Chickens Are Back!

We are glad make the double announcement that have chicken back in stock, and that we’re dropping our prices. AJ and I made big changes to our operation, finding a different organic feed supplier and building new pasture housing.  For our first batch of the season we bought 200 day old chicks and butchered 202 (the hatchery usually throws in a few extra, so that accounts for the larger ending number).  Because we’ve had far better survival rates than ever before, because the chickens grew faster, and because our new feed trough design practically eliminated wastage, we’re… Read More

The Gardens in June

We maintain two gardens as well various bits of other plantings.  The two are known as the side garden and the strip garden. Enjoy this glimpse, and if you are in the neighborhood sometime, feel free to stop by and help me weed.  

Carting Cartons

We’ve been trying to buy more things in bulk, even though laying out lots of money plays havoc with the farm’s cash flow at times.  But when we can swing it, it certainly pays off in terms of cost and of time spent handling materials. Which brings me to buying egg cartons by the pallet load. The challenge in buying pallet loads of anything is that we don’t have any barns or sheds to put them in.  Right now I’ve got pallets of chicken feed in the sows’ winter hoophouse but obviously egg… Read More

Broken In, Busted Out

I bought a new pair of work boots, but I always have a hangup with changing to a new pair.  My everyday farm boots are cracked and half separated from the sole.  They protect my feet, except in the places where they don’t…  You might say they have a patina, but I’m suspicious of anyone who uses that word; such a person usually has some worn-out thing to sell. There sit the new boots with their crisp laces, sharply etched treads, and rich leather smells.  I’m not nostalgic for the old boots, but I… Read More

Building a Better Pasture Chicken Coop

We, like most pasture farmers, got our start with meat chickens using Joel Salatin-inspired field pens.  There are numerous variations on that design, but having seen and used many alternatives, I think Joel’s 10×12 pens are about the most efficient tradeoff in terms of weight, cost, and wind resistance.  The low initial investment makes it easy for someone to get into the chicken business.  Their modular nature makes it easy to add another coop (or another dozen coops). There are picky websites out there where people take cheap shots at Joel in a juvenile sort of… Read More

What Am I Doing?

Note:  Since starting this post last night, I have begun to feel a bit better and I’ve been buoyed, not back to optimism, but at least back to stability.  Maybe admitting hardship is the first step in coping with the challenges we are facing. “Looking at him, you knew he was a man who had not spared himself.  He had the lean look, not of a young man or of a man at all maybe, but of an old timber after the sapwood has sloughed away.  You knew he was either distant or cold or proud… Read More

Newborn Calf

I’ve been too busy fixing broken vehicles and running around for the start of our busy market season to write a proper post.  But I’ve learned from watching blog statistics that cute pictures of baby animals are far more popular than my most tortuous analytical posts.  So here’s to instant gratification!

Just for Fun: Be Against Trampled

AJ spotted this goofy warning as we unloaded boxes today: “Be Against Trampled.”  I should think so. Sounds like either a public safety campaign or an edgy name for a band. We’ll throw the box in with the pigs and see what they make of it.  I don’t think they’ll have any compunctions about trampling it.