Sustainability at Franklin Pierce University

This past week we were invited to take part in one of the many Earth Week events at Franklin Pierce University in Rindge (a few towns away). The story ran as the feature article in Tuesday’s Monadnock Ledger-Transcript.

The day was organized by Jess Gerrior, the Sustainability Coordinator for the University and there was a time for students to mingle with the vendors and listen to a feature presentation.

Andy Pressman from Foggy Hill Farm in Jaffrey spoke at length about Sustainability. It was awesome on so many levels.

There were only a handfull of other vendors set up for the presentation and Oxbow Farm was the only family farm.

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Snowball, our white hen came along for the event and she was the star of the show. She had her picture taken a number of times by the students and she loved all the attention. By the end of the day she was hot and restless from being cooped up inside, but then again, so were the adults.

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It was truly amazing to talk to all the students that had never touched a chicken before. Their questions were basic but extremely necessary when understanding where their food comes from. We talked to a few students who had worked on their own family farms before they moved away to school. Our hen seemed to bring them a little taste of home.

The best part of my day was when I talked to a group of three male students who approached Snowball with hesitation. I asked them if they wanted to pet her and they said, no they were all set. I told them to man-up, that was why she was there. After that they relaxed a little bit and we had a great conversation. They asked how old she was and what she was being raised for and what we would do with her after she was finished producing eggs. That lead to a conversation and description of how we process chickens. The last thing I asked them to do was to think about the number of chickens it would take to make a basket of chicken wings that they would inevitably eat the next time they went out for a night with the boys.

I think that left a lasting impression.

Some of the sustainability certificate students had created their own projects but the one activity that really impressed me was the chance to make a choice on how to make the Campus a more sustainable, earth friendly place to be.

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It was really interesting to see, on such a concrete level, what their priorities are:

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Bear vs. Bee Hive?

Our bee hive was tampered with recently and we are not sure if it was a bear.

I would think that if it was a bear then the whole hive would be destroyed. Also there was honey and honey comb left over in the hive. Wouldn’t a bear take all he could, or at least come back again to make sure it was all gone?

What other animal would tamper with a beehive? A raccoon? A fishercat?

We purchased bees and a hive two years ago but ever since then we have not done much with them. We never even collected any honey. Bees can survive on their own, they don’t need any extra help from humans so we just kind of let them do their thing out in the field. We didn’t even know if they were producing. It turns out that they were producing and producing a lot.

They had outgrown the hive and began to create honeycomb underneath the hive and under the pallet on which the hive was resting on to keep it off the ground.

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We think we will wait until next year before we get new bees for the hive. Next time we will make sure there is a secure electric fence surrounding the hive to keep it safe from intruders.

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Happy Earth Day!

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Today is the day to celebrate the earth… and healthy living… and being green… and living sustainably and any other popular “it” word of the day.

More simply, this is a day to take stock of your life and how to live it as simply as possible, in harmony with how nature intended us to live.

Sometimes it is difficult to keep up with all of the catch phrases used to describe what I stated in simple terms above.

What does sustainability really mean anyway? I don’t really have a definition but perhaps the word has different meanings to different people in different situations.

For me personally, I sometimes feel inadequate with my striving to live sustainably because I am not sure what I am striving for.

Perhaps I need to actually sit down and create my own definition? I guess there is no better day than today to do that!

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…..And We Have A Winner!

Alison attended the fourth annual Peterborough Women’s Club Basket Bingo and walked away with a wonderful basket full of locally made products from the Peterborough Farmer’s Market including eggs and sausage from Oxbow Farm

Alison winner

(Dogs not included in prize)

This year’s Basket Bingo raised funds and awareness to the Monadnock Area Transitional Shelter (MATS).

For here for more information about the Peterborough Farmer’s Market.

ps, find our eggs at the market!

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Lamb Video 24hours Old

Really, who can resist the ears and all of the cuteness!!

This little guy was born 6 days ago. His mom is Pinky, therefore he gets the name: Whitey.

