My July poultry newsletter is available on my Web site. Make your own blue ice! Give your chickens good summer care! And more.
We’ve played with a lot of different technologies at the farmer’s market. Electronics used outdoors need to be rugged, easy to protect from rain, and usable in bright sunshine.
Back when we made people order fryers in advance, we brought a Panasonic ToughBook so we could take the deposits and enter the orders on QuickBooks. We stopped doing this when we started bringing chickens on spec, rather than just to fill orders. Because every cop car in the country seems to be equipped with one of these, used ToughBooks are plentiful and affordable on eBay and other places.
We’re gearing up for a busy year in 2013 and are catching up with repairs and upgrades before the busy season starts, with contractors doing the difficult parts.
The upper part of the barn roof has been redone. In the Seventies, corrugated roofing had been nailed over the original cedar shakes, which didn’t hold the roofing panels securely enough, and they were starting to blow off. So we had that all taken off and re-roofed with new steel roofing that Karen had acquired at bargain prices.
The Corvallis area is lucky to have an Indoor Winter’s Market, where year-round produce such as greens and eggs are available every Saturday, plus items that store well, like roots and bulbs and frozen meat and canned goods and honey, and also baked goods and other yummy stuff. Not for us is the notion that farmers’ markets are a summertime thing!
I’m surprised this hasn’t caught on more. Oregon has mild winters, but so do a lot of places. And it’s nice to have the market in a large, heated building when the weather is nasty out.
In addition to our usual flock of laying hens, which is doing very well this winter, we have a small flock of ducks and even some turkeys.
Here in Western Oregon, where it rains like crazy and often freezes at night, but the daytime highs are almost always above freezing, poultry don’t much care about winter weather. Getting clean eggs in spite of the additional mud is more burdensome than the cold.
In snowier climes, it’s a little different. Free-range poultrykeeping is a challenge when snow lingers for long periods on the ground, while my birds can just tough out the few days per year with snow. And watering systems that freeze and stay frozen are not useful!