Rocking A Sustainable Farm

  (Sandersville, Georgia)
This year at Rocking A Sustainable Farm

Georgia Grown carrots

yIN4YmenS1ylfMSAzcwhcA.jpgCarrots, one of Georgia's newest and most popular commodities, are grown commercially in the southern part of the state. Carrots are harvested in Georgia from December through June of each year. 2021 was the first year we planted carrots and I only sowed them after reading about companion planting! I figured the worst that could happen would be they seeded out into Queen Ann's lace flowers that I use in cut flower arrangements, or they would keep the soil loose for the radishes and other root crops, so I sowed them amongst the beans, squash, collards, onions and okra. Today, July 4, I remembered them as my husband and I discussed garden plans for the remainder of the summer and to my amazement there were beautiful carrots! They smell and look amazing and I can't wait to roast some.

As a proponent of a no-waste kitchen, I like to use the tops for more than animal feed and compost, so I found a great pesto recipe online that is delicious. I made a few batches and froze them. I have too many tops to keep making pesto, so I will also try them sautéed, like spinach. They also flavor broth nicely, like their cousin parsley.

All the remaining tops will go to my Jersey milk cows, Dorothy and Eula, who like a special meal while I collect their milk.

Next time you eat carrots, try to find some that are locally grown; it isn't too hard! 

 
 

First chicks have hatched and first crops harvested!

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dDJ1FJRLSReeDN4kO5SirA.jpg Today I picked the first baby. greens and radishes. I was actually thinning them, but luckily they are large enough to eat!

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iv5CVhrzTeeAsNXply4Sqg.jpgOf the 7 eggs in the incubator, only 4 have hatched, but they are doing well. A 5th one appears to be developed when it is candled, so maybe I leave it in the incubator another day or 2. The other two eggs were not fertilized, I suppose. There was a yolk and I could see light through the candler.
 
 

Raw Cow Milk for Sale

Hello!

I am so excited to announce that I have received a license to sell raw cow milk (as Pet Food) in the state of Georgia. My first customer came by on Saturday to pick up a gallon and visit our animals. Her daughter enjoyed gathering chicken eggs, too.

We currently milk two Jersey cows, Dorothy and Eula, who had their first calves in June and October. Dorothy will calve again in late April, so she should be drying up soon. Eula won't have her second calf until end of July and our next heifer, Ellaphare will calve in November. That's all for 2021!

Our dumpster kitty surprised us with an early onset of puberty, so she will be a mama in April, too. Hopefully, I will be able to place her kittens in good homes and have her fixed up to prevent this from happening again!

My husband encouraged me to get an egg incubator, so I have seven chicken eggs in there now, with a hopeful hatch date of March 25th. I'm not getting my hopes up on this endeavor because it hasn't been successful in the past. Keeping the temperature and humidity ideal is not working out.

Our spring garden was planted two weeks ago and I am happy to report that most all the seeds have sprouted, the transplants are still living, and I am so excited to have two rows for flowering plants--daylilies , ranunculus, nasturtiums and lavender. Later on I will plant zinnias and sunflowers in the summer garden. Next week is when we plant sweet corn (silver queen) and prepare sweet potatoes for planting in May. I'm going to try to grow our slips, since we will need LOTS of them to plant.

The orchard has been established and includes blueberries, apples, pears, pomegranates and olives. Blackberries, figs and muscadines have been established around our yard. I saved bunches of flower seeds last summer and can't wait to sow them along the fence line by the road passing by the barn. 

In summary, March gives me such hope for our planting season and for our livestock! There is nothing sweeter than seeing a newborn calf, hearing the peeps of baby chicks and watching a mother cat care for her litter.

Happy Spring to You! 

 
 

Homemade Cream Cheese from Fresh Jersey Milk

Making your own cream cheese is not difficult and is definitely worth the time involved. Be sure to save the whey for cooking/drinking, feeding animals, or bathing in. It is also good for plants.[Read More]
 
 

It's almost time to plant our first crops...!

Don't miss CSA signup, reserve your pork and beef now, time to plant spring garden coming up this month. Fresh chicken eggs available and homemade Valentine candies...[Read More]
 
 

Planting Season is almost here!

   The 2012 planting season is upon us! We are planning to offer 25 CSA memberships this summer for Washington and Baldwin County residents. I am pleased that my teenage son is willing to be my partner this year, as doing this alone caused extreme burnout last year!

   Our plans are to have two 6-week sessions with the first  beginning June 6 and ending July 11 and the second beginning July 18 and ending August 22. Hopefully this will prevent us from missing the peak harvest of figs and melons in July, while allowing our family to take a brief vacation.

   Additionally, I was considering a spring CSA for up to 10 members beginning April 28 and ending May 25. There would be no registration fee and a weekly rate of $40. Crops available during this late spring session would include spinach, chard, beet tops and roots, carrots, green onions, fresh herbs, lettuces, collards, arugula, kohlrabi, radishes and perhaps by the end of the session, a bit of potatoes or squash. I will be the only worker during this phase, so I want to keep the customer base at a managable size.

   Contact us at rockingafarm@yahoo.com or call Lori at (478)247-3361 if you are interested in participating this year!

 
 

"raw" milk

I can't say enough good things about the quality and taste of fresh, raw Jersey milk. We are getting about 2 and 1/2 gallons per day on just two quarters of our cow. The "skimmed" milk is delicious, probably because it is still about 4.5 % butterfat. Our fresh butter is delightful, as is the yogurt, buttermilk, and fresh mozzarella.

