David's Folly Farm Hours and Information

Welcome to the farm!

David's Folly Farm is located at 1390 Coastal Rd. in Brooksville, Maine.

Our farm stand in the barn will be opening for the 2011 season on Friday, July 1st! We will be open Wednesday and Friday afternoons this year from 1 pm - 5 pm.

Off the farm we do the following markets:

Brooksville Farmer's Market at Buck's Harbor on Tuesdays from 9:30 am - 12 pm.

Friday Morning Market in Blue Hill at the First Congregational Church on Fridays from 9:30 am - 11:30 am.

We're also participating in Farm Drop this year at the Blue Hill Wine Shop on Thursdays. Check out farmdrop.org for more information.

We are happy to fill custom wholesale orders for parties and weddings as well, including vegetables and flower arrangements.

We can be reached at 207.326.4445 or davidsfollyfarmstead@gmail.com

June 22, 2011

Well this is coming a few days late (or 3), but HAPPY BELATED FATHER'S DAY DADS! On Sunday we were able to take a little time off from the farm and head out to Acadia for a pretty awesome hike. We also managed to squeeze in a movie, pleasing the inner geek in both myself and Greg, by seeing the new X-men. Overall it was a pretty great day.

In other news, farm news that is, things are coming along pretty well here. We harvested our first crop of beets on Tuesday, along with some beautiful mesculun mix, and our carrots are super close to being ready. Greg built another chicken tractor, or rather duck tractor, super fast, and now our ducks are happily out in the pasture next to the meat birds. We're also gearing up for our first Summer Supper dinner, which will be on July 2nd. We're pretty stoked to get those going and, hopefully, continue them throughout the summer.

I feel super lucky to be here with Meg and Greg and have this opportunity to learn more about farming and all that Maine life has to offer. So without rambling on too much, I will say THANK YOU.

June 12, 2011

Back at the Farmer's Markets!!!

Come visit us in Brooksville and Blue Hill! We're in Brooksville at Buck's Harbor on Tuesday mornings from 9:30-12:00 and Blue Hill at the First Congregational Church Fridays from 9:30-11:30. 

Look at all the pretty produce!

 And the nice new signs!

 And Aubrey's big market day smile!

Chicken Tractor

So in addition to the chickshaw for the layers, we also built a Salatin style chicken tractor for our Freedom Ranger broilers. The tractor is a simple, bottomless frame that allows us to move the chickens to fresh grass once or twice a day.


Salatin's pens are 10 X 12 and he recommends using pressure treated lumber ripped and cut into the necessary sizes. We opted for cedar 1 X 4s and 1 X 2s to skirt around the pressure treated and threw a couple of 8 foot 2 X 4s on for added support. We also made our tractor 8 X 10 feet because we're putting only 50 birds in and it made it cheaper and lighter.


Some other changes we made were replacing the corrugated aluminum panels with white plastic ones. The aluminum was impossible to find in our area and the plastic seems to be holding up fine and provides adequate shade and protection for the birds. 

We're using 8 inch steel lawn mower wheels to move the tractor. They're held on with a wing nut on a 1/2 inch carriage bolt. The wing nut allows us to remove the wheels and replace them pretty easily as needed. It's proving to be a decent system but the wheels do get caught up on uneven ground and lifting the corners to place the wheels on can be tricky if the frame is completely flush with the ground. Handles are in the future and slightly larger wheels will most likely be added to the duck tractor to try and remedy the terrain issue.

 Birds enjoying the shade. 

As we wait for our back-ordered bell drinkers we put together this 5 gallon bucket waterer. The bucket is bolted to the plastic tray through the bottom and I drilled two 1/4 inch holes about 1 1/2 inches up from the base of the bucket to allow the pan to fill. It's working ok for now but the bucket lid hasn't been holding the pressure one hundred percent and the water has been slowly draining throughout the day. Hopefully the bell drinkers will arrive this week so we can stop worrying.

June 11, 2011



Well, not anymore, but when we took these pictures they were chicks! As usual, a little behind here with the posting and the broilers are now 4 1/2 weeks old, but wanted to talk a bit about the brooder we built. The base is a simple 4 X 8 frame made with 2 bys.

I covered the frame with hardware cloth and some strapping around the edges to hold it down.

The hardware cloth allows for the finest particles of shavings to fall through so they don't bother the chicks in the first few days.

