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Posted 9/3/2019 2:57am by Kerry Gawalt.

Dear CSA members and farm friends,

We will have another round of fresh, farm raised bulk beef available in October. Our jersey steers are raised on fresh grass, dry hay and supplemental grain. They graze from May to October on a new paddock of grass every day. Available by the 25lb, 50lb box, 1/4, 1/2 or whole steer. USDA processed and vacuum sealed.

Kerry

Posted 8/8/2019 5:54pm by Kerry Gawalt.

Dear CSA members and farm friends,

We have beef available from our farm raised animals. They are fed on fresh grass, minimal grain and hay. All the beef is USDA inspected. By the 25lb, 50lb mixed box, 1/4 beef, 1/2 beef or whole beef. Cuts include ground, steaks, roasts, stew, kebob, and soup bones. Email the farm or sign-up online. We have beef instock and special order cuts available for pick-up early September.

Kerry

Posted 6/25/2019 5:22pm by Kerry Gawalt.

Dear CSA members and farm friends,

Summer is here and we are celebrating local food tomorrow with Artisan Eats Vermont, Susan Odden Salad Dressings, Cobb Hill Cheese and Cedar Mtn Farm beef and milk. There will be meals made by Artisan Eats using our vegetables harvested today, our roasted beef and cheese for sampling and for sale. Susan will be sampling her dressing. We will be sampling our cheeses, raw milk and beef sausage. The farm stand will be stocked with vegetables, cheese, beef, Farmers Bodycare products, frozen yogurt, eggs and maple syrup. The food truck meals and sampling will take place from 3 to 6PM at the farm stand. Artisan Eats Vermont will have prepared meals available for pre-order every week. The Farm stand is open every day from 5AM to 6:30 and til 8 on Wednesdays.

 

Kerry

 

Posted 6/12/2019 12:12pm by Kerry Gawalt.

Dear CSA members and farm friends,

We have been growing vegetables in the Upper Valley since 1997. This has been the coldest and wettest combination spring along with a freak wind shear that ripped apart the greenhouse. We are not alone amongst farmers suffering from the wild weather. For dairy farmers in New England and across the US the flooding and continuous  rain has delayed the planting of corn, soy and other annual crops. Between tariffs, low prices and natural disasters farmers in the US made had a median income of -$1,500 in 2018. This year has some hope in rising prices for farm products but the farm grown and purchased feeds will drive the cost of production up. So what does this mean for consumers in the Upper Valley? Being part of a CSA, purchasing your food from a store that sell locally grown food or buying directly from the farmer makes a difference. You have the opportunity to meet the farmers and have your food dollars make a bigger impact on the farm's bottom line. The price for the food might not be any cheaper but it will be fresh and have a smaller carbon footprint since it does have to travel as many miles from farm to plate. Many farms have open farm days to visit, ask questions about how the food is being raised and learn how the animals are cared for.

On our farm the weather slowed down the field preparation, and once ready the soil temperatures delayed planting and growth of the transplants. For our dairy cows the weather has been great for growing pasture. The cows are able to harvest all their forage needs without fossil fuels for the months of May to October. As for making hay, we are waiting for 3 dry days in a row. When the warm weather and rain came this past week the corn grew 2 inches overnight. The other plants which had been sitting in the garden soil have taken off. In the garden we have potatoes up, the peas are climbing, the lettuce and spinach are filling out. The 1st and 2nd planting of carrots are up and getting weeded. The garlic is getting ready to send up the scapes. The tomatoes, winter squash, cucumbers and melons have been liberated from the greenhouse. The onions, celery, herbs, celeriac and greens are in various stages of growth. The first beans are poking up and the fall broccoli and cabbage starts in growing in the greenhouse. It is time already to plant the fall storage crops. Many of them take more than 90 days to reach maturity. With our high tunnel rebuilt we can start fill it up next month with vegetables for October and November harvest. Our neighbor has been able to truck the backlog of compost off to points north and into New Hampshire. Thanks to the Peeler Brothers more than 500 yards or 825,000 pounds of compost has gone to fertilize vegetables in the Upper Valley. The cows are the fertility engine for our farm and many others in the area as most vegetable growers do not raise animals.

