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Posted 4/14/2016 9:19pm by Renee Savary.
Farm UpDate
 
We got a bunch of babies yesterday ... of course running in every direction I did not check the dates and the mama (she was early too) gave birth in the fields. I have to say it was not easy to move them, in torrential rain, to a secure and covered pen. This picture was taken this morning and looks like everyone is doing pretty good ...

 

 
piglets
 
Update on the geese laying situation (if you missed previous "episode" please check our web site .. it is posted there) ...
Well none of our shenanigan worked and we are exactly at the situation we were trying to avoid !!! Meaning geese sitting on top of eggs in their coop and others on the island !!!
Here 2 of them laying on top of a bunch of eggs ...
 
geese
 
please note the other two on the outside .. they are not tearing me to pieces because Paola is behind "covering" me ... 
 
geese
 
We can not move the coops anymore, if we do the geese wont return on the eggs (yes been there done it) 
and we have at least 2 other sitting on eggs on the island ...
 
geese
 
How many geese do you see ??? ... I did not go on the island but we at least 2 sitting on eggs and then 3 that were patrolling ...
Later in the morning as I was coming back from the barn, I stopped at the coops and the geese started to scream like crazy which prompted 3 of the "guards" to rush back from the island ... They are really incredible how they team up and help/fight for each other ...  They are a perfect team !! Any of the other animals I have on the farm if one of them get in trouble the rest just run away ... not the geese they will all turn against you as a block, not only they are impressive but their bills are lined by razor sharp tiny teeth ... Over the years I did loose some skin to it, let me tell you :it is painful !!!!
Here the 3 geese running back (I do need a GoPro!!) ... as  you can see we are over flooded everywhere ... 
 
geese
 
 
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Twin Oaks Farm - USDA Certified Organic - Bonifay FL 32425 

 
 
 
 
 
Posted 2/13/2016 8:50pm by Renee Savary.

The Geese … For a few months in the winter our geese lay eggs … not much, like 1 or 2 a day … After a few  weeks a couple of them will sit on the eggs and we all hope for goslings …

Our geese /
 
Now they don’t lay their eggs in their coop that would way too easy and each year it has been an egg hunt, first to find where the year cache will be and then get there before “someone” else …
 
One of our pond has an island in the middle and a few years ago the geese found out it would be a good spot !!! Access to the island is through a very flimsy bridge and you basically risk the plunge at each egg collecting !!! I would not mind it but the major problem of this setting is security at night … 2 or 3 years ago we got a gosling but lost it after a few weeks.
 
Gosling
 
Since then, each year, we are coming up with some stratagem to first get them lay where WE want and then get them in the coop at night …
Last year once they started to sit on a bunch of eggs we moved them, geese and eggs, to a coop and then at night we had the rest of the gang staying in an adjacent coop … Does not sound like much but picking up a couple of geese on top of eggs with a full gang of over protective family members trust me “heroic” is no big word here !!!
Going over the falling apart bridge, a goose tuck under your arm your other hand holding the base of the head as far away from your face as possible with the full team waiting for you on the other side, their mind set to kill you or at best shred some part of your body, I mean they are looking for blood one way or the other … then walk to where we had set the coops (not too far) … set the eggs in a nest like area, drop the geese and retreat as fast as possible … by then it is open warfare. This was last year and at the end it did not work out … the geese lost interest after a couple of weeks and we got no goslings.
 
 
 