(Please let me know if you can’t view it. I am not very good with technology)

whitey video day 2

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Lambing season here on the farm

Everybody else is doing it, so I figured we should join in on the trend.

Meet Little Moe, born last night around 9:00ish.

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My Mother Maureen celebrated her birthday on the 11th. Since this little guy was born the next day, we have called him Moe. The timing couldn’t be better as we are welcoming our second group of school kids to the farm tomorrow.

Both sheep are healthy and happy.

A big thanks to Elizabeth for coming over and staying late to show me the ropes.

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Farm Book Club

The date is set for March 22 for the Oxbow Farm Book club. We will meet here at 7PM.

This month, we are reading the entertaining book: The Feast Nearby: How I lost my job, buried a marriage, and found my way by keeping chickens, foraging, preserving, bartering, and eating locally (all on $40 a week) by Robin Mather.

Find the link to Amazon here. This does not mean that you have to purchase it from this site. Check your local library or bookstore to see if they have it or can order it.

The essence of the book is this-Within a single week in 2009, food journalist Robin Mather found herself on the threshold of a divorce and laid off from her job at the Chicago Tribune. Forced into a radical life change, she returned to her native rural Michigan. Here she learned to live on a limited budget while remaining true to her culinary principles of eating well and as locally as possible. In The Feast Nearby, Mather chronicles her year-long project: preparing and consuming three home-cooked, totally seasonal, and local meals a day–all on forty dollars a week.

I am only a few chapters into the book but I am loving it already and there are several recipes that I am wanting to try. Hey, I figure if the recipes were written by a food journalist then they must adhere to some pretty high standards.

I want to learn any tips she has to eating locally all season because that is very difficult to do-difficult but not impossible. It is also very hard to stick to a budget when buying food for the family. $40 a week wouldn’t work for our family of four, but I am hopefully going to pick up some tips from her on this subject too.

We are still taking suggestions for April’s book so let us know if you have any farm/food related books you have read or would like read.

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Eggs for Sale

Hi all, just a quick post to say that we have had a request to make a special delivery of our eggs tomorrow (Tuesday) in Peterborough. If anyone else is looking for eggs, I can bring them to you tomorrow morning as I am going that way.

Please email the farm or leave a message here or on FB and we will bring some to you.

$4.50/dozen.

thanks!
Farmer Kim

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What makes you think about the food you eat? -Food Wednesday

When you are at the grocery store, what makes you choose the foods you do?
Even before you arrive at the grocery store, what outside influences have predetermined what you purchase?

These are two of the many questions that go through my mind (and I’m assuming some of your minds too) when trying to decide what to feed my family.

It is really amazing how many factors come into play when deciding what to buy:
-healthy choices
-balanced diet
-sugar/salt content
-natural vs. organic
-advertising gimmicks

The list goes on and on…

I heard a wonderful pre-recorded piece today on NHPR about all of these questions and then some. I only wish that they had the podcast of this program so that you could all listen to it too.

NHPR The Exchange

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Farm Photos

It is school vacation week for us here on the farm so my schedule is a little messed up. The kids are at dance/theater camp so that means more driving and less being productive.

So this post is short and sweet with just a few pictures to keep you current.

Some of these pictures you may have already seen on our FaceBook Page. Speaking of which, that is a great place to catch up what we are doing because it is such as easy platform for updating our friends. Check it out and “like” us! We wanna be the popular kid!

This rooster is picked on by everybody. Every once in a while he tries to live with a group but it turns out to be bad news. So he is our barn rooster and stays by himself in the bay.

This rooster is picked on by everybody. Every once in a while he tries to live with a group but it turns out to be bad news. So he is our barn rooster and stays by himself in the bay.

Farmer Selfie- feeding the pigs

Farmer Selfie- feeding the pigs

Just my luck! When I go skiing there is chicken manure on my ski.

Just my luck! When I go skiing there is chicken manure on my ski.

Why bother doing it yourself when someone else is quite willing to do it for you.

Why bother doing it yourself when someone else is quite willing to do it for you.

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