Last Batch for a Bit

So right away I think I should update you all and say we still haven't found the missing buck. It's not certain he's dead, but my theory that life on the outside would send him running back to us has been undermined by late rains. The farm is currently surrounded with a near-endless supply of lush succulent rabbit food, so we are getting ready to replace him. His children, though, are beautiful and healthy. In fact, it's really neat that they are doing so well because I realized today they are the first animals we've had born on our farm! We've been very lucky too because the mom they were born to has been incredibly nurturing. They are even starting to learn to eat the weeds I bring her, which is a great indicator that they will enjoy a life on pasture.

The bravest and most dapper man in town.
Our bee adventure has been progressing well too. The hives are really starting to establish themselves and it's great to see them all tending the the clover in the field and the roses by our window. I've been doing all the reading I can on beekeeping, and I even got a surprise shipment of bee books from my mom! The more I learn I about these guys, the more I realize that we do not "own" them or "raise them," we are simply enticing them to stay and work with us. It's a pretty cool relationship.

Last Friday we hosted a chicken slaughter seminar as part of Pie Ranch's educational partnership with Pescadero High School. It was a blast for Shae and I and we got to meet a lot of our teenage neighbors. All of the students were genuinely interested and caring. In addition to our talk about our farming methods and thorough exploration of chicken organs with Shae, a few of them chose to jump right in and learn in a hands-on manner where their food comes from. After the slaughter, the kids made an amazing chicken lunch with some freshly gathered Pie Ranch greens and brick oven-baked flatbreads. We were paid for our time, but as you can probably tell, it was hardly a chore!

The slightly sad news is we are coming up on our last bunch of chickens for a while. We've held off on buying new chicks until we settle onto a new farm, so we are quickly running out of broilers. It's a bit of a shame because the grasses right now are incredible, and the chickens are being pampered by all the choices they get (something that is clearly showing up in the meat!). Here’s a picture of Bowtie and Tux trying their best to graze the grass down so the chickens aren't too overwhelmed. We have one more fresh pickup day planned and then after that a couple of weekend buying club drops. I'm hoping we can get on the ground soon so there's no perceivable gap in supply.

Well, I can smell the pizza Shae is baking for dinner and it's getting hard to concentrate. Marigold is producing milk faster than we can consume it, so Shae made mozzarella and ricotta for our pizza from all the extra. There's even some chicken liver on the pizza, which I know sounds strange, but when it's seasoned and slightly browned, there's nothing quite as good.

Take care!