7686 Herber Rd. New Tripoli 18066 Google Map 610-298-2197
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News and blog

Posted 4/12/2009 7:33pm by Reuben DeMaster.

I have decided to deliver to Bethlehem.  Please spread the word to anyone living in that area.  Thank you.

Posted 4/11/2009 7:27pm by Reuben DeMaster.

Several people have asked me to describe our flock management.  We have 29 hens, 1 rooster, and 4 guineas.  They are housed in a permanent location with access to food, water, and a fenced yard.  At certain times of the year, I let them wander around the farm, but their scratching is very destructive to the plants that I am trying to grow.  I hope to fence off a larger area for them someday.  Most of our chickens are Rhode Island Reds, and I have a few Americana hens.  If you see a turquoise egg in your delivery, they are produced by the Americanas. 

I feed the chickens Layena brand chicken feed.  You can read the feed description at the following link.  http://poultry.purinamills.com/OURPRODUCTS/Products/Layena/default.aspx  During the warm months, I try to throw some green plants (weeds or vegetable trimmings) to the chickens every day.  We also feed them eggshells, grains, apples, and other fruit.  The chickens do not receive our table scraps because we have very little extra food and because the table scraps go to the dog and cats. 

The guineas are a unique bird that you will hear immediately when you visit.  They announce the presence of anything unusual with their loud cries.  I keep them because they spend their days searching for insects to eat and they scratch less than chickens. 

As I write this, a new brood of chicks has started to hatch.  One hen has been allowed to sit on her eggs and she has faithfully perched on 16 eggs for just over 20 days.  I saw one chick attempt to break out this evening and I hope more follow close behind.  Stay tuned for future updates.

 

 

Posted 4/1/2009 8:24pm by Reuben DeMaster.

Flattened    

It is difficult to lose a farm building.  Last weekend, I pulled down a large shed that had served the farm for over 100 years.  It was built with 8 inch oak beams and had a flat roof.  At one time, it had sliding doors and probably housed carriages.  But over the decades, insects and water damage reduced the building to an unstable shanty.  Each year the township added stone and tar to the road directly in front of the shed until the road bed became 12 inches higher than the shed foundation.  This caused water to run off of the road and into the wooden shed beams.

     The ease with which the shed collapsed told me that I had made the right decision.  We have still lost a building, and now it is time to start planning a replacement.  Maybe next year...

Posted 3/15/2009 9:54pm by Reuben DeMaster.

    Success

Well, the greenhouse survived the first test.  We only got 2" of light snow (figures) and the wind didn't rip it apart.  I now have many more plants growing and have planted other varieties such as shallots, leeks, celery, and coneflowers. 

     My daughter, A, has been recording daily temperatures at 8 AM, 1 PM, and 6 PM.  I am including this as part of her 3rd grade science lesson and I must say that she is doing an excellent job.  A typical temperature in the greenhouse is 15 degrees over the outside temperature on overcast days and 40+ degrees over the outside temperature on sunny days.  When the inside temperature hits 80, I open the door and that has sufficiently cooled the interior. 

Posted 3/15/2009 9:43pm by Reuben DeMaster.

March 1 - Today I finished the greenhouse.  It is 12' x 32'.  The design is not my own.  The skeleton consists of 3/4" pvc connected to a 2"x6" frame.  As soon as I fastened the plastic over the top, I could feel the temperature rising inside.  This is a good sign.  After completion, I discovered that my favorite weather channel was predicting 40 mph winds and 4"-6" of snow!  I guess that it will get a good test tonight.  I decided to go out after dark to put a post in the middle to prevent sag - just in case. 

Greenhouse Skeleton

Posted 3/15/2009 9:25pm by Reuben DeMaster.

Its February 8, and I'm planting seeds.  For me, planting is an act of faith and hope - faith that a small roundish object will somehow turn into an edible plant, and hope that someone will eventually appreciate this edible product.  In my head, I understand that a seed plus water, warmth, and light will germinate and grow.  But the process inspires wonder in my heart all the same.  Hundreds of brocolli, cabbage, onion, kale, and cauliflower seeds drop into the potting mix.  Each seed represents life, hope, work, food.  Who will eat this food?  Will I ever meet them?  May it give them health and strength to their bodies - whoever you are.   

New recipe: Fettucine with ham and napa cabbageOctober 9th, 2017

1/2 pound fettuccine 1 onion, chopped 2 cups chopped Napa cabbage 1 tablespoon vegetable oil 1/4 pound cooked ham, chopped 1/2 teaspoon caraway seeds 1/3 cup heavy cream In a large saucepan of

New recipe: Napa Cabbage SaladOctober 9th, 2017

2 (3 oz) packages ramen noodles, crushed (flavor packets discarded) 1 cup blanched slivered almonds 2 tsp sesame seeds 1/2 cup butter, melted 1 head napa cabbage, shredded 1 bunch green onions, choppe

New recipe: Beef and Napa Cabbage Stir FryOctober 9th, 2017

1 tablespoon soy sauce 1 tablespoon rice vinegar (not seasoned) 2 teaspoons oyster sauce 1 tablespoon cornstarch 1 pound flank steak 3 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided 3 garlic cloves, smashed 1 (1

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Willow Haven Farm, 7686 Herber Rd., New Tripoli, PA 18066

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