The breed of our geese is French Toulouse, I got them as my field alarm system (remember the Capitol Geese??) and it works … They are big birds and are usually raised for meat.
They don’t walk around they parade !! All day long, they terrorize everybody from the donkeys to the hogs and everybody learned to just stay large of them. They don’t fly but for a couple of feet high and a few hundred feet in the morning when we open their coop  to just stretch their wings and make a statement … In the bird world geese are vegetarians and they eat a tremendous amount of grass, like the ducks they need to be able to clean their heads, they love the water and spend a good part of the day grooming themselves. No matter how much slush and mud we have, especially around the pig pens when it rains, their bottom feathers are immaculate white not sure how they do that but it is very impressive …
geese
This said because, I am getting at this year setting … a few month ago, Paola (my helper) and I started to ploy !!! … and the geese too (I am certain of that !!!) ….  We thought we will bring them back close to the house and far away from that damn island and we will be able to manage the whole eggs situation. Fences and gates would keep them from returning. Early November we moved their coop and then just walked them up here. For once no biggy aside from lot of names calling on their part …
They pretty quickly took over the territory and all was fine or this was our impression … Due to the warm weather we had,  by the end of December we still had not eggs and we were keeping a close eye on them knowing we were getting close ….
Then one day Paola called me to tell me the geese are back to the island and she is pretty sure there are laying eggs there !!!!!!!!!!!!!! we tried to figure out how they got there and the next day I got over the bridge (which with all that rain is getting worse and worse) … and yes here we have it …. Our first goose egg of the season !!!!!!!!!!!!! and the geese are around and at the end of the day we need to open the gate to get them back up here … after a few days of head scratching we found out that they were flying there … I mean it is quite a distance and a high to pass the fence and they are all doing it not just one or two !!!! … as I said they never flew before … most incredibly they are doing it almost every day now …
I will let you come up with the moral of the story …
Posted 9/2/2014 8:06pm by Renee Savary.

The pix was taken late afternoon yesterday as the storm was kinda rolling in ... it looks like a lot of chickens but when they see me they all run toward me ... no worry NOT out of love for their farmer but for that bucket of grains I was carrying ... !!! 

Raised on pasture

Posted 7/31/2014 4:30pm by Renee Savary.

We got 14 piglets in 24h!!!

I spend the last two nights in the field making sure they stay safe: I am beyond exhausted !!!
On Tuesday, at the end of the day, as we were letting everyone in, our big mama-to-be was missing. It was strange as they (all the hogs) stay together. We look and look and walk all the ditches which are almost dry for once ... Finally we find her, all the way at the other end of the pasture, she had gone through a whole under bush overgrown jungle and build herself a nest and when we got there the first baby was already snacking.
By then it was pass 6pm and I needed to get the rest of the gang in before the night. I knew that both of our sow were close to have the babies, but I was off like 2 weeks !!! As we lock the rest of the hogs in their enclosure I decide to remove the second sow and to put her in a large enclose where we have the rams at night, they usually don't bother each other.
Then run to the house and call my friends to find a tent. I had decided to go spend the night close to the new babies because they were in an area not secure and I did not wanted to take the risk of a predator attack.
Back to the mama, she already got 6 of them !!! 
My friend got to the farm with the tent and we install it.
Check on mama ... 7 little punks sucking the life out of her ...
Libellule with babies
A couple of hours later and I am ready for the night ... very little sleep, super uncomfortable, noisy like hell ... and yes mama snores !!!!
The next morning as we go around opening to everybody we find out the second mama has crawled under the fence and is nowhere in sight !!! 
The enclosure she was in is made for our rams and the fencing is not that strong ... 
Again game of looking but this time is much easier, she did not go far and we find her a few hundred yards away in the ditch WITH FOUR BABIES !!!!
As the sun raise, she is now in full sun, we get some of the old market tent and stretch them over her to create some shade. By then her 7 babies are in or actually out !!!
Coccinelle babies
14 babies in 24h !!! 
There is no way I am going to let that mama spend the night without protection, she is in the open ditch much less protected than the other one ... that is when it is really useful to have camper-friend !!!
Day 2: moms and babies are doing wonderfully well ....
will tell you the rest of the story next week ...
I am dead ....
Libellule and babies 2014
Posted 3/28/2013 6:56pm by Renee Savary.

From our farm to you table : Easter Brunch Essentials

Organic duck eggs to poach over greens ....

Poached duck eggs ...


Fresh ducks ready to be roasted ...

Roasted duck


or if you prefer a fresh chicken ?? 

chicken to roas


... chicken eggs to make custard and other meringues ....

wild berries custard with meringue top


Still not too late for some egg coloring ...


