OK so it’s not enough for me to have 500 chicks in the brooder? I know I’m pushing the edge a bit here at Buxton but each season I just have to let a few hens go broody. The process is fascinating. The momma hens are fiercely committed to mothering and watching them foster their little ones is spectacular. This particular hen sat on 15 eggs and had success hatching 2 chicks. That’s not bad considering we have 2 roosters with hundreds of hens!
The little ones watch every move mom makes with precision. I place their pen right outside our kitchen window so I that I can keep a close watch on them all day as we go in and out of the farmhouse, do dishes, and cook. Sometimes it’s the best part of the day!
We added two additions to the farm this year. (Only two). When you live on land as broad as Buxton it’s tempting to bring in all kinds of hobbies and animals. But we know better. Bees and guard geese were this season’s additions. Nelson and Mandella have been doing a fantastic job with aerial predators as they guard our turkeys. These two boys are inseparable. Chinese Geese. The turkeys trust fully and run for cover when nelson and mandella alert them to hawks and eagles. They have acclimated to their new job with ease. We appreciate their contribution on the farm.
Each season we invite a few wwoofers( wwoof.org),willing workers of organic farms visit Buxton and work with us. This is a wonderful organization for people who want to participate in a work trade exchange. You can wwoof your way across the country or wwoof in other countries. We had a great time on farms in Italy several years ago. Great way to travel and get to know local communities.
Jenna is a culinary student from Louisiana. Jake’s an agricultural student from Massachusetts. He came to us after hiking the Appalachian Trail. They’re both excellent workers with a authentic sweetness about them.
This past weekend we helped some friends with their produce booth at the local farmers market. Cathy and Don and Michael provided music at the market while we tended the booth. They consider themselves “front porch musicians” and call themselves “Better Than Nothin.” It was a beautiful Saturday! And so nice to be off the farm surrounded by friendly customers and sweet songs. Our hoop house tomatoes were a hit, we sold out!
It’s so wonderful introducing eager young people like Jake and Jenna to the Polyface model of farming. They’re a perfect addition to the energy we embody at Buxton. In the short time they visit they acquire a feel for how things work. We love listening to their ideas and vision and we certainly appreciate helping hands. We’re so fortunate!