Monday, April 14, 2014

Spring Has Sprung

Hallelujah! Spring has sprung! This past weekend was so wonderful, all that good vitamin D from the sun had us smiling all weekend :) We will just pretend that the next couple of days aren't going to happen, after this past winter SNOW is the dirtiest 4 letter word I know! Nonetheless, things are going great at the ranch.

We have 2 rooms of our house filled with vegetable plants and they are growing strong. Soon, we will move them to the greenhouse to await the last frost while soaking up plenty of sun. Phase 1 of the garden relocation is complete. The piggies plowed their hearts out and the soil is ready for tilling. Weather permitting that will be done this week. Hard to believe but it's time to plant cabbage and kale this week. Next week we have lots of early season goodies going in like peas, radishes and lettuce to name a few! MMM I can already taste fresh salad.

In the barnyard, Rosie is due to farrow (have baby pigs) in the next couple of weeks she has been growing wider and wider! We are also on the lookout for little red calves, baby bison season is right around the corner and we could get our first calf anytime. Turkeys are in the hen house and laying eggs, already planning your Thanksgiving dinners. Our future egg layers have been weeding the greenhouse for us and will be out on grass within the week, it will still be a few months before they are laying but they are getting big! Meat chicks will be on their way soon and on their way to delicious chicken dinners. YUMMY.

I cant hide the fact that spring is my favorite season, my eyes are overjoyed at the sight of all the green, my ears by the sound of birds chirping and peepers at the creek romancing their mates and the smell of flowers that have been hiding for months. Hoping you all are finding joy in the season of awakening, too!


Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Wanna Be Startin' Somethin'

We gotta be startin' somethin'...seeds that is! Last week marked the beginning of the gardening season for us. We planted some cabbage, peppers and thyme. Now we have a bunch of green sprouts peeking out at us. It warms my heart, even though the weather is still cold. Next week we will be starting the 5 varieties  of tomatoes we are offering this year as well as celery and oregano. By April our living room will look like a jungle! It gets me to salivating thinking about all of the delicious vegetables we will be raising and providing to our CSA members.I personally cant wait for homemade tomato sauce with fresh herbs!  It's not too late to join us for 2014! Send us an email or give us a call to find out how to get started! I've made myself hungry...gotta find a snack! Here's some photos of last years bounty:





Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Spring Is In the Air

Spring is coming! Even though we are sitting here watching it snow we know its coming. Our animals are telling us so. Every morning for the past week Sir Lancelot, our beautiful peacock, has been tuning up his signature call. It was pretty rough at first, like a singer warming his voice, but now he is singing his love song loud and clear! We have also seen him fanning his spectacular tail! What a welcome sight after all these cold months.


 The turkeys are also starting to hang out like a bunch of shy teen agers, the boys are hanging in a group and the girls are hanging in their own group. They are scoping each other out! We have been frantically trying to get the new turkey barn finished before the urge strikes and they start mating and laying eggs anywhere and everywhere besides where we want them to. It's that wild turkey streak in them that sends them to the woods, weeds etc. to make their nest.

Miss Rosie Piggins, our sow, seems to be "in a piggy way". She has been taking it easy and getting lots of rest in her delicate condition. Although a 600 pound sow seems anything BUT delicate. We are anticipating little bacon bits mid-May. There's nothing cuter than baby pigs!


Spring can hurry along any time and we'd be just fine with that! Stay warm!

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Rural Heritage Magazine

We've made the big time! Your favorite bison ranch was featured in Rural Heritage magazine in the Feb/March issue. What an honor! The magazine is sold at TSC and Farm and Fleet. It's also available from the publisher. Thanks to Karen Kirsch, the author, for writing such a great article about our farm.

