To Everything There Is a Season

January 13th, 2013
Laughing Duck Farm | Blog

    I hope everyone had a great holiday season and New Year.  We were trying to get Christmas squared away and I was going to have two nice ducks from the barn ready to go, but the weather and my schedule didn’t permit that to happen.  Thankfully my friend Karin Sinclair had one big turkey they had raised left that no one had bought.  The day before Christmas she posted on Facebook that she was going to throw it in the oven if no one wanted to buy it.  I jumped at the opportunity, I knew it got to run around the Sinclair Family Farm living the good life before making many nourishing meals for us.  I think that it was the biggest, moistest, and most flavorful turkey I have ever cooked.

    Quite early in the year I had stopped mowing the lawn, and a lot of the grass was harvested for the rabbits, goats, chickens and ducks using one of the great grass sickles from Peaceful Valley.  There was another method to my madness.  I wanted to lay down some pathways and start planting more trees and fruiting bushes in the yard.  My goal is to create a food forest of perennials and a few annuals.  Sometimes deciding the best place to put paths and plants is not as easy as just planting.  So I decided to ask nature to help, well er, sort of… I truly just let Bob our border collie and the other dogs blaze the paths.  They did a great job setting up a network and we put a lot of chipped wood from the neighborhood down on the paths so we don’t loose them.

    Sadly we lost Bob after Christmas, he had been doing poorly this last year and was not about to slow down one bit.  With the cold weather and his health deteriorating rapidly we sadly had to make a decision.  Thankfully, he has left us a wonderfully useful set of trails that we can always remember him by.  He also let me know where his final resting place would be so he can always keep watch over the livestock, happily doing his job.



    We started letting the chickens and ducks out during the day in the front yard to eat bugs, plants, worms and slugs and snails.  As we had lost a few to the coyotes and bobcats I think giving them the yard area as an option over the larger pasture should reduce the losses.  We have hot wire on some areas, blackberries on others and extra high fencing for the chicken yard. With the expansion into the pasture for the birds we have to look at added measures to reduce losses.  On a recent visit to Peaceful Valley I picked up the Solar Night Eyes in hopes that it helps with at least some of the dusk and night time visits of predators looking for fowl and nibbly animals looking for a garden snack.

    I will try to put in a few other updates from over the holiday season and hope to see some folks at the Nevada County Sustainable Food and Farm Conference January 19-20, 2013.  Each year this has been a great event and I will be participating with the Freshman Farmer Panel this year, what an honor.  I want to thank Eric Dickerson and the other folks that help make this great event happen, and get great keynote speakers each year.  I am quite excited to be able to listen to, and hopefully meet Will Allen who started Growing Power in Milwaukee and now Chicago.  If you don’t know about it go visit their website http://www.growingpower.org/ and prepare to be inspired by the Good Food Revolution. We have now made it to a new Era of Food… Turn, Turn, Turn... I hope to see you there.


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