In the middle of getting the garden ready we have a had a few cows give birth. Zara had a bull calf in late May and Bessie calved on Monday with a heifer calf. In the middle of all the financial and weather stress plaguing farmers has been the story of document animal abuse at Fair Oaks Farm in Illinois. It is important to know that most farmers are not abusive to their animals. On this farm we do not tolerate mistreatment of animals. Our farm crew works hard to provide food, water, shelter and care to all the cattle and horses. Last night Bessie, the new mother required iv support. The farmers were in the barn at 11PM taking care of the cow. This often means a short nights sleep ( 3 hours) but as the caretaker of the cows, the animals come first. We are fortunate to have neighbors willing to lend a hand when a farm emergency requires more bodies. At least one kid went to school sleep deprived after helping the cow last night.

Until next week,

Kerry

Posted 5/28/2019 5:04pm by Kerry Gawalt.

Dear CSA members and farm friends,

The weather this year has been quite challenging for vegetable farming and compost trucking. We had a long, cold spring with endless rain. This means that the soil has been slow to warm up and dry out to work up for the plants. A big part of our farm business involves the sale of compost. Our town road was posted until about a week ago. This meant that the tractor trailer and dump trucks that haul the compost had been delayed for about 7 weeks. We hope to start hauling compost tomorrow. We usually sell 500-600 yards each Spring and the balance in the Fall. Most of the compost goes to commercial vegetable operations. Back in the garden we decided to transplant some crops to get them in on schedule. We started snap peas and sweet corn in the heated greenhouse and put them out over the last 3 weeks. We have our potatoes up, peas in, lettuce, spinach, onions, kale, beets, herbs, chard, leeks, shallots, corn and greens transplanted. The rainbow carrots, radishes and more spinach have been direct seeded. We will plant beans and more lettuce, scallions and greens this week. We will put the tomatoes in the field and greenhouse early next week. Our winter squashes, cucumbers, summer squash and melons will follow along right behind. When the soil temperature is cold, the plants just sit there. Our pastures with their perennial grasses are a great way to study soil temperature. The night time temperatures play a big role in plant growth. The hay fields are a great way to watch this. The cows went out to pasture during the day starting on May 4th. They spent a week transitioning their rumens to the grasses, which are different from stored forage (hay). Now they are out grazing fresh grass day and night. They get a new paddock everyday. They come in to get grain and the cows to get milked. We pasture all our steers over 1 year, pregnant heifers and milking cows together. Our youngstock and dry cows stay home in the barn. For the drafthorses pasture is a limited adventure. The fjord horse is a very efficient breed. They are limited to 3 hours of grazing during the midday and get hay and grain for breakfast and dinner. The fjord puts on weight very easily. They have their own small paddock system which gives them new grass every few days. This promotes good grass growth and works time wise for fence moving.

In our cheese plant we are making havarti, havarti with dill, havarti with garlic and herbs and caraway alpine cheese. Our havarti cheeses will be ready for public consumption starting in July. All our cheeses are made with raw milk from our cows and must aged for a minimum of 60 days. The gouda cheese is sold at 3-4 months, at 8-13 months and at 18 months old. Our alpine cheese is sold at 8 months and the caraway alpine at 4-5 months. Our cheddar is best at 3-5 months. The havartis will be ready at 2-3 months. We will have sampling events this summer. Stay tuned for updates. Our CSA full season and summer will start soon. I will send out a weather and crop report as soon as the sun returns.

Our farm crew is working hard to bring the bounty of the farm to tables around the region.

Kerry for the farm crew

Posted 5/1/2019 2:55am by Kerry Gawalt.

Dear CSA members and farm friends,

We have a few Summer CSA shares left. We have beef shares, raw milk and Farmers' Bodycare shares too. We will be taking sign-ups through May 10th.

