Bob is near and dear to our hearts at 47 Daisies as he is the original farm friend. In our world, all
raccoons are “Bobs.”
Bob is a raccoon. Bob lives in a very large white pine tree just behind the high tunnel on the edge of the
forest in South Dakota (the field, not the state). He lives in a hole in the trunk at the very top of the tree. This story is about
Bob’s farm adventures.
Bob, being a raccoon, is very adventurous and a bit mischievous. He began
frequenting our bird feeders in the front yard in the fall of 2013 and still comes to visit them periodically,
but his favorite thing is the compost pile. Bob is an avid compost pile raider. The compost pile at 47
Daisies is loaded with goodies for bob. All of the past prime produce goes to the compost pile and
becomes a heavenly treat for many of our farm friends, but especially for Bob.
One fine summer evening, Bob climbed down from his tree and headed across South Dakota towards
the compost pile for his dinner. It had been a rainy summer and the fields were wet, especially around
the frog pond (where muskrat lives). Bob was not one to pay much attention to his surroundings and
not being afraid of getting wet, he decided to take a shortcut straight through a mud puddle near the
compost pile. Low and behold the mud was deep and Bob got stuck. All of his little paws were suctioned
into the mud and he couldn’t budge. He tried and tried to pull them out of the mud but to no avail, he
was very very stuck. Bob was a smart raccoon, but he was in a pickle and needed help. He started
calling out for help but most of the other farm friends were far away at the other end of the farm
bedding down for the night. As the minutes ticked by, Bob began to feel hopeless...until he heard a faint
whirring sound. In the gathering dusk, he could just make out 10 little shapes flying towards him. Just
then 10 of his hummingbird friends materialized above him grabbed hold of the fur on his back and
pulled Bob straight up out of the mud puddle. Bob thanked them heartily and continued on his way to
compost pile, grabbed a snack and headed back to the safety of his tree.
Next story………The story of Gomer (our resident skunk)
You may have noticed Harmony’s recent post on Facebook revealing the felted animals that a very talented local artist (Kristen Oberhauser Bishop) is making for us. These little felted animals are beautiful and amazingly crafted!! But there is a story behind each of them.
We believe very strongly that farming should not be separate from the natural world, but should be able to blend with the surrounding landscape and that includes minimal interruptions to our animal friends.
We started observing animals utilizing the farm in different ways and these animals turned into bedtime stories for the kids. Each night I would sit in their bedroom and tell them about the elaborate adventures of each of our 47 Daisies Farm Friends. Each of them have homes on the farm and each of them are now so intertwined with 47 Daisies land ethic that we wanted to share them with you.
There is a long list of friends and throughout the next few months we will share their stories with you. Here is the list of friends whose stories will be debuted shortly………stay tuned for the first story!!
Marigold (great blue heron)
Millie (baby deer)
Poky (porcupine) and now poky’s baby
Jimmy (garter snake)
Hopper (snowshoe hare)
Copper (snowshoe hare)
Peanut butter and jelly (crow)
I hope you will read them all and share our friend’s stories with your loved ones and children!!
47 Daisies became a reality in 2009 in north central Louisiana. We always wanted the farm to be more than just a farm. While it is definitely noble to simply grow food, that wasn’t enough for us. We wanted the community to embrace their food, the way it is grown and the natural world in which the farm fits. Upon the start of 47 Daisies, we immediately started embracing and nurturing community through farming. Hosting school groups, doing talks at local churches, schools and garden clubs, events at the farm and tours quickly became a mainstay.
In 2013, 47 Daisies relocated to Maine and we transitioned not just the farm, but also the community building, that we had been doing in Louisiana. It took us many years here in Maine to build the infrastructure needed to support the farm and the community building we wanted to do. In 2016 we started the exciting transition from a “for profit” farm to a “non-profit” farm with an emphasis on using farming as a tool to nurture and build community. Our mission of this new age of 47 Daisies non-profit organization is . . .
“To nurture community through sustainable cultivation of the highest quality food, preservation of the farm’s land base and celebration of a vibrant future for farming, nature and the interconnections of human needs and whole ecosystems.”
Deciding on this transition was an easy decision for us. We have always had the philosophy that we farm to make people’s lives better. How can we do that in the best possible way? Become a non-profit and get to work!
We are so excited about the programs we are rolling out this spring. The first will be our “Food Access Program.” This program is designed to make organically grown food accessible to all Maine families. Local organic or certified naturally grown food is often pricey, and rightfully so. This type of food is expensive to produce and farmers deserve a fair wage. That being said, this often transitions into this type of food only being accessible to families that have expendable income. We strongly believe that all Maine families should have access to high quality, nutritious, local products. Starting April 1, through the on-farm Community Store, we will slash prices by 50 percent for all families using EBT/SNAP benefits.
In addition to this signature program we are rolling out, we are in the midst of planning an exciting series of events and programs for all which will begin in March (take a look at the "Community" page for a complete list of events).
