Thursday, May 15, 2014

What's New at Cross Island Farm

Here is news from Cross Island Farm on Wellesley Island, NY submitted by farmer Dani Baker
THE ROADSIDE STAND IS OPEN, stocked with recently dug wintered-over "rainbow" carrots and sweet parsnips, lettuce, chard, spinach, asparagus, rhubarb, our coveted certified organic free range pastel colored (by the chickens) eggs, as well as our delicious duck eggs.  As we add new items, we will try to post them on our facebook page which you are welcome to "like" and comment on.  When you stop at the stand, remember that our USDA inspected cuts of beef and pork including  a new item, lean and tasty hot or sweet pork rope sausage perfect for the grill, are available at the house.
ORGANIC EDUCATONAL FARM TOURS, available daily by appointment, include picking and eating a vegetable or fruit right from the plant, a walk through the edible forest, a visit outside or inside the paddock with the goats and cows, petting or holding a baby goat, tickling the tummies of a pig, and petting or holding a newly hatched chick or duckling.  Fun for the whole extended family!
THE EDIBLE FOREST IS BLOOMING, now in its second year,  with a few plum, honeyberry, juneberry, current, strawberry, pineberry, and two tiny pale pink almond blossoms beckoning for bees.  If the bees find them, we might have our first fruit and nuts this year!!  Stay tuned.
INTERNS IN ABUNDANCE will grace our farm this season.  Within the week we are welcoming three student interns: an  Environmental Conservation and an Environmental Biology major from SUNY ESF and an Environmental Science major from Clarkson U., who are residing with us for the season.  We are grateful to all our volunteers who help us complete many projects.  Top priorities this season are improvements in the Edible Forest Garden.
CLAYTON GOES ORGANIC!  In addition to some of our veggies and meats being available at the Clayton Food Co-op for you to prepare at home, our salad vegetables are now featured on the menus of both Bella's Bistro and the Clipper Inn in Clayton.  So when you patronize these establishments for a meal out, please let them know you appreciate their providing local organic produce from Cross Island Farms.
SPRING FEVER IS RAMPANT  in our animal herds as the weather is warming. 
The first knock on the door:  "Did you know your cows are in the road?"  Apparently the paddock assigned by Farmer Dave was insufficiently suitable, so the herd headed to Nut n' Fancy for a bite.  When they found it closed, they "high tailed" it back, past the farm, and were on their way to the State Park when Dave and our neighbor, Dick Huntley, were able to induce them to return. 
A few days later, another knock:" did you know your goats are in the road?"  Seems the grass WAS greener on the other side of the fence, a fact not unnoticed by the hungry moms and babes.  So over the portable fence they went.  So much for Farmer Dave's planned priorities for the day.  Two hours later they were secured in a new paddock with fresh grass, but for how long?
Then, as I was heading out on an errand, I saw two of our little kids (goat kids, that is) prancing atop their new goat house which has a roof fashioned of  discarded  pallet wrapping from Wellesley Island Building Supply..  Although the "patter of little hooves" is a joy to hear and observe, it can be quite destructive to a fabric roof..  I quick pulled out my cell phone and called Dave to tell him.  "I'm glad we didn't buy a tarp this time," was his response.

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