Thursday, October 20, 2016

Crenshaw Harvest has Begun, with a 16 lb Melon?

Finally... the time we have long awaited.. CRENSHAW MELONS! mmmmm, This is truly the Cadillac of melons!

Crenshaws are an heirloom melon, sort of a cross between a honeydew and a canteloup. The flesh is juicy, very sweet, and creamy tasting. Unlike any other melon we have tried.  These beautiful melons form the tail end of our melon harvest for the year.  the recent rains have brought an urgency to get them in from the garden before the wet soils make the melons burst from too much liquid.

This year was .. a bit odd.  The melons for hte most part kept growing instead of ripening. Not sure exactly what mechanism causes these late season melons to ripen, but it was missing! There are a few patches of ripe melons in the field, but most are still green and enlarging. some are HUGE! Our biggest melon so far weighed in at 16 1/2 lbs! Thats larger than many of the watermelons!

Common Question, why do we grow so many melons and sell so few?

Answer: The physiology of pigs works much like humans. The single best way to "fatten" a pig is with sugar, just like in humans. Fructose to be exact. In nature, the fructose in fall harvested fruit causes the buildup of fat for the longer winter months. We mimic that cycle by growing and feeding a high percentage of fructose laden produce (watermelons, crenshaw melons, etc) combined with the regular feed (often pumpkins and greens this time of year) to produce the absolute best pork imaginable! Well marbled, plenty of healthy lard, and a noticeably clean sweet meat flavor.

So, the harvest has begun. If we end up with more melons than necessary, we will offer a few for sale through our online store.

A crenshaw melon... lots of juicy sweet flesh and small seeds. Very efficient for storage of winter sugars.. not to mention TASTY!

This is a mostly ripe melon, they turn from green to yellow/orange as they ripen, and become a bit soft and VERY aromatic. This is a bit larger than average size for this melon.

This year's price winner... It was not vine ripened, but I picked it to make sure the wild turkeys didnt destroy this one. It weighs in at a whopping 16 1/2 lbs!
First crenshaws in storage, next to the remaining watermelons and some pumpkins. We will need more room soon!

Sunday, October 16, 2016

The kitchen sheep

This little lady fell prey to the bad weather... Approaching 4 inches of cold rain this weekend is a lot for our area. It was just too much for this younger girl. She somehow got soaked with rain and mud.

Kaelyn found her struggling to stand this afternoon... So naturally she brought the sheep inside. Doesn't everyone have sheep in their kitchen?

After a long warm bath, a towel dry followed by some serious blow drying.... she is much better. Regaining her body heat and strength quickly. So ... Naturally.... Kaelyn fixed her up with a little recovery spot in the kitchen. Dry towel, some fresh dry hay, and there are sits!

Kaelyn is definitely becoming our resident vet... Her natural instincts for caring for animals is quite strong.

Even the lamb is attached to kaelyn now. When she went out to get another handful of hay, the lamb went roaming around the kitchen calling for her nurse.

So yea.... Another kitchen sheep for the afternoon.

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Grants pass delivery begins in november

There has been a lot of requests for serving the grants pass area with our free home delivery service. Finally we have worked it all out and... Here we go!

We are now accepting customers in the grants pass area! There will be a monthly delivery, on the first Monday of each month, beginning in november! This includes all of our products, including organic soy free poultry feed!

So please feel free to share this news with friends and family in the grants pass area... They can sign up right here on the website under "how to buy".

Friday, September 30, 2016

Cauliflower in place of watermelon

Today we finished planting the cauliflower patch where the watermelons used to be.  This section took about 6 hours start to finish, to convert from growing watermelons to freshly planted cauliflower.

This is a new approach to the drip irrigation setup. The header pipes were spaced wide, for watermelon vines, by using the spacer pipes between each spigot pipe. To convert to narrow spacing was a simple process of unscrewing the spacer pipes and screwing on the spigot pipes. This took the area quickly from 6 wide row to 11 narrow rows.  But the Crenshaw melons are not ready to come out, so this narrow spaced section simple screwed right into the existing wide melon header in place. No changes required to the rest of the setup. I am pleased with the flexibility and ease of change with this drip irrigation system we are developing.

So.. as of today we have 11 rows of 70 yards each, with two types of heirloom cauliflower.

Here is the new patch... right next to the crenshaw melons in the background. 

You can see where the narrow spaced cauliflower  row header connects into the wide spaces melon header.  as easy as screwing two pipes together! 

Imagine this filled with cauliflower plants, half purple, half white.. ready for the slow  winter growth.