Being organic means we must use natural methods to control insects. After watching some sort of beetle munch on our new cherry tree leaves, we decided to try something different….our Rumar chickens to the rescue! Using chickens to reduce bug pressure in orchards is a natural and eco-friendly way to manage pests. Chickens are known to be excellent foragers and can feast on a variety of insects, such as beetles, worms, grasshoppers, and even small rodents. This natural method of pest control has several benefits:
- Pest Reduction: Chickens can help control populations of insects that are harmful to orchard trees. They actively seek out and consume pests, reducing their numbers in the orchard.
- Natural Fertilizer: Chickens produce manure, which is rich in nitrogen and other nutrients. As they forage in the orchard, they also spread their manure, helping to fertilize the soil naturally.
- Weed Control: Chickens not only eat insects but also consume weed seeds and tender, young weeds. By scratching and pecking at the ground, they control the growth of weeds without the need for herbicides.
- Soil Health: Chickens help improve soil health and drainage through their scratching and pecking behavior. Their constant movement aerates the soil and prevents compaction.
So if you are driving by the farm, you may see that we moved the coop to the top of the hill. They are loving their new pasture and are eating very well these days.
Here is what you can expect this week:
Raspberries Fresh picked daily by our dedicated team, these sweet and tart beauties are summer-bearing and we are over half way through the season. If you love raspberries and want more, check out our on-line store. We have “all hands on deck” picking this week and likely next.
New Potatoes Freshly dug white potatoes. New potatoes have thin, wispy skins and a crisp, waxy texture. They have been harvested early and have a sweet flavour. Easy to prepare, just boil and drizzle with a herbed olive oil or butter, salt and pepper.
Green Beans Not only a good source of vitamins and minerals, they are a tasty go-to vegetable. They can be roasted, grilled. boiled or sautéed. Try a great side dish recipe that is perfect for a summer meal. Blanch in boiling salt water for 3-4 minutes and with a slotted spoon transfer to ice bath which stops the cooking process. Cool and pat dry. Heat oil in skillet and cook beans for 3-5 minutes until tender but crisp. Add minced garlic (from previous weeks basket) and any fresh herb on hand (1 tablespoon chopped with stems removed) salt and pepper. Serve.
Lettuce Mix Tender green and red lettuce mix.
Celery Bunch of fresh celery, perfect for summer veggie trays. Come again variety with an intense celery flavour that is much tastier than that of mature heads you get in the store. The entire plant is editable with most of the celery flavour comes from the leaves.
Red Beets These red beets are chock-full of vitamins, fiber and more. Make easy roasted beets, preheat oven 375. Wash beets under cold water and cut off the top and bottom. Cut them in half and toss with olive oil, salt and pepper. Line baking pan with parchment paper and roast for about an hour. Once cooled enough to touch, rub the skins off easily using a paper towel. Serve as a side dish for pork, meatloaf or any other grilled meat or make a roasted beet salad with goat cheese and walnuts.
Thyme When using thyme in a recipe, keep in mind that it should be added early on in the cooking process. Thyme is slow to release its oils, so it needs plenty of “time” to impart flavour to the dish. A cup of thyme tea? You bet. It’s warm and comforting and may offer some health benefits, like making a cough more productive, alleviating a headache or giving you more clarity and focus.