January came in with an arctic blast and a rooster’s crow. Initially we laughed at the weather reports calling for cold weather. Ah! Didn’t we just move from Colorado where it is really cold? Well, a good rule for the New Year is “don’t laugh at the weather.” We sure weren’t laughing on those cold mornings trying to thaw both our fingers and the animal waterers. Sadly the snow-cold combination finished off our fall vegetables (except the carrots as those of you who attended the CSA meeting know, but more on that later). But caring for animals and making plans for next year as kept our thoughts away from dead vegetables.
Our new year was also heralded in with the first crow from one of our roosters. We have over forty roosters here at Bluebird Farm. Believe it or not we did this intentionally. All of our roosters are part of our search for a better meat chicken and greater self-sufficiency. As the experiment suggests many of the roosters are destined for our table, but a select few will take up positions as part of our heritage chicken breeding program.
Most farms (including us) receive their chickens as day old chicks in the mail from large hatcheries. These hatcheries are located all over the United States. This fall our birds came from Missouri and Texas. While most hatcheries breed, hatch, and sell healthy good chickens there is one important drawback-there is no possibility of local adaptation. Along with plant breeding, animal breeding (especially poultry) has left the realm of the farmer and is now controlled by a relatively small number of larger companies. We are very interested in retaining at least a portion of control over our chicken breeds. So we plan to keep 1-2 roosters from about 5 breeds to learn about chicken breeding and raise some of our own layers and broilers. We look forward to sharing the results with all of you in the form of eggs and meat.
Winter is a farmer’s time to plan. The most notable planning event (not that planning is typically a very exciting venture) took place on January 10th here at Bluebird Farm. We hosted over 30 adults and children for a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) planning session. The result of the meeting is that our 2010 season CSA is planned! You can learn all about the CSA on our newly updated website. There is information on the general CSA concept as well as size, cost, and logistics of Bluebird Farm CSA.
Our pork will be available in only one month. We are accepting advance orders on family packs. If you place a deposit on a family pack before January 31st you will receive free delivery (Morganton area only). CSA members who place their CSA deposit by January 31st will also receive an additional 5% off of Pork Family Packs. Our pork, chickens, and vegetables will also all be available at the Morganton Farmers’ Market beginning the second Saturday in May through the second Saturday in October. We have also applied to attend the Hickory Farmers’ market. We look forward to seeing you this coming summer at the farm and at farmer’s markets!
William and Marie