Posted by John Suscovich on Jul 31st, 2014 | Comments Off on Hops and Chickens in the Summer
There is no shortage of things to do on farm these days. With the busy days comes the immense reward of farm life. There is fresh chicken and vegetables on the table, the hops are flowering and starting to smell like fresh beer, and the raspberries have been amazing.
Here are some highlights from the farm to illustrate how great things are going:
Many of our second year hop plants have topped 18 feet tall and are filling up with cones. Even the plants that didn’t get the height are filling out with the delicious beer ingredient.
Inside these hop flowers lupulin is forming. While lupulin plays a major role in the bitterness and aroma of hops, it is also has a relaxing effect on the body which helps you mellow out, gives you confidence, and makes you a great singer.
This little critter is one of our sheep. They came on farm originally to help us prune the hop plants. Not surprisingly we have become attached. Now there is serious talk about expanding the herd as part of the farm. One thing is for certain, they’re darn cute.
This little devil has been plaguing our greenhouse tomatoes. The tomato horn worm will eat everything in its’ path. It’s a good thing we have feathered friends on the farm who love to eat them.
When you walk up to the chicken coops with a little container of tomato horn worms just picked from the green house the chickens always seem to know. They come running for a snack. Why do you think our eggs have such a good protein count?
Waiting with bated breath for the next delivery of precisely plucked plump plant pests.
This rooster I have dubbed “The Clown”. I mean, look at the guy. He’s shy so you don’t always get a chance to spy him. I had to crawl under the coop for this picture. He’s an Americana rooster. When he sees you he runs away and it kind of sounds like he’s laughing. Maybe it’s all a game to him?
Besides hops we are also growing a few other things for the brewery. Here we have a winter squash bed with some green beans mixed in. They will be ready and able to store for when they brewery is up and running. Update on that = next picture. (The green beans are for pickling.)
The site is prepped for the brewery and the molds for the footings are in. As I write this the concrete is being poured for the beginning of the foundation. Very exciting!
The chicken CSA has been going great this summer. We are loving seeing all the returning members each week as well as the regulars and new folks at the farmers’ market. Here a batch of broilers hangs out during the day in one of our chicken tractors. The pink spots on them are where they haven’t grown feathers because of the heat. Completely normal, if not a little weird looking.
Because we love our chickens so much we are constantly working to improve their living situation. Here Nick is adding a deck extension to hold feeders for the laying hens. Their coop has gone through a bunch of upgrades and the hens seem to really like it. Next we need to make little rocking chairs for the new deck.
What would be a blog post without a picture of everyone’s favorite farm baby? Mabel says, “hello.” Though it might not sound anything like that. She can say, “Da Da,” though, and it makes me melt. It kind of looks like Kate is pushing the swing with mind powers.
Now this sure is purdy! Thanks for stopping in, enjoying the photos, and supporting the farm!