Friday, April 15, 2011

Did you know? Fun farm trivia

I posted this about 4 years ago, but thought that I would share it again.

A list of common to little known farm animal facts:
  • Cows are herbivores
  • Cows and bulls can have horns
  • Cows have 4 stomachs
  • A heifer is a cow who has not had a calf yet, once she gives birth she becomes a cow
  • Cows have no top teeth, only bottom teeth
  • When a rabbit gives birth, it is called kindling
  • Rabbits are herbivores
  • Rabbits chew their cud, similar to cows
    • A rooster is not needed for hens to lay eggs
    • A young laying hen, before she is old enough to lay eggs, is called a pullet
    • Chickens are omnivores
    • Chickens (and all poultry) don't have a stomach, instead they have a crop located in their neck.
      • A baby turkey is called a poult
      • Turkeys are omnivores
      • Pigs are omnivores

      Which one did you find the most surprising? Do you have one to add?

      Coming up next week - I'll start the book discussion on Marketing Grassfed Products Profitably. Click here to see my previous post about this.

      Thursday, April 14, 2011

      What's Your Favorite Farm Animal?

      (Photos by Brie Aronson)

      Cows are my favorite farm animals, hands down. There isn't anything as soothing and comforting to me as cows. Their sturdiness and steadiness, their soft breathing and rhythmic cud-chewing... to me, cows are comforting. I love them. Beef and Dairy cows. Just love 'em.

      What's your favorite farm animal, and why?

      Tuesday, April 12, 2011

      Seasonal farm hands arrive

      Everyone knows you can't farm alone. Why would you want to? Thus, we are delighted to introduce our seasonal help for our first year at Buxton Farm; Daphne and Vinay. You can tell from their unique names that they come from afar with great purpose and intention to learn animal husbandry with us.

      Daphne was born in Rome, Italy and got her degree in Architecture in Santa Barbara, California in 2007. Vinay is from India and has lived in  Africa, Canada, and England and other countries. He's spoiling us with his incredible cooking using special indian spices in chicken curries and breakfast porridges made from soaking quinoa in indian herbs with warm milk. I have a renewed interest in cardamom, cinnamon, and cloves!
      Our paths crossed several years ago when we met taking a permaculture design course in Ventura California. We have so many things in common and share great conversation and endless ideas.

      Besides daily chores yesterday, Daphne helped us plant our hoop house, rescue our broilers in the field from a (sudden) flood, and carry a water trough for the cows 1/2 mile (uphill) in a hail storm. The farm roads flooded and we had no access to vehicles. She passed her initiation with flying colors! 

      It's a treat for us to have a wonderful married couple on the farm with us.  We get 4 months with them before they head off to Australia for a Sustainable Aid Course with permaculture teacher Robyn Frances.  Stay tuned  for more stories and some delicious indian and italian recipes! 


      I've been re-reading Michael Pollan's The Omnivore's Dilemma lately and found myself again fascinated by the chapter on mushrooms. Not really plants, and not really animals, mushrooms are technically fungi - which is a category most of us don't use on a regular basis!

      Last spring, Dan took logs and drilled holes in them, carefully filling each with shitake or oyster mushroom spores. He then placed them up against the barn, in a microclimate that is damp and cool. With the rainy days and warmer nights we've been having, mushrooms have begun to pop up all over them,.
      We'll also be attempting to grow mushrooms in woodchips underneath the apple trees, as well as in straw inside the hoophouses this spring.
      A pretty shitake that recently flushed (the term for when a mushroom fruits).
      Have you ever grown mushrooms?
      What is your favorite way to cook with mushrooms?

      Monday, April 11, 2011

      Too busy?

      I'm so sorry I'm just now posting. My Grandmother, who also happens to be one of the best friends I ever had and really more of a 2nd mother than a Grandmother, is very ill and it seems as if she will only be with us another few days. She's 93. While sitting with her last night and thinking about what I will remember most about her (besides her cooking!) the same thought kept coming to mind.....three words that never came out of her mouth were "I'm too busy". She was never too busy to cook breakfast, lunch and dinner FROM SCRATCH every day for anyone who showed up. She was never too busy to take care of sick grandchildren whose parents needed to work when they needed to be home from school. She was never too busy to play baseball and run the bases in 100 degree weather. She was never too busy to take a walk downtown to Woolworth's to get a milkshake. She was never too busy to tell you a story. She was never too busy to sit on the porch swing with you when no one would play with you. She was never too busy to stay up and watch the ball drop on New Year's Eve. She was never too busy to teach you how to cook or make her super secret carmel icing. Everyone gathered at her house. She was always home in the kitchen or in the garden planning the next meal or waiting to see who needed her for something. She's never not been available. Now it's our time to take care of her. And I will think twice from now on before I tell my daughter or friends or parents that "I'm too busy". More on my love of the farming life next week..................

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