What’s new at Casa Rosa Farm? Well, our involvement as a host in the WWOOF program has resulted in a tv news segment with our local ABC affiliate on the subject. Rachel did a wonderful informational interview, and they took some shots of me showing a woofer how to prune olives. The piece is supposed to air in a couple weeks. We’ll post it here when it does.
We’re a few days away from finishing a fence around a 15 acre piece of ground that will be the permanent pasture for our sheep, sort of a home base for them for those times of year when they need to be removed from the orchards. Those woolly critters love ripening olive fruit & almond nuts more than the weeds growing on the ground. Go figure.
I built the fence with a future of Certified Organic pastured turkey production in mind, which means the perimeter wire and posts cost almost double what it should have. The idea is that the same sheep pasture would serve as a turkey pasture as well. Though our sheep will not be Certified Organic, due to sheep health management issues which would make their Certified Organic production financially not viable as well as regulations which I personally question whether they’re humane or not, turkey raising does have a good chance at Certified Organic management success. Sheep are very prone to abscess infections, which can sometimes require the use of an antibiotic in order to save the life of the animal. Sheep are also walking intestinal parasite magnets, and although parasites can be kept in check by proper grazing management, it is very difficult to avoid the occasional use of commercial de-worming medication. Both of these treatments will often save the life of a lamb, and both are not allowed under Certified Organic regulations. If an animal must be treated, then it must be sold in the conventional market. Some growers don't have a bone to pick with this system, but this is also a main reason the majority of growers choose not to raise their animals under Certified Organic rules.
I’ve been working on a design for a bird shelter that will allow 35 ft by 55 ft of mobile pasture access, while still providing overhead protection from predators with bird netting (owls & hawks find young turkeys to be a very tasty morsel).
We’ve got two farmer’s markets lined up here in the central San Joaquin Valley that will provide some marketing exposure for our beef & lamb, and these two markets have been gracious enough to allow inclusion of turkey as well. Anyone out there interested in some pastured turkey?