Happy Spring!

We are so excited with all the baby plants around here! We are about to plant some basil out in the green house and I wish I could do a scratch and sniff Instagram post! Along with the baby tomatoes popping up, I am ready for summer and BLT’s! But without getting ahead of myself, I will tell you what else has been keeping us busy! We are all settled in with the new cow (Timmy named her Ducklegs)! She has decided she likes us afterall….whew, training new cows is always hard, but this one was particularly challenging. All is well now also with her calf “peekaboo” who would love a pat from you when you come to the farm store.

The farmer girls have been hatching eggs in the incubator and having lots of fun with baby chicks, ducks and they even have some goose eggs that are fertile. It took three years for our geese to decide to like each other enough to have fertile eggs! Very exciting. Gracie is in charge of the hatching and doing a great job with it! But we all like to help her.

We have some new soap flavors coming to the cabin soon, so stay tuned! We are about to make a goat milk soap that we only offer seasonally when we have goat milk! Our “man” soap is back in stock finally, pick up a bar of ‘Real Blokes Soap’ next time for a special man in your life. It has a great woodsy smell.

Here are some great recipe ideas for this weeks share:
Young chard
Beets Mashed beets anyone?
Cabbage and purple radish slaw What a different slaw, so good!
Spinach
Sweet Potatoes Fries! But I always use lard or coconut oil instead of a vegetable oil!

Enjoy and have a great Easter!
Blessings,
The Bakers

Week 20 Winter CSA, Babies everywhere!

Well the brooder is full of 400 baby chicks, the baby goat kids are on display near the farm store (stop by and give them a pat) and the greenhouse is filling with seedlings! Winter may be blowing outside still, but the days are getting longer and everything is growing! We love seeing the customers come up to the fence to visit the puppies in the front yard. The Bernese Mountain Dogs are growing so much! Gus and Dolly are always up for a pat.

Last week we enjoyed spinach, mustard greens, onions, carrots, cabbage and potatoes in the shares. This week you will find spinach, beets, lettuce, broccoli, shallots or garlic and sweet potatoes. We have been enjoying steamed broccoli, with sausage and roasted beets and sweet potatoes. The white sweet potatoes are by far the sweetest this year. We are peeling them this time of year (as the peels are tougher than before), cubing and tossing in lard and roasting for an hour at 400. Makes the perfect side dish!

We love shredding up potatoes for homemade hash browns. This recipe takes the mystery out of how to get them to not stick! The sweet potatoes work as well and add a nice depth to the flavor. It so fun to have salad in the winter, though we are dreaming of cucumbers and tomatoes on top, we are enjoying shredded beets, radishes and carrots instead. It’s fun to do a nice oil and vinegar dressing on top. We use a simple recipe to start all our dressings. It’s 2 parts olive oil, 1 part honey or maple syrup and 1 part vinegar. Raw cider vinegar is our go to, but balsamic makes a nice change.

Keep your eyes out for the green eggs coming in now. The brown egg layers preform all winter (thankfully), but the green egg layers take a break and start again in spring. Have a great week and we’ll see you around!

Blessings,
The Bakers

Week 18 CSA

It’s week 18 already! Only 7 more weeks in the winter CSA, a week off and then begins the summer season on May 1st. Send your email to sign up if you haven’t already! Some yummy veggies headed your way this week!

Kale(This soup sounds great, but I would make your own broth first!)
Sweet and Spicey salad mix
Watermelon Radishes
Celeriac (Try this awesome soup) or just peel, dice and add to stir fry.
Garlic
Sweet Potatoes (White)

We made up a soup this week, that was so good! We made some broth from a turkey carcass(about 24 hours on the stove top with sea salt and a splash of vinegar and a few quarts of water) and strained it and added some peeled, cubed white potatoes (from last weeks share). There was about enough broth to cover the potatoes (we all know the ‘farm-her’ doesn’t measure). We simmered it until the potatoes were fork tender (can be done on stove top or instant pot). I had some left over roasted garlic that I added, about 2 heads. Then I used the stick blender and blended until almost all the lumps were gone. I stirred in some sour cream and topped it with some homemade cheese and left over bacon. You would have thought I had served steak and shrimp! We had some very thankful farmers that night! (And it was so easy!)

