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Archive for March, 2011|Monthly archive page

Restocking Pork

In General Farm News, Pigs on March 26, 2011 at 1:50 pm

We said goodbye to four pigs last Wednesday, and delivered them to The Royal Butcher in Braintree, Vermont for processing.  When we arrived I met with Mike the butcher who would be cutting and directing the processing and packaging of our pigs. We talked about various cuts of pork and their cooking methods and thicknesses, and packaging options, while he took notes and nodded.  We decided that Wells Tavern Farm will bring back the thick pork chops – they will be cut at just under one inch thick. Combine the thick cut with a nicely marbled, heritage pork flavor, and moist meat, and that will be a truly wonderful chop!  We are slated to get restocked with: country ribs, shoulder steaks (which can be cooked in the same way; my favorites being BBQ in a slow cooker or sweet and tangy, also low and slow), chops, lard, fatback, breakfast sausage  and hot sausage. I have orders for other cuts already, so if there is something that you are looking for, shoot me an email before we sell out of it, if it is a high-demand product.

We will be leaving our pork belly and hams off at the smokehouse to be smoked by Jake early this coming week – that process is real smoking and curing – so it takes a month to get that wonderful Maple Syrup and Hickory Smoke goodness just right. Doing some fast calculations, that means that the Wells Tavern Farm Bacon and Ham Steaks (both thickly cut) should be back in stock at the end of April.

It is wonderful to have made it through the time change and now be able to take advantage of the later day sunlight.  Our chickens egg-laying-switches have been turned on, and they are back to laying eggs. You can find Wells Tavern Farm eggs until they sell out, on Saturdays at Enterprise Farm in Whately.

At a point sometime in the future (hopefully by the first few weeks of May) we will have ground beef patties back in stock.

In the fields:

The farm-based “nurturers” (us people) have had to walk the fence lines many, many times over the last week, after the whole herd snuck out and walked down the road about a quarter mile. Thank goodness for a neighbor who recognized the culprits as ours and drove up and told us that we were missing some ruminants. We will be fencing in another pig pasture and moving pigs around soon to separate out groups by age and function better.  Our Large Black Red Wattle sows (named “Thing One” and “Thing Two” ) and their piglets are doing fabulously.  I am not looking forward to castrating those piglets sometime soon.And yes, ALL of those piglets are already reserved. We ARE taking reservations for Summer piglets (which will be ready for taking home in the Fall). Send en email or call to get onto that list soon, if you are interested.

And shearing should happen sometime soon, as I am hoping that the two ewes are due somewhere between the end of April- middle of May. Noelle and Violet have a lot of fleece on them right now, and that should come off them before they lamb. Since we are not a sheep farm with dozens or hundreds of sheep, I contacted a neighbor who is also looking to get hers shorn, and we will get together on the same day for shearing by a professional she is contacting.

A long, long time ago, I was in a 4-Her in a Livestock Club (before I joined the Dairy Club), and I had Dorsets, and one Cheviot ram. At one time in my life  I knew how to both hand shear and electric shear sheep. I just would hate to read up on it, and then hurt my (perhaps pregnant ewes) by causing a miscarriage or bleeding that I can’t stop by poking them with the clippers (inexperienced errors). So a professional it is, at least this time.

When the mud dries up a bit more, the goat kids will go out into the pasture. They are growing like weeds, and we are very pleased with their personalities. When I manage to get a minute and post some pictures, you can see why we fell in love with them!

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Somewhat Agricultural

In General Farm News on March 13, 2011 at 11:26 am

Okay, so this is not purely farm related: but I cannot believe that the Commonwealth of Massachusetts is considering the following again:

The state’s 15-year-old prohibition on using leghold traps to capture beavers and other animals is being reconsidered on Beacon Hill.
The Legislature’s Committee on Environment, Natural Resources and Agriculture has scheduled a hearing for Monday on several bills dealing with trapping, including one that would repeal the ban on leghold and other body-gripping traps.
Supporters of the bill say the beaver population in Massachusetts has exploded since voters approved the ban in 1996. They say beaver dams are causing flooding and other environmental problems.
Animal rights groups say the steel-jaw leghold traps are cruel and cause unnecessary suffering for animals.
Box or net traps that ensnare the entire animal can still be used, and cities and towns can issue permits for body-gripping traps under certain emergency circumstances.

 

I am not opposed to hunting, I routinely eat meat, and I love animals as pets. I find the idea horrifying that those barbaric, and hideously dangerous things would be allowed to be legal.  What if my children unknowingly crossed our property line in the woods and fell onto one? Banish the thought.

And in other non-farm rural news, the Commonwealth is planning to “chemically treat” fr the Asian Longhorned Beetle in Boylston, West Boylston and Holden

…opportunity for the public to learn about plans to chemically treat more than 95,000 trees this spring.
Between April 25 and early July, the trees will be injected with an insecticide that’s proven effective against the bugs.

I understand the severity of the crisis with invasive species, but I really, really hate the thought of chemical applications into trees, at the ground level or otherwise. Once pesticides get into groundwater, there is no going back, if you get what I mean.  What is the Commonwealth coming to?