Our hens supply us with bountiful eggs throughout the year. We, in turn, support the health of our chickens by giving them organic sprouts and grains to supplement their natural foraging. They closely watch our activities in the orchard in case we cultivate under the trees or turn any soil over to make it easier for them to find worms and bugs, which they love. By not using any chemical sprays on the farm we strive for a balance of insects which, in turn, supports a balance of nature overall. If we have a complex assortment of the different insects that live in nature, they provide a balance and one species never takes over. Nature does know best and careful observation of the present circumstances generally provides a solution to any problem.
The ceiling of the chicken house is painted red which encourages the hens to lay. We don’t use lights in the house in winter so we don’t disturb the normal seasonal activity of the hens. Their house is cleaned out weekly and fresh straw put in the floor and in the nests. All winter we give them a good amount of alfalfa hay to eat and also to scratch around. They prefer to not go out in the snow, but a layer of hay gives them a strong footing and encourages them into the natural sunlight.
Our cows provide us with milk throughout the year and we make butter, cheese and yogurt weekly. The cycle of the cows’ milk production varies through their lactation cycle and depending on the stage of growth of the pastures or the type of hay they are fed. At times the cows will produce more milk than others. We honor that rhythm and make adjustments, if need be, to our customers’ milk ration. The cream content goes up and down as well, with the cows naturally “holding back” the amount of milk and the percentage of cream they will give us. They innately know what their calves need depending on the weather, the season, and the quality of the forage, and they make adjustments that seem almost miraculous. But they do.
We use a homeodynamic preparation to prolong the shelf life and the vitality of the milk - just one more effort to bring the highest quality possible to all our animals and all we produce on the farm.