Half of Wake County comes to visit

I don’t think we’ve ever had this many cars here at once. Oh sure, we’ve had more people. We’ve had busloads of people show up but this is the first time a farm event has had parking that stretched all the way around to the front of the house. If you look in the background you can see the barn way off in the distance. And this isn’t even all the cars, this was just the first time I could snap a picture!

We had a forecast of rain for the morning but as it turns out, we had a perfect day for everyone to come and visit. It was also our first test of the new store layout with a large crowd. In the old days, more than about 6 people in the store and you were bumping into one another. Now with the new layout, we had 30 people wandering around and it wasn’t crowded at all. Of course, we’d opened up the stock room for extra space but it was nice to see that we can handle a larger crowd now with comfort.

Many thanks to everyone on the Wake County agribusiness council for their hard work in putting this trip together, especially our awesome President Dale Threat-Taylor!

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Dan is a dad, a husband, a business owner, a pilot, a sailor, a scuba diver, a machinist, a gunsmith, a welder, a woodworker, a day laborer, a teacher, a mentor and a writer. The short form of all the previous is he's a farmer.

#45 has a new bull little calf, #82

I don’t know why everything happens on Sundays. Whenever Miguel shows up on Monday morning, the first thing he does is go check everyone on the farm. Invariably he finds a calf born, a pig out, something. Of course, Sunday is the day I run the farm so after I get done, these things happen.

Of course, the calf was healthy and happy, so there isn’t a problem.

Mom with her new calf, #82
Mom with her new calf, #82
#82 ear tagged and banded
Ear tagged and banded, ready for his 30 months on the farm
Dan Moore on EmailDan Moore on FacebookDan Moore on GoogleDan Moore on Twitter
Dan is a dad, a husband, a business owner, a pilot, a sailor, a scuba diver, a machinist, a gunsmith, a welder, a woodworker, a day laborer, a teacher, a mentor and a writer. The short form of all the previous is he's a farmer.

Wash, rinse, repeat

Two Sunday’s ago, I walked out of the barn and saw a swarm of bees. Jennifer, our beekeeper was over here in minutes and other than a bit of adventure with someone afraid of heights going up in the bucket of a tractor, it was a non-event. Kinda neat but nothing dramatic.

The following week, Spork and I drove to Florida to attend Sun N Fun. A first for both of us.

Spork watching the Blue Angels perform their awesome show.
Spork watching the Blue Angels perform their awesome show.

We had a rather large time. Partly because it was a chance to see airplanes like the above. Partly because we could talk to airline recruiters, aviation college recruiters, and even military recruiters.

Spork wearing an F16 flight helmet while talking to the Air Force Viper demonstration team
Spork wearing an F16 flight helmet while talking to the Air Force Viper demonstration team

Spork says he wants to fly for a living. Or maybe do aerospace engineering.

Spork sitting in a Carbon Cub
Spork sitting in a Carbon Cub

Whatever it is, as long as it involves airplanes and pays well enough to make a living.

But the joy of this trip wasn’t that it was airplanes, it’s that it was a boys trip.

Spork with a booth babe
No not like this kind of boys trip

He and I hopped in the car and drove to Lakeland, FL. It took 12 hours down, and 9 hours back. We shared a room together while we were there. We ate together. We went to the show together. It was a lot of time to spend together and a lot of time with no women. When you are the only other boy in the house, that’s a big deal.

So what does this have to do with bees?

Note the 3 hour difference between our Southbound trip and our return trip. We pushed straight through to get home, barely stopping. Upon arrival I pulled up to the barn to grab the mail my neighbor had put in my office for me (Thanks Dustin!). Mail in hand I headed straight back out to the car to go to the house and actually arrive home. As I looked out, I saw a swarm just getting going in the bee yard.

Sigh. Really, this is happening now?

I told Spork to watch the swarm (we’d just done this the previous Sunday, he’s an expert now) and texted Jennifer, our beekeeper. Then I went to get the bucket truck and my bee gear. The swarm, having no originality, proceeded to work its way over to the same exact tree as the last swarm and landed on nearly the same branch. It really was wash, rinse, repeat.

The swarm, just settled onto the branch
The swarm, just settled onto the branch

Ever wondered what a swarm actually looks like up close? Your intrepid farmer found out for you.

Betsy checking out the bucket truck
Betsy checking out the weird addition to her pasture

Once Jennifer arrived, we suited up and went about capturing the swarm. With the bucket truck and the bees perfect location, it was easy.

It seems scary to be in the air, and dumping 3 pounds of live bees in your lap but it’s actually not too bad. (Says the guy who was standing on the ground filming)

Back on the ground with bees in the box
Back on the ground with bees in the box

It’s funny to me that there is so much specialized gear for beekeeping, but when it comes to capturing a swarm, we use an old bankers box I had hanging around.

Once the bees were on the ground and in the box, it was time to transfer them to their new temporary home.

Now that we had them safely in their new home we could call this a day. Congratulations were passed around, equipment put away and we all returned to our regularly scheduled Sunday which for Spork and me it meant finally arriving home to see the girls and to start cleaning out the car.

It was a long day but it was great. A safe trip home from a fun trip with the boy, and a new hive of bees to add to our apiary. Once again thanks to Jennifer from Buck Naked Farm for being so responsive and fun to work with.

