Another week at the farm, another parade of activity. Even during the heart of summer, when the weeks seem to blend into one another with their similarity — 87 degrees, sunny, if we are lucky several afternoon thunderstorms — they in fact are quite different. New plants are ready for harvest. Plantings take place. Piglets are born. And so on.
Springtime is normally a bit more unsettled, and this week was even more unusual than most. The sheep got sheared, which happens just once a year. It always makes for quite the tactile day.
The sheep spend most of their time wandering over pasture, but shearing demands that we shepherd them all to the main barn, behind fencing, and one by one bring them into the barn. Inside, a professional shearer waits with his electric clippers. In they go, wooly. Out they come, with crew cuts. The best shearers remove the coats without nicking the sheep, and ours was a total pro.
The sheep enjoy different styles of baaa. When they all are together, and at least slightly nervous about what the day holds, the individual baaas transform into a chorus of sorts.
All of the wool is cleaned. Some of it heads to the restaurants, where the pelts are turned into pillows. Most of it gets claimed by Suite Sleep, a Boulder bedding manufacturer that appreciates the quality of wool from sheep who spend their days roaming, and are treated like royalty.
As a certified biodynamic farm, animals dwell at the heart of all that we do. Among other things, the sheep reduce weed pressure, stimulate the growth of our pastures and add fertility to the soil.
We always are harvesting — that’s a year-round activity. But planting stands as an ongoing project as well. We use organic seed (we are certified organic, too) to grow most of our food; much of it is seed we have saved ourselves from previous crops. But some important vegetables, like peppers, tomatoes and eggplants, as well as some herbs, are grown from starts. And next week we begin planting peppers and thyme.
Big news on the peppers front. This year, for the first time, we are growing Padrón peppers, a variety native to Galicia in northwestern Spain and devoured across the peninsula. Blistered in olive oil and showered with salt, Padróns are about flat-out culinary marvels. We cannot wait to nurture them into health and commence harvesting.
At The Market
We hope to see you at the Boulder County Farmers’ Market in downtown Boulder tomorrow! Do visit out new prepared food stall at the Market, the only of its kind to serve truly farm-to-table fare. As always, we offer our salad bar and pork burgers. Also this week, look for pulled pork and lamb and spinach curry with lentils.
And say hi, too, at our produce stand. This week, look for:
- Pea tendrils
- Mustard greens
- Spicy green mix
- Butter lettuce
- Romaine lettuce
- Hakurei turnips
- Magenta turnips
- Cherry Belle radishes
- Arugula flowers
- Mustard flowers
- All pork cuts