Posted 3/14/2013 9:00pm by Renee Savary.

Easter Eggs with Natural Coloring


Easter is just around the corner and it is time to think "coloring" ..
With just a few simple ingredients you will have a rainbow of eggs ...

 Here is what you need to create your rainbow:

RED
2 cups of beets, grated - 3tbsp white vinegar - 2 cups water

YELLOW to GOLD
3 large handfulls of yellow/brown onion skins - 3tbsp white vinegar - 3 cups water

BLUE
1lb frozen blueberries, crushed - 3 tbsp white vinegar - 2 cups water

Green:
Boiled spinach leaves - 3tbsp of white vinegar - 2 cups of water

Purple
Make a strong hibiscus tea with 2 cups of water then add 3 tbsp of white vinegar

 

Coloring ingredients


Mix combinations of the primary dyes (in separate cups) to make secondary colors : red and yellow for orange, yellow and blue for green, blue and red for violet.

 

Coloring

The vinegar acts as a fixative, without it the dyes won't stick to the eggs.
For uniform color, strain each dye mixture through a cheesecloth or a fine strainer.
For a mottled, tie-dyed or spotty effect, leave all the ingredients in the pans.
Use crayons to make designs on the eggs.

eggs coloring
The longer the eggs remain in the dye, the deeper the color.
For special effects, dip half the egg in one color, the other half in another.


Happy coloring ...

... et voila ...

Posted 11/23/2012 3:28pm by Renee Savary.

At the Seaside Farmers Market every Saturday 9am to 1pm

and from our e-commerce :

 FREE GIFT WRAPPING WITH YOUR PURCHASE ...

Our preserved goodies make the perfect gift and are always loved ...

For a complete list of our products please visit our web site :

http://www.twinoaksfarm.net/store/preserves-chutneys-and-more

   

Free gift wrapping

 

Please forward this email to your email list and help us spread the word about Real Food.

Thank you for supporting a better way to produce healthy and wholesome food.


Twin Oaks Farm - 
USDA Certified Organic - Bonifay FL 32425

www.twinoaksfarm.net - www.facebook/twinoaksfarm

 





Posted 9/20/2012 8:26pm by Renee Savary.

I had the good fortune to be nominated, by the Holmes county director Mr. Shep Eubanks, for this year Agricultural Innovator Recognition Program.

The University of Florida/IFAS Panhandle Agriculture Extension Team and Farm Credit of Northwest Florida collaborate annually to recognize innovative farmers and ranchers from 16 counties, from Jefferson west to Escambia Counties. County Agriculture Extension Agents nominate one honoree from each county. From this distinguished pool of farmers, an “Innovator of the Year” is selected to represent Northwest Florida.

The purpose of the award is to increase awareness of the diversity and innovation of today’s modern agriculture. By sharing the story of the highlighted farmers and ranchers with local and regional media, the general public will gain a new appreciation for the business of agriculture in their area.

The criteria for recognition are : Farmers and Ranchers who are innovative on their own operation, willing to work with Extension Agents and State Specialists to share their knowledge, and take an active leadership role beyond the farm gate.

The nominees are then judged by the following criteria: Creativity and innovation of the operation, Interaction and cooperation with Extension and Service to agriculture and their local community.

These photos were taken during the luncheon, in Jay Florida, where all the nominees were recognized ...

Each county had its table, all nicely decorated ...

Ag Award

They created a really nice brochure presenting each nominee  ...

ag award

Each county extension had created a slide show presenting their nominees, here Mr. Shep Eubanks, Holmes County Extension Director ...

Ag Award

Mr. Eubanks presenting me with the Holmes County Agricultural Innovator 2012 ...

Ag Award

Yes ... looks nice ... feel nice ..:):)

Ag award

Ag Award

Here is what Mr. Eubanks said during his presentations :"...  is very conservation minded, setting an outstanding example of a diversified production system that encompasses both animal and plant agriculture. Her operation is unique in that nothing is wasted from the products that she is producing. All animals are completely utilized either as fresh meat, canned sauces, dog products and compost. Her operation is very low impact on the environment as nutrients are recycled and the impacts on groundwater are non-existent. ...".