Dan Moore on EmailDan Moore on FacebookDan Moore on GoogleDan Moore on Twitter
Dan is a dad, a husband, a business owner, a pilot, a sailor, a scuba diver, a machinist, a gunsmith, a welder, a woodworker, a day laborer, a teacher, a mentor and a writer. The short form of all the previous is he's a farmer.

Got Ribeyes?

As Dan said in the last post he and I rode all over NC yesterday loading up from our supporting farms and processors. I just finished pulling our pre-orders and behold we have 11 packs of unclaimed Ribeyes. Come grab a pack or 2  for Easter Dinner. Don’t forget to get the pets some snacking meat as well from our $1 lb sale this weekend.

We are open from 2-6 pm today and from 8-5 tomorrow with a few tours still available.

Store Manager and resident chef at Ninja Cow Farm LLC
Lucy lives and works on Ninja Cow Farm. Most days you'll find her tending to the garden or working in the store. She's cooked in restaurants and as a Personal Chef.

Freezer cleanout sale!

Calling all dog lovers and fatback lovers.

Yesterday we brought home our latest load of fresh beef. As part of getting everything ready, Lucy cleaned out one of our freezers so it could defrost before all the beefy goodness showed up. In the bottom of the freezer we’d tucked away beef hearts, kidneys, salted fatback, things like that. Rather than put all that stuff back into a freezer, we popped it into our emergency backup freezer which normally isn’t running. We are going to hold this stuff through the weekend and we are blowing it out for you fine folks.

Princess with a beef heart
The Princess, modeling a beef heart. One of seven we have on hand.

If you are a dog lover we have all the awesome bits for you. Today and tomorrow, we will be selling everything in that freezer for $1.00 per pound. Whatever it is. Just come in and ask to look through the pile of stuff and see if Fido can get some awesome treats for this weekend. We also have a bunch of salted fatback from our delicious, never grain fed pigs.

We’ll be open today from 2-6 and tomorrow from 8-5. Just pop in and take a look around. We’ve completely changed the store and we have new products showing up today. I haven’t even had time to write about them yet.

Dan Moore on EmailDan Moore on FacebookDan Moore on GoogleDan Moore on Twitter
Dan is a dad, a husband, a business owner, a pilot, a sailor, a scuba diver, a machinist, a gunsmith, a welder, a woodworker, a day laborer, a teacher, a mentor and a writer. The short form of all the previous is he's a farmer.

We are hosting an event on April 19th, and you’re invited

Last year I was the (wholly ineffective) President of the Wake County Agribusiness Council. This year, on a day when I was absent from the meeting, they decided to have their annual farm tour at our farm. That sounds like a “you missed the meeting so get the bad job” description but it’s actually very cool.

The spring farm tour has always been really cool when I’ve attended. The agribusiness council always picks an awesome place and has a great event. Having it at our place is a really big honor.  Plus, they serve breakfast which makes it that much better. If having breakfast isn’t enough, the fact that the who’s who in Wake County shows up to see what is going, makes it all the more enticing. By who’s who, I mean County Commissioners, Court Justices, local dignitaries, that kind of thing.

Now I know what you’re thinking.

“Why would people like that come to your farm?”

I know, right? I thought the same thing. But then I received the announcement that Taylor Fish whipped up (Hi Taylor!). If I didn’t see my name on the top and already know better, I’d want to go see this place too. Here is a link to the invitation Taylor sent out.

Sounds pretty cool. So I already have to pretend to know what I’m doing at this thing at Fearrington Village. Now I have to pretend to be an adult at my own place on April 19th. That’s not to mention our open barn day on May 6th. Boy, spring got busy in a hurry!

If you want to attend, simply RSVP to 919-250-1053 or email Dale Threatt-Taylor by April 17th so we can order
enough breakfast for everyone.

Dan Moore on EmailDan Moore on FacebookDan Moore on GoogleDan Moore on Twitter
Dan is a dad, a husband, a business owner, a pilot, a sailor, a scuba diver, a machinist, a gunsmith, a welder, a woodworker, a day laborer, a teacher, a mentor and a writer. The short form of all the previous is he's a farmer.

Open Barn Day May 6th!

Now is your chance to meet the Farmers and Vendors of Ninja Cow Farm. There will be cows and baby goats to feed and pet, tours, samples to taste, as well as a chance to meet many of the farmers and vendors in the Ninja Cow store. Ninja Cow Farm LLC is a small, 84 acre family farm located just outside of Garner. We are the closest large animal farm to downtown Raleigh, just 15 minutes from the heart of downtown. We raise grass fed, grass finished (an important distinction) cows and heritage and rare breed hogs. We utilize no commercial feed in our operation, instead relying on produce we glean from various sources as our primary food stock for our pigs. Our produce recycling/upcycling efforts now divert approximately 7 million pounds of produce from the landfill each year. In addition, we recycle 250,000 pounds of cardboard, 24 truck loads of pallets, and 12 truck loads of plastic totes per year. We sell our products direct to the consumer and to a few select restaurants. In addition to our beef and pork, we also aggregate products from 11 other small family farms and sell the products in our small store. Unlike many operations that pass off others products as their own, we proudly represent our partner farms in our store, giving them equal billing. We are beyond a family farming operation. We actually have five families directly involved in our operation, not counting our employees. We are a true community effort, all working together.

Store Manager and resident chef at Ninja Cow Farm LLC
Lucy lives and works on Ninja Cow Farm. Most days you'll find her tending to the garden or working in the store. She's cooked in restaurants and as a Personal Chef.

7125 Old Stage Road Raleigh NC