What does this change for our continued and loyal customers who have supported us since our relocation to Maine? Not a thing. We still have the same amazing produce and still attend our farmers markets, run our CSA program and the on-farm Community Store with pride!
We can’t do this without you. We welcome all folks who believe in good food, who believe that regardless of our differences that we all deserve to eat right and live well. Get involved by becoming a friend of 47 Daisies. You can volunteer, donate money, come to our events, buy our vegetables and so much more!!!! We hope to see you soon.
So.......there's a chicken in the "back room" of our house. It's kind of one of those "You know you're a farmer when......" moments. She is in a dog crate, at least. And she does (happily) go peck around in the yard during the daylight hours. But at night, she sleeps in our back room. Basil named her Chickaletta.
The story of how this came to be is a pretty common one, I would think. Chickens are very finicky creatures. They are constantly getting little ailments or seemed to be injured, but usually go away on their own. Or, occasionally, chickens die. For no apparent reason. You will walk into the coop and find a chicken that has lived it's peaceful life on the farm and decided to move on.
This situation with Chickaletta was a little different. I walked into the coop for evening chores about a week ago, and she was on her back, right by the door. I actually thought she was dead at first and reached down to pick her up and realized that she was not dead at all. She was just stuck on her back......and she had an eye missing (or so I thought).
I put her down, right side up, and watched for a minute. She clearly had some balance issues going on, and I wondered if the missing eye was causing it, or if it was something more. Immediately, as soon as she was upright and walking around, about 5 hens started pecking her. Literally, with no remorse. Just pecking the crap out of her. Specifically, the injured eye.
I was furious. I get the whole "pecking order" and all that, but this was just ridiculous. I couldn't just stand and watch these hens peck this poor chicken to death. After scolding and yelling at all the evil chickens, I finished chores with the injured chicken under one arm. I took her out with me and had plans of setting up a temporary space for her somewhere in the barn until I could figure something out. The kids had a different idea. They wanted to bring her in so we could take care of her and make her better. They argued that she would die in the barn because of the skunk that lives under the floor. In the end, I could not convince them that the skunk would not eat the chicken.
And...................................she ended up in a dog crate in the back room of our house. She is very well taken care of, and seems to be a VERY happy chicken. She goes out and free ranges during the day and follows the kids around the yard. We did try to re establish her with the coop a few days ago. That did not go well.
The good news is, her eye is still there, and healing nicely. The bad news is....she seems to have permanent neurological issues. I'm not sure the evil hens will ever accept her as one of their own....again. I'm not sure what Chickaletta did, but it must have been bad to receive the kind of treatment she did from the flock.
Also, Basil is mad at her because she's not laying eggs. He thinks it's the least she can do for us since we've taken such good care of her. :)
We clearly have a major issue writing blogs in the height of the production season. It is evident by the lack of them in past years during late spring to early fall. Nevertheless, we had a GREAT season, better than we ever expected. Our markets did very well, and the store....WOW. It was wonderful. Thanks to all that came out to support us, and continue to.
Our newest venture, now that the store is closed and most markets are over for the season, is the Online Store. This store is basically our farm store, in digital format. You can order anything from our veggies and eggs to local goods, pre-order holiday wreaths and more. There are many options for gifts for the holidays.....and it's easy. We will even deliver it to you this winter if you don't feel like leaving the house. :)
Next year we will be adding more berries and more mushroom logs, just to name a few of the changes you'll see at 47 Daisies. We will also continue to grow the store and our local market base.
Thanks again!! See you soon.
We are seriously crazy on the farm this time of year. Most of the time, we have about 14 different things going on at once, and this year is no different. I swear it gets worse every year. Currently on the agenda; finishing up mushroom logs, boiling sap (which takes ALL of our time when going), getting the new greenhouse ready to transfer micro greens and herbs, the management of the current greenhouse (checking about every 1-2 hours and watering constantly), the selling and marketing of microgreens, market meetings, Friday market, trying to get the farm store opened by May 1st, fixing up the bus to use for markets, finishing up splitting wood.... and the list goes on and on.
We are all stressed to the max and just trying to stay sane. It is difficult this time of year, until we get into the swing of the craziness.
The next round
Today was a cool day for the farm. We bought our employee's bus for use at markets... and it's fabulous. AND, thanks to the help from Dylan's dad, we got a great deal on a glass front cooler for the farm store! This will allow us to be open 7 days a week (self serve every day... but we will also have a live person there on Saturdays!!!)... and offer items like local milk, along with our vegetables. We will also be stocking local bread and coffee. Very exciting. More on this to come soon!
To get the glass front here was no easy task. I found a GREAT deal on a 3 door glass front. The only problem was... it was located an hour south of Boston. Lucky for us (not so much for Dylan's dad, Wilson) we had a contact in Boston that was able and willing to put his life at risk to deliver it to our farm.
