Local, fresh food for CNY

Southwick Family Farm produces beef, pork, chicken, goat, eggs, and vegetables on 75 acres in Nedrow.

  • We provide on-farm sales year round; appointments preferred
  • Or find us weekly June-October at:
    • Westcott Farmers Market – Wednesday 2-6 p.m.
    • Skaneateles Farmers Market – Thursday 3-6 p.m.
  • And monthly 2nd Wednesday of the month November-May
    • Delivery to your home – $5
    • Meat-up at Barry Park 3-3:30 p.m. to pick up your preorders

Eggs, Cheese, and Vegetables

I made a baked egg dish this week. First I sauteed a lot of vegetables, added eggs, milk, and cheese, then baked it with the lid off at 400F for 30 minutes or until it was done. It served 6 with leftovers. It was a good way to eat eggs!

Eggs, Cheese, and Vegetables

Sauteed vegetables mixed with eggs and milk and grated cheese and baked. A good way to eat eggs!

Ingredients
  

  • Oil, butter, or fat of choice
  • 1/2-1 cup/person vegetables, include what you have – broccoli, cauliflower, summer squash, zucchini, green/yellow beans, winter squash, pod peas, sweet potatoes, greens, kale, greens
  • 2 eggs/person
  • 1 tbsp-ish Milk/person
  • 1 oz grated cheese/person

Instructions
 

  • Grease/oil skillet or ovenproof pan. Saute vegetables adding oil as needed.
  • Mix eggs and milk.
  • Mix grated cheese with sauteed vegetables. Add in egg mixture and stir well.
  • Bake uncovered in oven at 400F for 20-30 minutes or until knife comes out clean.

Spring in Nature 2024 – Part 2

Here are more views of spring 2024. The first trees have nice vibrant blossoms.

Pear tree

Pear tree blossoms

Apple blossoms

Apple Tree

These blossoms are done. Now the fruit is forming.

Peach Tree

Serviceberry Trees

Canadian Bacon & Apple Slices

This recipe was inspired by a recipe I read online. I made this simple side and it worked well.

Canadian Bacon & Apple Slices

Servings 4 servings

Ingredients
  

  • 4 slices Canadian bacon, cut in half
  • Oil for pan
  • 4 apples, cored, cut in half and sliced thin

Instructions
 

  • Cook Canadian bacon in skillet over hot heat. Once the fat is cooked the bacon is done. Set aside on a plate.
  • Saute apples in the same pan on both sides until soft. Add oil if the pan dries. Start with two minutes a side and then cook until soft.
  • Serve apples over the Canadian bacon.

Gardens in the Spring

In spring you go and check the garden. Here we see kale and another green that wintered over and have revived.

And you check the perennials – no asparagus yet, some chives, and here is the rhubarb.

Then you check to see how the garlic is growing. This is planted in the fall and harvested in July.

Next you prep beds for new plantings of onions, potatoes, and other vegetables.

And finally you plant peas, Swiss chard, spinach and lettuce and wait for them to grow.

Spring in Nature 2024

Such a lot of things to observe this time of year. Here are flowering trees and spring bird observations.

Peach Tree

Peach Blossoms

Serviceberry Blossoms

Serviceberry Trees

Pear Tree

Pear Blossoms

Turkey Vultures soaring

Old Oriole Nest

Ball-like thing in the middle of the pic

Ahh…spring beauty and life!

Lambs

Our ewes have given birth. Both twinned, and each gave a ewe and a ram.

The white one gave birth during a snow storm.

The black and white one gave birth about a week later. All four were up, walking and nursing within hours of birth. And they are all doing well.

Here is the white one with her lambs nursing, one on either side. A little blurry, but you get the idea.

Eggs

Late last fall we got 30 Barred Rock chicks to add to this year’s laying flock.

These birds have matured and are now in the Taj Mahal. Here you can see some of them out in the grass and at the feeders.

