Today, we headed to Steinauer, NE, for a farm tour offered by our friend Paul Rohrbaugh of Pawnee Pride Meats. Pawnee Pride specializes in pasture-raised poultry, cattle and hogs. We’ve known the Rohrbaughs for a couple of years, and we were glad to have the chance to see his farm in action.
Our plan is to start some poultry at Black Sheep Farms in 2009. Animals are a vital part of farm health, plus farm-fresh chicken eggs are super!
Posted by blacksheepfarms on August 25, 2008
When Kelly and I sell our vegetables at the farmers market, it’s common for people to ask, “What does ‘heirloom’ mean?”
The short answer is that an heirloom variety is a plant that is saved by gardeners, especially when it’s not commercially fashionable. Seed Savers Exchange defines it as “Seeds that are passed down within families of gardeners from generation to generation.” I like their term “families of gardeners.” It reminds me that we’re all connected.
One of our main values at Black Sheep Farms is to promote and preserve our genetic heritage. As humans, we are all entitled to the Earth’s bounty. It is our right to grow and eat all the delicious things that our ancestors identified as food over hundreds of generations. We believe that it is important to give people the opportunity to explore foods, especially ones that we don’t immediately recognize.
Corporate food groups have decided that it’s easier to grow and ship three types of apples and two kinds of tomatoes. They have pared down our choices so far that most people don’t recognize a tomato that is not red, round and labeled with a tiny sticker. In doing this, they have eliminated our enjoyment of the differences and nuances of foods. We have been trained to eat, not by our history, but by our modern corporations.
Heirloom varieties offer flavor. They offer new experiences. Most importantly, they offer a connection to our roots as human beings, growers and eaters.
Posted by blacksheepfarms on August 24, 2008
Tomato season is in full swing on the farm. We lost our zucchini to squash bugs, but nothing has been able to slow down the delivery of heirloom tomatoes. Of course, this is exactly how we like it. Each variety has its own delicious flavor. We savor each one, from the White Wonders to this week’s new arrival, Aunt Ruby’s German Green. This time of year, I think back to the frozen nights of January and February and remember how much I craved a fresh tomato. I can’t say that I’m looking forward to that, but it’s hard to concentrate on that now. I have tomatoes to pick!
Posted by blacksheepfarms on August 15, 2008
List of wild animals we’ve encountered on or near the farm this summer:
Woodchucks, pheasant, fox, deer, wild turkeys, frogs, lizard, brown snake, and too many insects, caterpillars, butterflies and birds to identify.
It seems we are constantly perusing the internet to identify out latest sighting…It’s quite the learning experience for all of us.
Posted by blacksheepfarms on August 3, 2008