The Duck House is Almost Ready

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The ducks are getting big. So soon they will need to move to their permanent house that is going to be in our pond’s fenced-in area. The duck house is currently being built next to our barn (which is not near the pond). We put it on metal tubes that are going to be used like skis to transport it. The duck house has no floor so when you move it, the grassy floor is clean again. I’ll be adding a door and white plastic for walls. Unlike chickens and turkeys, ducks sleep on the ground or in the water. When our ducks grow up, they will need somewhere to lay their eggs. You want your ducks to lay their eggs where you can find them (preferably somewhere easy to get)  so you have to make nest boxes if you want to find their eggs. Nest boxes for ducks should be 12” x 14”.  They should be inside the house, dark, and  far away from their food and water.

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Ducks on the farm

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We just bought ducklings and they are very cute. We have four Indian Runners, two Cayugas,  four  Golden Layers and one Magpie. The ducks are one week old now. The ducks currently live in a little shed that I originally made for broody chickens to raise their chicks in. I am making a permanent  house that is going to be in our pond’s  fenced-in area.

-Noah Freedman

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Sheep and Wool inspiration

We attend the Sheep and Wool festival every year. There is always a new inspiration to take home from the festival to feed my love of fiber arts. This year, a new booth by Sarafina Fiber Art caught my eye! Sara and her talented staff make beautiful needlefelted creations, featuring animals and people. Here are some photos from her booth. Starting with Sara and her amazing needlefelted lion!

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I’ll be working on her tutorials to create some animals. I’ll keep you posted!

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With a little help from our friends

 

 

 

Last week sure was windy! It ripped the skin right off our hoophouse! In a big wind, the plastic ripped off and flipped off the roof just like a huge page in a book might turn. In one flick like it was nothing. We are grateful that we had planned to replace the plastic in a couple months, so we already had the new plastic on hand. Phil called our farming friends down the road, the Horst family of Jehovah Jireh Farm.  They came right over that evening and helped prepare for the job, then arrived early the next morning to help pull the plastic over the hoophouse framework. Its a big job, and a big wind can rip that plastic or take us all for a kite ride. But we had ropes secured over the plastic to hold it in place, and many hands to keep it snug until it was tacked down. Ever so grateful to our neighbor and CSA member, Nathan Wilkes, my brother Ron White, and the Horst family. With a little help from our friends, we were able to save all the trays of seedlings we have growing in our hoop.

Jehovah Jireh Farm is currently accepting orders for their fresh pastured chicken, on-farm pickup of fresh chicken all summer long until Thanksgiving. And turkeys in November, too. Good people to support, and not just because they were SO VERY AWESOME to help us out last week. 🙂

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Seedling Salad

 

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The hoophouse is chock full of seedling trays for the upcoming CSA season–kale, chard, kohlrabi, lettuce (three kinds), broccoli, cabbage, chinese cabbage. What else? Peppers and eggplant (4-5 kinds each), tomatoes (15 varieties!), basil and other herbs. And more! Peas, beans, carrots, fennel, parsley. And more. That’s just off the top of my head. And what else? There are more veggies to start in the next couple months. Turnips have already been grown up in trays and planted out into the field. Onions, garlic and scallions are already planted out. We are busy getting ready for some great eating. Join us? CSA shares are available for full and half shares.

Seedling salad
These micro greens are thinnings from the hoop house. Kohlrabi, chard, broccoli, cabbage

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My new hat

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Liz’s Beet Chocolate Cake

Cake on the farm! We can do that, because it had our beets in it! So it was farm-grown cake, right?

Liz volunteers on the farm but she works in her kitchen. She has a cake business called Another Slice of Cake. She brought an incredible chocolate beet cake to the farm today to celebrate Phil and Ron’s birthdays. The balance of beet and chocolate was lovely; you could see the red tint from the beet and taste the sweet fruitiness that it added to the chocolate. (This one happened to be gluten-free, as well.) Thanks, Liz, it was so delicious and beautiful! Really, you need to check out her website at some of the incredible decorated cakes she makes. Like the Bassett Hound cake that is on the front of her website. The woman makes sculptures out of cake and icing.

And since I know you will be asking, here is the recipe. She replaced the flour with gluten-free oat flour and coconut flour to make it gluten-free.

Happy birthday, Phil and Ron! (We’re still celebrating their September birthdays.)

Thanks, Liz!

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Sweet sweet potato dig day

 

 

It was a beautiful day for a sweet potato dig! The loose cool soil felt so good in between my fingers as a gathered the sweets. Thanks to all who participated in the dig today! We really appreciate your help and positive energy. Together we collected 2500 pounds of sweet potatoes today! More to go, too. It was fun to have my family at the dig–both my brothers, my nephew and my folks. Our sweets will be for sale at The Common Market this month through Thanksgiving. Maybe as soon as this weekend.

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Sweet Potato Dig on Sunday

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House in the Woods Farm invites you to our
Sweet Potato Dig!
Sunday October 5, 1pm-5pm
2225 Park Mills Rd, Adamstown, MD

We’ll be digging in the dirt, collecting the sweet potato treasures that our potato plow will loosen up out of the soil for us. This is a good event for the whole family.

Bring a snack to share. If we have enough helpers, we can put some people on cooking up some sweet potatoes, garden-side! But we’ll need a good size crew for that, so invite friends.
Bring water bottle, hat, and work gloves if you want.
Please RSVP if you are planning to come so we have an idea of event size.

Here’s a post about how the sweet potatoes were planted http://blog.houseinthewoods.com/2014/06/26/sweet-potato-and-slip/

Here’s Ilene’s Fred News Post article about sweet potatoes

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Interns, old and new

Celebrating our interns, old and new, this week! Here on the left are Neda and Alexa, University of Maryland student interns this summer. Neda just graduated and is heading to Arizona for a masters program in Sustainability. Alexa continues her undergraduate studies in the fall. On the right is Sarah, our University of Maryland intern from 2002! Yes, visiting us 12 years later. Sarah is entering her third year of vet school at Virginia Tech. It was great to get them together on Thursday and get their hands in the dirt together.

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