Spring 2015 – Year 2
Spring is just around the corner (if not already here….) and we are SO excited!!!
Before I get into all the juicy details of our plan for this coming year, we really do need to thank each and every one of you who has stopped by, bought yummy food or were just curious about what we are doing. This has been the most incredible experience of our lives and it is because of you – Thank You!!
Thank You for sharing our vision and quest for clean, healthy, REAL food.
Thank You for supporting your local farmers.
Thank You for making us feel right at home in our new roles as “farmers”.
Together we are making a difference. “Be the change you seek…”-Ghandi
We’ve got some pretty big plans for 2015, wish us luck – we’re feeling quite ambitious!
We are planning on #6 – 100 bird harvests this year. 600 birds vs the 375 we produced last year. Thank you for all the feedback on the breeds, we have chosen the Freedom Ranger as our “meat bird of choice” for this coming year. The quality of meat was top notch. And their “chicken-ness” made us happy (good grazers, no-fighting). They dressed out really nice at 11 weeks, averaging 5lbs. We are also working on our own clean room and may be able to offer frozen or parted out birds in the near future (hence why we are not quite ready for Spring yet). Thanks to last year being such a great success, we are planning to increase the number of turkeys for the holidays to 50.
Our laying hens have been good girls this Winter, doing their best to keep our fridge stocked with at least “some” eggs. In case you don’t know, chickens do not like to lay eggs in the Winter. They want to be on a beach with a mai tai like the rest of us. So we’ve added lights to give them a few more hours of light every day. We can’t help with the temperature or serve them a mia tia, but they seem to be managing just fine. Thank you so much for being patient with us in this period of low egg production. We’ve really enjoyed meeting so many of you while you wait for us to check the boxes and make you a quick dozen. They are on a steady incline in production and almost back up to 5 dozen a day. As the days get longer, so should the egg production. We anticipate over 50 dozen a week by April.
We are very excited to announce plans for baby chicks this Spring! All our breeds are Heritage and therefore very difficult to sex. We will be offereing: Cuckoo Maurans (dark brown), Easter Eggers (blue), Olive Eggers, Rhode Island Reds (brown), Silver Grey Dorkings (small white egg, mainly a high quality meat bird) and possibly Dominique’s, Black Silkies and the highly prized “Frizzles”. We’ll also be selling Narragansett turkeys babies w/ a holiday harvest option.
In addition to poultry, we are planning to offer fresh produce. We were so blessed with 2 orchards here on the Shyre. We’ve had our apples identified and have a number of treasured species. We also hope to get some cherries away from the bluejays this season – any advice would be appreciated. We also have blackberries, native wild mountain berries and a number of other delicious berries we are hoping to get into our farm stand this year.
We’ve selected a number of our favorite produce cultivars for the garden – pretty much got a little bit of everything. In addition to produce, we will be offering a number of culinary and medicinal herbs.
If there is something particular you’d like us to offer, shoot us an email and we’ll see what we can do. We’ll also be selling plant starts this year. Pre-order is an option. I’ll be making up a list of our seeds soon – stay tuned.
The pastures are going to be changing soon! Erin’s permaculture dream is coming true! Chestnuts, hazelnuts, ribes and rubus… OH MY! 7 layers of goodness! Vine fruits, fruit trees, mushrooms… Stop by and pick his brain, he’s obsessed (in a good way). Don’t worry, there will still be room for the chicken pens to cruise down the aisles, they’re a huge part of the plan. In addition to the birds, we need some quadrupeds, so the search for Shyre pigs is on. Chickens, turkeys, pigs and goats – all cruising the aisles, cleaning up and putting out – completing the nitrogen cycle – “the essence of permaculture”.
And just when you thought we were crazy enough, we’ve also hatched plans to offer flowers and bulbs (cut and potted).
Some pretty big goals in our second year and we’re going to need help! We’re looking into getting a WWOOFer or two, but are also thinking about “work share” where you sign up to work and earn food.
With so many different things going on here at the Shyre, we are organizing our email lists to better suit your need. If you are on the mailing list currently, you are on the “everything list” and will get every email we send out (which isn’t much, luckily we’re busy farming). If you would like to streamline your emails from us, please send an email and specify your interests (starts, baby chicks, produce, flowers, chicken and/or turkey harvest, work share or EVERYTHING).
SPRING FLING!! Everyone favorite event! Baby chicks, bubbles and fresh, hot donuts! Fun for the whole family! This year…we hope for something we’ve never had – sunshine. So this year, we’re going to do it a little later in the year – late April, early May – stay tuned.
MUSIC: I don’t know about you, but we love to relax and enjoy some good music with good people. Last year, we gave out cards to a number of local musicians and we’re really hoping they call. So if you know anyone who’d like to entertain here, let us know so we can check them out.
Phew…I think that’s all for now.
Again, Thank you so very much for your support, it means everything to us to have our dream of clean food be so well received by our community. We look forward to seeing you all real soon. Be well.
Erin and Roni Smith O’ the Shyre
“Be the change you seek…” – Ghandi