The Women’s Agriculture Network

Farmer Kate & Birch Rise Farm were chosen as a local VT/NH farm to be featured in the Women’s Agriculture Network. This included a blog post (see link below for article) and a film crew coming to document the farm on Friday, Sept 20th. Once we have the video we will share it here on our website page!

Blog Post Written About Farmer Kate: The Women’s Agriculture Network 

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First-Ever Farm Store Pop Up Shop!

First-Ever Farm Store Pop Up Shop….THIS FRIDAY!!

Come visit the amazing Farmer Kate 👩🏻‍🌾

Friday Sept 13th 5pm – 7pm
Sunflower Natural Foods
390 S Main St #1, Laconia, NH 03246

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Navajo Churro Sheep

The Navajo Churro Sheep

The History:

– descended from the Churra an ancient breed brought over from the Spanish Explorers to the ” New Spain”
– 17th Century Native Indians acquired flocks of Churro for food and fiber
– 1850’s thousands of Churro were trailed west to supply the California Gold Rush
– 1863 the U.S Army decimated the Navajo flocks in retribution for continued Indian depredations until only true blood survivors were found only in isolated villages in Northern New Mexico and remote canyons of the Navajo Indian Reservation.
– 1970’s breeders set to revitalize the Navajo flocks through the Navajo Sheep Project introducing a cooperative breeding program.

Characteristics:

– known for their long-staple of protective topcoat and soft undercoat. They range in a multitude of shades white, tan, black, brown, gray and mixes of those.
– highly resistant to disease and needs no pampering to survive and prosper.
– the flavor of the meat is incomparably superior with surprisingly low-fat content.

Road Trip to Vermont

Sunday morning farmer Ken, Kate, Dave, and Hunter made the two-hour drive to South Royalton Vermont to pick up our breeding flock of Navajo Churro Sheep.

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Upon arriving at Orion Rising Farm the crew started to load up the 4 ewes. The loading of the girls was pretty uneventful until after having them in the trailer Farmer Kate noticed a beautiful darker female in a small group off to the side. Mentioning her to the Bob, the breeder, she learned that the little gal was headed to butcher that afternoon. Farmer Kate didn’t like the sound of that and bought her as well! So with now, 5 ewes loaded up on the trailer it was time to get the rams!

The Girls

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Loading of the big rams was a harder process as there was no ramp and they had to be lifted into the trailer. Farmer Dave and Breeder Bob were able to lift each ram into the trailer with Farmer Ken manning the door so the already loaded one didn’t escape.

The Boys

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The process to grow the Birch Rise Farm breeding program to include Sheep started over 6 months ago when Farmer Hunter and Farmer Kate took a road trip to this breeder and toured the farm. She discussed wanting to purchase rams and ewes to start a breeding program and wanted them to all be from unrelated bloodlines. Breeder, Bob, was very knowledgable and selected two rams and 4 ewes that would be great to start with. All of his sheep for sale are 14 months old and ready to start mating. The others that did not get selected headed to a butcher in NY to be featured in restaurants in NYC!

After arriving home the team separated the sheep into two groups to start the breeding process. Two ewes with the Black Ram and three with the white.

Stayed tuned for more information on the Navajo Churro sheep!

Reserve Your Holiday Turkey Today!

Reserve Your Holiday Turkey TODAY!

Gobble, gobble! It’s time to reserve your holiday turkey for Thanksgiving & Christmas!

 

$4 a pound 2018 season pounds ranged from 12 to 42lbs! $10 deposit required

 

 

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Labor Day Grill Deals!!

Labor Day Grill Deals!!

Farm Store is open 9-5pm Tues, Wed, Thursday and Friday this week… pick up pasture-raised chicken roaster, breasts, legs or wings for your weekend BBQ!!

Roasters $4 a pound avg. 3-4lbs

Breasts & Legs $6 a pound avg. 1-2lbs

Hunter’s First Fair

Hunter showed 5 of his chickens at the Belknap County Fair today….he received 4 out of 5 blue ribbons for his birds, the best in showmanship trophy, a blue ribbon for his poster and runner up on herdsmanship!

Overall a very good first 4H Fair and I think it’s safe to say the Osgood’s have been bitten with the 4H bug! Next year sheep!

 

 

 

 

Greenhouse Project

In the summer of 2018, Farmer Ken & I spent a date night (yes, all of our dates seem to be farm related) driving over an hour to North Conway with the goal of checking out a greenhouse Ken had seen listed on Craigslist. That day started an exciting project that has taken over a year to come to fruition.
 
Once a slope covered with trees and bushes, the now 14′ by 88′ greenhouse rests.  It was a lengthy process to remove the trees, stump, and level but all of that was accomplished before Halloween.  Due to the ledge, Farmer Ken and Uncle Dave used 4″ X 10″ pressure treated wood for the base and all the metal hoops were attached just before the snow fell. 

The next spring the goal became getting it ready for the 2019 gardening season.  The greenhouse ends needed to be constructed and the plastic put on.  The plastic covering was such a crazy experience…Ken drove the tractor as his two brothers sat in the bucket and rolled the plastic over the ribs. Please go on our fb page to see the plastic installation video as it was quite amusing.
 
Again, due to the ledge, we were forced to try something different in our greenhouse as planting in the ground was not an option.   We could’ve gone with raised beds but instead, we decided to use a barrel system in the greenhouse.   We were able to find some “free” former greenhouse tables and decided to cut the barrels in half both vertically and horizontally to accommodate the various plants.  The use of the tables and the heights of the barrels were calculated so there would be no bending when it came to weeding or picking the ripe fruit or vegetables.  Little Farmer Henry helped cut and clean all of the barrels and Farmer Hunter helped load them all with the soil, sand and a peat moss mix. 

We started a variety of seedlings under the lights in the basement but didn’t anticipate how many plants we would need.  Originally, we only planned to use a portion of the greenhouse but as construction was nearing completion we decided to go big or go home.  This was a golden opportunity for us to try everything in our first year and learn from the experience.

Each barrel is labeled numerically and we have a spreadsheet detailing the exact plant species, date planted, watering needs, etc.  As the summer progresses we will notate what works, issues encountered and what plants would be better suited for our raised beds outside of the greenhouse.   Currently, we’re using the traditional old school watering arrangement of a hand held nozzle and hose but we hope to have a more efficient process in before Summer.   Our greenhouse is doing better than we could’ve expected in our first year especially with how wet and cold this Spring has been.

I always say ” I’m good at keeping children and animals alive….plants not so much” well maybe this year will be the change my black thumb and I need! ~ Farmer Kate👩🏻‍🌾

The Biggest Little Farm

Yesterday, Ken & I took Hunter to see the documentary “The Biggest Little Farm” …..it was a great movie and felt very much like our daily lives.

Farming is ever changing ….observing how things are working or not working and modifying them until they do. There are very hard days but also amazingly rewarding days….always with the same goal in mind to raise a healthier happier food source for us and you, our customers.

We definitely recommend going to see this movie!!

~ Kate 👩🏻‍🌾

 

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Roasters are in!

What happens on a farm pick up morning  . . . .

The first thing to do is clean the farm store Farmer Hunter took that job over . . . .

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Once the coolers are unloaded from the truck Farmer Ken & Farmer Kate weigh and tag each roaster. We sell all our meat by the pound and need to mark each for their weight.

After they are put into the freezer we eat lunch and wait for customers to come to pick them up!

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