Saturday, June 1, 2019

Spring Always Brings Lots of Growth and Births At the Manor

As a Fully Farm to Table Inn, renewal is a necessary and rewarding necessity.

Master Chef, Marcia creates all of our artisan cheeses from our own Goats milk.  Typically we have 2-3 dairy goats at all times.  With this number of lady goats, we receive about 1 1/2 - 2 Gallons a day.  Half of our milk goes into Chevre and the other half is used to create our hard cheeses ( Gouda, Cheddar, Asiago, Gorgonzola, etc).
This year we have 8 little adorable kids, that bound around the pastures and show off to our guests.

Many of our egg hens are naturally broody and we encourage this natural method of hatching chicks.  We do not use heaters or artificial methods to hatch our chics.  Typically in one year, we have 7-9 hens that will hatch out approx 70-90 egg laying chickens.  We keep the younger hens and allow these hens to lay for 2 years. After that time we use them as meat for our family, but not guests, as they are larger and not as tender as our younger meat chickens, we use for the guest's entrees.

We maintain an Aquaponic greenhouse year round and plant traditionally as well.  Our Spring/Summer gardens are the big suppliers for our fruit and vegetables. The volume of fruits and vegetables that are gathered from this garden provides us with not only our fresh supplies to feed our guests amazing breakfasts, lunches, and dinners, but allows us to pickle many of the vegetables that we use for our Charcuterie trays. We also dry many of the fruits and vegetables to use throughout the Fall/Winter when the Fall/Winter garden is not offering the variety we are Blessed with, in the Summer.  

We also practice a very traditional and ancient farming method called "three sisters" 

 When the corn is 6 inches tall, beans and squash are planted around the corn, alternating between the two kinds of seeds. This agricultural knowledge has been used for 5,000–6,500 years.  

The three crops benefit from each other. The corn provides a structure for the beans to climb, eliminating the need for poles. The beans provide the nitrogen to the soil that the other plants use, and the squash spreads along the ground, blocking the sunlight, helping prevent the establishment of weeds. The squash leaves also act as a "living mulch", creating a microclimate to retain moisture in the soil and the prickly hairs of the vine deter pests that bother the corn and beans. Nature working to help nature in a healthy and organic ecosystem.