New Fence

Making use of these cool sunny days lately, Dave has been building fences. The pigs have plowed through more pasture than ever, so we are expanding. Dave cleared a strip 40 feet wide through a section of trees and rented a post hole pounder to put in 12 posts, stringing three wires two thirds of the way across our property. Every 50 feet he added a supporting post. For now, the wires measure 6, 12 and 18 inches high, but we can easily add more as our use of the pastures expand… Read More

A Day In The Life

A friend asked yesterday if I would map out a typical day in the life of our farm. Each season has a different rhythm; I enjoy summer’s most. Getting up with the sun, working in the garden, seeing fantastic looking bugs, finding some new flower in the fields, feeling the cool breeze blowing up the hill, watching the piglets snuffle for food, the pigs wallow in the mud, the cows waiting for their new paddock, the sheep running along beside the four wheeler, and the chickens chasing bugs or stealing scraps from… Read More

Mucky Garden and Unwelcome Predator

The sun shone beautifully yesterday for the first time in a long time. Today we are back to steady rain with more and heavier in the forecast. We got our garden in a few weeks ago. Allie planted her row of strawberries. Despite the over abundance of water and the pesky hens’ attempts to scratch up the entire thing, the garden is growing. . . We’ve been taking armed midnight walks out to the chicken tractors to see if we can catch the critter that has been killing our birds.  15 of… Read More

Whey in the Pasture

A local cheese plant delivers 6000 gallons of whey at a time to our pigs. It comes off the truck steaming and is drained into three tanks we installed in early January. Below Dave is working on the fittings for the pipes. All we have to do is open a valve, and the whey is carried by pipes down the hill to the waiting trough where our pigs drink it at a rate of 6 gallons per pig per day. Besides the tenderizing effect of the whey on the pork, whey provides… Read More

How We Pasture

The word we like to use to describe our pork is pastured.  As soon as the winter snows are over and the fields begin to grow, we get our pigs out of their winter paddock where they have enjoyed a diet of whey, grain and hay and move them into the fields.  During the early stages, we prefer to use them to clear out any underbrush that has gotten out of control, but by the beginning of May, we have them in the fields. Our management of the fields is intensive.  We… Read More

Layer Chicks

Up until this year, we have depended on a local auction for laying hens. We decided to be purposeful about what we wanted and order them as chicks. AJ was thrilled to receive the call from the post office that our chicks were ready for pickup. He immediately ran to the coop he and Dave prepared yesterday, removed the door, switched on the heat lights and filled the water jars. When he returned from the post office, he was beaming. 3 Turkens (Naked Necks) 3 Rhode Island Reds 3 Buff Rocks 12… Read More

To The Butcher

Some of our pigs go off to a USDA inspected facility to be butchered, and this past week we sent four away.  Our regular butcher slaughters on farm, so we don’t usually need to bother with transporting pigs.  When we do, we like to have the process go as smoothly as possible. After several (not so) humorous and time-consuming loads, Dave built a loading system that seems too easy now. He brings the trailer into position and lifts the ramp into the side door. With a bucket of grain, we lure the… Read More

Fowl Topic

Around the farm we have a nice variety of fowl.  Let me introduce a few to you. Smack is our only remaining duck. I’m afraid the coyotes carried off the rest of his family.  He sticks around and beautifies the place, but he is lonely for a lady. I may try to pick up one at an auction for him. Our guineas are funny little things.  Noisy, too. Have you ever heard them chattering together? They are a flighty group, but always stick together. We have far fewer bugs because of them,… Read More

We Add A Few Sheep

The trouble with Spring is that it gives you the feeling you can do anything. So when an opportunity comes along to expand, you usually jump at it. We want to add sheep to our farm, but we aren’t ready to add a flock. Our compromise is to try a few males we will  have only for a season. We started with three yesterday. Allie is thrilled out of her socks.

The Cows Are Turned Out

Through the winter, the cattle enjoyed bale grazing. The new calves stayed in a pen closer to the house where they drank milk and got the best hay, minerals and alfalfa. We moved both groups to a holding pen so they could get to know each other and start making the transition to grass. The kids helped us move them to the pasture. They were happy to be on green grass. In fact, this is what they had to say about it: