Farm Journal

Posted 5/23/2016 9:20pm by Renee Savary.
Our FarmStand in Grayton Beach is now open
 
on Tuesday too ...  
 
Open everyday 7am to 6pm.
 
(we are located 26, Logan Lane, Grayton Beach FL 32459)
 
Serving Breakfast and Lunch everyday from 7am to 3pm
 
 FarmStand 
 
Our patio is ready ...
 
Patio
 
We even grow tomatoes ... I mean the ones I can save from the raccoon !!!!
 
Tomatoes
 
See you soon ... 
 
 
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Instagram: twinoaksfarm

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Thank you for supporting a better way to produce healthy and wholesome food.

Twin Oaks Farm - USDA Certified Organic - Bonifay FL 32425 

 
 
 
 
 
Posted 5/19/2016 8:08pm by Renee Savary.
I am very happy to announce our first Farm To Fork diner at the FarmStand prepared by
Chef Kevin Korman of Rosalie Dining and Seafood Bar ...
Friday May, 27 from 6pm till late ...
For reservations call/text 305 282 5999 or stop by the FarmStand .
Farm to Fork menu
Posted 4/28/2016 10:13pm by Renee Savary.

This week we got new bees, they arrive through the mail and the post office called me around 6:30am to let me know they were in !!! Here what the box looks like : 3 lb of bees and a queen. The box is really well sealed and contain a can of sugary liquid to feed the bees during the trip. 

BeeBox
 
I started by setting all my material, boxes, frames, cover etc .. Last thing you want is missing some part when you have bees all over ... and yes been there done it !!!!
 
Hive set
 
The Queen is inside the box in a box !! I will have to install her first in the hive, I move a bunch of frames to give me some space and once the bees are in I will put them back ... At this point I will lift the metal can and pick up the Queen box ...
 
setting new bees
 
This is what a Queen box looks like, the Queen is attended by a couple of bees, the white part to the right is a sugary substance that the bees will go through and release the Queen in the new hive ... 
 
Queen box
 
I staple the box in between two frames, it just needs to hold for a couple of days and then will be removed ...
 
Queen box installation
 
The next step is to dump the bees from the box into the hive by first removing the can and then a good shake and most of them clump down.
On a side note during all this bees are flying around but they are not aggressive at all ... then I install the 4 remaining frame and can close my hive.
 
Bees in the hive ...
 
Because I did not get all the bees out of the box, I will just leave it in front of the hive and by the end of the day they will all be in ...
Now I will leave this hive grow over the summer, I dont harvest honey the first season, I let them build up their hive and build their reserve for the winter.  They have a lot of work in front of them.
I let the garden go wild and it is full of wild flowers and herbs that reseeded themselves, the bees should have plenty to forage.
 
all set
 
I thought I was done with the bees when I found this out !!!!
Yes a swarm !!! ... from one of the hive at the Bee Garden next to the pond ...
But it is late so this is going to be next week story ...
 
swarm
 
Please visit our Apiary section of our web site and learn what we do and how we do it ... and you can help the bees too, at the FarmStand we have a nice collection of flowers seeds and mixes ..
Posted 4/14/2016 9:19pm by Renee Savary.
Farm UpDate
 
We got a bunch of babies yesterday ... of course running in every direction I did not check the dates and the mama (she was early too) gave birth in the fields. I have to say it was not easy to move them, in torrential rain, to a secure and covered pen. This picture was taken this morning and looks like everyone is doing pretty good ...

 

 
piglets
 
Update on the geese laying situation (if you missed previous "episode" please check our web site .. it is posted there) ...
Well none of our shenanigan worked and we are exactly at the situation we were trying to avoid !!! Meaning geese sitting on top of eggs in their coop and others on the island !!!
Here 2 of them laying on top of a bunch of eggs ...
 
geese
 
please note the other two on the outside .. they are not tearing me to pieces because Paola is behind "covering" me ... 
 
geese
 
We can not move the coops anymore, if we do the geese wont return on the eggs (yes been there done it) 
and we have at least 2 other sitting on eggs on the island ...
 
geese
 
How many geese do you see ??? ... I did not go on the island but we at least 2 sitting on eggs and then 3 that were patrolling ...
Later in the morning as I was coming back from the barn, I stopped at the coops and the geese started to scream like crazy which prompted 3 of the "guards" to rush back from the island ... They are really incredible how they team up and help/fight for each other ...  They are a perfect team !! Any of the other animals I have on the farm if one of them get in trouble the rest just run away ... not the geese they will all turn against you as a block, not only they are impressive but their bills are lined by razor sharp tiny teeth ... Over the years I did loose some skin to it, let me tell you :it is painful !!!!
Here the 3 geese running back (I do need a GoPro!!) ... as  you can see we are over flooded everywhere ... 
 
geese
 
 
Follow us :

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Instagram: twinoaksfarm

Please froward this email to your email list and help us spread the word about Real Food.

