Thursday, May 19, 2011


The farm is officially the proud owner of a real, walk-in cooler! For about 500 bucks, I now have a giant room to store produce in a way that uses WAY less energy than standard refrigerators. Let me introduce you to the CoolBot!

That first number? The temperature of the room. Yea, it says 37. 

This $300 little contraption was engineered by farmers up in New York. It is basically a small microprocessing brain that communicates with the air conditioner, telling it when it turn off and on, to achieve temperatures down into the 40s. But here's the real genius. If the differential between the temperature I want and the temperature of the room is too big, it will do the best it can and shut off, instead of running running running even though it will never get to what I asked for. Otherwise known as energy efficiency. Genius, man! Here's some pictures of my long walk-in cooler journey.

Always easy on paper. Screws, sytrofoam, washers. 
Mess, mess, mess.
That ladder really got exhausting after awhile.
A nice collection of mess. 
Can't say much about the city, but the drills are second to none. 
R-Tech = R-Mess
This fridge doesn't stand a chance.
Where the magic happens.
Cya later, ya old farts! Hand over my $30 PNM
rebate check, please!

Let the produce storage begin!


I though it would be interesting to give everyone a little info about the only 'chemical' I use on the entire farm--alpaca poop.

Pretty cute little fertilizer makers. 
Pure grass feed makes for incredibly rich manure.
Hello there, do you happen to have any food? 

In the world of animal manure (which I frequent every Sunday), alpaca manure is worth its weight in gold. It is not considered a "hot" manure, like cow or horse, so I can just throw it right out on the field without composting. Easy as pie! Every crop rotation gets manured, rototilled, and planted. Because when it really comes down to it, if I mine the soil of nutrients and give nothing back, eventually the soil will stop producing food for me. Crop rotation and healthy soil eliminates so many problems on an organic farm (excessive bugs, weeds, soil born viruses/pathogens, etc). So the rule of thumb is: if I take, I gotta give.


And now for some bad news. The guinea hens have turned to the dark side and become omnivores. They ganged up and wiped out 6 entire rows of kohlrabi, collard greens, chard, and beets. So I spent almost all day yesterday trying to herd and wrangle them. I managed to catch eight of twelve, which I then gave away on good old Craigslist. I got almost 30 phone calls from people wanting the crazy birds. There are still four left, so it looks like I'll be doing more bird wrestling today. It's really unfortunate to have to get rid of them, but I really don't understand what got into them. But such is life. See ya later, ya crazy old birds.

They were fine in the winter when there was no food growing. 


Let's talk about happier things, like the chickens! They're happy the weather has finally warmed up. Their egg production is up into the 70s per day and they're loving all the farm greens.

They all come running when they see me.
"Run, the food  lady is coming!"
They're quite the bunch. Never a dull moment
with 130 chickens around.
Black Sumatra rooster. He keeps a tough eye on
everyone, including me.
This is Lucy. She's got a leg condition and can't stand up for very long.
She lives in the backyard VIP (VIC?) Suite.

I've been thinking about letting them hatch some huevos, because, well, baby chickens are pretty darn cute. 


Ok I've got some farming to do! All the summer flowers are being planted today. And there's four more guineas to catch........



PS. I'm looking for a volunteer Wednesday weeder. Let me know if you're interested (505-620-1516).

1 comment:

  1. I love the photo of "hey the food lady is coming." Congratulations on getting that cooler together. See you soon.