Here is a link to the magazine article available to read online.

https://www.ruralheritage.com/reading_room/sample.htm


Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Winter Scheming and Dreaming

Winter is the time we long for to rest, regroup and plan all the ways we are going to work ourselves silly for the next growing season! We are looking at a whole new management shift for 2014. After visiting our "farm hero" Joel Salatin we had a lot more insight into ways to better manage our pastures and hay grounds. So far this winter we have read tons of books on grazing, poultry and gardening. We are well armed with knowledge! Now we have to impatiently wait for spring! Here's a photo to get us in the mood.



Sunday, February 10, 2013

Just Veggin

We all like to just "veg out" every once in a while.  It helps to restore our depleted energy on a cold winters day and allow our frazzled minds to wander to a better place.  For us recently, that better place has been a sunny summer's day in our garden.  It seems that each winter about this time we tend to crave the rich, fresh taste of one of the many varieties of heirloom vegetables that we grow.  Heirloom vegetables or fruits, (Generally recognized as those 1951 and before) selected for their ability to thrive in various climates, their size and great taste are just some of the reason that these cultivars were selected and passed down generation after generation.  So while we love a sled ride down a snow packed hillside just as much as the next person, these vegetables have been a driving factor in why we long for summer well before winter is even close to writing is final chapter. 
The photo here shows an abundance of produce that came out of our garden two summers ago.  We had many harvests just like this the past two summers from using only heirloom seeds, with ZERO pesticides, herbicides or any other 'cides whatsoever. It's truly a marvel to put a tiny seed into the ground and with a modest amount of care-taking watch it turn into something marvelous and healthful!   
So where does your mind go when you "veg out"?  If you've also spent many a winter weekends pining for vegetables like these here but don't have the space, time or desire to spend your summer weekends weeding those gardens, maybe it's time to consider investing in your health by purchasing a share in a Community Supported Agriculture.  With that investment, you receive weekly "shares" of the gardens bounty all summer long.  And not spending your sweltering summer weekends weeding, allows you to veg out and let your mind go to a better place like swishing down a snow packed winter ski slope :-)    We here at Cherokee Valley Bison Ranch are offering a limited number of shares in our CSA.  For more information, contact us via email and we'll send you out the details. 
Happy vegging!

Sunday, February 3, 2013

The chicken AND the egg

I don't know about the rest of you, but on average I eat eggs for breakfast 5 out of 7 days.  For as long as I can remember I have LOVED eggs!  I grew up on a farm where we didn't raise our own eggs, but got them not from the store, but from our neighbor down the road.  I feel lucky today to have had the early exposure to eggs and know where they come from.  They're not some conical sphere made in a factory by the millions, but a delicious, precious and biological result of a chicken's life.  Chickens make eggs without us doing anything to coax them out.  If you want little chickens to hatch instead of something to make an omelet, get a rooster to mate with the hen and fertilize them.     So, there you have it, eggs are NOT a man-made product manufactured in a factory.  Chocolate eggs however are not laid by chocolate birds but are made in a factory.  They're also delicious, but not nearly as healthy.   
So where do you get your eggs?  Do you buy them from a supermarket?  Maybe you also are fortunate enough to live near a farmer that raises chickens for egg production.  Or perhaps you are like us and you raise your own chickens.  Farmers markets are increasing at record numbers across the country and hopefully some of you purchase them there.  If any of you are buying your eggs from anything other than a supermarket, you may have initially suffered from sticker shock.  $3.00 or more for a simple dozen eggs seems almost outlandish and greedy when you can still get the same dozen at your Walmart or equivalent for $1.00 or so.  But are those products the same?   If you were able to see first-hand the conditions in an industrial egg farm contrasted with that of a small family farm with truly free range hens would you still buy that $1 dozen for you and your families tables?   "Ethical eating" isn't a term we all grew up with, but it's something that should become part of your everyday vocabulary.   Included below are a couple of links that we found useful and hope that you will too.  If you haven't sourced your eggs directly from a farmer, try it soon and see the difference for yourself. 
http://grist.org/article/food-the-price-of-cheap-walmart-eggs-mummified-hens-and-tainted-eggs/  and