Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Our future Crop......

Tis' the season for fabulous trees, the smell of pine and cookies, the crackle of a warm fire and the the laughter of children! We are very lucky here at Bakers Acres to be able to enjoy all of these things! We hope that all of you that follow us are also able to enjoy the wonders of the holidays!

This wonderful pine we pictured above is a Fraser Fir. They are one of our favorites. The smell is fabulous, the needles aren't painfully sharp and it last a long time! We have high hopes for planting these trees here in the future, along with a couple other types.

As a child it was a very special day with wonderful memories of collecting our tree....snow covered hill tops, trouncing threw the snow, cutting down a tree that was "just right" and then trying to be patient while sipping coco waiting for it to dry so that we could start the decorating process.......each special ornament has a wonderful story of our past.......memories of people that are extra special to think of this time of year and the joy of adding new decoration to the collection for years to come. We want to help with all of this by providing a wonderful tree hunting and cutting experience!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

The Christmas Turkey

As the holidays approach it is clear why heritages birds had become hard to find. For those who wanted to raise birds that were giant with large meaty breasts a plain run of the mill white fast grower is what you ran off to the store to buy. We how ever are enjoying our birds for longer.....they are not fast growers and are not hopped up on medicated feed. They enjoy the grass on their feet, sun on their face and a good scratch on the head from one of the boys!

Heritage breeds grow slower and leaner=healthier. We allow all of our bird outdoor time everyday to were many of your store bought bird have never seen grass, sun or felt the wind in their feathers. Its sad really and that is one reason we decided that it was so important for us to start now with our boys young showing them the right way to raise animals and food for the table.

In our area it's not all that easy, without a little digging to find a person with heritage birds and if you find one nine times out of ten they will talk your ear off about all the wonderful reasons that they like them.....I would anyway. The idea of helping bring back a breed that was almost a memory is one of the main reasons I was so interested in them. Not to mention all the health reasons. If you are lucky enough to find that person that is raising heritage birds and actually has some for sale don't think twice about it, grab them and rush home to get them settled in. Make no mistake however raising a heritage breed is a commetment it takes longer which mean it cost more. But it's worth it in the end, believe me.

Frank the Christmas Turkey-as you enjoy the up dated picture of our turkeys and how much they have grown please enjoy this fabulous song! It is a favorite in our house! While listening Frank is the big guy in the back on the left!

We hope that in the spring of 2011 they will happily lay fertile eggs for us to hatch and help our population grow. I would like to add a couple other heritage breeds as well if I'm lucky enough to find them. Our holiday season of 2011 and we will be happy to set our own home grown turkey on the table to give Thanks. What an amazing life we are so lucky to live. To grow and enjoy our own food!

Monday, October 11, 2010

The Shed

Rob has worked hard with the boys to side this machine shed. The wood came from right here on the farm, hemlock that was milled right here on the hill in the meadow. This is a great addition to the farm for all that we have now and what we will be collecting!

We hope to soon be posting pictures of the start of the Sugar Shack! That will be an exciting building to watch go up and even more exciting to start using! We are already looking forward to the sap running this spring! Yummy! Please be sure to keep and eye out for our Sugar Updates!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Garlic Garlic Garlic

We had a great garlic crop this year and are really excited about next years crop! It was our first year growing our own garlic and we were really pleased with the outcome. We are about to get the ground ready for the planting our next years crop. The chicken tractor has been parked in the "garden" area threw the summer! They have been earning their keep by working the ground over good for us! We are adding at least one more type of hard stem to the variety.

We are still taking orders for Garlic at this time. Please contact us at robandzoe@frontiernet.net. We will be happy to send out your order. Be sure to let us know which type you would like and if you are looking for large or small bulbs. We have been enjoying pickled garlic and roasted garlic! Yum! The garlic from Bakers Acres has such a wonderful taste! Give it a try!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