Our farm stand has been painted and redone. We will have an official opening in June to celebrate. We will be sampling cheese, frozen yogurt and Artisan Eats Vermont will be there with prepared meals to try. The Farmers Body will be there with samples of all the products. We will watch the weather and let everyone know the date soon.

Kerry

Posted 5/1/2019 2:49am by Kerry Gawalt.

Dear full season CSA members,

We have had a cold start to the year. We are busy planting and transplanting the early season vegetables. Stay tuned for the start date for the CSA.

Kerry

Posted 4/14/2019 10:46am by Kerry Gawalt.

Dear CSA members and farm friends,

We have lots of farm raised beef in stock. The jerseys are raised on fresh grass May to October, hay and supplemental grain. We have 25lb boxes, 50lb boxes, custom box, 1/4, 1/2 and whole animals available. See the link below for more information. Beef or omnivore CSA shares are another way to get our beef.

http://www.cedarmountainfarm.org/store/beef

Kerry for the farm crew

Posted 4/8/2019 3:35pm by Kerry Gawalt.

Dear CSA members and farm friends,

Thank you to everyone who came out to see the farm, the Hartland Cattle Club 4H and Farmers Body at Flavors of the Valley yesterday. We sampled two of our cheese, many types of soaps, lip balms and hand creams and the 4H club raised over $500 selling raffle tickets, handmade shopping bags from recycled grain bags and homemade banana breads. The Farmers Body products will be in our farm stand, at the Lebanon Farmers Market, DHMC and available through our bodycare CSA.

Our plants are growing in the warm, propane heated greenhouse on this icy and rainy day. Soon they will be transplanted in our unheated high tunnel. The tomatoes, peppers and eggplants will leave their heated table and move into 4 inch pots of farm made potting mix in a few weeks. We are fortunate to have a beautiful supply of farm generated compost for starting baby plants. We make a mix of compost, perlite, peat moss and organic minerals tailored to the needs of each crop. As soon as the ground drys out, Stephen and the horses will spread straight compost on the garden where summer and fall crops will be grown. We have many local vegetable farms without their own animals who buy our compost. We have 1 million pounds of compost waiting for the weight limits to come off our road and be delivered by the 40 Yard tractor trailer load. This still leaves the farm with all the fertility for our 72 acres that we steward.

Kerry, for the farm crew.

 

Posted 3/31/2019 2:13pm by Kerry Gawalt.

Dear CSA members and farm friends,

Last week saw both deep winter and spring weather. We had two very cold nights followed by warm, windy and wet days. We have been bust planting in the heated greenhouse. All around the farm the transition from winter to spring can be seen. The snow is melting, the cows are shedding their winter coats and the farm road is a mix of ice and mud. One of the big projects each spring is moving cow manure to the compost stacking pad. We store the material from the barn in a covered manure storage facility before moving it out to the stacking pad. We make millions of pounds of compost each year to feed our soils, our neighbors gardens and sell the rest to commercial growers. This last week we got our tomato, eggplant and pepper greenhouse ready for the early May planting date. Our high tunnel was hit by a freak wind sheer which ripped the wood, metal and plastic off it. It sent the plastic and 100 feet of steel pipe more than 100 feet from the greenhouse. Luckily no one was hurt and no other property was damaged. We will be working with local builders to rebuild it in the next few weeks. This greenhouse will hold all the baby greens for the first baskets in May. We are excited to have sweet, hot, frying, yellow, red and Mexican peppers, traditional, lavender and long purple eggplants, cherry, tomatillos, red, plum, orange and tie dyed tomatoes growing. We have 3 types of greenhouse tomatoes for extended season harvesting. We have flats of yellow and red beets, rainbow chard, green kale, Russian kale, arugula, lettuce, spinach and stir-fry greens started indoors. Our vegetable wash and pack area has been completely overhauled. We are installing a new 3 basin stainless sink and stainless shelves.The calves are growing and waiting for their weekly walks outside. In the cheese plant we are working on two new cheese-Havarti and Havarti with dill. We are looking for help in naming both cheeses. Email the farm with your ideas.

Kerry,

for the farm crew