Some left over scraps of 2 bys fit the bill for some corner braces. These pieces are 3 feet tall but I later cut them to 2 feet as I realized 3 feet was excessively tall. I snipped the hardware cloth and fit these into the corners.

Tada! So I stopped taking pictures but after some center bracing at 4 feet i screwed some scrap wood onto the bottom and filled the rest of the walls with ploy board. This made it lighter so we can move the box around if need be and also allowed for sunlight to come in for some additional and natural heat. The roof is just hardware cloth that we can roll up and back on.

We set the brooder up with two 250-watt heat lamps for 50 birds, and laid paper towels on top of the shavings for the first 24 hours. The chicks seemed right at home.    

The Chickshaw

When it came to making a movable chicken house for our day range layers this year we turned to none other than our good friend and mentor Eliot Coleman. Last year Eliot designed and built a fairly lightweight and reasonably affordable movable house made entirely of material readily available at the local hardware store. So what did we do? We got the plans and copied it!

The frame is primarily made up of 1 3/8 inch fence post with 1 inch emt conduit for the bent hoops. With a little creative bending on the quick hoop bender, a lot of self drilling tek screws, some standard fencing hardware and a boatload of carriage bolts the design came together rather nicely. We modified our design slightly and mounted the nesting box on the rear. We shortened the depth of it so it would fit and, figured it would resolve the issue of having too much weight at the handle. This meant mounting the door in the front, which caused no problems.

You'll also notice the burly 26 inch cart wheels. They help the cart over any uneven ground and additionally serve as a shady spot for the ladies on hot days. The height allows for the birds to sit under the house comfortably.

The inside has 1/2 inch by 1/2 inch hardware cloth for the floor. The idea is that the droppings will fall through the floor when the birds are in the house at night, continuing to fertilize the fields. We already know that as they get older there's a good chance it will cake up and have to be cleaned out, but 3/4 inch and 1/2 inch by 1 inch cloth are hard to come by without special ordering and potentially pose the risk of predators being able to reach in.

I cut the roosts down from some old 1 3/4 inch thick lumber into 2 1/2 inch tall pieces long enough to stretch the length of the house. After angling the tops and giving them a quick sanding they're mounted onto the frame with some 5 inch carriage bolts. This was the other modification from Eliot's design. His box is mounted lower than the floor of the frame, but by making the roosts taller, I'm hoping the birds won't sleep in the nesting box. If it becomes an issue we'll have to put doors in the nesting box or use brackets to mount it lower.

The nesting box is constructed using some 1X8s, 1X10s and 1X12s. It's a simple design with some bracing and a hinged, angled roof. I coated the exterior with Thompson's Water Seal and left the inside all natural. The design will allow for plenty of room for our 30 bird flock and can easily accommodate more, but we like the idea of each bird having a little over a square foot to itself. Eliot puts 50 in each of his which works out well and I imagine you could push it to upwards of 70, but any more than that and the birds would start getting pretty cramped.  

Birds in the chickshaw coming soon so stay tuned.

June 9, 2011

In Maine Magazine

We had the pleasure of dining with Joe Ricchio of Maine Magazine a couple of months ago. He was writing his "Eat Maine" column on the Blue Hill Peninsula and was kind enough to feature us and give an enthusiastic shout-out for our upcoming farm dinners this summer. Stay posted for more information on Summer Suppers at David's Folly Farm, and for now you can email us at summersuppers.df@gmail.com with questions or for more information.

June 8, 2011

In Full Swing

 It's always amazing to me how quickly the season ramps up into full gear. Suddenly the clouds clear and summer is upon us. Hot, long days fill the week and seedlings become full grown plants before your eyes. We've had a lot of different projects going on over here, from keeping the gardens weed free to brooding our first run of broiler chicks, layers and pekin ducks. Our first batch of piglets joined us in May as well - 6 Red Wattle X Landrace/Large Black are happily grazing in the pasture. And rounding out the bunch is our 2011 hive of honey bees.

With all of these additions comes lots of infrastructure construction and we've kept ourselves well occupied building a brooder pen for the chicks and ducklings as well as a chicken tractor for the freedom ranger meat birds and a "chickshaw" (more on this later) for our layers.

Of course we couldn't well be accomplishing all of this with just two of us, obviously Aubrey's Here! After much anticipation Aubs made the trek from sunny CA back to Maine to join us for the season. She'll be popping up here on the blog as well helping to jeep us a little more up to date this year. Stay tuned, lots more to come!