Winterizing the Animal Pens & Prepping for New Beds
Village Farm Team,
You can always count on the weather in the Houston area to keep you on your toes! Since we had such an early freeze this year, we’ve already winterized the goat pen. By hanging tarps on part of their pen, we’re able to block out the cold northwesterly winds. The deep litter method we employ in both the goat and chicken pens works especially well to our advantage this time of year as it naturally generates heat during the decomposition process. To make sure our animals have enough energy to regulate their body temperature in the cold, we’ve increased the overall amount of food they receive. With chickens in particular, shivering increases the metabolic rate and generates body heat, but it requires a higher caloric intake than normal. We’ve been giving our flock extra scratch in the evenings before they roost so that they have enough calories to keep warm overnight.
With the freeze came the official end of our okra, eggplant, and peppers. We are systematically removing them in order to make way for future cool season crops. The beautiful sunshine we had this week worked to dry up some of the excess moisture in the soil. This allowed us to begin prep work for the addition of more beds on the North Farm. The first step was to mow down the vegetation in the section between the eggplant and covered beds. Next comes the process of turning over and bed shaping. This process is contingent upon the amount of moisture in the soil: too much or too little makes it difficult to execute properly.
We’re excited to announce we have a date for the Grand Opening of our Farmers Market! Mark your calendars for December 8th from 8am-12pm. We’ll be sending out more information about the market at the beginning of next week so keep an eye out for an e-mail and special blog post.
If you’re already planning your Thanksgiving menu, consider stopping by to see us at the veggie wagon on Saturday. We’ll have tatume (when picked orange it’s a winter squash similar to spaghetti squash), greens onions, sage, and Texas tarragon. Tatume makes for a delicious side dish: simply cut it in half and roast it in the oven cut-side down until very tender. Remove the flesh from the skin then toss it with a bit of butter and fresh herbs for an easy side dish.
Farm Note: Due to the Thanksgiving holiday, the farm will be closed Thursday, November 22nd – Friday, November 23rd. We will resume regular hours on Saturday, November 24th.
The Agmenity Farm Team