It’s Spring! Non-GMO Seedlings Available Now

We enjoy experimenting with new and old varieties of plants. One of our favorites is the “Mortgage Lifter Tomato” – an heirloom variety suitable for seed-savers. We also have several kinds of peppers, including both sweet and hot varieties, as well as broccoli, cauliflower and brussels sprouts.

If you aren’t quite ready to plant them yet, I can hold them in the greenhouse for you. Stop by or Email cory@pearsonfamily.farm and let us know what you are looking for – or if you’d like to try something new this year!

Make your reservations now for a delicious chicken dinner!

We have 12 more chickens that will be available the 1st week of June. This has proven to be wonderful meat. We raise our chickens in a clean, healthy farm environment without the use of antibiotics or other unnecessary chemicals.

Email cory@pearsonfamily.farm for more information.

There are also a few remaining for the end of June and some for the middle of July, but order soon, before they are all gone!

Hot Wheels

Almost time for plowing and planting! Here’s what the real  farmer is doing:

al tractor

And here’s what the young guy is doing.  (Is he really waxing that??)

dan polishing tractor

We’re looking forward to a great season!

The Farmer is Outstanding in His Field

This picture of Joey taking soil samples makes me think of the old “outstanding in his field” pun. Soil testing is a crucial part of good farming. It measures the nutrients in our soil, nutrient-holding capacity, organic matter content, and soil alkalinity or acidity – important information for growing crops, vegetables and pasture for animals.  Testing soil can also measure how it holds or drains moisture. At Pearson Family Farm, we believe in long term, sustainable farm management!soil testing

Spring Chickens!

Tomorrow morning, bright and early, we will receive a phone call from the US Post Office, requesting that we come as soon as possible to pick up our chicks.  One peeping chick is cute; 150 peeping chicks are LOUD!  We have been busy preparing their new home, setting up nice warm brooders for them until they are old enough for free ranging.  Rich topsoil is being spread now for planting pasture grass.

PF.F Logo2 dirt

We look forward to the sight of the chickens pecking happily in the green grass.

chickens in grass

USDA Hardiness Zones and Planting Dates

P. Allen Smith’s post on Hardiness Zones has some helpful information for those of us chomping at the bit so to speak to get planting and force spring into action. Here in zone 4, delaying planting in the garden until Memorial Day can be a good rule of thumb. But lets not forget to read those seed packages, several of mine need to be started indoors as much as 12 weeks before the last frost. Last season, my guys built me a fabulous germination cabinet for starting seeds indoors. It proved to be such a huge success that I had trouble waiting for that 12 week mark to get started this year. Mary has control of the Garden Journal and is carefully documenting the progress thus far and mapping out the plan going forward. I have found that having a journal is key for me. I don’t have time to re-learn everything year after year and I’m not likely to remember what it was that needed to be tweeked or what it was that made a great difference on one year over another if I don’t keep it all documented. I’ll pin a link on my garden board on Pintrest for you to find a nice tracking journal. I didn’t use it exactly as it is and neither will you, just use the parts that apply to you, add and edit until you have your perfect garden journal!

Don’t forget, I do tend to get carried away with excess seedlings, just let me know what you might be interested in. Also, if you would be interested in signing up for a gardening class at the farm, email me at pearsonfamily.farm@gmail.com I am trying to determine if there is enough interest to justify putting one together. I am thinking of a series broken down into Planning and preparation, caring for your plants and soil, harvesting and seed saving, and maybe one on preserving your harvest.

Spring Chickens

The first run chick order has been placed and will arrive in early April. There are still a few available so place your orders soon if you would like some from this batch (cory@pearsonfamily.farm). The meat birds should be ready for processing in the first and second week of June.

chickensWe have a mixed order of meat birds coming as well as yard birds. I have to say, I had no idea how much I would enjoy raising chickens. It all started with one abandoned bantam rooster that someone dumped at the farm. He never let us get too close but he didn’t go too far either. He was completely self sufficient. He ate spilled grain around the bins and foraged all day. He drank from the cat’s dish or found standing water after a rain. He did a beautiful job of keeping the entire bin area clean.

We now keep a small yard flock for eggs and enjoy delicious meat, knowing that our chicken is raised humanely and processed with great care in a safe environment.

fermenting3After much research and experimenting, we have settled on a feeding system that seems to work best for us and our birds. Besides free-range foraging, they are also given a diet of fermented grains and greens. We like to grow our own feed for the chickens so we know what we are eating in both our meat and our eggs.

 

fermenting1Their diet includes popcorn and Indian corn, which are still non-gmo products at this time. Popcorn is higher in protein than other corns, but it is a very hard kernel and needs to be soaked to soften it for a few days before it can be mixed into the fermenting batch of feed. We also use other grains and greens from the garden and yard. We raise our garden without unnecessary chemicals, so I am comfortable knowing that my birds are fed the best diet possible.

 

In our first year of raising the Cornish Rock Cross, we decided to build four portable chicken tractors that could be moved every day. I saw several options online and finally settled on modifying one to create a design of our own. By having four of them, we started 100 chicks in one coop and divided them into two when they outgrew it. In another week or so we had to divide them into the third and then the fourth. Each tractor comfortably accommodates 25 full grown birds with room to run outside as well.

Our yard birds (egg layers/pets) have been a fun barnyard mix. We have hatched our own eggs a few times and developed a nice little flock. We were looking for a little more consistency and new varieties to share with our customers when we are open for pumpkin sales in the fall, so we have three breeds of chicks on order – Silver Laced Wyandottes, Buff Orpingtons, and ISA Browns. We are building them a new hen house in the grainery. I am looking forward to the new birds I ordered (but I won’t be surprised if I find I can’t resist a few more from the local feed store)

 

Spring is coming!

We are looking forward to spring here at the farm! The seed catalogs have been scoured and reviewed. The lists have been made, gone over again and again, reducing them down to the realm of reality. Even with a beautifully large garden area, I still have to narrow down my wish list of seeds by about half before I can actually place my orders. I will continue with some of my favorites from previous years but I’m always wanting to try something new as well. Last fall we preserved enough produce from the garden that all of our grocery bills have been drastically reduced. We do need to get a little better at dividing it up so one family member doesn’t end up with all of the banana peppers and someone else doesn’t get all of the tomatoes. However, it made a great excuse to get together a few times during the winter.

 

I have a few of my early seeds already and more coming from a few different sources.  I can’t seem to find one vendor who has everything I want! I ordered some new varieties of pumpkins this year that we haven’t tried before (go figure – who would have guessed I couldn’t resist a few new kinds?)

 

 

 

 


The grow cabinet has been moved into the office and prepared for the season. I have my flats filled with soil and will start planting seeds this week.  First will be the longest maturity items and the cold weather items.

 

 

 

I always start more seeds than I need so if you would like to purchase seedlings, let me know what you are looking for. ( cory@pearsonfamily.farm )