Thank you for supporting a better way to produce healthy and wholesome food.

Twin Oaks Farm - USDA Certified Organic - Bonifay FL 32425 

 
 
 
 
 
Posted 3/31/2016 10:57pm by Renee Savary.
PLANTS SALE 
Saturday and Sunday 8am to 4pm
At the FarmStand
Jump start your garden with our seedlings ...
Great choices, lots of herbs and tomatoes ... 
All certified organic 
We stocked up on seeds too and it is not too late for those either.
All our seedlings and seeds are certified organic ... 
 
Let's get our hands dirty and plant a garden, it is good therapy and your get tomatoes ...
 
This is African Blue Basil ... a pollinators heaven ...
African Blue Basil
 
Lemon Balm with some French Sorrel on the back and Salad Burnet to the right ... just a few examples ... make sure you follow us on Facebook and/or Instagram ... I will be posting pictures tomorrow as I am setting up ...
 
Lemon Balm
 
and much more ... 
I almost forgot ... of course we have plenty of eggs, and a whole load of fresh vegetables : salad mix, arugula, lettuce heads, beets and more ...
Our kitchen will only serve food ToGo throughout the weekend ...
but it is late and it is going to be a busy week end ...
Let's get some gardening happen ...

 

Posted 3/3/2016 8:38pm by Renee Savary.
Beekeeping … has been hard on so many levels … At first I was so freaking scared of them !! it may sound silly but when you have thousands of them swarming around you : it is impressive … then I started with the wrong material/bees and I had no clue what I was doing too …
Moving forward a few years and I did improve a little. I got myself one of those astronaut overall that makes you feel safe to be an astronaut therefor safe around the bees … and I got better at it or I thought so.
Last year started well and I, finally, had it kind of under control but then the bees started to swarm like crazy, I could not keep up installing new hives to a point I run out of material, all my new hives were swarming away and I had a very limited time to take care of them …
One thing or the other and they ended up producing very very little honey.
Let me open a parenthesis here : I don’t feed my bees any high fructose syrup or give them soy protein or whatever is common practice in the commercial bee industry.
I usually only harvest the honey in the spring, up to early July in a good year,  and then let the bees build their reserve for the winter. Last year they did not produce much in the spring, not enough for me to harvest and everything they had I just left it in the hives. I also don’t open my hives all the time, I do a complete clean up in the spring and fall and then just the top box for harvest. Last fall due to many other “things” I did not even do the fall cleanup … and I was pretty sure they would not pass the winter … and I was quite miserable about it … To a point that I was considering just giving up and I had not pre-ordered any new bees for this year.
 
bees 2016
 
Then one day, a month or so ago, one of my client asked me when I will have honey again and I told her all my sad bee story and how discouraged I was and right there she gave me a check for the bees or, she added, for something nice for me if I was not getting the bees …
I thought that was so nice it gave me the kick I needed and I decided to go forward and did order 3 packages of bees that should be arriving in April.
I also did reorganize time wise how I would take care of the bees, giving them much more time than in the past. It started last week and I finished it today. I went through all the hives and I am happy to report that most of them did survive the winter, a few are in really good shape and a few are a little weak but should do better with the spring arriving. They all have an active Queen and I should start to split at least 3 of them soon if weather permit and they are building honey too.
Let’s hope we have a great honey honey production this year … To be continued …  
 
In the meantime make sure you are planting flowers ... everywhere .. we need to help those pollinators ... all of them not just the bees ...
 
Check our Apiary tab in the top left corner of our main page
 
Posted 2/18/2016 8:38pm by Renee Savary.
Look who got in last night ....
 
First lamb of 2016
 
She is our first lamb of 2016, yes lambing late this year ...
Mom and baby are doing great ....
 
Lamb 2016
 
We raise a small flock of Gulf Coast Sheep ...
Want to learn more about it ?? check out our web site :
 
We use to keep them inside for a few days but it seems that mom and babies are doing better if left on pasture from the start ... so here we go ...
 off to pasture
 
Hopefully this year will be a good one for our lamb ...
Posted 2/13/2016 8:50pm by Renee Savary.

