Vegetable, Pork and Beef CSA shares available

tomatoes!

tomatoes!

Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) is a partnership between a farmer and consumer that benefits both. By purchasing a share, the consumer pays up front for some of the costs of production of their food, helping the farmer with cash flow and planning. In return, the consumer gets the satisfaction of knowing exactly where their food is grown and how, and receives a reduced price for being willing to enter into a financial partnership with the farmer. Two Dog Farm sells vegetables, pork and beef by the share.

Vegetables shares — We are committed to being good stewards of the land, and we grow our certified organic vegetables without the use of any synthetic pesticides, herbicides, or fertilizers. We grow a wide variety of mixed vegetables, selecting varieties for their taste and ability to grow in our northern climate. Our vegetable shares are delivered weekly from late May until mid October (approximately 20 weeks). We plan the garden to produce as much variety as possible each week, given seasonal constraints. Our full share comes in a 1 1/9 bushel box, and we expect it to feed a family of four or two people who cook a lot and eat a lot of vegetables. Our single share comes in a ½ bushel box, and is intended to feed 1 to 2 adults. For more information and an order form click here.

lucky pig with unsellable produce

lucky pig with unsellable produce

Pasture Raised Pork – Our pigs always have access to grass and land to roam. We feed grain to fulfill part of their dietary needs and supplement with room to root around and plenty of garden produce. A pork share comes in at about 60 to 70 lbs of a variety of cuts, with some customization possible. The cost is $6.75 per pound. For more information and an order form click here.

winter in the pasture

winter in the pasture

Grass Fed Beef – Our animals are naturally raised on grass. In the winter months they feed on a mixture of dry hay and baleage, though they always have access to pasture. As the grass greens the animals start to feed solely on pasture. A share is approximately 50 to 60 lbs of a mixture of cuts, with usually about 25 lbs of ground beef. The cost is $6.25 per pound. For more information and an order form click here.

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Winter on the farm

Steve has been hard at work in the sugarbush rerouting the main line in preparation for sugaring season. The old anchor tree fell down, and while he had to do some work on the line anyways he decided to reroute to pick up some additional trees and add some taps. We’ve also been getting our new farm stand set up. We have a nice selection of beef for sale in the freezer, as well as some pork. Right now the only vegetables we have left are onions, but we are looking forward to early greens this spring and have a nice glass front cooler to make it easier to purchase veggies once they are in season. As soon as sugaring season comes around we will also have maple syrup available. Caleb and Jess Smith of Dorset Peak Jerseys have raw milk for sale in the farm stand as well. Thought I’d share some January scenes from around the farm. — Sue

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Looking for interns for the 2014 growing season

greenhouse and hoophouses

greenhouse and hoophouses

We are beginning our search for one or more agricultural intern(s) to help with all aspects of our farming operation. We are committed to providing an educational experience. We offer housing, basic board, and a stipend. Some weekend and evening hours will be part of the mix.

Depending on the person we are looking for someone who can work the full season, from April until October, and/or for the summer months. Work will include starting seedlings, all aspects of managing a 2 acre vegetable garden and getting vegetables to market and to CSA customers, blueberry care and harvesting, and perhaps some care for pigs and cows. If interested please click on leave a comment below, send us an email, or give us a call. You can also download our application and either mail it or email it back to us.

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The blueberry picking is fantastic!

Blueberries just waiting to be picked

The blueberry picking is absolutely fantastic right now. Here’s some pictures to tempt you to come out and pick. We are open 10 am to dusk, 7 days a week. Check sidebar for daily picking conditions.

Lots of beautiful blueberries

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U-pick blueberries opening up Monday July 2!

The earliest of the bushes are starting to come in! Picking is from 10 am to dusk, 7 days a week. The farm stand is set up self serve, so come on out and get some tasty organic blueberries! Keep an eye on the sidebar for a daily update on picking conditions.

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almost blueberry time

almost blueberry time

u-pick should be starting next week — stay tuned to the side bar for up-to-date info!

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Seedling Sale

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Spring Growth

As everything seems to in spring, Two Dog has begun to grow. For a number of months now it’s been only the core of Two Dog and the occasional visitors keeping the farm lively. But now the ranks of Two Dog have swelled, and more than doubled. We have two new interns, Andy and Laura,  and one wwoofer, Margaret, on board. Andy arrived in March and helped with some of the sugaring operations, and is now doing a swell job running the greenhouse, with Sue’s input here and there. Laura and Margaret, who are sisters, arrived last week and are just starting to find their place in the spring shuffle. We’ve got a full growing season ahead, but it seems that we’ve lucked out for yet another year, and landed some very intelligent, and hard working people.