It is interesting to mention that Mr. Eubanks was presenting the only certified organic farm in the group.

Thank you for the nomination and the award ... Both ment a lot to me...

Posted 4/26/2012 8:44pm by Renee Savary.

Finally this week I got all the material I needed to split my beehives. I am doing better around my bees still I highly appreciate the help of my friend Dawn and we decided that bee handling was a two people job anyway !!! …

Getting ready

As we did for my friend’s hives a few weeks ago, the idea is to take 4 frames from the established hive and move them to a new one while replacing the old frames by 4 new ones in the established hive.

Pulling out frame from the super

Both of my hives have now two super (the additional boxes you see above the brood box), we had set the first one like 5 or 6 weeks ago and the second one 2 weeks ago. The top box was still fairly empty of bees and honey but the one below is almost full, we could not resist and took a frame to harvest the honey. The box was so heavy we had to move it together !!

frame caped with honey

Once we had the two super set aside we started to work on getting the 4 frames at the center out and moved them into the new brood box. In one of the hive we were able to locate the queen, trust me it is quite an accomplishment for beginners. I try to take a pix but between the veil and the huge gloves to try to zoom in, the pix was off focus …

view of a frame

Once we were done with the frames, we put back  the two super on the established hives and then  drove the two new ones to my friends at Working Cow Dairy, they are also certified organic so no risk for my bees to splurge on GMO’s or pesticide. We got them in a really nice area, surrounded by organic fields, with a little forest on one side and a nice stream running through, plenty of wild flowers all around.

I will check on them in a week or so and will keep you posted on the progress …

Posted 10/13/2010 9:45pm by Renee Savary.

The New Leaf Market 2010 Farm Tour

Sunday October 24, 2010.

The farm will be open from 10 am to 4 pm.
Farm tour every 2 hours starting at 11am.

Ongoing throughout the day :

Chandra Hartman of CFH Design Studio will provide an opportunity for farm-tour-goers to discover the world of permaculture (ecological design); an ethics based design system for creating sustainable communities. Chandra will also display and discuss how to create a small hugelkultur bed that can be created from readily available natural resources. This is a great way to make raised or sunk beds that retain moisture and are nutrient rich with minimal cost.

Raw food chef Jenifer Kuntz, owner of Raw and Juicy Organic Juice Bar, will show you how to make raw yogurt from cashews and coconuts and, will demonstrate how to boost your vitamin and nutrient
intake by preparing kale into a delicious ready-to-eat salad.  Increase your energy, and learn new easy raw food recipes during your visit.

With Arix Zalace learn the importance of earth worms for a healthy planet.  Arix will talk about vermicomposting, and the many ways you can use earth worms at your home and in your garden.

The SoapPedaler, Celeste Cobena will be here with her line of organic soaps and skin care products. Besides using organic components and essential oils, Celeste use locally produced ingredients from local honey to our own duck eggs in her organic soap ....

Our shop will be open and all our goodies, from eggs to preserves, will be available for purchase.
(good idea to bring a cooler)

Take time to have lunch under the oak tree ...
light lunch, featuring the farm own products and some of Jenifer delicious raw food available for purchase.

A few tips :
close shoes, we will clean up the place nice but it is still a working farm.
No pets ... sorry ...
No smoking ... not sorry about that one !!!
Restroom available.
Thank you for respecting our bio security zone.

Driving to the farm :
I-10 to exit #112 Bonifay, go north on SR79 for 7.5 miles,
Pass small bridge with kids play ground at the corner of SR79 and Creek Road.
Turn left into Creek Road
3207 Creek Road
Phone : 850 547 5636

Join us for a tour of the farm ....
Farm tour

Please forward this email to your mailing list and help us spread the word about Real Food.

Thank you for supporting a better way to produce healthy and wholesome food.

Twin Oaks Farm
USDA Certified Organic
Bonifay FL 32425
www.twinoaksfarm.net