Unity Farm Journal - Third Week of September 2014

Gluten free and Paleo diets seem to be the rage these days.    I prefer Michael Pollan’s advice - eat food, not so much, mostly vegetables.   It’s impossible for us to say if the real Paleo diet was raw wooly mammoth or the roots/berries found near the cave, but from living at Unity Farm, my version of the Paleo diet is based on what I can gather every day from the environment around me.

Every night after caring for the animals (living things come first), I walk the mushroom laying yards and pick the available Shitake, Oyster, Agaricus, Wine Cap, and Lion’s Mane mushrooms.    Dinner last night included a stir fry of Unity Farm mushrooms, peppers, and onions.

I spend 30 minutes in the hoop house every night weeding the raised beds, picking vegetables, and planting successive rounds of greens so that we have a continuous supply of chard, spinach, lettuce, cress, and mibuna (a Japanese green).    Here’s a typical night’s picking basket of chinese long beans, german striped tomatoes, and roma tomatoes.

On the way back to the barn yard I walk along the raspberry bush brambles and forest edge picking berries and wild Concord grapes.

The end result is food that is high fiber, low calorie, locally grown, and sustainable.  You won’t find Hot Pockets in our pantry.

The Apple crush began this weekend and we pressed 150 pounds of apples (Macs, Rhode Island Greening, Golden Delicious, and Granny Smith, trying to balance tart, sweet, astringent, and aromatic components.   I added 30ppm of sulfite to the a 20 liter fermenter and 24 hours later inoculated with Pasteur Champagne yeast.     Here’s what the pressing looks like as all the equipment is washed/sterilized prior to pressing.

The 99 guineas continue to be happy and healthy.   The only side effect is that Unity Farm now looks like a scene from Alfred Hitchcock's "The Birds".    Here’s a typical scene from the front porch.

Still no baby alpaca.   Mom can hardly walk and we’re thinking she’s setting a new record for gestation time.

We removed all the honey supers from the bee hives last weekend and fed the bees a combination of sugar water, bee tea, and fumigillin B, to strengthen the hive for winter/reduce nosema infection.    All 12 hives are strong and have generous honey/nectar stores.  Last winter was brutal and per the 2015 Farmer’s Almanac, we’re in for another cold, snowy winter in New England.    The bees have every preparation possible for them to be strong and healthy.

Next weekend will be devoted to alpaca health, building new roosts in the coop for the guineas, and splitting firewood for next year, anticipating the three cords we will burn this year.

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