After having experimented with cheesemaking on store bought organic milk and getting mixed results, it is a pleasure to get successful cheese products every time with the whole, unpasteurized milk. The mozzarella is shiny, stretchy, and delicious.

Ricotta, cottage, and other fresh, soft cheeses have been so easy to make, too.

Too bad it is illegal to sell raw cow's milk in our state!

 
 

Our First Calf

Our older Jersey cow, Lilly, gave birth to a healthy, beautiful bull calf yesterday! We can't wait to try some fresh Jersey milk this week. Way to go, Lilly!

 
 

Eating "Wild" from Your Yard

 I am homeschooling our 5th grade son this year, so we are constantly looking for ways to find excitement outside of the textbooks! Being the only two humans around for miles for the majority of the day can be tiresome! Since our family loves to garden/farm, and since we have plenty of area to roam, Charles and I thought it would be fun to prepare a meal from wild plants available this month.

Using the book, Edible Wild Plants by Lee Allen Peterson, we were able to identify and harvest at least a dozen available plants just within our yard!! Imagine eating fresh blackberry and rose shoots, oxalis, wood violets, dandelions, clover, and more  Each plant has its own delicious taste and texture. Furthermore, the variety of colors makes the mixture appealing to the eye.

Our meal consisted of wild salad, dandelion fritters, and cooked wild greens, We also prepared "teas" or infusions with many of the leaves and petals, which was a pleasing experience, as well. Both of us felt satisfied with the tastes, smells, and sights on our plates.

Discovering the bounty of foods at our feet was exciting and educational, but also gave us time in the sunny outdoors together. God has truly blessed our planet and it is obvious in nature that He has met our every need if we only get on our knees and see it. AMEN!

 
 

Salad Season

Salad season is here in full swing! We mix lots of different lettuces, along with michihli leaves and florets, baby beet tops, baby carrots, shogoin turnip roots, radishes, and pea shoots for the most delicious and fresh salad ever! Try some with a strawberry vinaigrette and toasted pecans, or boiled eggs and bacon for a wholesome and satisfying meal.

Our braising greens are abundant, too. It is fun to try different mixes and new cooking techniques for them. Arugula is great sauteed in bacon drippings and added to a cheesy pasta dish. Stir-fried michihli with onions and mushrooms is great as a side dish with chicken. Southern style turnip greens cooked with diced roots and salted pork is yet another way to enjoy the spring harvest.

Be daring! Try something new this season in the "greens" department. You can't go wrong, no matter what you choose or how you choose to eat them.


 
 

Taking signups for Summer I and II CSA

 

 

 It is time to sign up for a Summer CSA at Rocking A Sustainable Farm! This year, we changed our program a bit. We will offer two 6-week sessions for $45 per session and $35 per week. If you sign up for both sessions at one time, then you only pay one $45 membership fee.

Our pickup sites will be at Sandersville First Christian Church on Wednesdays from 6-7 p.m., Mary Vinson Library in Milledgeville on Thursdays from 6-7 p.m. and at the farm on an as needed basis.

Of course, we will be glad to work with you on weeks that you are out of town, etc. if you just let us know in advance.

Session I begins Wed., June 1 and goes through Thurs., July 7.

Session II begins Wed,  July 29 and ends Thurs., Sept. 1

We have 25 shares available per session.

Each week you will receive "shares" of at least 5 available crops. Many weeks you will have up to 8 different items. But don't worry about not having enough! Our crop list for summer will include: yellow squash, a few varieties of zucchini, salad greens, green beans (assorted types), tomatoes, corn, potatoes (several types), blackberries (wild), cucumbers--assorted varieties, pattypan squash, eggplants, peppers, okra, tomatillos, onions, sweet potatoes, muscadines, pears, figs and more! See our listing on the home page under farms for more.





 
 

Rabbits as house pets

Our youngest child received a rabbit for his birthday back in November. It was a mixed breed with some Flemish Giant parentage. My son had done massive amounts of reading on rabbit keeping prior to his choosing this pet and had decided upon Flemish Giant, as they are known to be calm and gentle animals.

He was named Sasquatch for his incredibly large feet. He has an appetite to match them, too! However, the great thing about rabbits is their food is relatively cheap when compared to layer crumbles, goat pellets, and horse feed! Furthermore, since we garden nearly yearround, there is always plenty of fresh produce to offer him. In addition to the pellets and lots of vegetable parings, he enjoys pine twigs and cones, fresh green grass trimmings, dandelions, and other yard goodies!

After living in our home for two months, he is quite affectionate towards us and has a ritual of circling our feet when we enter his area. In addition, he makes soft, grunting sounds as he runs. We take him outside for a run in the chicken yard for exercise and fresh air and house him in a comfy hutch when we aren't home.

Anyone who is wanting a pet, but doesn't want the time committment of a puppy or a kitten, should consider these cuddly, domestic animals!

 
 

Preparing for Spring...

We are getting spring fever here at Rocking A Sustainable Farm! I'm not sure if it comes naturally or if those seed catalogs bring it to us. Anyway, we are looking at the calendar and picking dates to till the soil, move compost, plant seeds and potatoes, prepare for new Cornish Roaster chicks, and lots, lots, more!

Our two Jersey cows are due to calve this spring and we are excited about our first calves! That also brings on a new chore--milking! Hopefully it is not too hard to learn at my age.

Our asparagus bed should be bringing in its first crop soon, too. I am eager to see how it fared the winter. Asparagus is one of my favorite raw vegetables, so it may not make it back to the kitchen.

 

 
 
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