Saturday, April 17, 2010

Spring 2010!

Where to start! Our new menu for the Mill City Farmer's Market is shaping up nicely. I hope to get some nice pictures of food and ingredients for the menu display, and I'll post some here too. Phil wants a large quantity of ramp butter for cooking, but lately my foraging has come up short. Lots of mustard greens and some fiddleheads, no ramps! I hope I can buy early ramps from a farm on Mother's Day weekend, otherwise we will run out of the stuff! This spring we've had some spectacular early warm weather on the Island. Peat let all of the chickens out of the yard to peck and scratch around in the meadow and take dust baths in a sunny patch next to the parking lot. He's also moved the rabbits from their winter quarters in a warm shed to breezy summer accommodations. Several of the female rabbits have had their litters already. The baby bunnies are awfully cute.

At right, a mother and baby rabbit eating apples together.

My own gardening activities are pretty tame compared to Peat's. I'm just happy to see the tulips and rhubarb I planted last year popping up again. This year I need to enrich the soil in our yard with more compost.

Here are some quick links to issues we've been concerned about lately. This article in the Star Tribune reports that Minnesota farmers' incomes dropped 63% in 2009. Please support our local farmers by buying directly from the farmer at a farmer's market or through a CSA. Remember to buy local meat, dairy and produce whenever possible at the grocery store or co-op, or we may lose more local farms! Finally, new USDA regulations threaten to shut down small meat processors. This would have a huge impact on our local small farmers and ranchers. It would also reduce the types of meat products available to consumers. Read more here

Above, chickens enjoying early Spring sun, free foraging and dust baths. At right, me "transplanting" a chicken from my own yard back to Peat's!

Black Cat Natural Foods is now on Twitter! Follow our local food adventures and thoughts on sustainability. blackcatnatfood