Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Spring is out, Summer is in




SWEET AND HOT


We are fully into summer now. Yesterday, it was 104 at 5:00 pm. The bull decided to go for a walk-about. The pigs hid in the mud. The farmers ran around making sure everybody had water. One good thing about the heat is the apricots and plums are ripening fast (and go on sale this week) and the figs are not far behind. Check out Good Eggs SF to get door to door delivery on Blenheim apricots and lots of other goodies, including our grass fed meats.

The chicks have metamorphosed into ugly adolescents whose entire existence revolves around getting outside the coop to be eaten by predators. Our new piglets are in the orchard, rooting and eating dropped fruit, as well as bermuda grass, plantain and water grass. Yes! Something that finally eats all the delicious weeds that come up in a drip irrigated orchard, but doesn't climb up to eat your trees or strip the bark from them.

Our hay is stacked and being devoured by our pregnant cows and our sheep are starting to lamb. (We did a late breeding this year, trying to avoid an issue we had last year with with a biting mosquito-like insect that caused several lamb deaths). We hope to avoid that this year, but we will have much more demand on our hay supply to feed our nursing ewes than if we had lambed earlier in the spring.
The girls and their big pregnant bellies are spending most of their days lounging under the oaks. They go out to nibble on the star thistle at night when it's cool. The cows, on the other hand, won't go near the star thistle and prefer the dry standing grass that we left in this field to try to stretch out the season a l-i-i-tle longer. We will probably irrigate less pasture this year and feed more hay, as we can grow more hay with less strain on our aquifer than if we irrigated an equivalent amount of pasture.

Something new this year: we are growing melons! Anthony and I always intended to grow heirloom cantaloupe on our old farm but we never got to it before we had to move. This year we've planted about 1/4 acre of several different varieties as well as personal size sugar baby watermelons, yellow watermelons, sweet corn, tomatoes, sunflowers and other flowers. Look for some sweet melons from us later this summer at Jack London Farmer's Market.

LOADING UP

Now we hunker down under the sycamore and wait out the heat and pray we get through fire season without loss of life and homes. It's almost hopeful now, summer is here, there is no more rain. No more prayers and staring at rain gauges. It's too late. Now we look forward to fall. That's when this drought is going to break. Yes, I'm saying it. It's going to break. But until then...

Please don't light any fires when you go camping this summer.

Seriously, you don't need those s'mores anyway. Eat some locally grown stone fruit instead.
See you at the market.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Green grass and the first calf of the year


Happy Holidays from Casa Rosa Farm

We are super excited to welcome the first calf of 2014-2015 calving season. His mama is #27, a Simmental-Angus cross bred by L&M Ranch out of Oakdale. He is a brindled brown and black bull calf. Mama & calf are healthy and he was born in between showers, so he got plenty of time to figure things out before the next downpour... scheduled tonight. Our next cow due, #9, is one of our original herd and has had 2 calves with us already. We are hoping for another strong heifer from her. She has had 2 heifer calves so far, so we'll see!
Happy mama, healthy calf

The creek that wraps around our homestead is running steadily, even 3 days after the big downpour. Today, it is about 2 feet. At the height of the flood last week, it was running 5 feet deep, with about 2 feet running over the road. With more rain on the way, and the hillsides at saturation, we may see more flooding now than during "Stormageddon".
Olivia looks at the creek crossing 

The newest addition to our farm, Jasper
We also have finally made an addition to our family menagerie. Meet Jasper! He is a Plott hound. He is adapting quite well to life at Casa Rosa Farm. Plott hounds are good varmint chasers. He's very intelligent but is still trying to figure out Olivia. At first he wasn't sure what to do with her. Now he definitely thinks she is a puppy. So, is it ok to nip the puppy when she screams and pulls my tail? No Jasper, sorry to say, it ain't. Barking and herding her when she's running away from her mom? Yes, Jasper, go ahead!

The grass looks good, the animals are dealing ok with all the rain, only some of the roofs are leaking, so all is good here at our farm.

We won't be attending any farmer's markets the weekend between Christmas and New Year's.  If you want to send any last minute gifts of Casa Rosa Farm olive oil, www.goodeggs.com is delivering next day within the Bay Area up to the day before Christmas.

Enjoy your holiday meals and we'll see you in the New Year.






Thursday, September 25, 2014

This Is The Drought






This is what last night's blessed and welcomed rain did to moisture in a piece of ground I'm waiting to drill in winter forage on. 2 inches of moisture, and then dry as a bone. I will photograph the same spot tomorrow, when I expect the moisture left to be 1 inch, and then 2 days later, where I expect it to be gone. I need about 4 inches of consistent soil moisture for a week, to risk the expense of drilling seed in, and timing it all right to drill in just before the next rain. This is what has been done on winter grass ground in CA for a long time, although now there seems to be a fancy word for it - 'dry farming'. This is the drought.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Sliced Beef Pastrami Now Available!







Grass Fed Grass Finished Sliced Beef Pastrami Is Here!




No Grain, Ever * No Added Hormones
From Animals Fed Certified Organic or Non GM Grass and Forb Forage 
No Sub-Therapeutic Use Of Antibiotics * No Antibiotic Use In Market Animals  
 Our Beef Are Always Free To Range
We take the time to finish our beef for 60 days on a blend of oat grass & alfalfa, 
which produces a lean fat marbling, as well as consistently tender,
and mild flavored grass finished meat.
 All our beef is dry aged according to individual animal needs, and flash frozen in vacuum seal immediately after butchery in order to ensure the highest quality product. 
No Lies, But Plenty of Grass Fed Bull!

Saturday, September 20, 2014






We are very excited to begin introducing our new beef  and mutton products. Say hello to beef bacon, smoked beef sausage with wine & garlic, as well as beef and mutton sticks. These are available on Good Eggs www.goodeggs.com as availability allows.


No Grain, Ever * No Added Hormones
From Animals Fed Certified Organic or Non GM Grass and Forb Forage 

No Sub-Therapeutic Use Of Antibiotics * No Antibiotic Use In Market Animals  
 Our Beef Are Always Free To Range

We take the time to finish our beef for 60 days on a blend of oat grass & alfalfa, 
which produces a consistently lean fat marbling, yet a tender and mild grass finished meat.
 All our beef is dry aged according to individual animal needs, and flash frozen in vacuum seal immediately after butchery in order to ensure the highest quality product.
No Lies, But Plenty of Grass Fed Bull!