Saturday, April 16, 2011

My View . . .

. . . and the spaces where Sanctuary is created and for which I give thanks to Creator - every day.

Not Tuesdays But Thursdays

Market days at our farm has changed. We used to be open on Tuesdays and now, instead of Tuesdays our farmers market at our urban farm is open on Thursdays.

So, on Thursdays - do stop by. We open "officially" at 9:30 am and close when our baskets of organic produce (fresh picked mind you) are empty.  Lately, that's anywhere between noon and 3 pm.

If you want to stay up to date with our urban farm happenings, our daily life, what we're planting and what is being harvested along with our Goat Stories - follow and subscribe to our blog.

Dried Calendula from our farm.

We almost always have fresh eggs available.

IF you need eggs - we will sell them on Thursdays AND just about any other day too. Just call the farm phone at 480.206.7821 - if you need a dozen or two or three.

When you buy our eggs...just know they are fresh, not washed (which removes the protective coating on the shell - leaving way for bacteria to enter the egg) and they are NOT dipped in lye.

Friday, April 15, 2011

The Day After . . .

. . . the best farmers' market ever - meeting a ton of beautiful people who love the little urban farm in the neighborhood . . . .and my desk and farm room area looks like this.

Have a wonderful weekend! We're busy today completing final touches on the birthing pen and the new buck pen for Caleb and Chaim. Hopefully, Lavender is due anytime from today through Wednesday. Tuesday afternoon would be a perfect time on my calendar.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

The Farm. The Market. The Neighborhood. Totally Local.

Our farm gates will open at 9:30 am in the morning - Thursday and we can't wait for you to come be a part of the local, organic vibe here in Scottsdale's own organically grown urban farm.

Goats, chickens, flowers, peace, beauty, beets, radishes, batavian lettuces, carrots, fresh snipped herbs, swiss chard, kale, spinach and sugar snap peas.

Does it get any better than this for an organic farm in the neighborhood?  I don't think so.

Keep in mind that our new thing is - that when we sell out - we'll just put a "we sold out" sign out in the farm driveway.  Last week - we did four harvests and sold out by noon.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Life At Our Urban Farm

Since we moved our market day to Thursdays it's already given us more of a running start for the week in "checking off" those needed chores on the "To Do Farm List."

Lavender had her spa treatment aka birthing trim. Michael did this one.
Marie needed her pre-delivery pedicure and I did that. Done.
Michael is closer to finishing the farms birthing pen. It's close to the house so we can have access to what we might need in the house and so we can keep a better watch on "doe due to deliver soon"

The younger hens in the red chicken coop needed to graduate to the "big girl pen."  Done.
Metal garbage cans needed to be moved into the breezeway to make for easer chicken feeding. Done.

Basic Garden Upkeep
Tomatoes needed fertilizing along with eggplants, okra, cucumbers and peppers. Partially done.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

What's Growing

It's the beginning of April and I think this next season of organic produce is probably my favorite.

The Le Menu includes . . .
About 25 varieties heirloom tomatoes, 
4 varieties of cucumbers - Heirloom 76, Japanese, Lebanese & Lemon Cucumbers, 
3 kinds of eggplant - Black Beauty, Japanese, Rosa Bianco
2 kinds of okra - Burgundy and Clemson
Melons, Pumpkins and Watermelon
Basil is coming and mint will keep coming!
And, more arugula has just been seeded.

Right now we have more . . . 
Nantes carrots in the ground
spinach is up
gourmet lettuces
Easter egg radishes (Kelly's suggestion from Desert Roots - Thanks Kelly!)
sugar snap peas
bunching onions

All Kidding A S I D, better make that F R O N T & C E N T E R

We're about ten days away from the first kidding at our suburban farm.  Sweet Lavender leads the line up. If you've come to the farm lately, she's the doe with the blue collar that waddles around as if she's not quite sure what to do with herself. These days, we're constantly checking on her, talking to her and telling her not to worry, it's all O.K. She just stares back at us but somehow I think she knows what we're saying.

Needless to say, we're excited for this impending birth of baby goaties.  We're hoping for some beautiful twin does (triplets would be nice) from the nice combo of Lavender and Charlie. Two of those girls are tentatively spoken for and the others will be sold (let us know if you're interested).

The past few days Michael's working hard at completing our kidding stall aka birthing pen. It's about 8 ' x 13 ' and we can see this area from our sunroom. Sides and the roof still need to be attached and then lights in case she decides to kid in the middle of the night (and she probably will).  After that we'll lay down a think layer of fresh hay, hook up newly sanitized empty buckets for water bucket feed - for her grain and fresh alfalfa. 

A few weeks ago, we completed Lavender's final hoof trim and her BoSe injection (selenium/vitamin E combo that helps prevent uterine dystocia - abnormal labor), aids in passing the placenta and it helps prevent white muscle disease in kids.  

She's also had her CDT toxoid vaccine booster.  The provides the new kids with some immunity from enterotoxemia and tetanus in the first few months of life. 

Each herdsman has a unique management practice and we've been developing ours.  We consulted those who are our goat mentors as well as read as much as we can about different practices and the reasons why.  In that we have added two other vaccines to our birthing preparations that have to do with helping prevent mastitis.

Within the next few days we'll do Lavender's Spa Treatment - we'll trim her tail and udder area.  This will help her stay cleaner during and after kidding. This keeps the goopy goo and bloody discharge from sticking to her, causing us/her problems we don't need.

Last night I began to put together our kidding kit. Anita says it's like a woman getting ready to give birth - she's got her suitcase packed and ready to go.  

It's always a miracle to watch a birth (even in the middle of the night) and I wish that all our farm friends could come and stand around the kidding pen to see this beautiful miracle of life.  Unfortunately, we've needed to limit requests and our quota is full.  We want to be sensitive to Lavender and her time to labor and kid and also, this is our first, so we're a bit nervous as well.   

Raising goats are a kind of therapy for me. Sometimes I can hardly believe that I "get to" have goats again.  They're the most amazing creatures.  I tell people they're like big dogs that give milk. If treated kindly and respectfully and cared for they will give you more than you could ever give them.  You get to learn about life and love and care through these animals. They also reveal our own character issues of stubbornness and bossiness as well as our neediness.

Many people don't realize the care and expense and time that takes to raise goats -  checking each doe daily (especially when they're pregnant), feeding, milking (twice a day), processing that milk with stellar sanitization practices and then testing the milk, health care -  giving shots, oral applications, anal thermometers, tending to their wounds, breeding, assisting in deliveries (etc.), but when a task is a "get-to" and not a "got-to," it's so worth the effort.

I know our goats are therapy for others too. Elaine comes by on market day to love on Miss Storm (one of our younger does). They  have a bond that is too sweet for words.  One day Michael and a friend of ours who is an Anglican Priest, Father Ed Jones, sat in the goat yard for about an hour, observing the goats and philosophosizin' about God, life, purpose, community and loving others. Therapy, indeed.