Call the Farm! 443-752-4338 | 2523 Bradenbaugh Road, White Hall, MD

A Spring Update

Spring is always a busy time of year for us, and this year is certainly no exception! I have heard folks talk about how they have become bored and have run out of things to do to keep themselves occupied during the pandemic. Meanwhile I am thinking, “well, I just can’t remember what it feels like to be bored!”

cows on pastureIf you have read our last blog, then you know that this blog was supposed to be about wild edibles, with Gina walking you around the farm and teaching you about what you can forage for in your back yard. She has been quite tied up though, as just this past week she finished up her near 15 year homeschooling career. My youngest brother Josh just graduated last week, and she is spending this week doing end of year homeschool reviews for over 20 families she reviews through a homeschool umbrella. 

So hopefully she will be freed up soon to give you tips on wild edibles, but in the meantime, I wanted to give you a quick update on what’s going on at the farm.

If you go to our online store, you will quickly see that we have sold out of almost all of our meats! The sales came much more quickly and in much larger quantities than we could have ever planned on! The amount of new customers recently as well as the volume of sales has been unlike anything we have ever seen! 

With so many meat processing facilities shutting down, coupled with Americans realizing more and more of their meat is coming from China, this great surge in orders is no surprise really. Not only is meat hard to find in the grocery store, but folks are also starting to realize that they have no idea what’s in the meats they are eating, or where it is coming from. 

Our beef and pork bulk buys are sold out for the year, and we are currently taking names down on a waitlist for each. Our first 2 fresh chicken pick up dates are sold out, and we have even added another entire batch of meat chickens for sale this summer to try and keep up with the demand. Not a bad problem to have, being sold out, but we want to be able to serve every one that comes our way!

We have been working hard to expand and grow our farm, and in the process we have actually maxed out the animal capacity on our farm! Thankfully, we have been able to pick up some more rental wood land to be able to raise pigs on. We also continue to search for more pasture close by the farm so we can expand our beef herd. 

We are building chicken tractors to expand our meat bird flocks, and we have added in new chickens to our laying hens so we will soon have more eggs. We are also clearing new woodland for pigs, and upgrading our cattle equipment to be able to handle more beef cows on the farm. We are working long days to try and get meat back on the shelves and keep it there!

Thankfully, by the end of next week we should have all beef and chicken back in stock, as well as pork back in stock in about a month. Hard work and determination eventually does pay off! We appreciate you sticking with us as we grow through these crazy times!

The Three Sisters

three sisters gardenI can remember learning as a kid about the Native Americans, and being so fascinated with their nomadic lifestyles. The tee-pees and head dresses, camp fires and deer hunting, what kid doesn’t want to be an Indian when they are little? 

One thing the Native Americans were really good at was securing their own food. While they didn’t typically raise their own animals (they usually hunted for them) they did raise crops. One type of garden they perfected was the three sisters garden, a garden that allows all three “sister” plants to play off of each other’s strengths. 

The three sisters are corn, beans or peas, and squash or melons. In a nut shell, the way it works is that as the corn grows, the beans or peas can use the corn stalk as a living trellis, which will provide higher yields of beans or peas. The beans are also really good at fixing nitrogen into the soil, which is a great thing for the corn as corn is a heavy nitrogen feeder. Then you have the big leaves from the squash or melon plants, creating a canopy over the ground, helping to choke out weeds and keep the soil moist. 

corn sprouting

Heirloom corn just sprouting from the dirt

We have learned about the three sisters garden before but have never actually grown one ourselves. With so much food insecurity recently, we decided to give this three sisters garden a try this year, on nearly a quarter acre at the back of the farm. 

Right now the corn has just sprouted, and then in a few weeks we will plant the squash and beans. We are trying to document our progress and turn it into a video, hopefully near the end of the year, so you can find out how the garden turned out. 

Our hope is to make these and other vegetables more available in the farm store and online this year, so keep an eye out for that later in the summer!

Until next time!