A Good Trim

We decided that this year we really needed to be on track with trimming the sheep, the Finn's as well as the Cheviot's, and Baby Dolls really needed it and we wanted to also have the Angora's trimmed as well. I was lucky enough to find the name of a young woman that was willing to travel out to our farm listed in the our local Pennysaver. She did a wonderful job and was very affordable. I hope that she will visit us int he spring when it is time to make everyone look wonderfully fresh! Now I'm searching for a mill to send it off to.....I can hardly wait to see what comes back. I'm very excited to see just what lovely yarn it would come back as. We hope to have this as a future product of Bakers Acres......and as a knitter I can hardly wait!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

The Fabulous Beekman Boys

I have been trying like mad to catch every past show of a fantastic new series that I'm totally hooked on and for many reasons. My brother told me about the show and that he thought it was great and that I really needed to see it he thought that it was right up my alley and as always he was totally right! I am a massive fan of the Fabulous Beekman Boys http://beekman1802.com/ . Please if you have any interest in Farming, Buying Local, Goats, providing for your own table, making life changes such as city to country, and being true to yourself then you will love this show.

The two amazing men have a small shadow of a town and have brought back a new sense of being. What they have done for the town a Sharon Springs is truly amazing, not to mention to movement of farm to table. I really encourage you to take the time to check out their website, show, books and products.

We were lucky enough to actually meet them, and I can say this, they are very wonderful people....the lines were long and I'm sure that they stood there into the night.....but if they made everyone feel as if they were as special as they made us feel, us as we stood in line with four boys and a puppy .....taking the time to talk to each of the boys, pet the dog, talk to us about our little farm and our hopes......then they sure are doing something right!

We left the wonderful Harvest Fest of Sharon Springs with wonderful ideas of Dairy Goats......I can't wait to see what the Spring bring to Bakers Acres!!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

The change of seasons.....

As our crops are slowing and the leaves are changing here at the farm I have been busy in the kitchen....Garlic Dill Pickles

Gramma's Bread and Butter Pickles

With a large family of boys food doesn't last long in our house, especially food that they like! As we all know the yummy things that we can when given the time save from the garden or Farmers Market to enjoy when the wind and snow are blowing outside and the fire is burning is wonderful! I enjoy canning and freezing an many wonderful treats from our yard as well as the Market. Honestly with the animals, and the kids it's hard to find the time but I really try to make a point of it. Not only do all of these wonderful treats save us a money and work well as gifts for others I find it very relaxing. This is something that right away, if you can look past the mess that it just made in your kitchen you see a wonderful product of your work-not to mention the smiles of four growing boys when I break them out of the pantry!

Peach Butter and Peach Jam

Homemade Sauce
I still have lots to do and more fall harvesting to take care of. Next year I will be adding tons of herbs to mix for drying and to add to all the goods I'm canning. This year has been a test of just how much extra we need to plant for the Farm Market and for our family. I hope to have some of these wonderful treats for sale at our Market next year!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

A little fuzzy bundle

We love to camp in the fall! One of our favorite times of year to head out as a family and have a wonderful time. We had the farm set and headed North! On our way to the ADK we of course stopped at a Farmers Market on the way.......needless to say as soon as we stepped out of the truck there she was Whimsy and all of her brothers and sisters looking for new home. She was so tiny and cute and our boys feel in love and I have to admit......so did we! With some wonderful fresh fruit and a new puppy we headed out on our way!

Whimsy is going to be a perfect addition to are Farm. You never know what you might come home with-as lest we here at Bakers Acres never know!

Did you say Bill The Goat?

This is Bill......Bill the Goat. He is the Naval Academy mascot. This is my husband alma mater.....Let me go back a little and explain this a little better.....

We decided to take the kids this summer to a local fair in Madison County. It was a typical small town fair where you often run into people that you know, see the same things every year but go anyway just for the fun of it. When we got there we noticed that there also happened to be a Fiber Festival taking place. This was very exciting to me. We noticed that the farm that our Baby Dolls were from was being represented by some very cute sheep and the very friendly owner. There were Alpaca's, sheep, cashmere goats and Angora goats. We have talked on and off about adding goats to the farm here but weren't to sure what way we wanted to head with them....fiber, meat, or milk.

On our way home from the Fiber Festival we talked about how neat the Angora goat was. Suddenly Rob looks at me and say "Bill! I think that's what Bill the Goat is!" Upon arriving home Rob was on the computer in a flash and sure enough that was Bill alright! Suddenly Rob was taking a real interest in getting goats!