On a very windy day, in a very tiny truck, Wilson drove this glass front cooler a very long way to help us out. The fun didn't stop once it arrived at the farm. We had to load the cooler onto the forks of the tractor (in the wind) then drive it around to the BACK of the farm store (because it wouldn't fit in the front door, by inches). The road that Dylan created to the back door was bumpy, snowy and partially muddy. This relocation consisted of Dylan on the tractor with Wilson and Alan on either side "guiding" the cooler, and Dylan, to make sure we didn't drop it. At one point, I literally had to go in the house because I was a nervous wreck.
Once the cooler was delivered to the back door of the farm store safely, they then had to get it in. This took some time because we literally had INCHES to play with. There were lots of directions being yelled to Dylan by several sources. "Up!", "No, go down!", "To the right just a bit!", "TOO MUCH"..... this went on for almost an hour. Or maybe more. I seriously lost count.
We finally got the cooler safely in the farm store... and Wilson took charge of making sure it was working properly. And no one was injured. I'd say it was a pretty good day.
First stab at this whole day in the life idea. Woke up and ate breakfast with the family. Just an ordinary morning. After breakfast went to the barn to find out if there was enough scrap 2x4s to finish up the root cellar! It was the first winter project I got to help out with. It was almost done this morning and I wanted to cross it off the to do list. All we had to do was put the vent pipe in and finish the two more shelves.
After the trip to Home Depot and the gas station for diesel I asked Dylan for some help.We needed to tip the shelf down to slide the 5 ft piece of PVC pipe in through the shelf. What we did not take in account was the space to move around in order to tip it. We played a game of tetris with fully finished shelves in order to get enough room. Not thinking it through we let Oreo stay in the room. He was all worked up with all the commotion.
The three of us took our turn getting stuck in between the shelves. Finally we got just enough room to tip it and TRY to slide the pipe in. This was a difficult task in itself. The combo between a short ceiling, a room just barely big enough for the shelves and our selves, and a pipe that needs to go in added up to a bit of frustration to say the least.
When Basil came down to give us our smoothies, a much appreciated winter treat, we had to tell him it wasn’t a good time. The door would not budge when he pushed being blocked by the shelves. Oreo (my dog) got squished a few times. Dylan and I both had to jump through the shelves because we trapped ourselves a bunch until we finally learned how to wiggle around. Putting the room back together I thought would be easy. We would just have to do it the way we moved it. We struggled with that part too. It was a comical time to say the least after we achieved our goal and let go of the frustration
Root Cellar gets scratched off the list. YAY!!
Today started like most other days during the winter. Breakfast, kids on the bus, morning chores, wishing the snow would melt, etc. This morning, however, we had the added task of harvesting, weighing and packaging microgreens for the Viles Arboretum Farmers Market. This task takes quite a bit longer than you’d think. Dylan did the actual harvesting and brought them in to wash. Then we weighed and packaged them, and labeled them. That took several hours, but they looked good. I didn’t have to go to market until around 1, so Dylan went back out to the greenhouse and started more seeds for planting, and more microgreens. This time of year, it seems never ending with the greenhouse work.
After lunch with Basil, we started to pack up for the market. It is much different packing for a winter market than it is a regular season market. The load is lessened SO MUCH! It is kind of nice. Packing, set up and take down for the winter market is amazing.
We also found out today that we have been accepted into the Bucksport Bay market. This is quite a ways for us to travel, but we are very excited to be able to broaden our market base. That makes 3 for sure this year, and we still have several applications out. Fingers crossed! We’d like to get one more.
We are so excited for spring. We’ve got lots of changes coming this year with the farm store and can’t wait to announce it! We have to finalize a few plans beforehand, though.
Stay tuned! Do a rain dance (at least then it’d be to warm to snow!!).
What the heck are microgreens and why should you add them to your diet? This is the question a lot of folks are asking us lately and it is a good one. So let us try to explain why these petite greens should definitely be thrown into your daily life!
Microgreens are immature plants, harvested approximately 10 days after sowing. Unlike sprouts, microgreens are grown in soils. They are harvested as soon as the first true leaves are fully expanded. Microgreens are much more flavorful than sprouts in that their growing environment is very different. Don’t get me wrong, I love sprouts……..but after I’ve tried microgreens I will never go back to sprouts.
So what’s all the hype? While microgreens are still in their infancy, research is now showing that they are packed with nutrition. In 2014 the USDA Agricultural research service conducted a study to determine if indeed the nutrition in microgreens was higher than that of their mature vegetable counter parts. What did they find? Microgreens have considerably higher (about five times greater) vitamins (C, K and E) and carotenoids than mature veggies. Other studies out of the University of Maryland have shown that microgreens have up to 40 times higher levels of vital nutrients than mature veggies!! All of the nutrients which researchers tested are vitally important for skin, eyes and fighting cancer along with all sorts of other health benefits!
So, if you aren’t convinced yet……come on over to Viles Arboretum Farmers Market this Friday between 2 and 5 and see Harmony. She’ll have several different varieties of microgreens on hand. Try them all!!!
Dylan and Harmony, whichever of us have the time to sit down and write for a few minutes. : )