Monday, June 11, 2012

Going green

The term going green gets tossed around a lot these days.  We see it bandied about by corporations trying to convince "consumers" that it cares about the environment.  Here, we just felt that was the best way to describe the greening of our garden with delicious heirloom seed vegetables.

Featured prominently in the foreground is our ripening Rapini Broccoli.   A non "heading" variety, it produces shoots similar to asparagus.  It's also a great producer with excellent flavor.  Also pictured are regular "headed" broccoli, two different variety of beets as well as celery and radishes.
While it's a pleasure to see all of our beds going green, it's taken a lot of time and twice daily watering to get it to this point.    Last year we were coming off one of the wettest springs ever and this year we feel like we're living in the desert Southwest.   We're considering growing cactus!  At least they do well with little rainfall.  We also are looking at harvesting the plethora of weeds that grow whether we water them or not.  There's a bumper crop already!   Salad weeds anyone?
Mother Nature is rumored to be heading our way with a shower or two in the next few days, so please keep our fingers crossed.  Rain dance on hold.  

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Seeing red

Most of us know that when somebody says "I'm seeing red", they are angry and somebody's in trouble.  But recently, for us here at Cherokee Valley Bison Ranch it means baby bison and baby pigs!     For those of you that haven't seen baby bison, they are born with a beautiful red fluffy coat! 

After about 3 - 4 months, they shed that red coat and begin growing in their brown coat for the cold weather ahead.  
Right now however, seeing red in the form of the ever playful baby bison is something we just can't get enough of.  Two boundless bundles of energy are frolicking in our pastures right now - one bull (boy) calf and one heifer (girl) calf.  Mommas Bessie and Buffy are doing a great job of rearing our next generation of bison.  Come on out and see them and bring your camera!

Seeing more red in the form of our heritage breed Tamworth hogs has also proved very entertaining!   We've raised a couple of feeder hogs the past two years and this year we decided to go "whole hog".  Raising the American icon bison also led us to look at other heritage breeds.  Tamworths, originating in Ireland are a true heritage breed that's not found on every hog farm, but it is gaining popularity.  Part of that popularity is due to this hogs ability forage and thrive on pasture.  Another reason is this hog's well earned reputation as the king of bacon hog!  They also raise large litters and are known for their excellent mothering skills!   Doesn't that sound like a winning combination?
Like every baby farm animals, our pigs are cute and very entertaining!    With our red hogs, our red baby bison as well as our red rabbits and chickens, everywhere we look on our farm this spring we're seeing red.  And we couldn't be happier! Make your way out to the ranch and see red for yourself!