The Geese … For a few months in the winter our geese lay eggs … not much, like 1 or 2 a day … After a few  weeks a couple of them will sit on the eggs and we all hope for goslings …

Our geese /
 
Now they don’t lay their eggs in their coop that would way too easy and each year it has been an egg hunt, first to find where the year cache will be and then get there before “someone” else …
 
One of our pond has an island in the middle and a few years ago the geese found out it would be a good spot !!! Access to the island is through a very flimsy bridge and you basically risk the plunge at each egg collecting !!! I would not mind it but the major problem of this setting is security at night … 2 or 3 years ago we got a gosling but lost it after a few weeks.
 
Gosling
 
Since then, each year, we are coming up with some stratagem to first get them lay where WE want and then get them in the coop at night …
Last year once they started to sit on a bunch of eggs we moved them, geese and eggs, to a coop and then at night we had the rest of the gang staying in an adjacent coop … Does not sound like much but picking up a couple of geese on top of eggs with a full gang of over protective family members trust me “heroic” is no big word here !!!
Going over the falling apart bridge, a goose tuck under your arm your other hand holding the base of the head as far away from your face as possible with the full team waiting for you on the other side, their mind set to kill you or at best shred some part of your body, I mean they are looking for blood one way or the other … then walk to where we had set the coops (not too far) … set the eggs in a nest like area, drop the geese and retreat as fast as possible … by then it is open warfare. This was last year and at the end it did not work out … the geese lost interest after a couple of weeks and we got no goslings.
 
 
 
The breed of our geese is French Toulouse, I got them as my field alarm system (remember the Capitol Geese??) and it works … They are big birds and are usually raised for meat.
They don’t walk around they parade !! All day long, they terrorize everybody from the donkeys to the hogs and everybody learned to just stay large of them. They don’t fly but for a couple of feet high and a few hundred feet in the morning when we open their coop  to just stretch their wings and make a statement … In the bird world geese are vegetarians and they eat a tremendous amount of grass, like the ducks they need to be able to clean their heads, they love the water and spend a good part of the day grooming themselves. No matter how much slush and mud we have, especially around the pig pens when it rains, their bottom feathers are immaculate white not sure how they do that but it is very impressive …
geese
This said because, I am getting at this year setting … a few month ago, Paola (my helper) and I started to ploy !!! … and the geese too (I am certain of that !!!) ….  We thought we will bring them back close to the house and far away from that damn island and we will be able to manage the whole eggs situation. Fences and gates would keep them from returning. Early November we moved their coop and then just walked them up here. For once no biggy aside from lot of names calling on their part …
They pretty quickly took over the territory and all was fine or this was our impression … Due to the warm weather we had,  by the end of December we still had not eggs and we were keeping a close eye on them knowing we were getting close ….
Then one day Paola called me to tell me the geese are back to the island and she is pretty sure there are laying eggs there !!!!!!!!!!!!!! we tried to figure out how they got there and the next day I got over the bridge (which with all that rain is getting worse and worse) … and yes here we have it …. Our first goose egg of the season !!!!!!!!!!!!! and the geese are around and at the end of the day we need to open the gate to get them back up here … after a few days of head scratching we found out that they were flying there … I mean it is quite a distance and a high to pass the fence and they are all doing it not just one or two !!!! … as I said they never flew before … most incredibly they are doing it almost every day now …
I will let you come up with the moral of the story …
Posted 12/31/2015 5:22am by Renee Savary.
From All of us here at the Farm,
we wish you a
Happy Healthy and Prosperous New Year.
Thank You for your ongoing support ...

New Year

 
The FarmStand is open today, December 31st, 7am to 2pm.
We are closed on Friday, January 1st ...
Reopening to regular schedule on Saturday, January 2nd ...
 
Thank you for supporting a better way to produce healthy and wholesome food.
Twin Oaks Farm - USDA Certified Organic - Bonifay FL 32425
www.twinoaksfarm.net - www.facebook/twinoaksfarm
Instagram: twinoaksfarmstand
Visit our FarmStand located at the Shops of Grayton
26, Logan Ln, Grayton Beach FL - open 7am to 6pm every day,
closed on Tuesday..
Posted 12/24/2015 5:55pm by Renee Savary.
From All of us here at the farm
we wish you a Merry Christmas
and a Healthy New Year ...

Merry Christmas

 
Thank you for supporting a better way to produce healthy and wholesome food.
Twin Oaks Farm - USDA Certified Organic - Bonifay FL 32425
www.twinoaksfarm.net - www.facebook/twinoaksfarm
Instagram: twinoaksfarmstand
Visit our FarmStand located at the Shops of Grayton
26, Logan Ln, Grayton Beach FL - open 7am to 6pm every day,
closed on Tuesday..