Mixed Turnip Bunches
Red Russian Kale
Every Other Week
Mixed turnip bunches
Green Garlic (Hurley)
“A farm includes the passion of the farmer's heart, the interest of the farm's customers, the biological activity in the soil, the pleasantness of the air about the farm -it's everything touching, emanating from, and supplying that piece of landscape. A farm is virtually a living organism.” -Joel Salatin
By Griffin Cassara
Chickens enjoying beautiful pasture!
Hello! I am the third and final member of the ‘first year apprenticeship team’ for the season. While Ankush and Justin have been out in the field tending to the crops, I have mainly been working with the farm animals as part of the animal husbandry rotation. While I have had some experience working with animals both in North Carolina on a large ranch and in Los Altos Hills on an educational farm, this is the first production farm that I have worked on where animal management is directly tied in to the management of the crop production.
Every week the cows & sheep, pigs, and chickens are moved to a new section of pasture for fresh forage. The animals always seem to get excited on move day-Chico (our steer) gets very vocal when he sees me setting up the new fencing! They sure are spoiled animals with all of the beautiful perennial grasses to munch on!
As the cows search for tasty clover, the pigs root the Johnson grass and the chickens work to scratch the cow pies for bugs and eat the fallen seed heads of the wild radish, all of the animals are working together to bring fertility to the soil through their manure and decomposition of plants as well as keeping the grasses growing tall for their own sustenance. In addition to healthy pastures for the animals to graze, this animal rotation also favors the crop production. While our cows love the perennial pastures, they also love the oats, vetch and fava bean that are planted for cover crops in the production field.
Pheobe, Chico, Ferdinand and the sheep act as natural mowers and fertilizers, cycling all of the nitrogen and other nutrients from the plants back into the soil. Its a win-win for the animals, the soil, the future food crops and us! Crops will be planted into this same area a couple weeks later- an area with soil now with great conditions for growing good food, a big part of that thanks to the animals of Soil Born.
Looking out into the fields every day you can see the stacked functions of the farm in a very tangible way- all the moving parts of the farm working in unison, efficiently and sustainably. As the chickens, pigs, cows and sheep roam the farm and orchards looking adorable as ever, they are also doing great work to help produce incredible fruits and vegetables for all of us to enjoy.
We owe them a big thank you for putting in all the behind the scenes work before the farm team even shows to transplant, weed, water and harvest! I thoroughly enjoy the days I get to spend looking after the animals, and am grateful to be apart of a farm who manages their land holistically and sustainably.
Next time you stop by the farm to pick up your CSA box be sure to say a quick hello to all the hard working animals at Soil Born!
Harmonious farm life!
Featured Veggie: Baby Beet Greens
This featured veggie can be found in the salad mix along with Arugula, Tatsoi, Mustard Greens and Baby Chard leaves. Baby Beet Greens are harvested both for their taste but also for the productiveness of growing the actual fruit of the plant, the beet root! As the root of the beet plants begin to grow, we go through the bed and thin some of the plants out in order to give enough space for the root to get nice and big. The result are Baby Beet Greens, the young and tender leaves taste great raw in salad mixes as well as sautéed. Beet greens are similar to spinach and even more closely related to chard- a yummy and nutrition filled green. They supply good amounts of protein, phosphorus, zinc, and are also a great source of fiber. Packed with antioxidants, they’re high in vitamin B6, magnesium, potassium, copper, and manganese. Now that’s a pretty nutritious salad mix!
Featured Recipe: Black-eyed Peas with Collards and Turnips
Dates and Notes
Summer Day Camp
8am-noon each day
Jr. Farmers : Grade 7-12
Sprouts: Grade 1-3
Gardeners : Grade 4-6
To see the dates please visit www.soilborn.org.
Raising Backyard Chickens
Wednesday, April 22 2015, 5:30pm - 8:30pm
Raising chickens in your yard is educational, fun and rewarding. Besides fresh eggs, they provide the added benefits of soil fertility and pest control. This class will teach you all you need to know to choose the right breeds, provide proper housing and make sure your chickens are healthy and producing the best eggs you’ve ever tasted.
Instructors: Greg Howes and Brian Fikes, Two Flew the Coop
$35, $30 Co-op owners
Note: This class will be held at Soil Born Farms American River Ranch, 2140 Chase Drive in Rancho Cordova
Family Bird Walk on the Parkway
Saturday, April 25 2015, 8:00am - 11:00am
Come learn about the birds that make the American River Parkway home in the springtime! Led by an expert guide from the Sacramento Audubon Society, this free walk will start from the American River Ranch and head to the parkway. Extra scopes and binoculars will be available. Bring a brown bag lunch if you’d like to enjoy a picnic at the Ranch afterward. This event is free, but space is limited and pre-registration is required.
Led by the Sacramento Audubon Society
Meet at Soil Born Farms American River Ranch, 2140 Chase Drive, Rancho Cordova 95670