Spring has really brought some exciting times to the livestock of Maitri Farm. On April 1st, ninety new egg laying hens came to the farm. These Rhode Island Reds are the classic New England brown egg layer. This brings our total flock size up to 150 birds. Even more exciting, on Easter Sunday our hens laid their very first egg! When hens first start laying eggs at a young age, their eggs are small and delicate. These are known as pullet eggs, and are treasured by gourmet bakers for their rich yolk and fine flavor. As the hens grow, their eggs will get larger, and eventually we hope to have 60-70 dozen a week.
Our pigs have also been busy. Our Berkshire/Large Black breeding animals moved into a new pasture, and I think one of our sows may now be pregnant! If so, she will hopefully give birth to many healthy, adorable piglets in mid-summer. We also bought five Red Wattle pigs, which will go towards our pork shares and CSA customers. These pigs are a threatened species and are unique to America. We are happy to help preserve the breed in a small way, and to spread the word about rare pigs.
Green is returning to the landscape, and we can hardly wait for the warm days ahead. Of course, we have many beautiful baby vegetables tucked away in our greenhouse. Take a look at the little video tour we posted on our Facebook page! It's so exciting to see little baby tomatoes, basil, and peppers, and dream of the delicious harvests of summer...
We're seeing the first wild plants of spring, too. First one up is a unique and funny-looking thing called Skunk Cabbage, which is popping up along the bank of a seasonal stream near our barn. It gets its name from a distinctly skunk-like odor that helps it attract its pollinators, and owes its early appearance to the fact that it is one of the rare plants that can produce its own heat.
Skunk cabbage loves wet ground, and we certainly have a lot of that here at Maitri. It's hard to complain about water, though, knowing that so much of American agriculture is in desperate need of it... So, this spring we might be wading through some mud puddles, but we'll remember to count our blessings as well.