Spring 2015 Update

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Tilia Phoebe

It seems that in these northern climes, we do everything in the span of a few months. We wait for the ground to thaw and then hit the ground running until the sun reaches its peak in the sky, the solstice, at which point we sit back and see if it all worked.

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From corn field to pig paradise

In early April we welcomed Tilia Phoebe to our family, born on the farm during the first spring rains. As she’s grown, so have the trees and grass around us. The little babe is as healthy as can be and growing like a weed.

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Green grass!

As is the case every spring, we are busy planting trees. This year we are focusing on plantings near the homestead of fruits, putting in some hedgerows with the goal of having livestock-proof fences after several years and are decking out the corn field in cattle and pig forage species. We’ve installed a few swales, laid out some sweet tree lines following keyline design and put in several thousand stems already. We’ve planted a lot of apples, currants, hazelnuts, chestnuts, oaks, mulberries and specialty fruits like seaberry, blueberry, aronia and crabapple. In ten years our former corn field will be a pig paradise of fruits and nuts. In the meantime, while we wait for the trees to grow, we’ll be able to harvest prairie hay from the field.

Speaking of hay, we’re finally off of it! The cows are out grazing on pasture again. There’s no sweeter sound to our ears than bovines munching grass.

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Itty Bitty and her first-time mamma, Little P

The cows have started calving. Four down, seven to go. So far we’ve had three little bull calves and one sweet heifer. Last year we bred our last belted galloway/scottish highland cross heifer to our red devon bull. She calved first this year giving us our first red belted devilander calf! We’re looking forward to watching her grow up and observing the new cross of genetics.

We’re super happy to welcome Emily and Tony to the farm this season! They are living in the yurt and will be growing lots of add-ons for our farm share members. They are raising up broiler chickens, laying hens, turkeys, and growing a huge garden full of organic veggies. We’re excited to be able to offer all this excellent food to our growing CSA.

Now we carry on establishing grazing systems, introducing pigs and sheep and making the first deliveries of the 2015/2016 season.

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Peter, Tony, and Emily moving a shed and turning it into a chicken coop