Tastes From Our Country Home
Eggs – $5/dozen
We keep a flock of laying hens that supply us with a bounty of colourful eggs. Why settle for brown or white eggs when you can also have pink, blue, green, or chocolate brown? We want our chickens to behave the way chickens were meant to behave. That means our birds live on pasture in mobile fencing and housing. We move them weekly to a fresh area of vegetation where they spend their days doing what they do best – scratching around and snapping up any small critters they can find. As a result, our hens lay nutritionally dense eggs, well above industry standards.
Maple Syrup – $11/500ml
We produce small batch, wood-fired maple syrup from sugar maples that we tap right here on our homestead. Most of our boiling is done outdoors on a maple arch over a wood fire. The finishing boil to produce the delicious syrup is done indoors. We are biased, of course, but we think it tastes amazing!
Soup Birds – $2 (hen) or $5 (rooster)
Since we grow our flock naturally, we have a surplus of roosters on hand. We also have some older hens of dual purpose breeds that will make a great chicken stock. If you’ve a taste for rooster meat or wish to make your own chicken stock, let us know…
Seasonal Roadside Stand – Variable prices
When the weather is fair our roadside stand is open. We stock it daily with dozens of eggs (kept cool in a cooler when the temperature starts to rise). Asparagus and rhubarb are the first produce of the year and appear in June. As the summer unfolds the produce on the stand progresses through greens, peas, garlic, summer squash, tomatoes, onions, carrots, and winter squash, among other items.
We also have available some items that won’t do well sitting by the roadside all day, buy that we can supply you with, if desired. These include herbs (chives, sage, basil, parsley, hyssop, and dill), as well as cut flowers, and raspberries (two crops, one in late July and a second from late August until the first frost).
So we did it. We took the plunge and got 2 breeding pairs of Kunekune’s. We are excited to get them out on grass as they enjoy eating 80% of their diet on grazing grass. So we are hoping to get posts and to put in a fence this spring. Either way with electric fencing and solar chargers we are starting with pigs.
A new strawberry patch is the works. 100 plants went in the ground the spring of 2020. In June 2021, we hope to harvest some delicious berries.
In the spring of 2017 we planted several trees each of apples, apricots, pears, peaches and plums , as well as sea buckthorns, black currants, elderberries, and some nitrogen-fixing trees and shrubs. Some time, some care, and some luck and we should have some organically grown tree fruits. Already we have enjoyed baskets of apples and currants and a few plums and and peaches. In 2020 we will add aronia berries, hardy kiwis and pawpaws.
We’re dreaming of growing our own shitake mushrooms. I think we just need to take the plunge and do the work to inoculate some pieces of oak or maple with spore. After that, it’s waiting and maintenance for a year, as the mushrooms won’t “bloom” until year 2.
Beekeeping is something we would really like to get into. Having an orchard and multiple vegetable and flower gardens, bees are appreciated for their pollination services. Any honey we could get would be an added bonus! Now, to decide on hive style: top bar hive, Warre hive or Langstroth hive….?
We would like to eventually get some goats, sheep, and/or cows. And both Grandpa and our children would one day like to get a horse. The first step toward this goal is already completed; one of our two fields was sown with a hay blend and the second with a pasture blend. So long corn and soy! Hello soil-building perennials! The next step is fencing for rotational grazing.