The Year of the Ox and why we love yucca flowers

Notes from the Farm (and ranch) July 4 2021

Well folks I spent last night and all morning this morning typing up a long update on all the happenings at the farm and how we were able to get one of our old sows harvested locally and how great that was and all the fun things we are working on and then the computer glitched and it all went away. Haven't had that happen for a decade but it felt just like it did in college when you finished a paper and lost it before you could print it or save it. Ugh. Anyways we are still here, still going hard. I've been having to spend way to much time with dentists and lawyers lately, but being able to chew your food when you get old is important and growing out a small business can be pretty brutally difficult. It's definitely the year of the ox.

We made up a mean batch of Red and Green Chile Whole Hog Pork sausage so we can all have CHRISTMAS IN JULY!! We also got back three beeves from Sol Ranch and are fully restocked on all the good beef cuts. The registration for the compost workshop is now live:

We have been getting more and more produce from our friends at Synergia ranch who have expanded their growing operation significantly this year. Really mind bending to see what the compost we are producing can do when its in the right persons hands. They have transformed a quarter acre of high desert shrub land into some of the most incredibly beautiful and productive soil we've seen lately. We are also very excited about getting in the first of the garlic harvest from our friends at FarmShark as as well as some delectable little plums.

We passed our seventh health inspection, once again with flying colors. And the county is still refusing to budge on letting us sell our eggs in the store. They finally hired a new director for the Health department and he is even more hostile than the last guy. I think they might be cousins. They sound very similar and have the same infuriating levels of laziness and incompetence. Stay tuned for more information on the coming insurrection against petty corrupt county bureaucrats ;)

** Update from Sol Ranch

10 June 2021

Hi Polk’s Folly readers! Shannon Maes here, Apprentice at Sol Ranch through the Quivira Coalition’s New Agrarian Program. Here at the ranch today it’s hot and windy, so the cows and calves are sprawled taking midday naps or grazing lazily in their new pasture.

All the rain in May (3 inches - oh wow!!!) brought out a burst of growth on cool season grasses and a spectacular showing of wildflowers, of which the most recent to bloom are the prickly poppies and Indian paintbrush, two of my very favorites.

The three finishers that went to the processor this morning were fine looking cattle, carefully chosen and quite healthy with an average of one hundred extra pounds gained during the past month and a half. Emily’s discerning eye could pick out the slightly rounder, more finished appearance of these three but to my more novice judgement they looked quite similar to the other animals in the herd. The excellent spring growth in the pastures so far has led us to joke that all the steers are finishing themselves on a diet of yucca blossoms (a REALLY popular food around here among grazers both wild and domestic), several species of Lamb’s Quarter or Quelites that have favored the cooler, moister weather lately, and a variety of cool season grasses that have helped make the land a patchwork of shades of green.

Besides feeling fortunate whenever we see a rain cloud on the horizon, we’ve also been helping our neighbors at branding and preparing for our own, planning our grazing season, moving cattle, keeping an eye out for unusual birds and as always, fixing fences. Hopefully this spring rain was an added bonus and we still have a monsoon to look forward to.

*Update: Since this was written, the ranch received almost 2 inches of rain that came down in a nice slow drizzle over about 5 days at the end of June with more rain in the forecast. Things are really looking and feeling good out on the ranch and everyone is breathing a sigh of relief.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.