February 16

If 35 deg. Farenheight already feels balmy in the mid-Vermont winter, then try spending a couple of minutes in our -40 degree storage freezer. Walking outside feels equivalent to teleporting to Hawaii. Corie, Brandon and I finally tackled the looming meat inventory project, which has been a big to-do on our collective plate (inventory & beach teleportation, equally). It helps us plan out the rest of our year in terms of meat sales, and guides how we approach expanding our animal herds. It was fun and frantic to sort through all of the beautiful pieces: bacon, spare ribs, chuck roasts and sirloin steaks, tenderloins and bones. Inspiration for so many cooking projects swirl somewhere between my taste buds and imagination (recipes to come!). 

This week, Corie also gave our farm store freezer a make-over and created an informational cut sheet - two simple elements that have disproportionately elevated the meat-perusing experience. Yes: It has never been easier to find & bring home the bacon. 

Considerations for bacon, inventorying and long term herd planning are also culminating right now in our animal barn. We time our herds' birthing periods with specific seasonal landmarks so that our mamas and babies have access to the right nutrition and environmental conditions to thrive. We plan for farrowing (the birth of the piglets) for May, but recently learned that our pig's have other plans. Our two new-mamas-to-be, Georgette and Freya (namesake: lover in the night - this is clearly our fault) became pregnant earlier than we had hoped and planned for. The signs of their pregnancies are starting to become more obvious, and we believe that they may farrow in the next month. This means piglets in winter, before mud season, and before Gertie, our Sow gives birth, creating significant management challenges for us. Gertie and Elmer (the boar) are having pregnancy troubles of their own, and this cycle is Gertie's last chance to become pregnant in time for spring farrowing. So, join us in sending fertile thoughts and support to her!! 

Outside of animal world, it feels like every day there is more and more happening to engage kiddos in our farm and landscape. The first week of Village School was last week, and this semester welcomed some new faces, young and old(er). Long time farm friend Braden has just joined Bekah and Alex as a co-mentor, and the tribe grows. Alex shared a vivid window into what life is like in a day of Village School in his story "It's Good To Be Back", below. 

We are also excited to collaborate with another good friend of the farm, local herbalist and educator, Kenzie McDonald, who will lead kid's herbalism classes here this winter. Kenzie is also the inspiration behind our herbal themed camp week this summer, and we feel incredibly grateful for her knowledge, energy, and skill working with students of all ages. 

And lastly, movement continues bit by bit in the greenhouses. This longer bout of warm weather means that we can begin watering, and the first five beds were broadcast seeded with salad mix and cilantro seed on Monday. Normally, we plant in rows, but we love to experiment, observe and adapt - so we'll keep you informed as to how this experiment goes. 

We are lucky to have the ability to try new cultivation methods and develop our practices - and much of this freedom is created by selling our food through the CSA model. We truly appreciate the commitment of our CSA members, whose support creates so much stability and opportunity for us as a business. Registration for our Spring CSA Shares began this week, and we hope you join us! If so, you'll be the first to try our broadcasted Cilantro.