Richert/Phillips Farms

  (North Liberty, Indiana)
ventures of a small fresh pick farm
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our first run for the season

   Well, I took the first run of sap over to Leon's so to cook it down. He showed me the new pan(new to us) he bought--yipe,  it is something, that's for shur. Last year we used a huge flat pan this year we're cooking with an older syrup pan with bevels. It will evaporate the water much faster, give a better looking syrup, and allow for more trees to be tapped. But that pan is ugly, that is before he put a lot of work in fixing it up--filling the holes, sanding it down, and resoldering. The sap was running great until the snows came and ended the short run--it will start up again.

   The hens really been giving up the eggs this past week. They also have become more active. Their is two that are brooder hens and always have an attitude toward us when we go to get the eggs. I think for fun we'll give them fertile eggs after moving them to a pen of their own and let those two hatch a handful of little ones.

   The markets are starting to applications out. Palatine, IL app. just came in the mail. Carmel, IN sent us an invitation for their market--haven't heard from Geist, but it should be coming. Have been sending a lot of CSA apps out as well. It appears that this year is shaping up to be quit a busy one. Last year we had a drought, the year before that there was to much cold weather, and the year before that was very wet------can't wait to see what come around this time, not knowing is part of the fun of farming.

 

Jesus loves you

 
 

On the farm

Most of the winter was spent running around to seminars, trade shows, and auctions. But now that the snows are melting we are really hitting the work hard. Maple sap will start running soon and we got a woods were the sap has to be pumped out every day...this will be are first time of pumping such a long distance (1000+ feet)...we'll see. Last year was our first time back in a multitude of years sapping and it proven to be an asset on the farm with the customers. We sold out of maple juice(syrup) by June.

   The layers made it trough the hard winter, only lost one, and they managed to keep giving up them eggs. This year we plan to have the hens huts on wagons so to move them easier from one pasture to the next. These hens sure do make a lot of noise...cackling constantly and foraging as if at play. Our meat chickens done very well also--but it takes longer to cook them then other hens. Chicken dinners take longer to prepare then normal and the first few times of cooking these birds really gave us late meals until we got use to preparing them. 

   CSAs are doing well, most of our customers have been a joy to deal with. Some we never even met they had us drop and go--never seen them...that's fine a bit strange. Other customers grabbed and ran, while others stayed and talked. Every one was happy that we know off. But the two that complained called and signed up again...I just don't get people. We had fun

   Jesus loves

 
 

went to deliver eggs ended up with maple syrup

   Earlier this week I was driving a friend around on his egg delivery. On the way to the second stop we past a shop selling tools, so we pulled in. There was a gas powered drill the he was interested in but it was to much; instead Leon bought a regular electric drill and we were on our way. Before the next stop the conversation was about why a gas drill. Well, there are several people in his area that makes maple syrup and a drill like that comes in handy out in the woods for setting taps. Daniel and I use to do maple syrup on our farm--haven't in a long time, but Leon and I decided that if Daniel and I tap he will cook down the sap into syrup and split it fifty fifty.    So we left to deliver eggs stopped at a shop ended up making maple syrup...what a day!

   On other news our CSAs are selling well and once the snow melts we will be on the ground. We are almost done with the floor of the green house and once that is in we will start planting seeds.

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