Winter greens, business start up, slacker chickens, and too many projects!

The title about sums up our winter. While we thought we would get some downtime this winter, we have not! All the things associated with starting a business as well as the equipment we have needed to build has kept us busier than we would like. Keith has finished building a post harvest area that includes a greens washer, spinner, dryer, wash table for root vegetables, egg station, packaging station, and walk in cooler. We still have a few loose ends to tie, but it should be ready for our spring bounty. We’ve already used the washer and spinner for greens and it’s been great!

Our Greenhouse produce has been harvested all winter for our egg customers and Bean Tree Cafe. We couldn’t be happier with the quality of greens. We made a lot of errors and found a lot we will do differently next winter, but for the most part it has been a success. Here’s a short video showing the equipment Keith built and the status of the greenhouse in January.

Keith also finished building the greenhouse for the chickens. They are much warmer and happier. We moved our rabbit hutches in the back section and gave them an area where we can let them out to run around. We are back and forth on whether the rabbits are worth our time. Since I want them the most, I have to do this chore. Not having to feed and water them in the snow, rain, and wind has been wonderful to say the least!

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This year was the first year we have went through molt with a larger amount of chickens and it was rough. We went from around 90 eggs a day to as few as 23. Our egg customers were not too happy either! They are wonderful though and completely understood. We will plan to order new birds each year to help counter this problem.

In January, we visited All Seasons Organic Farm in Carbondale, IL. Jill, the owner of the farm, welcomed us in and walked us around the whole property answering all of our questions. It was a very beneficial experience and we will hopefully dodge a few mistakes this year by gleaning from her wisdom. Here is their website: http://www.allseasons-farm.com/

 

We’ve also been working on some marketing projects. The new website is getting built, hats are ready, and we are about to place t-shirt orders. We’re also stoked about the sign my brother built for us; it totally exceeded anything we had planned (more pictures on that later)! It will be nice to see all these things come together in the next few months.

 

 

The girls are busy with their first year of 4H projects including meat chickens, meat rabbits, art, and sewing. We have some Holland Lops and Lionhead bunnies on the way. They should be ready for new homes by Easter. We have placed our seed order and are now going to have a couple weeks of down time before all the craziness really begins!

Thanks for checking out the update!

 

 

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