Happy Thanksgiving!

The Cozy Inn is closed through Thanksgiving right now to give us a few well-earned days off and finish getting everything on the property ready for winter.

We look forward to seeing more guests soon, and we will be increasing our safety protocols a bit and do our best to keep everyone socially distant. In the meantime, here’s Anh posing with our batch of turkeys from September.

Turkeys are awesome.

They have all ended up in good homes where they will be the centerpiece of delicious Thanksgiving Feasts (presumably with a lot of leftovers). We will be cooking a half-bird in our oven, and I’m going to give a buttermilk brining (a 48-hour process) and see if it’s as good as everyone says it is.

We are thankful that we are all safe and healthy, and we hope that everyone else out there is too! Everyone take care of each other, and we’ll see you at the inn soon!

Look Who’s Here…

On Saturday, I welcomed a special guest who’s going to be staying with us for a few weeks:

looking for food
Bailey, Big Mama, and Meatloaf looking for some grub.

That’s Bailey in the back, an four year-old American Guinea Hog, a fairly rare breed. He’s going to hang out with Big Mama, our sow (on the right), and hopefully Mother Nature will take her course. We are all set up for some baby piglets and if all goes well, she’ll be ready to give birth in early March.

Watching their courtship has been fun – he was clearly very excited to meet her, and she doesn’t seem to mind all of the attention either!

Bailey and Big Mama get cozy
Two pigs, just getting to know each other.

Bailey is a super mellow and very friendly boar – none of the aggression that you see in some older males.

If you are staying on the farm, feel free to stroll over and give them a “hello”. You can toss them some breakfast leftovers (bread or veggies) – just no bacon, please. They will be quite happy for any scraps!

Happy (Day After) Halloween!

happy Halloween!

This year wasn’t going to have a typical Halloween, unfortunately. We did have one trick-or-treat visitor (hi Farmer John, Kate, Mabel, and Rose) but otherwise it was uneventful. Still, we managed to carve a couple of pumpkins and put them out in the street for the drive-by viewers. This was Anh’s first carving. Can you guess which one was hers?

Meanwhile…I put the pigs into the garden last week – and they got their reward today for doing such a great job trashing it to a desolate moonscape:

garden moonscape
Yeah, they are rough on the ground

The rain has hastened the process. Another couple of days, and there won’t be any green left. Even though the garden does look smashed to pieces, plenty of fertilizer is getting deposited, the soil is getting turned up, and after I put in some seed and another raised bed or two, it will be a very fertile and happy plot of land.

Meatloaf and Big Mama, of course, got their just reward:

ah...sweet pumpkin
Ah…sweet, delicious pumpkin!

Pigs!

OK, we’re going to move on from fowl of various type to animals of a more porcine nature.

We generally raise twelve pigs on farm to provide pork products for the farm store. This year one of our sows is going to stick around through the winter and will be joined by a gentleman from another farm down the road so we can have our own piglets in the spring!

For now, though – we just moved them to our vegetable garden to take care of rototilling everything for me:

Those pigs will do a lot of damage

Those pigs each weight about 250 pounds, and will take care of turning over everything remaining in the garden in about week, at which point they will move to their winter home.

While it’s hard to imagine, Meatloaf (the smaller male) started out a little bit smaller in the spring:

Hard to believe that Meatloaf started out so small compared his brothers and sisters

He arrived quite sickly, but with a lot of hand-feeding, love, and attention he grew up to be quite the scrappy pig! He got named Meatloaf because for much of his early childhood he was just lying around…like a meatloaf.

Chicks!

Seems like I’m focusing on poultry and fowl – but I just wanted to share that we got our next set of layer babies in so they can be laying in spring:

Day-old chicks arrive at the Post Office!

We generally get two seasons out of our layers before they head for the soup pot. And unfortunately we lose some to hawks and other predators. To keep a healthy flock of active layers, we get 25-30 every six months.

For whatever reason, most hens on the east coast are expected to lay brown eggs, so we get Rhode Island Reds and Australorps. We also love the Easter Eggers that lay blue and green eggs. Occasionally we will get some Leghorns for white shells or more exotic chickens just for fun! No matter what the breed, they lay delicious technicolor eggs for your breakfast delight:

eggs

Ducks!

Our ducks finally made it over the pond after spending the summer moving through the hop yard:

We move animals regularly on the farm – our meat chickens get moved daily, while the egg layers, turkeys, ducks, goats, and pigs move less often depending on their pasture and how much rain we get.

So far, they haven’t figured out that the pond is water yet! They were used to swimming in their little pool, but I expect that one of them will take the plunge soon.

Feel free to stroll around the farm when you come for a visit and say “hi” to the animals – just don’t feed them or touch them, and beware the electric fence! Our meat chickens and turkeys are done for the year, but we still have layers, ducks, goats, and pigs.

Run, Run, Run…

I am not the best runner. One could charitably describe me as “slow”. On my best days I might touch on a nine-minute mile, but recently I’ve been meandering more at the ten minute mark.

However, I do enjoy signing up for regional races. I find the excitement of the race setting helps me pick up the pace, and I enjoy the camaraderie of my fellow racers, even if those of us in the middle (and rear) of the pack are mostly running for fun.

Me, after a particularly hot and humid run up in Warwick, New York.

Unfortunately, COVID-19 has put the kibosh on most races, but I’m still trying to do a few virtual runs here at the farm. I’ve signed up for the Sharon Road Race and the Kent Pumpkin Run, both of which I do every year. Both of them support local institutions (Sharon Day Care and the Kent Food Bank).

So, I may not see you at the race, but I’ll be doing the runs on the nice day of my choice and sending in my results for my virtual prize!

Here’s the route, if you happen to use RunKeeper. Feel free to follow along!

Water Woes

2020 is just doing its best to cause us trouble.

Now that we’re finally getting ready to open, our primary well pump gave up the ghost last night after frying our pump controller. After some panicked troubleshooting to confirm the problem, our local experts from Tomascak Plumbing showed up and pulled the well string to take a look.

Fortunately, it looks like it was just the power lines down to the pump that were damaged and not the pump itself – most likely due to the power issues we had last month when we were out of power for five days and had some very power-quality power after Eversource brought us back on line. Now the power line has been repaired, and the entire water system is undergoing a sanitary cycle prior to coming back in service.

Our water is tested and monitored on regular basis for quality and bacteria, and we have a UV sterilization system installed to make sure the water is 100% pure. Feel free to ask us any questions about it, we are very proud of our aquifer and the tasty water that comes out of it for the Inn and the brewery as well.

We’re Reopening!

We have reviewed the state of Connecticut requirements for reopening, and are happy to welcome guests back to the Inn. A few notes/updates:

  • Guests will be required to confirm they have no symptoms or COVID-exposure in the past two weeks, have their temperature checked, and wear a mask in the common areas and sanitize their hands upon entry.
  • The common-area restroom will be closed, guests will be asked to use the restroom in their rooms.
  • Breakfast will be served outside (weather permitting) or as a take-away breakfast option.
  • Rooms will be passively-sanitized for 24 hours after guests depart, followed by an active cleaning.

Additional details will be provided upon check-in. We appreciate everyone’s understanding and cooperation in maintaining a safe and healthy environment for all of us.