Ground beef uses?
The healthy sloppy joe has been added to our menu! We serve it over homemade mashed potatoes for a filling, but gluten free meal. With salad or slaw on the side. I skip the brown sugar and add more mustard since we make our own and it’s sweetened with honey.

It’s very windy out there with 40 mile an hour gusts, but we are thankful that everyone and everything is safe and sound so far. We have been moving generators all day keeping the fridges and freezers cold, the incubator and plant germination chambers and greenhouse warm and a few lights on in the house for the little farmers! We ran out of gas during milking and Farmer Boy and his two farmer girl helpers found themselves in the pitch black! Thankfully someone had a flash light and found more gas quickly. It’s never dull here!

We had two baby goats born this week, they got to meet CSA members on Thursday and hope to be around Saturday too. They are very cute and we hope you get to meet them soon. Watch facebook or instagram for pictures soon. We also hope everyone is safe and at home eating yummy food!

Blessings,
The Bakers
Farming with our family for your family

Spring Update

Hello everyone! So glad it is getting warmer, spring is finally here.

Here is what’s going on at DAY SPRING FARM.  Princess lollipop had her calf on Feb.21, a healthy bull. He is adorable, bouncing about in his outdoor calf pen and drooling on customers fingers.  We recently found out that two more of our cows, Fawn and Dolly are expecting calves l. Dolly in October, Fawn on Christmas day!  We will let you know when they are born.

Gardening, gardening, gardening! I think that is all we do now that it is warmer.  Peas are being planted in outdoor rows.  It is normally too cold outside to plant anything in the ground but since we have a plastic mulch layer, it warms the soil to the proper temperature for warmer weather loving crops. The proper temperature is about 60 degrees Fahrenheit.  Broccoli and kale are steadily being planted under row cover. TIP: If you don’t want to buy row cover (in my opinion it is well worth the buy) you could use bedclothes.  We have spread lime to raise the PH. of the soil as the PH.[of the soil] should be 7-7.5; chicken manure and fish meal to be followed by greensand and potassium to replace nutrients. We planted potatoes a week ago. We tilled a swath about 7 feet wide and 150 feet long and planted them, eyes up, every twelve inches with rows twelve inches apart.

We have tomatoes growing out our ears!  Roma, Striped German, Big Beef, Black Cherry, Clementines: you name it, we have it.  They were planted in the middle of March and will be planted outside on the first of May.  Cucumbers are planted in soil blocks.  Soil blocking is potting soil that is watered and then pressed firmly into a metal frame, then ejected.  The seed is then placed in a small indentation in the top of the soil block.  The advantages to soil blocks are that

  • it reduces the use of plastic.
  • it air prunes the roots when the root reaches the edge so the plant does not get root bound.
  • it is very good for transplanting cucurbits(squash,cucumbers,watermelons etc.) because they DO not like their roots disturbed

We are trying a new kind of cucumber this year.  The name of is West Indian Burr Gherkin.  I won’t write anything about them yet as I don’t have any experience with them yet.  But Pam Dawling who gardens 3 ½ acres in central VA has a wonderful article about them at a website she writes for. You can find it at: www.growingformarket.com.

Just recently a friend gave us a little garden cart that needed a face lift.  It was 36in wide and 48in long.I and my sister tore it down to the bare metal frame and rebuilt it.  We used reclaimed oak fence boards and a few 2×6 boards.  It is now 50in wide and 60in long and very sturdy.  We chose the dimensions so it would carry fifteen 1020 flats without any room to jostle around.  I have included a few pictures below.

dayspring_Wagon1dayspring_Wagon2 dayspring_Wagon3dayspring_Wagon4