unwind after a long day of dealing with customers.
Two of the hives spun off swarms today. Hubby and daughter saw them. Even though we put out special swarm boxes, we lost them both. Oh well. Hope someone gets to enjoy them!
The big news, however, is that our two steer arrived today. They are fall calves, so they are about six months old; 500-600 lbs each. They are Biltmore Estate Angus. Not inexpensive, but should be great genetics! We built a paddock on the side pasture so they can become acclimated. On Saturday we went to a friends' farm for a C.R.A.F.T. event (see http://organicgrowersschool.org if you are curious) to learn about pasture raised beef, pigs, chickens, and ducks. Excellent timing! We had so many questions. Nothing better than actually being on someone else's farm to see for yourself how to do something like this. That reassured us that steer are pretty self-sufficient. Ha. I say that now. I just hope they are both still in the paddock when we go out in the morning!