At around 4 1/2 to 6 months chickens will start laying eggs. At first the eggs will be small. Then sometimes they will be really large and have double yolks, though we also see that as they get older.

The two eggs on the top come from our current layers. You can see how they are a bit bigger than the other three eggs.

The lower three eggs are from the barred rocks. They would have normal yolk and white inside, but they are smaller than what a mature hen would lay.

The one in the middle bottom – That egg doesn’t have a hard shell. Eggs have two shells – hard outer shell and the soft inner shell. When you peel hard-boiled eggs, you might notice that there is a soft lining that you need to use a nail to grab and peel away from your egg. That is the soft inner shell.

Eggs with soft shells can happen because the chicken is immature and her body just hasn’t figured out how to put a shell around the egg. It can also happen because she doesn’t have enough calcium in her diet to produce hard shells. So we give our chickens free choice oyster shells that they can peck at to add to their calcium supply.

Renovating the Winter Quarters

We are improving our winter pens. Cattle pen from left to right: locking head gates, skirting, fix roof poles. (Skirting reinforces wall where cows will rub.)

Here is a close up of roof pole showing the base rebuilt with concrete.

A second pole has been dug out, a frame built, and concrete poured.

The locking head gates will serve primarily as feeders while open, but when closed will secure cows for inspection, medical care or breeding.

Here are the cows using the unlocked head gates to eat their hay.

On the opposite end we have walled off the space for the chickens.

This involves putting netting up to keep them out of areas they should not be.

The space between the chickens and the cows (not pictured) will be where the sheep will live.

Tell Me About Your…Lamb

About two years ago we purchased two bred ewes. Like all our animals we raise sheep outdoors. In the summer our sheep are grass fed and supplemented with a mineral block. They live in the pasture they are grazing.

In the winter they live in a three sided shelter and are hay fed. The hay they don’t eat becomes part of their bedding. This bedding pack is then added to our compost and aged manure pile, which is used on our gardens.

Our sheep are a cross of Dorper and Katahdin, two varieties of hair sheep. This means they are self-shedding. We will see small pieces of wool in the field where they have left their wool behind. We don’t collect their wool or shear them.

Last year we purchased a ram. We breed the ewes sometime in the fall. A ewe’s gestation (pregnancy) is 5 months. We keep the ram separate from the ewes except when we want them bred, so that we have a better idea of when they will lamb.

Our lambs are born in March or April. We process them in October. This allows the meat to have some fat which adds to the flavor.

This year we have boneless leg roast, bone-in leg roast, bone-in stew meat, chops, and ground lamb.

Predators

Farming outdoors allows for more mammal predators than farming in barns or greenhouses. In our squash patch we have a woodchuck this year. It has gnawed on these squashes. These are useable. However, with the skin broken and the flesh bitten into, they are more vulnerable to mold and bacteria. So they will need to be used sooner or cooked and frozen. We won’t sell them or store them as squash for winter.

Sometimes the mammal predator is our own dog. We let her loose among our layers. Then one day we saw her chasing a chicken and grabbing it with her mouth. So now her area is more restricted to protect the chickens she is to be guarding. She is good at barking at what should not be around. I guess she just didn’t think to bark at herself.

Sometimes the predator is a pack of dogs. This used to be common for us. We would lose 25 meatbirds in one morning. Since getting a guard dog, this doesn’t happen as much.

However, it did with this year’s batch of turkeys. Our turkeys were not near our guard dog, and the dogs got into the turkey enclosure and damaged or killed about 10-12 turkeys. We were left with 7 turkeys.

Where do dogs like this come from? Probably someone owns them but just lets them run and fend for themselves. They didn’t have collars, and they don’t come to us if we call, so they aren’t real tame. Our turkeys looked good to them, and that was breakfast. It is annoying, disappointing, and upsetting.

With any predator, after grieving and feeling the pain, then it is time to look at what happened and why, and decide how to prevent destruction of our vegetables or livestock and also what we can do to live with the mammal predators. And so we continue to farm, growing food and working to live in balance with the natural world around us.