Hurricane Farm

  (Scotland, Connecticut)
A view of life on our farm
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Winter and Snow

Winter has set in and we have a solid covering of snow.  Looks like we'll be covered until the maple sap is running in March!  It snowed earlier than usual and has been colder than usual.  Such a combination has resulted in a nice white blanket throughout the state.

Neither the cold nor the snow seem to bother plant and animal life here in Scotland, CT, however.

The geese are still strolling around as if they own the place...That is, until the turkeys emerge from the wooded wetlands and take over.

The turkeys still "free-range" all winter, but there is little for them to eat so we offer them some grain each day.  This helps to keep them from "running away," as well.  In the summer and fall they eat entirely what they find in the woods and the fields, but the pickings are a little bit slimmer this time of year.

Even in the middle of a cold winter, the poultry prefer to remain outside.  The turkeys can enter the barn and roost within, but unless it is snowing outside, they still would rather sleep in the trees and atop the barn and sugar-shed.

These heritage toms and hens will be our breeding stock and hopefully provide us with all the poults that we'll need for this year's Thanksgiving.  We'll see how their production is in the late winter and then determine if we need to supplement our needs.  We're once again planning to expand our turkey operation and raise more birds.  We've been selling out faster and faster each season!

Here's Bertrude:

Here's Hiram:

Even though it's frigid and the water for the animals needs to be changed and dethawed several times per day, it is NOT too cold for a RED SOX cap!

And speaking of the cold:  check out what Erica and Liev dug out of the snow in the garden.  The kale is STILL growing, even in 20 degree weather!  This stuff sure is hardy!  It's now officially a year-round crop for us.  Hooray!

I can't believe that this stuff can still make it through this weather.  AND it's tasty!

 
 

Holiday Meat CSA - Shares Now Available

Hurricane Farm in Scotland, CT is currently offering a Holiday Meat CSA. 

Many people inquired about and have been on a waitlist for our Summer Meat-Based CSA.  We are now pleased to be able to expand our CSA to a second season and we welcome new members.

Members have the opportunity to get fresh meats straight from the farm.

 

Each member's share will include the following: 

End of October: 
Pork Chops ($9/lb)
Sausage ($9/lb) 

Early November:
Nitrate Free
Bacon ($11/lb)
Ham ($11/lb)

Thanksgiving:
Turkey 20-30lbs ($100)

Early December:
Grass-Fed, Dry Aged Beef ($7-20/lb)

Plus:  Eggs, Swiss chard, Spinach, Lettuce, Peas & Kale

CSA with Turkey: $300
CSA without Turkey: $200 We are now accepting a $50 deposit with 2-3 weeks to pay the remaining balance. 

Get involved with your food and get it straight from the source!

Contact us at:
hurricanefarmmama@gmail.com or 860.465.9934

 

 

 
 

Time to Reserve that Thanksgiving Turkey

Just a quick reminder to those out there who are planning to get their Thanksgiving turkey from us here at the farm...It is time to put in your order.  We still have some conventional white turkeys this year, and we have a variety of heritage breed turkeys as well.  Our heritage breeds include Narragansett, Black Spanish, Blue Slate, and Bourbon Red.

Our turkeys are raised on grass and are fed all natural vegetarian feed.  The heritage turkeys spend most of their time in the fields or the woods, foraging for bugs, grubs, and seeds.

Please call us or see us at the Coventry Farmers' Market on Sundays to reserve yours today!

 
 

Your Turkeys!

Lots of folks have been asking about our (their) turkeys.  It must be coming to that time of year when summer starts to end, fall is almost here, and thoughts of Thanksgiving start emerging from deep within.

This year we decided to raise more heritage breeds and scale back on the conventional giant whites.  This decision was in part due to customer demand, but also due to the ability of the heritage turkeys to free-range.  The giant whites are allowed pasture space, yet they seldom wander far.  The heritage turkeys, on the other hand, roam far and wide throughout the farmyard.  They even find their way atop the farmhouse, from time to time.

Here are some Narragansett and a Bronze "picking" raspberries.

In the distance are some pastured turkeys.  The whites never leave the fenced in area, while the heritage turkeys rarely stay within.

And there you have it...Your turkeys!

 
 

Spring Chicken (and Turkey and Goose...) -- And Where to Put Them

At last!  Click, click, click.  Tap, tap, tap.  Peep, peep, peep!

Hey, what's that sound in there?

Hey look!  That one is trying to escape!  Quick, catch it!

 

Here is our nice, clean, and organized brooding area.  It stays nice, clean, and organized for about 36 hours once its new tenants arrive.

We ended up adding another section to keep the goslings from wetting everyone else as they splash around in the water.  The dividers worked great--for three days--until everyone thought it would be great to mingle with their neighbors.  I've been finding countless uses for what little excess sawmill cut-offs we have left from sugarin' season.  They make great "poultry dividers."

