What do you do when your father comes to visit? Why put him to work assembling your seed spreader! With big rain in the report for Northern California we created our own seed mix of general pasture, rye grass and clovers to cast over our acreage. We are extremely water conscious here on the farm and do not irrigate our fields during the summer, big rains means an explosion of color on the landscape again.
Blue Ribbons All Around From The National Heirloom Expo in Santa Rosa!
We keep a closed flock here on the farm which means that we do not bring any new birds onto the premises. We do this to protect the health of our breeding stock from various diseases other flocks can carry. We are proud to be part of the National Poultry Improvement Plan, every bird on our property has been tested clean of diseases.
Keeping a closed flock means that we cannot open the farm to visitors or take our birds to shows unless the birds are sold at the shows. This year we decided to participate in the National Heirloom Expo put on by Baker Creek Seeds because we are aligned with their mission of preserving heritage breeds of livestock and seeds. We entered a small sampling of our breeds into the judging and were pleased to have each one of our birds win a blue ribbon!
We held a silent auction for a breeding quality pair of Svart Hona and at the end of the fair it was none other than the founder of Baker Creek Heirloom Seed Company who won them. It was bittersweet seeing Darth and Duchess off to their new home but we know they are now in excellent hands!
alchemist_farmBlue Ribbons For Our Birds From The National Heirloom Expo
Here our littlest farm hand is working the Philips head screw driver to install new batteries in our auto coop doors for the season. She is very proud of being tall enough to help with the every day tinkering tasks farm life demands 🙂
We took a break from chick wrangling today to make elderberry syrup in preparation for the coming winter.
The task of separating the berries from the stem is perfect for little hands and also serves as an invitation for little minds to learn about medicine making!
We have been starting off the hatching season with a bang. We set and hatch twice a week so there is always a nice variety of chicks on hand here at the farm.
Fantastic folks from all over the country have been ordering hatching eggs and chicks from us. We take great care and time to package our eggs and chicks in such a way that they arrive safe to their new homes.
Here is a photo of how we package our eggs for shipment. We bubblewrap each egg, double box, and label the daylights out of each box to ensure a safe journey.
Here is how our chicks are shipped. We can ship 25 chicks that are less than four days old or a handful of juveniles in our shipping boxes. We add grogel to the box so the chicks have hydration and food for the journey, when needed we always add a heat pack.
We are carefully working through our waiting lists and are proud to let people know that we are part of the NPIP program which allows us to legally ship hatching eggs and chicks over state lines and to anyone in the United States!
alchemist_farmHatching Eggs And Chicks Are Shipping Now
Our smallest of breeds has been bringing us a lot of laughter and joy these past few weeks. We have been free ranging our little flock near a briar thicket that they can dash into if a hawk comes. Every now and again they get adventurous and saunter up to the back door and poke around. Yesterday we caught they clucking happily away while they laid eggs in this pile of baskets 🙂
I woke up at 5 this morning, the air was crisp and still. My family was asleep as were all the hens so I seized the moment. After scraping ice off the windshield of our trusty old truck TinkerBell I hitched our mobile coop up and pulled it from the back part of the property to the front.
Our animals depend on us to give them fresh pasture to search for bugs, to eat fresh grass, to always be in the healthiest of conditions. Getting to provide that to them lets me know I am doing my job correctly. It is A LOT of work, but we are committed to treating every animal we live with well.
In the stillness of the sunrise I watched the automatic chicken door come up and the ladies hop out one by one, clicking in approval at their new digs. I love what I do and I would not trade it!
Here at the farm we specialize in breeds that lay beautiful eggs in high production but we also have two breeds that are more of what we call “trophy birds”. The kind that when you look at a flock of chickens really catch your friends eye and cause them to say “what on earth is that chicken!”
Behold the fantastic hairdo of the Pavlovskaya hen – one of the breeds we will be releasing in spring 🙂