Monday, July 6, 2009

July newsletter from the farm

Fresh, a documentary about sustainable food, came out in very limited release this spring. Being unable to find any showings in Illinois, we decided to host a screening right here on the farm at 7 p.m., Friday, July 31. We'll be watching the movie in the barn closest to the road. If you've never been here before, you can come at 5:00 for a tour of the farm. Bring a picnic supper and eat under an oak tree. We'll have drinks available for purchase, as well as farm-fresh produce, goat milk soap, and wool products from our sheep.

This Saturday, July 11, we have Canning 101: How to Make Jam at 1:30. Price of $28 includes a quart of u-pick black raspberries that you can take home to eat fresh, make into a cobbler, or can your own jam.

Next Saturday, July 18, at 10 a.m., we'll have our popular Morning in the Life of a Dairymaid class, where you'll meet cows, learn how to milk a goat, and how to make cheese, yogurt, and buttermilk. Cheeses include mozzarella, chevre, riccota, and queso blanco.

We are considering raising more pork for the freezer, so if you are interested in buying a hog or half a hog, please contact me to reserve one. We expect them to be processed around November or December. Price will probably be around $3 per pound plus processing.

As for turkeys -- I'm glad we didn't take deposits! We had one mama hatch nine babies in May, and within three days they had all disappeared. We had another mama hatch nine babies in June, and so far, she still has eight of them. They are in a movable pen, so they get plenty of fresh air, sunshine, and grass -- and they are safe from predators. We also hatched two batches of turkey eggs in the incubator, with very little success. Our hatch rate was about 15%. Without dragging you through all the math, I'll summarize by saying that we have about a dozen turkeys that will probably processed for Thanksgiving. If you are interested in a Thanksgiving turkey, send me an email, and I'll put you on the waiting list. Repeat customers will be given first priority. Deposits won't be due until August, when I have more confidence about the number of turkeys we will actually have available.

We videotaped the birth of one of our goats in January, edited it to less than six minutes, and posted it on You Tube. To watch Carmen give birth, click here. We've started an Antiquity Oaks channel on YouTube and hope to post more videos of life on the farm.

Other news – we have a summer communication intern who is working on a complete redesign of the Antiquity Oaks website to put a new emphasis on our educational opportunities. As you know, we've started offering more classes this year. We are working on creating internship opportunities, as well as a membership option. If you have been living vicariously through us and wish you could spend a day or two out here, working in the garden, playing with baby goats (yes, that really is a job), and making cheese or soap, drop me an email.

I hope to see a lot of you on July 31, for the screening of Fresh and a discussion of local, sustainable food.

If you would like to subscribe to our newsletter through Yahoo, click here. You can email Deborah at Antiquity Oaks dot com for directions to the farm or to make reservations. Otherwise, use the comment section for questions of a general nature.

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