Birds, Bees, and Bucks

Meet Brockstaro “Brock”, Leafhopper Farm’s newest addition to the goat herd. He’s a buck, and a Nigerian Dwarf. He’ll help us shrink down the Boer genes and up milk production. So far, the goat-lings Bran and Branwen could not care less, but Brownie is picking up on the scent of a new buck in town, and can’t resist Brock’s compelling hormonal allure. He’s certainly a sweet guy, and so much easier to handle, being less than two feet tall.


Brock is already fitting right in, happily grazing across the landscape with the rest of his new herd. In time, he’ll help usher in a new generation of goats at Leafhopper Farm.


We’ve got more new friends at the farm! These bees have just come in from Snohomish to help up our pollination power. It’s the first time Leafhopper has hosted honey bees. These bees are an experiment, with the intention of growing the hives as an eventual source of honey and wax. In the mean time, these little ladies will settle in and learn their way around all the blooming flowers in the coming months.


It’s my first time keeping bees and I’m both excited, and a little apprehensive. Opening up a box of swarming bees was challenging, but I only got one sting as I placed these new babes in their hive. Within a few hours, the bees had calmed down and gone into the hive to join their queen.


I’ve placed the hive right above the front garden, in an accessible place that will not crowd the bees or allow anyone to accidentally walk in front of the hive entrance where bees are busily flying in and out. It’s a south facing space to keep the bees warm and dry. I also planted beans below the hive with trellis on either side of the hive box to create shelter and shade in the heat of summer.


Our youngest chickens are outside now and learning about the great world of fresh greens. These youngsters are growing fast and eager to get out and about on pasture. Within a few weeks, they will move to the sun chair portable coop with electric mesh netting to keep them safe.


Our hens are laying eggs at an astounding rate, and it takes a lot of gathering and washing to keep up. We’re averaging 6 dozen eggs a week and they are being snatched up by both tenants and neighbors, being the freshest and healthiest eggs raised on pasture in the area. Right now Leafhopper has 15 full time laying hens. There are roughly 14 new young pullets to be added as the mature, and another 12 incubating eggs which should produce at least another 6 hens for next year. That will be a total of about 30 laying hens by next year. We’ll be rolling in eggs, or more likely, part of the greater Cascadia Cooperative Farms egg coop. Till then, we’ll sell our eggs to tenants and neighbots seeking a local, fresh, and organic treat.


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