Sunday, November 26, 2006

Fall 2006 Newsletter

Vancalcar Acres
Fall 2006 newsletter
392 Elwood rd Ft. Plain, NY 13339 518-993-4326

Time has been flying by here. It’s late fall on the farm, and we’ve officially begun supplementing stockpiled pasture grass with large round hay bales. The girls number 282 right now, just shy of our goal of 300. It was a difficult summer here, and we have decided not to purchase any replacement ewes this winter. We will strive to build our numbers next year from within our own ewe lambs born this coming spring. We are planning our breeding groups this December for a mid-May lambing start. We are NOT expecting a February lambing group again!!
We went to the New York Sheep and Wool Festival in October this year as a vendor, and met several of you face to face. We had a great time, we hope you did as well! We introduced 5 sock kits with designs by Tsock Tsarina (Lisa Grossman) at Our hand-dyed sock yarn and her patterns were a hit and we’re backordered now on yarn to fill after-show sales of those kits. If your waiting for yours, I expect the yarn to arrive around the 15th of December. I’ll be up all night dyeing yarn J Pictures of the sock kits are on the website under ‘sock kits’ and there will be a sock club beginning in January, details will be online in the next couple of weeks.

Fiber: As some of you know, we lost the majority of our fiber clip this past spring. Because of that, there has not been much roving available around here this year! Occasionally, I’ve made special purchases of superwash merino fiber, wool/silk blended fiber, wool/mohair blended fiber to dye and card. I am expecting more wool/silk in the next week, and have just gotten merino top roving for dyeing. Watch the website for the fiber to go up for sale. We will be shearing the flock in mid-April this coming spring, so our own fleece will once again be available soon after.

Grassfed Meats:
Lamb currently available by the cut in limited quantities.
Pork orders are on hold here. We have a new group of heritage-breed piggers out in the garden doing a good job of roto-tilling things now, but they are not ready for butcher yet.
Taking reservations on freezer lambs, availability of mid-December, and mid-January.
Grass-fed ground Beef in 10, 25 and 50 lb sets. **This is not typical ‘trim’ ground beef! We’re taking the whole steer and making ground beef and a limited number of prime cut steaks (filet mignon etc). This is extremely lean lean ground beef, I find no grease left in the pan when browning this ground beef.
Poultry: We raised out about 20 broilers this summer. Processed here on the farm, they were very flavorful and it was good to know where they came from. So much poultry in the grocery stores is raised in caged or at the minimum, indoor penned environments and fed low doses of antibiotics and other additives in efforts to maintain them under these conditions… well don’t get me started! We will be raising at least 3 groups of broilers next summer for our customers.
**If you want more information about current standard commercialized growing and processing of beef, visit and read her articles and scientific references. Sobering information!
Pelts: I have 3 white good-sized pelts available right now, these are machine washable.
What’s on Sale: Going to be driving out this way? Bring a cooler and stock up. 25lbs of ground beef from our grass-fed steers, made from the whole cow… not just trim! Just back from the butcher, get 25lbs at the 50 lb price of $4.00/lb, packed in 1lb tubes.

Eric, Jennifer, Nora & the animals.

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