349 Mattison Reservoir Ave
Branchville, NJ 07826
Phone: 973 988-0906
The Farm Store is open on Saturday from 8-4 and by appointment. We always say if we're home we're open...but please call ahead!
Registered Alpine dairy goat kids available now! Prices starting at $200.
We still have a few shares available for our summer season CSA. See a brief overview under the CSA heading or call or e-mail for more information! We start the Summer CSA Mid June
Special Facebook Promotion!
Like us on Facebook...Dana Ray Farm
We are pleased to be a destination spot for the NJ Audubon for eco-agritourism trips. The spring walk is May 18th from 8-12.
Helping to feed your family since 1992!
As a child my father instilled the importance of treating every living thing with respect. This is what we believe, and this is the way we treat everything under our care at DanaRay Farm.
Biodynamic farming is another type of natural farming that follows a different set of practices from organic farming and is in many ways stricter than organic farming. It embraces the idea that the farm should be thought of as an living organism that must be cared for as a whole and be in balance with nature.
Greetings from DanaRay Farm,
The imaging center I’ve worked for for too many years has closed its doors for the final time. My scrubs have been washed and folded and put away. So I am now officially a full time farmer. Cool! And just a tad bit scary…
So every year, for the thirty some years I’ve been raising goats, March is the month when the kids are born. Not so this year. This year I decided to lease a buck to breed to my does but he wouldn’t be available until early November, and then Hurricane Sandy hit so by the time he got here it was mid-November. And since a goat has a 150-day gestation the kids started coming mid-April. Way too busy! By mid April the early planting is in high gear…onions and leeks, then cabbage, lettuce, escarole, and all the other cold weather greens followed immediately by potatoes and then broccoli. So next year, note to self, the goats need NEED to be bred in October for March kids…so that I can enjoy both the new babies and the does starting to milk again and the then the spring planting season.
Talking of spring planting…it’s really, really dry out there. In fact I heard on the local weather that this April was the third driest April ever recorded since they starting recording these things (which is the late 1800s.) Usually one of the things you don’t need to worry about when you’re doing spring planting is water; in fact I’m usually planting in the rain just to get the stuff in the ground. So the sprinklers are going like crazy every day, moving them from one patch of desperately dry garden to another…everyone please consider doing a rain dance.
The first of our farmer’s markets will start June 1st! The market at the fairgrounds will begin June 1st and then will be every Saturday until October 26th from 9-2. This is good because we’re up to our eyeballs in eggs…so if you came by sometime over the winter and were disappointed because we were out of eggs come by the store now! We have plenty and then some. My dad always said that even the feather duster is laying this time of year.
And so with plenty of eggs and fresh goat’s milk I think I need to make a big bowl full of rice pudding…yes I use eggs in my rice pudding. Put ½ cup of rice into 3 cups of fresh goat’s milk (OK, you can use cow’s milk if that’s all you have.) Bring to a boil over medium heat stirring constantly so it doesn’t burn, lower to simmer for about twenty minutes until only a little liquid remains. In another bowl beat three eggs and mix with a ½ cup sugar and a teaspoon of vanilla extract. Mix the egg mixture with the rice mixture and return to barely boiling to cook the eggs. Sprinkle with nutmeg…yum. Next month comes the frittata and quiche recipes…use up those eggs!
Ray has decided not to raise any meat chickens this year. The feed is just too expensive and it’s not like raising meat chickens is fun. And also our new baby flock of laying pullets currently occupies the coop.
So last year during Hurricane Sandy a section of the fence surrounding the orchard was blown down. And our darling donkeys got into the orchard. We didn’t realize they were in there for about a week. Ray told me they had done a lot of damage to my trees. I didn’t really want to see so I didn’t really check it out for a couple months. But when I finally did it seemed they tasted the bark on every tree, leaving big bite marks, and some of the trees were stripped bare of bark. I was hoping my trees would survive; well most did and are blossoming nicely. But there were some that didn’t make it. So now that the trees are once again blossoming and leafing out I know that 3 out of 3 donkeys prefer Green Gage plum bark to any other fruit tree bark. Last year my Green Gage plums were 4 years old and blossomed for the first time, they were about 12 feet tall and looked beautiful…I was expecting a first crop this year…well…they’re dead. They also killed two peach trees and a Red Delicious pear. The least favorite fruit tree bark according to the discerning taste of three spoiled donkeys were the apricots and the apples trees.
When I went out to the barn this last Saturday morning Sukey had had her kid, a beautiful big black doe kid. The kid was already on her feet and was licked dry. We like to separate the doe and kid(s) for a couple days after giving birth. So I picked up the kid and Sukey followed me out into the aisle and I put her kid into a stall. Sukey suddenly turned around and raced toward the gate, toward Jake the dog, and lowered her head and plowed Jake into the ground. She then turned and trotted back to her kid. Jake blindsided by this sudden and unexpected violent attack yelped and ran…smart move. I do always tell people the does are very protective of their kids. So this morning Ray opened the door after we had finished milking, and there stood Jake, and Sukey had yet to be put back in her stall. Sukey lowered her head and, luckily for Jake, Ray caught Sukey before she could smush him again.
Our friend John Parke, a biologist with the NJ Audubon Society will once again be leading his annual walk from our farm on Saturday May 18th from 8am to noon. If you’ve never gone along…or even if you have its a great walk along the Appalachian Trail to the Sunrise Mountain lookout. For information contact him at…
New Jersey Audubon
Wattles Stewardship Center
1024 Anderson Road, Port Murray, NJ 07865
Talk to you soon,
Dana and Ray.