While camping up North Rob had located a family run farm that just happened to have two Buckling's for sale. He really wanted to go and see them and we were game! On our way home from our camping trip we stopped. What a great experience. The family was so welcoming and full of great experience and information that they happily shared with us. Lets just say that they were so cute, we came how with two.

Adult Angora
Angora goats at a glance look much like sheep to many people. They have a very curly haired "Rasta" effect fiber. They are actually sheared like a sheep and the fiber reaped from them is Mohair. This is often mixed with wool. This of course falls right into the things I'm interested in. I'm working hard to build up fiber for spinning. This I was in hopes would be a wonderful addition.
These little guys are yet to have names but are very sweet. They come when you call and follow you anywhere! They are a great addition to our little farm family here. We are contacting a local person tomorrow in hopes of setting up fall shearing. I hope that after this shearing of everyone that I will have enough to send off to a mill. We will keep you posted on names and fiber. We would love to hear any name ideas that you have!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

The "Meats"

Freedom Ranger Chickens
We decided to look into a cross breed of bird known as the Freedom Ranger that is raised for meat. We have raised our own beef, eat the eggs that our chickens lay, grow as much fruit and veggies as we can and now are starting to look into raising some poultry for food as well. I wasn't interested in raising the Cornish chickens after so many of the horror stories that we read about. These birds seems to be a nice cross between the Cornish and a Rhode Island Red. This cross makes them a slower growing meat bird then the "norm". We were able to locate some that were just a couple weeks old and scooped them up.
They are a nice bird, very active, pretty and seem to have personalities. From what I can tell we have straight run (which means that we have both male and female birds) They are currently in our Chicken Tractor, which is a mobile chicken coop that helps to promote fertilizing the land for future crops and will next year be one of the gardens that we grow in. This tractor is not located very close to the house and we can't really see the birds like we do in our coops at the barn. I thought that this would help in the butchering process. My hope was less attachment for the kids and myself.
Upon picking them up our three year old very matter of factly stated, "Oh these are what the Meats look like" as we chuckled we had to agree with him that was the perfect name for the new group of birds that we were about to bring home.
The "Meats" are doing wonderfully and will so be heading out. We hope to change their feed out to a higher protein feed for the next two weeks and then they will be sent to a local poultry butcher that goes by the name KNK which is located in Edmensten NY only about 30 minutes away from our home. If this all goes well for us we hope to be able to offer fresh processed chicken for sale here at the Farm. These are pastured raised birds with free choice grain. The are able to enjoy the wonderful hillside here at Bakers Acres during the day. This practice should help to ensure a wonderful full flavored meat. We can't wait to taste test it! Bakers Acres has high hopes of being able to offer it's visitors all of the different flavors of the farm.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

You never know what good things you'll find.....

We had decided that we were going to head out on adventure to an auction that was a bit of a ride for us but sounded as if it had some really interesting poultry supplies, as well as a few hopeful items for the barn. So we headed out. It was a cool morning and had the makings for a wonderful day.

As we loaded up our wonderful treasures from an interesting auction we were trying to decide what road we wanted to take to make a relaxing, wandering way home. As we enjoyed the countryside we came into Massonville. My husband told me that when we came the the Massonville General Store I had to go in! He thought that it would be an instant hit with me. And he was right!

Massonville General Store

As I was finding myself lost in the wonderful smells of coffee, beautiful labels of wonderful organic products, the feel of high quality wool, the creak of plank flooring and a wonderful cozy old time feel, I overheard the owner chatting with a customer about her Bourbon Red Turkeys. I have to admit that I was shocked! For the past couple of weeks I had been searching everywhere that I could think of for Bourbon Red Heritage chicks to raise. As I tried to calmly walk to the counter and show manners as to not knock the women down and scare the owner into thinking I was a crazy bird lady, I took a deep breath and apologized for overhearing that she had these wonderful Turkeys. She was very kind and told me all about her birds and chicks that she had decided she would have to list for sale. I looked at her with a big smile and offered to take some off of her hands. Her husband just happened to be home and she would give me direction and him a call.

