Monday, November 9, 2020

GFF Farm Report

We seem to have enough news that we are due for a farm report to get everyone up to date on the doings at the Genuine Faux Farm.

2020 Turkeys Sold Out

We are pleased that our turkeys did, in fact, sell out for this year.  We realize that many folks are looking at small or no gathering for Thanksgiving, which means less opportunities for us to make sales to individuals.  This is especially true since our birds run in size from 14 to 24 pounds typically.  

Happily for us, the kitchens at Jorgensen Plaza can use our largest birds over time - and use them efficiently.  We recognize that these folks are also fighting all of the challenges that the pandemic has brought to them, yet they still ordered fifteen turkeys from us.  This is one of those cases that they know these birds are excellent quality and that they can spread their use out over the coming year, even if there isn't a big Thanksgiving celebration.

Another large batch of birds have been taken to the Local Foods Connection in Grinnell.  LFC has purchased turkeys from us in prior years to give to families who could use them.  LFC's goal is to promote local foods to persons who might feel that they are 'priced out' of the opportunity to participate in these sorts of purchases.  Apparently, the turkeys are pretty popular and the demand from this group was higher than in previous years.  

In the end, we feel gratitude to all who purchased turkeys from us and got them from us so quickly.  There have been numerous circumstances this year that made this more important than ever to us.  Thank you!  The positive results encourage us to strongly consider continuing to raise turkeys in the coming years (as we have done since... oh... 2009 or so).

2021 Garlic is Planted

One of the big late Fall tasks that often weighs on us is the garlic planting for the next season.  Over the last few years, we've had to deal with cold, wet soils and all sorts of delays.  This year, the delays have been largely personal and not weather related.  But, on November 8, Tammy and I got them into the ground and we'll be able to mulch them once we have the chance to do so.  We both were amazed by how warm and mellow the soil was this year.  This is remarkable because so many of our garlic planting efforts have been in less than ideal conditions.

Yes, it was a bit windy, but we dealt with that.  

Our 2021 garlic crop will again be smaller as we think we only planted about 1800 head for next season.  For a point of reference, we had regularly been planting between 3000 and 3300 each year.  Last year, we planted about 2100.  

I think our biggest reason to celebrate this accomplishment is the fact that the weather is due to turn in the next set of hours.  We really needed to get this done.  Mulching CAN (and will) happen later.

Per the norm, there are many additional tasks we really would like to get done before Winter really takes hold.  But, garlic planting is one big thing off the list.

Weather Scheduling Issues

Like last year, we had some November weather in October that really crimped our efforts on the farm.  And, of course, the weather got nice this past week at a point when our human schedules would not allow us to take advantage of it.  It turns our, two motivated people can accomplish a great deal in a couple of days.  But, we can't help wishing the weather schedule had lined up with the human schedule a bit better this time around.

Now, we can accomplish many things in 45 degree weather.  But, there is so much of it we would rather do in 55 or 60 degree weather.  Common November complaint on the farm.  We'll deal with it and move on.

Happy Hens

Our current hen flock has got to be one of the more pleasant flocks we have had in recent memory.  The birds are, generally speaking, not prone to 'freaking out' over nothing and there much less uproar in the hen room than we have had with some flocks.  Usually, there is a bird or two that just likes to get upset over anything.  

You know.  Stuff like another bird in their nest box... or the box next to their nest box... or the straw is too pokey... or the newsprint is too small to read.  Whatever.  

If we have any complaint, its that they like the farmers a bit too much.  It can get difficult to walk when they all want to be right where you are!

Oh - and egg production is good.  We average between 65 and 70 eggs per day with this flock.  That's a good return for our efforts.

A Good Weekend after a Rough Week

The two of us had a rough week this past week, but we managed to pull ourselves together and have an extremely productive weekend.  This has done wonders for our attitudes.  But, watch out, I'm sure we'll find a way to get grumpy again!

While some might assume that our rough week came as a result of the election and ensuing breath-holding that came with careful counting, our rough week was more personal in nature.  The election was merely a contributing factor.  We were both grateful for absentee ballot options because our schedules would have made voting in person very difficult as it turned out.

Here's hoping we can take a good weekend and follow it up with a good week!  Here's hoping you can also have a good week - thank you for reading our blog.

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