Sunday, July 24, 2011

Garlic Harvest 2011

We began lifting the garlic out of the ground on July 16th and finished on the 18th. This season the weather could not have been more perfect. All three days were some of the coolest temperatures of July. As always we placed the garlic in our barn's loft and use commercial size fans to begin the curing process. We began cleaning the garlic on the 23th and finished on the 25th, some of the hottest days of July. But working in the barn on those hot days with the fans going was quite pleasant. The turkey poults are still in the orchard and each of the days we pulled garlic I was surrounded by the poults and their mothers for the entire day, some times I would look up and the poults were no more than 15 ft away eating weed seeds or bugs or both. This years crop of galric looks very good with some real nice size Music and German White garlic. The image is some of the Music garlic crop.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Turkeys that look like Quail

Seeing Turkeys in New England and in our Orchard is usually not noteworthy. Jean and I were moving a piece of fencing last week and heard a flutter of wings. When we looked up it looked like a covey of quail was in the air, about eight birds. We looked down and seeing an adult female Turkey still walking we quickly realized that we had flushed a group of baby turkeys, poults. We have never seen poults fly before and were surprised how strongly they flew. The next day we noticed a second adult Turkey with poults and we now have two adult females with poults hanging out at the orchard with a total of twelve to sixteen poults. Today starts the second week they are hanging out. Very cool.

Where are the Sheep?

Shortly after we sold the bottle lamb this year we received a call from another family that purchased a starter flock from us last year. This family really liked the Soay and wanted to expand there flock. In discussing what they were looking for I suggested that they might want to purchase our entire flock. The combined flock come from three distinct blood lines with the newest line from our purchase of a lamb ram out of New York last season.. They now also have a ram and ewe that are pure "Johnson" line. The "Johnson" line was the original line of Soays prevelant in the New England area and were the Soay we began with back in 2003. We sold the sheep for a few reasons. Although we really like Soay we were ready for something different and this was an oppurtunity to place the entire flock with a family that wants to raise and breed Soay. Another reason was that we wanted to replace all the fencing in the front of the sheep's pen with new fencing and make a number of other infrastructure changes in that area. What's next for animals at Elwood Orchard? Not sure, we have a few ideas but some of our first thoughts are turning out to be difficult to find, but we are still working on them... stay tuned.