The cows are waiting for spring grass

Beyond Two Dog’s population boom, growth seems to be happening every where we look. The grass is green and just starting to be of that length which cows can curl their tongue around and snap off. If you never seen a cow eat grass, or never paid attention to how effectively they mow grass with a rather dull instrument, their tongue, you should. I doubt you could mow a lawn with your tongue. Give it a try though, I’m sure someone who lives with or near you, or even just drives by would be very amused.

Back to farming and no more tom-foolery. The vegetable seedlings are well on their way to long and prosperous lives, even if they do have to undergo the torture of “hardening off” which is forcing them out into the cold to toughen up for the varying temperatures that accompany this time of year.

Last but certainly not least on Two Dog’s list of growing things is the pigs. We’ve got a new batch of nine pigs, mixes of Tamworth, Hampshires, and Berkshires, that are roaming and rooting in their luxurious new spot along the gardens, and on top of our compost pile. When we first had them they were behind my house in the little pig house, but they have since received a first class upgrade to their new digs. Where the dirt was becoming rather compacted and bare in their old spot, they now have soft soil, compost, and lots of vegetation to root and carry on in. For my part in farming, I can say that there are few things as rewarding as seeing animals in conditions that you know they enjoy. Besides amused and enthusiastic pigs, we’re hoping that their current home allows the critters to turn the compost, fertilize some of the garden, and reclaim some space to be used in future garden expansion.

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Unlike the expected and usual growth of spring, the weather has been anything but usual. March was record-setting hot and with 80 degree temperatures felt more like May.  As we moved into April the heat slacked a bit, but the weather stayed warm and dry. In mid April it was dry enough that the National Weather service issued a forest fire warning for this area. In the past couple of weeks though, we’ve got some significant rain and the dust has reunited with the soil and decided to stay put for a while. Now to keep the roller coaster going the temperature is supposed to dip into the low 20’s the next few nights which is not good news for the young and tender buds and blossoms of various trees and plants. For Two Dog the blueberries and recent garden transplants are our main concern, though many other plants such as apples could be at risk as well. Oh well, mother nature may be unpredictable, kind at times, harsh at others, but at least as bosses go she really isn’t too concerned with how I spend my time.

Off the farm Two Dog has begun working with the Garden Arts Fresh Market in Manchester, VT. Currently we’re selling syrup, pork, beef, and greens at the store. As the days lengthen and the vegetables begin to come into season we’ll be offering a large selection of fresh organic produce and vegetable seedlings. We think the world of the folks at the Fresh Market, and we’re looking forward to working with them, so stop by and check the place out. They are located on 557 Depot Street on the corner of Highland Avenue in the renovated Mobil gas station.

That’s all for now. We’re hoping to get back in the blog and not lag so far between posts.

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Fancy!

Steve drawing off the first syrup of 2012

We had our first boil of the 2012 season on February 17, made some beautiful fancy grade syrup. Thought you might like to see a few photos!

Yes, it’s for sale, and yes, we ship! If you prefer the darker grades, we’ll be making those soon. Give us a call or send us a comment or an email!

If you are in the neighborhood and see steam rising from the sugarhouse, stop in and say hi!  –Sue

Fancy grade bottled up

Liquid gold

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And another year begins …

starting early seedlings by the woodstove

The first seedlings of the year are huddled around the woodstove to gather heat to germinate–hoophouse tomatoes, onions and leeks should all be poking their heads up within the week. We have lots of great tomato varieties this year, including many heirlooms: Yellow Perfection, Moskvich, Amish Paste, Black Prince, Ukrainian Purple, Principe Borghese, Wapsipinicon Peach, Striped German, Brandywine, and Rose de Berne. In addition we will have some fun new varieties, Indigo Rose, Cosmonaut Volkov, Speckled Roman and Green Zebra, and some old stand by’s: Sungold Cherry, Big Beef, and New Girl. For descriptions of these varieties, take a look at our organic seedling page.

sugar lines and tapped trees

We are also gearing up for the sugaring season. The sugarhouse is cleaned up and organized, the evaporator is put back together, the lines are repaired and Steve has completed an expansion in the sugarbush to increase our number of taps. And the really exciting news is that we just finished tapping the trees! Our thanks go out to Pat, Ben and Anna, and Jeannie who came and helped tap over the weekend. With the funny winter we’ve been having, it’s hard to say what kind of a sugaring season it will be, but we’re keeping our fingers crossed that the weather settles in to some more typical winter/spring patterns. It looks like we could get our first good runs this week and start boiling.

We’ve expanded our herd of cows to 10 and a new batch of piglets will be arriving shortly. Steve will give you a more complete update on the critters when next he writes.

Soon we will be boiling sap, planting spinach in the hoophouse, starting lots more seedlings, and sending out our brochures for the upcoming season. We’ll keep you posted! — Sue

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