Believe it or not, those little guys number somewhere near 200 birds--I think!

They grow fast, too.  We have spaces already established elsewhere around the farm for the geese, turkeys, and egg layers, but I'm hard at work completing a new outbuilding to house the meat birds. 

Here the kids and I have set out the sill to see how big this thing will be when it's done.

The next step was to do a little excavating...

...and leveling.

I can tell you, the first block is a piece of cake.  The next three...not so much.  But we managed to get it all leveled out eventually.

I think that I bought way too many blocks.  But we used them to make a much needed (and curiously missing) step for the workshop doorway.

Next we added some floor joists and cross braces and finally put on the floor.

And here is where our construction stops for the time being.  Next we'll put up some walls...but, as mentioned before, it was a busy week.  Did I mention that the silo came, the bees are just about set up, and loads of firewood have arrived?

 

 
 

Silo Acquisition: Phase 2

We have just completed Phase 2 of our SILO ACQUISITION.

Phase 1, the most tedious of all phases, included posting several ads on Craigslist throughout the greater New England and Pennsylvania area in the hopes of locating an unwated silo (a.k.a. Grain Bin).  After culling through dozens of responses offering us "less-than-ideal" (read rusted, warped, three-legged, bottom-less!) silos, we decided to call around to find out about new silos. 

New silos, however, are not very cost-effective--especially from the perspective of those who always purchase things second, third, and fourth-hand.

We did, though, find a slightly used silo through one of owners of what I guess should be called the "Silo Store."  He informed us that one of his clients was interested in selling her silo, and that he would be willing to remove it from her farm and erect it on our property.  Around the same time, I stumbled upon another used silo at a farm in a neighboring town.  This one was slightly more "used," but worth while checking out.

Phase 2, then, involved looking at and inspecting both silos.  We decided, ultimately, on the newer of the two in the hopes that it will be a longer-lasting investment.  Below, find some photos taken at the conclusion of Phase 2.

(BBQ grill not included)

 

Phase 3, which involves the delivery and installation of said silo, will hopefully commence (and resume) sometime this week or next.  Phase 4, involving filling it will feed from the mill will, logically, follow Phase 3 forthwith.

 

 
 

Some Animals in the Barn

How can one not love such a face?  The newest hog trio has a new game:  destroy the feed sack.  See, here are the easy rules...

1.  Pretend to eat your feed.
2.  Quickly sneak out of the gate as your water is being changed.
3.  Seek out nearby sack (either feed or wood-shaving, it does not matter).
4.  Proceed to rip it to bits while running up and down the barn.
5.  Smile as in above photo.

I can't tell if the pig is gloating or apologizing.  Your thoughts?

These sheep are about to give birth to winter lambs any day now.  We are hoping that all four of our ewes are expecting.  We'll be cleaning out and setting up seperate stalls this weekend to house the moms and their newborns.  We'll post pictures as this progresses.

This last one is one of the cattle.  Perhaps Mr. Greenshoes.  I am not sure which one this is.  We have eclectic names for our livestock, it's true.  But that is some of the fun.  We have had many rabbits named after characters from the Simpsons.  We had one trio affectionately named Patty, Selma, and MacGuyver. 

 

 
 

So we're buying a silo...

So as the farm grows, we get to purchase cool things that we would never even window-shop for if we lived in, say, a condo.

Case in point:  a grain silo.  We've located two different places that will custom mill grain for us and deliver as well.  The only issue is that we need to buy it by the three ton load.  Five gallon buckets won't work in this case.  Perhaps one of the only problems unable to be solved by the five gallon pail solution. 



Enter the silo.  We called a few places and Erica was able to find a woman selling a used one.  It also turns out that the place that gave us her number can also take it down and deliver it to our farm.  We will soon be able to take delivery of our first load of bulk grain.  It will be nice to save on the 50 pound sacks, and this will be a great financial deal for us as bulk grain is significantly cheaper than the sacked grain.  Additionally, the mill can deliver us grain to our exact specifications.  Way too cool.

Back to the deal about buying cool stuff...We're also getting a new dump truck.  That's right a "new" 1977 dump truck.  This will help in delivering hogs and cattle, as well as hauling firewood.  Pictures of this to follow.

Below, though, you can see a photo of part of our hungry crew from last Spring.  Notice that sack I'm awkwardly dumping into the feeder?  Well, without sacks and with bulk grain, I'll be using...that's right...FIVE GALLON BUCKETS!  Another functional use of one of the greatest farm implements in the world.



Hungry little devils, eh?  You'll notice only a couple heritage birds in there.  The rest of them prefer the food they can find on their own out in the field and in the woods.  Hey, it makes my job easier!  Stay tuned for photos of the silo.  We will try to do a photo spread of the whole installation process.

 

 
 
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