Power to the Pasture

With last week’s balmy un-February-like weather, I was watching the grass carefully.  Despite the warm air, ground temperatures remained cold and most of the pastures remained dormant.  But not uniformly dormant. Note the contrast in the left and right side of the image.  The left is where the cattle ate a hay bale last March.  The right side is the normal grass in the field.  This field has been grazed three times; before that the field had been hayed for many years in a net-export environment that didn’t do much to return… Read More

Bed of Worms

“Shall worms, inheritors of this excess, Eat up thy charge?”  Shakespeare, Sonnet 146 (The fun thing about cherry picking quotes from the literary luminaries is that one can usually find appropriate quotes, so long as context is ignored.  As quoted, these worm lines are germane; in context, they take the reader in quite other directions.) In literature, sleeping with the worms is a mournful topic, but allow me to introduce a bed of worms story that is good news for us.  Last year I mentioned how our compost piles were colonized by red worms…. Read More

Changes 2017: Meat Chickens

Sorry, no pictures since we don’t raise meat chickens over the winter.  The first batch arrives in early April. After years of lackluster broiler chicken experiences, we finally felt like things were clicking in 2016.  Chicken health was great, mortality was lower than we imagined possible, and feed conversion rates were vastly improved.  Last year we thought we were going out on a limb to raise 300 chickens instead of our usual 150, but we are currently sold out on all our cuts except drumsticks and nearly sold out on our whole broilers…. Read More

Changes 2017: Pigs

Here is the second installment in my series outlining the changes planned for Wrong Direction Farm in 2017.  I’ll use the Sergio Leone’s time tested rubric to review the plans for pigs this year. The Good There’s no doubt about it:  pigs are my favorite farm animal.  I like cattle as a group, but I like pigs individually and collectively.  I keep getting better at understanding both the animal management and the meat sales part of the business.  This isn’t a brag, just an acknowledgement that the years of hard knocks are… Read More