As I climbed into the car Rob said, "Well did you like it?" I laughed and said, "you never know what good things you'll find......." And we headed to pick up chicks.

Day old chicks
We stared out with 9 chicks, sadly we lost three.....The six that we have are growing and doing great! They are so cute and so funny to watch. Truly funny little birds.

What a full grown Tom will look like.

Thiswonderful Heritage Breed is a great addition to the Farm. Not only will they look breath taking wandering threw the pastures but we hope to have hatching eggs from them not to mention a wonderful holiday dinner. With some luck we will be able to offer them to the public for the holidays!

Friday, July 9, 2010

A wonderful sight....

I've always found it very exciting to see seeds take form. Now I'm finding it even more exciting as we work as a family, planting seeds, weeding and now picking some of our wonderful crops! Now with the bash over we are back in the dirt enjoying the work.

Our sweat onions are fantastic!

Our sweat peas have been a treat

And our beet are really looking wonderful!
Next year we hope to be up and running with a Farm Market here on the Farm and visiting the Norwich Farmers Market once a week. We are also looking into the Bounty. We intend to build a timber framed Market using the lumber that has been harvested from our own woods! It's all very exciting! Be sure to check back in with us to see what is new here on the Farm!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

I love the smell of hay.....

I really love the smell of hay......it brings back wonderful childhood memories of being on the back of my grandfather wagon and stacking the bails as they came off and then it was off to the hay mow to put them in place. Wonderful memories, and all just from the smell of hay!

We were lucky enough to contact a local farmer that works with the "share" plan in place. This works out well for us because we don't have to own and maintain all of the hay equipment and devote the time that we don't have to getting the hay ready. They do all the work and even park the wagons inside for us and we then unload them. We get one wagon load for every two that they take. It's really win win for both of us.
The barn is nicely filled with hay now for the sheep and well we'll just have to wait and see if any other animals pop up!

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Our new little beauties

We tried to find these little gems last year but had no luck! We were always just a second to late....this year we got lucky. We are happy to share the pictures of our new Peacock! We traveled about two hours northwest to a town my the name of Mexico where we were greeted by a women that truly loved Peacocks! She currently has about 30 adult birds!!! They were amazing to say the least, and yes they were loud but we were thrilled!
We came home with 5 of these little gems. The women thought that maybe there were two males and three females so we will see! I have my fingers crossed for at least one pair for hatching eggs next year! These are Purple Shoulder Peacocks and are truly breath taking as adults.

We will keep you posted as they grow and change. Right now we are enjoying their soft peeing sounds and seeing their little crowns appear on their heads!

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Another coop has arrived!

Our new coop arrived and is now in place. We found these wonderful coops over near Richfeild Springs. The business goes by the name Yoders and they offer a wide range of building and furniture. Wonderful people to do business with and really well made pieces. We loved our first one didn't think twice when another was needed.
Here is a picture of some of our spring chicks. They are growing into beautiful birds. We have however come to realize that we have way to many roosters!
We intend to keep some but not all. We want to be able to have hatching eggs in the spring so are keeping our finest Roosters.

This pictures show just how wonderful the new coop fits in! Soon the run will be fenced in and the next round of chicks will be settled in!

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

The Artist

We decided after much talk that we wanted to give our barn a little face lift, but in a way that was not only beautiful but also would support local farmers.....the search began and it wasn't long that it became very clear just who the person was for the the job! That person was Scott Hagan-http://www.barnartist.com/-from Ohio.

We started with our farm seal.

Then moved on to something we are passionate about....
Supporting our local farmers.

Each piece came to life.

Our barn has been more then just a Big Red Barn to us but now wow..... We are putting our own foot print here.....Thanks Scott!

Saturday, June 26, 2010

And then.....

After a wonderful dinner we welcomed the public to Bakers Acres for an Open House event. This allowed the public to come and enjoy seeing the Airstreams and meet the campers. After Open House the public was asked to join us for an amazing fireworks display. It was breath taking and everyone that attend spoke of the wonderful show of lights. Fellow Airstreams shared these amazing pictures with us and I thank them. These shots help to show you some of the magic that was created here on the Farm.....
As the calm after the fireworks started to settle in another "unplugged" concert was provided by Antsy McClain---www.unhitched.com.

