Farm Happenings at Fifth Crow Farm
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Just 2 more weeks of Flower Shares, and only  7 more weeks of boxes!!

Posted on September 28th, 2022 by Teresa Kurtak

Above: Finnley (she/her preferred) is one of 3 feral kittens we've been trying to trap on farm- her Mama and 2 siblings are still out and about.  She is settling in nicely over at our packout and we're hoping she'll stick around and join the rodent control team.  

Just 2 more weeks of Flower Shares, and only  7 more weeks of CSA!!  We're in the home stretch.  Just a reminder, that our produce boxes hit a pause for the slow months.  The last week will be the week BEFORE Thanksgiving.  As we all want to enjoy the Holiday, we've again decided to skip trying to pack a special Thanksgiving week delivery.  Things start up again mid May.  


Well, the Fall Equinox is now past us (Sept 22nd) and now comes the darkness (and hopefully plenty of cool rainy days to end this drought).  As the nights outpace the days, the world of plants is coming to a major slowdown, thank goodness.  Even thought the bounty of Summer and its generosity are such a gift, I along with the whole team seem to be running on fumes.  People are ready for the load to lighten and that heavy rain definitely sped up the process.

Here's a quick lowdown of what's happening at the farm. We're scrambling to pick apples and pears before they fall to the ground and next week we will send a pallet of blemished/grounder apples to be made into cider by Happy Girl Kitchen.  The tomatoes have (as predicted and expected) turned largely to mush after the heavy rain, but we're going to do our best to pick the last few over the coming week or two if we're lucky.  We're almost ready to plant out our overwintered flowers and our ranunculus should arrive this week and will be pre-sprouted to be planted in about 2 weeks.  Ranunculus our one of our big money makers come late January-April.  All the onions and shallots were pulled up and brought under cover before the rain and are continueing to slowly dry a bit more before we can top them to store for the Winter.  Next week we'll hopefully finish pulling up the last of the dry beans and begin in earnest to thresh them so we can get them under cover and cover crop the ground for the Winter.  We have 3 weeks of CSA Flower shares, then we will pull the plug on the flower field and start digging up the dahlias and clear the flower field so we can get it cover cropped/turned over for Winter lettuce plantings.  Baby chicks arrive in 2 weeks too, so we need to get the brooders ready, check the lights and feeders and waterers etc. to welcome them.  Now a moment of gratitude and sadness...

Honoring our furry co-worker, Henri:  Last week our friend and co-worker Henri, the Livestock Guardian Dog who cares for our chickens, passed away. As he was a rescue, we don't his age, but we believe he was at least 12, maybe older.    Henri came to us by way of Dinnerbell Farm, who raised meat birds, heritage pigs, goats, and a whole menagerie of other creatures.  As their operation shifted, Henri was left without a job.  He had adopted their 2 year old and was his loyal protector, but Paul and Molly could tell that he wasn't happy as a nanny.  When Henri came to us we weren't 100% convinced he would be effective.  How wrong we were to doubt those instincts. Henri has been a major contributor to the success of our chicken operation.  After a brief adjustment period in which the chickens were panicked, we watched in amazement as our laying rate increased higher than we'd ever seen it.  I think his presence made them feel safer.  We were completely shocked when we harvested the first flock that had lived their entire lives under his care and discovered that in multiple years we had only lost a couple dozen hens.  Previously we expected losses to predators as high as 100+ birds a year.  After the CZU Fires (Henri wouldn't leave his flock, though we tried to evacuate him with us) he really started to show his age.  We brought on Shadow and Teddy in Spring 2021 to help him with his job and learn under his tutelage. His calm, strong, and dutiful presence will be missed. Rest in peace dear Henri.