Winter is finally nearing an end and today the weather teasingly reminds me of what’s to come. However, by the weekend, it will be back into the 30’s as though today’s 50 degrees never actually happened. I jumped at the chance to get some work down outside since the ground was thawed out. The straw mat was getting a bit high in some places and needed to be composted and freshened up. Meanwhile, the hens follow me around, digging through the uncovered dirt. They don’t even realize that they are helping me to maintain the soil, control pests, and remove weeds. The girls just live their little chicken lives, happy as can be, oblivious to my plans.
I have a bunch of changes happening for this season. First, due to reoccurring disease and pests that I can’t seem to deter or kill, I won’t be growing cucumbers, squash, zucchini, cantaloupes, or watermelons. I am going to try Luffa Gourd and Jelly Melon, however. These two may prove to be enough different from the typical cucurbits that the pests and disease will leave the vines alone. Luffa Gourd is where the scrubbing luffas come from. They make great gifts for Christmas, birthdays or other celebrations. Jelly Melon, or African Horned Melon, is a spiky, yellow-green melon that has a lime green, jelly-like inside. It’s said to taste like a wild mix up of lemon, banana, and cucumber.
I’m also going to be experimenting with a new method for growing my tomatoes to prevent the spread of disease, keep the plants off the ground, and increase the yield of great looking tomatoes. I’ll be growing the tomatoes in straw bales. It seems like a great method, so I’m going to test it out and see what happens. I’ll take lots of pictures for those of you who can’t come visit and check it out first hand.
In the past, I have not been able to offer much in terms of fruit. I’m hoping to change that this season. My main focus will be on the apple and pear trees, but I will also be working to increase the strawberry stock so that I can offer strawberries in the future. If all goes well this year, I will have two kinds of apples, two kinds of pears, and blueberries for sale.
Lastly, this season marks a new direction for Wise Produce completely. Rather than just eggs, I will also be raising broiler chickens. Following in the methods of Joel Salatin, I will be raising the birds on pasture in large, mobile pens. Every morning, I will move them to a new block of pasture, their fresh salad bar for the day. They will be provided with a feed ration and lots of water, but they also get the chance to munch on greens and insects. You can only get these birds by pre-ordering and I am offering to butcher them for you as a free service.
That’s about all for this update. Spring is just around the bend and I will be planting, transplanting, and harvesting before I know it! It will be good to see you again and provide you will delicious, wholesome, and all natural food.