Two days left......

Everyone loves a clown

We were so very lucky to start our day off here at Baker's Acres with will a fabulous homemade breakfast and then an amazing clown show! This show was provided by a family friend of our who goes by the name of Obie the Clown. He is a fellow Airstreamer and what a Clown!!! He is a favorite here in our family and the kids, and adults look so forward to seeing him clowning around and just being a happy camper! Thanks Obie!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

And it begins.....

And so it begins.....the much awaited and much talked about "Birthday Bash". Let me give you a little break down of what this represents. It's a celebration in honor of the creator of the Airstream travel trailer. This event was held by a new club known as TAC, The Airstreamers Club. This wonderful new club was founded by no other then my husband Robert Baker! He has been an Airstream enthusiast for years......all going back to very wonderful memories of his Grandfather Donald Stanton and his own love for Airstream's and making it a family affair. We carry that mind set ourselves. Camping for us is a "family" affair.
The first trailer arrived 6/20/10 and slowly but surely they are cruising in......we are expecting 85-90 trailers.......and event of a life time......an event to remember.....

Monday, June 14, 2010

Scapes! What a treat!

These are our Scapes! Scapes are the blossom of garlic. Much like that of the bloom of an onion you should also trim these. Scapes have a slightly softer Garlic taste and don't have to be cooked to be eaten.

I'm in hopes of using them in fresh pesto, freezing them, pickling them, and cooking with them. I'm amazed how much our kids love them. They are such a treat! You will have to be sure to look for them at our farm market next year!!!

Saturday, June 12, 2010

The smell of fresh cut wood.....

The portable sawmill arrived yesterday and was hard at work today in and out of rain showers. Rob contacted a millsmen by the name of Mike Ulrich of Sherburne for the job. He had a really nice set up and between he and Rob the knocked out about 13 hemlock logs.
This wood will be the stickered in the barn for the future Farm Stand and Sugar Shack here at Bakers Acres. The idea that the wood came here from the Farm is wonderful. We are always busy here with our plans!

Friday, June 11, 2010

Enjoying the Farm

Things have been very busy here at the Farm. We have had a swing in the weather that has kept us in for a couple of day due to the rain which was much needed. We had quite a stretch without any rain to refresh our little farm. Now we have had a soaking and things are greener, and growing wonderfully! I love seeing the garden and just how much it has grown. I've always found it exciting to see the earth come to life!
We are very busy getting the grounds ready for our big and exciting event known to many as "The Birthday Bash" please check it at, http://www.bakersacresofchenango.org/ and join in the fun! We have a day that is open to the public and would love to see you all there! This will be a fun filled event that has been created to celebrate the joys of camping, travel, memories both past and those in the making! Its focus is on that of Airstream's and those that enjoy them.
Our sheep are all doing well and have been growing like weeds and loving life here at Bakers Acres! I'm still in search of a Finn Ram that I can use this fall....this is proving to be harder then I ever thought that it would be. Seems that there aren't to many Finn Breeders that are in NY so finding and unrelated Ram is currently a thorn in my side so to speak! I do have high hopes the still locate one before fall.
Our chickens are really turning into beautiful birds. Our first batch are very lively! Soon they will hitting 15 weeks which means that soon eggs will be arriving! We have however found that we have at least 4 Roosters! UGH! These will have to be thinned out. They are all very pretty and we enjoy watching them but two are rather aggressive toward the hens and I would like to relocate them.....I would like to keep one or two of the Marans for breeding. The chicks that we hatched are growing like crazy! They are trying to patiently wait for their new coop to arrive and the 20 other chicks that we have are now out of the brooder and soon will be ready for a coop as well. They are all hens and will be wonderful egg layers.
Our garlic is beautiful! I will be cutting Scape's tomorrow and plan on putting them to good use. The smell is wonderful and I'm really looking forward to cooking with them. Next year when we have our farm stand is up and running we will be able to share them with you!
All and all we have been loving life here on the Farm. Watching our children grow, our farm grow and our lives grow! It can't get much better then this!