When the weather here in New Hampshire keeps us from growing food in the ground, we turn to the window sills. With the current setup, we don’t get a lot of food from it, but it helps us evade the winter blues that come from totally being cut off from our agricultural bent.
These are our Yorkshire pigs at around 16 weeks old enjoying a treat of some lettuce and kale. It’s hard to say how much they weigh, but to give you an idea of their size, these transport boxes they’re standing in are 5 feet long and 4 feet high.
(Don’t worry, these are just transport boxes.. They have a nice big swath of woods out back surrounded with electric fence to root around in.)
Their diet is 95% grain and forage so they are solid and dense, with very little fat. Hope they still fit in these boxes 8 weeks from now!
We transplanted them into a cold frame 4 weeks later, where they’ve been ever since. The frame protected them from the frost, bugs and critters very well. Now that all danger of frost is passed, I’ve kept the frame on them, leaving the top off, just to reduce the likelihood of the plants getting eaten by pests.
We get 3 – 5 healthy salads a week from this 2×3′ frame built from scrap wood and shrink wrap. Because of the wide row, dense planting, there is no weeding and the soil retains moisture very well.
For very little effort, and a very tiny space, we can enjoy fresh organic greens for salads and brazing from April to November. (Withought the cold frame, these greens would only survive from late May to late August)
Tip: If you want to enjoy the full flavor of your freshly grown greens, pick them a few hours prior to eating, wash them well, shake off excess water and place them on a cookie sheet in the refrigerator for at least an hour, but not more than four hours. Allowing them to cool off like this will make them sweeter and more flavorful than eating greens right after picking.
Beer can chicken made with one of our local farm-raised broilers. All I can say is I wish I had a way to transmit the aroma on the internet. (iSmell?) The beer basically steams the meat from the inside while the oven roasts the outside, keeping it moist and juicy, and all the fat drains off below and away from the bird.
Anyway, we raised 50 of these this year. If you are interested (and I know some of you are) here’s the pricing:
5.5 lb whole broilers – $15.95 ea
7.0 lb whole broilers – $19.95 ea
While supplies last, so get clucking!
Call us at 1-603-569-7701 to arrange pickup.
PS: Stay tuned for pork, bacon and ham. (not beer can pork)
We used to take our food supply for granted, picking it from a waste-high case in a grocery aisle, giving little thought to where it came from, who grew it and what it took to do that. It wasn’t until we started harvesting our own broccoli that I realized it is actually an edible flower. In fact, there are many edible flowers; nasturtium, bachelor’s buttons, dandelions, clovers, chives, lavender to name a few. To see a longer list, click here.
I don’t know if I’d put this broccoli in a vase on the table, but it sure is pretty to look at as I pick it for an afternoon meal.
Aside from the nutritional benefits of freshly grown organic vegetables, it does something for the soul to walk around in the garden and see the plants a little bigger than the day before, reaching for the sun, so hopeful and full of life.
Whatever is going on today for you, I suspect it will be a little better if you stop to pick some flowers, maybe even eat them once you’re done enjoying looking at them and enjoying their fragrance a while!
This is our first celery grown here at Mercy Hill Farm. We’re very excited. Here’s why: Celery contains antioxidants, vitamins, anti-inflammatory support unparalleled by other edible plants, but only if it’s fresh and organically grown.
Find out more about how to buy, store and consume this amazing vegetable here: The World’s Healthiest Foods
06/27/14 – These beauties are Brandywine heirloom variety plants, about 8 weeks old and loving these warm nights we’ve been having lately. The distinctive leaves are a lot like a potato plant. Brandywines are a large tomato, some as large a 1 1/2 lbs each. Great slicing tomato for sandwiches, or if you need an organic doorstop.
Give them another 5 or 6 weeks and we should have some on the farm table for sale. Go tomato power!