Friday, May 27, 2011

May Farm Update

Been a very busy month here with stuff simply bursting. Every laying hen we've got has raised a brood this spring and while egg production is down a bit on that it won't stay that way for long. I'm looking to bring the scale of poultry up to about 100 birds(ducks/chickens) this year as the planting is now of scale to support that many birds in pasture. The flax seed broadcast in the newly cleared areas are setting now, and should provide ample fodder. Where the chickens go so goes nitrogen! and the banana planting in the swales surrounding the chicken area and aquaponics are approaching commercial scale--certainly will be that way soon. I had no real intention to get into bananas in a big way when I got here, but they've done so well and will withstand planting in the worst soggy places--we should be producing a couple hundred pounds a week here by the end of the season-- way way more than we can handle!-- so we'll see if there's some kind of small time market for them. Seems that there is and the quality we produce is better than most. The big question is whether or not to expand in a big way into dairy goats this year, and we'll see how that works out, but we've got pasture and fodder for them now, and it's might be the natural next step. Having been big into cheesemaking and all that in the past, and the climate here being good for that sort of thing, it's probably worth a go, but a big responsibility too. One step at a time!

Planted quite a few koa and coffee this last few weeks and most seem to be doing fine especially with the weather good for that. Pigs have got a few and I'm going to have to start watching for that a little closer but all in all they're staying in the ground. It's great to see some of the first trees planted getting to the point that they look, well like real trees!-- and we're going to get some meaningful coffee harvest this year for the first time. Last year there wasn't much but what we had was very good, extremely low acid and flavorful. We should be able to pick a few hundred pounds of cherries this year if all goes like it looks it will.