Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Happy Holidays

Happy Holidays from all of us at Bluebird Farm!



All of us at the farm, especially the animals, are excited about the days growing longer. Day by day we will have more sunshine encouraging plants and animals to think about spring.



Even in the cold winter weeks our layer hens are hard at work. They give us one delicious egg every day. Our eggs are available at the farm. Millstone Market and Kitchen and the Grind Cafe in Morganton also both purchase our eggs. So you can ask about what dishes they bake them in.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Snow!

The sleeping garden at dawn

Snow! I have to admit I was skeptical of all the hype this storm received. After living in Colorado it is hard to believe we would ever get anything worth calling snow here in North Carolina. I was wrong!


"What is this stuff?"


"We have cold feet!"

I hope everyone was able to enjoy the snow and stayed safe. The animals here at the farm didn't quite know what to make of it all. The pigs ate it and nose it curiously. The chickens, well to put it kindly, I think their brains froze. They lacked the good sense to go into their shelter onto dry ground and stood in a penguin mass, hopping from one foot to the other, under the trees. We had to assist them into their shelter before the froze their toes!



During the snow storm we had to repeatedly brush the snow of the chicken shelters to keep them from collapsing. As I went out extra early in the morning I was hoping not to kind some kind of disaster.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

December Newsletter

Hello all,

As you look out your window on a gray cold day like the day I am writing this, you might be wondering what in the world could a farmer be doing at this time of year. Well, write newsletters for one!

We have been planning our 2010 season Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program. In a CSA Customers purchase a membership in the farm at the beginning of the growing season. Members receive a weekly box of seasonal produce, herbs, eggs, and chicken. In addition you will receive recipes and cooking ideas in our newsletters for the food you receive. A CSA share is a wonderful way for you and your family to share the fresh, seasonal bounty of Bluebird Farm. Fresh food is more nutritional than week old food picked unripe and shipped across country. In addition, reestablishing the connection between farmers and eaters is an important step for personal health, community vitality, and environmental stewardship. We have been very excited about all the positive feedback we have been getting about the CSA. If you are interested in learning more about the CSA then you can read about it on our website. If you have not received a December CSA update in addition to this newsletter and you are interested in the CSA please contact us so we can put you on our CSA list.


Our seven pigs have been enjoying themselves outside these past few months. These days they huddle together in their shelter at night for warmth. But as soon as the sun comes over the trees they are up and about eating, playing, and eating some more. They will grow to a harvestable size by mid-February. Our pork will be available in large and small family packs and by the cut. You will receive more information on our pork prices and how to purchase the meat later this week.
We have been putting out plenty of fresh hay for the pigs to sleep in and eat. They especially like finding seed heads in the hay. Our chickens and pigs have been living together for the winter which has resulted in some pretty funny scenes. My favorite so far is a chicken eating seed heads that had stuck to the back of a pig while the pig enjoyed her mid-afternoon nap. Together the chickens and pigs are providing the raw ingredients for next year’s compost piles.

The other activity we find time for in the winter is continuing education. We were able to attend the Carolina Farm Stewardship Association’s annual conference. It was a wonderful opportunity to meet people involved in the food system in all sorts of ways from farmers to distributors to food activists. One presentation of particular interest to me was the compost tea workshop. Compost tea is a brew made with a small amount of good compost, a microbial food source like molasses, and warm water. The ingredients are combined and aerated for a day or two. The resulting mix is an amazing mix of microbes, nutrients, fungi, and protozoa. If made properly, compost tea can build soil, feed plants, and fight disease. We hope to do some of our own experimenting with compost tea.

Winter gives us time to cook. The holidays give us an excuse to cook decadent food. Marie tried her hand at using our eggs to make eggnog. It was the smoothest, yummiest, richest eggnog you have ever tasted. In fact, it was so thick and rich that we had to eat it with spoons instead of drink it!

Our chicken, eggs, and greens continue to be available at the farm. You can also find our food cooked into delicious dishes at Millstone Market and Kitchen located on South King St. in Morganton. Please call or email to arrange to arrange a visit or pickup at the farm at: (828) 584-7359 or bluebirdfarmNC@gmail.com . See how your chickens were raised, where the fresh eggs come from, walk through the garden, and visit our animals in the pastures. We would love for you to visit; just call or email to arrange one. In the meantime you can read about our farm activities here, at our blog www.BluebirdFarmNC.blogspot.com or learn more at www.bluebirdfarmnc.com

Happy Holidays,

William and Marie

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Sustainable Agriculture Conference!

William and I spent the weekend in Black Mountain attending the annual Sustainable Agriculture Conference hosted by the Carolina Farm Stewardship Association. We stayed up past our bedtime, met amazing people, and came back to Bluebird Farm feeling so inspired! William and I have attended many great conferences and it was great to return to this one after several years' absence. Lots of familiar faces and new friendly ones too! Bluebird Farm is a proud member of CFSA.
The Carolina Farm Stewardship Association organizes this exciting and inspiring event every year at different locations throughout the Carolina's. The conference is open to anyone interested in learning more about healthy food systems and agriculture, and it is also a great opportunity for exchange of ideas between farmers, educators like holistic veterinarian Dr. Ann Wells, outreach groups like the Society of Saint Andrew, organizers like Mark Winne (community food security expert), coops like Organic Valley to our very own Foothills Family Farms, and organizations like the Animal Welfare Institute.

Whew... So many great thoughts were exchanged! But now we are off again to Atlanta for a family visit. Thanks to my Dad, brother, and sister for taking such great care of the animals for us.

More about the Carolina Farm Stewardship Association

Our Mission
Promote local and organic agriculture in the Carolinas by inspiring, educating and organizing farmers and consumers.

Our Vision
A regional food system that is good for the farmer, the consumer and the land. CFSA is a membership-based 501(c)(3) non-profit organization of more than 1,000 farmers, gardeners, consumers and businesses in North and South Carolina. These members are committed to sustainable agriculture and the development of locally-based, organic food systems. Learn more about how you can join our efforts to grow a healthier food system for our communities.