Enjoying the quiescence of our winter schedule, Rachel and I have been using this time to make plans for Wrong Direction Farm for the new year.
Whenever I do my listmaking, I invariably fill the sheet with all sorts of unachievable goals. Farming is nothing, if not a good way to reinforce feelings of inadequacy for the challenges at hand. I know all the life coaching types tell people to make sure their goals are reasonable, but that’s just not my style. I prefer audacious lists. My complete goals list is long, specific, and deranged.
But I’ll spare you the crazy list and take this opportunity to share the five top tier items that might be interesting to our customers. These are the goals that actually feel achievable, and the ones that will help set the tone for the coming year.
1. New Farm Website
We’ve been chugging away creating a complete overhaul of the farm website, and we hope to have that launched by February. The current site is homemade, patched together from many different development projects. This time we are working with a real live web developer to straighten things up. I’m pleased with the new site that is emerging.
2. Bring Science to the Pastures
Rachel will be working with our friends at Cairncrest Farm and Reber Rock Farm on a group project of measuring pasture growth and cattle performance in a detailed manner. We’ve always known kinda sorta where pasture productivity stood, but next year we’re going to be actually collecting grass tonnage measurements so we can bring our pasture grazing management up a few notches.
3. Turkey Expansion
We realized that we are in a good position to supply young turkeys to other farmers in our local area. Turkeys are challenging to raise during their first few weeks after hatching. We’ve talked with other farmers who want to raise turkeys but don’t want to deal with the pesky juvenile period. We think that this will be a good opportunity since we have some expertise in this aspect of poultry rearing. Within the first week of talking with a small group of local farms, we suddenly find ourselves with orders for 700 extra turkeys this summer and fall.
4. Integrated Annual Forages on Pasture
This past summer I began experimenting with having the chickens trample corn seeds into the ground. I’m going to be scaling up this experimentation with corn and oats. I’m also looking into mixing in some clover and perhaps something more rooty, like daikon radishes or turnips. My goal is to produce additional pasture forage in the richly fertilized ground behind the chicken shelters as we move them across the pastures. The perennial grasses regrow on their own, but I think we might be able to get more total plant growth by interseeding trampled-in annual crops.
5. More Food Focus
I found that people really seemed to appreciate the recipes we posted. Folks especially connected with the turkey roasting video I made with my mom. So for 2022 we’re going to be placing a more consistent focus on all the ways to cook and eat WDF’s grass fed and pasture raised meats. We’re fortunate to have a friend of the farm in Chef Katy Sparks. She already contributed two recipes (Hard Cider and Leek Braised Chicken Thighs and Chile Mole with Grass Fed Ground Beef) and she’s planning on helping us with a longer series of great recipes over the coming months. So expect to see more recipes and more video content about our meat.
Happy New Year
Thanks to all of you who have been with us through 2021 and for all the years before that. We are privileged to be your farmers.
We wish you the best for 2022.