Bring us your boxes and bags!

This week’s announcements

  • Please return your boxes every week. Every household will have two boxes, which are rotated throughout the season with you; they cost $5 a piece, so please take care of them! And, in the interest of recycling, we do reuse plastic bags and egg cartons, as long as they’re clean. These can be returned every week as well.
  • In your boxes this week:

Salad mix

Mustard greens

Turnips

Arugula

Spinach

Dill

Eggs for egg shares

Bread for bakery shares

(Note: First distribution of chickens will be next week; look for tomatoes by mid-to-late June.)

  • This week’s recipe is one that allows you to combine the mustard greens with cumin. It sounds delicious! Indian food anyone? This is what Barclay has to say about the recipe:

“I love mustard greens with Indian Food and this one made with cumin is perfect! Greens, like mustard, spinach and kale are also great added to Dahl (Indian lentils) and other bean dishes. Haukuri turnips and radishes can both be used in the same recipes and are delicious roasted as well.”

Find the recipe by clicking here.

  • Distribution times:

Tuesdays: 10-noon at the farm

Friday deliveries: We encourage pickup from 9:30 -11:00 a.m. at the Telluride Farmers Market on Oak St. Our booth is located just below Elks Park, right on Fat Alley. A morning pickup will keep your produce fresher and it’s also before the official “start” time for the farmers market. It’s a heartbreaker to see a box full of delicious, fresh produce wilt in the afternoon sun.

Saturdays: 10-noon at the farm

  • You can always check out your CSA account with Indian Ridge Farm & Bakery at: www.farmigo.com/account/indianridgefarm If you have forgotten your password, please let us know and we’d be happy to help you out.
  • We are now accepting orders for winter storage chickens and sides of pastured pork and grass-fed lamb. Also, if you haven’t ordered a turkey yet, now is the time! Please go to: http://www.farmigo.com/store/indianridgefarm
  • Tell your friends and distant family members that they can order our famous addictive granola online at www.addictivegranola.com Flavors include the traditional Honey Almond, and the new Chia Cherry. We also have Gluten Free granola. We will have a special announcement soon regarding these popular granolas! Stay tuned.
  • If driving into the farm, please be mindful of the families of geese residing around the pond. Slow down and take in the views!

 What’s going on at the farm?

Lots. That’s the short answer. Read on if you want the longer answer!

For some time now, our silkie layer hens have been brooding over their small eggs. We separated these girls out from the larger flocks of layer hens to give them more privacy and also let them be this season’s free ranging “barn birds.” Finally this week, two baby chicks cracked open their respective shells. We think there’s more on the way. Wow, are they cute! Broody hens are actually more rare than you might expect. Since 97%-plus of all layer hens in this country are raised in industrial poultry factories, the “broodiness” has for all intents and purposes been bred out of a chicken.

A silkie chick hatched Saturday out exploring from underneath mama’s wing.

 

Pac Choi, mustard greens, head lettuce, Endive and different varieties of salad mixes all growing beautifully in the new hoop house (prior to the covering of the hoop house with a shade cloth).

 

We did receive a scant rainfall last week, which refreshed the pastures and rejuvenated our anxious spirits. We’ve been watching the level of our ponds go down, down, down all spring due to the ongoing drought that has gripped the region. But the good news is now that the irrigation water has been turned “on” throughout the mesa, we hope the springs and groundwater get recharged and the water will be a-flowin’ again.

Nothing like some rain water to freshen the pastures again. This is looking north toward the Uncompahgre Plateau across some of our irrigated pasture. The ditches on Wrights Mesa are full right now, with release of water from the Gurley and Lone Cone reservoirs.

 

Yes, we focus a lot on the weather here at the farm. But as farmers, we have no choice. Especially at 7,000′ in elevation, where, as the saying goes, “If you don’t like the weather, wait five minutes.” That couldn’t be more accurate for what occurred on Saturday morning. We awoke to sub-freezing temperatures. All the birds’ drinkers were frozen, as were water lines and hoses in the garden and pasture. It was cold! Then, by afternoon, things warmed up some and we looked at the weather forecast for Sunday: highs in the 80s, sunny skies. This put us in a bit of a panic mode, as we had not put a shade cloth on the new hoop house yet. The tender greens would fry under 80 degree temps, we feared. So, a late afternoon project was in the making, and we managed to slide the new shade cloth over the hoop house in preparation for the following days’ heat. As it turned out, Sunday was not quite as warm as forecasted, but nevertheless, we were prepared. But the whole day was so definitive of what high-altitude  growing is all about. We’re constantly having to make adjustments to our plans and to the care for the animals and garden, depending on what the weather is doing. So, if we perseverate a little about weather, please bear with us!

The National Weather Service in Grand Junction just released a very good study of climate change’s effects on Western Colorado and Southeastern Utah, which we recommend you take a look at. They went back 100 years at various study sites (including Telluride) to analyze weather data: temperatures and precipitation. The upshot of their study is somewhat surprising. Yes, temperatures have gone up, but mostly nighttime lows. And precipitation has actually increased over the past 100 years. Check out the study at: http://www.crh.noaa.gov/news/display_cmsstory.php?wfo=gjt&storyid=95090&source=0

We’ll be processing our first batch of pastured poultry this Wednesday morning here at the farm. It looks like a very healthy bunch of birds. They’re fed an amazing diet of fresh grains from our purveyor in Egnar, and lots of greens. In fact, we start feeding them greens while they’re still in the brooder at two weeks of age. We’ve found the greens act as a natural antibiotic, helping them fend off diseases common to poultry and also preparing them for the grasses in our intensive rotational pasture. Once outdoors, they have to contend with the same weather we all do: snow, rain, wind, cold, warmth, etc.  All that is translated into healthfulness for all of us in a very local, very unique meat product.

Tony’s been spending some time weed wacking Hoary Cress, or White Top as it’s commonly known. This invasive plant came to us from Europe and is very common throughout Western Colorado and along the Rocky Mountains. We don’t curse it, we’ve learned to live with it. It has its own attributes, too: the flowers give off a scent with a hint of honey that attract bees and the plant itself reduces soil erosion. Nevertheless, we do spend an inordinate amount of time in the garden hand-weeding this plant, while out in productive pastures, we weed wack just before the flower goes to seed. Now’s the time! Of course, we don’t use chemicals here at the farm so we have to get creative. Layer hens are also rotated on stands of White Top that are simply to large to handle by hand.

A flock of layer hens out among Hoary Cress, or White Top. We rotate our Animal Welfare Approved hens throughout the summer onto fresh pastures, producing the finest eggs available. Here, one of our apprentices Hannah, lets out the birds from their trailer housing after a fence move. Fence moving was one of our field curriculum studies last week in our apprentice program here at the farm.

 

This week we’re spending time prepping beds in preparation for the direct-seed and transplanting of some of the warm-weather loving plants such as squashes, cucumbers and peppers. Are we over the freeze hump? Sure hope so. There’s that word “hope” again. It’s a farmer’s best friend!

Look for us Friday at the first Farmers Market of the season up in Telluride.

Take good care of yourselves, each other and the many blessings Mother Nature has provided ….