Tuesday, February 17, 2015

The Gobble

We mentioned previously that we were fortunate enough to have Rebecca Busselle filming our Thanksgiving turkey processing this year. Rebecca and I met over the summer, at the farmers market in Millerton. When she proposed the idea of making this short film, we agreed without reservation because we trusted Rebecca to show the honest and visceral nature of our work, in a way we could share. She has certainly gone far beyond our expectations.

We are excited to share the film Rebecca made (The Gobble) but it's also a little nerve wracking. We know that as a livestock farm, people know we grow meat. But our culture is radically removed from the harvest of livestock for food. So to open up that process for our farm through visual media leaves us vulnerable in a new way. We are honest about farm life on the blog, but this is a visual honesty beyond that. We are sharing it because we believe in the work, and because we want people to be closer to their food- to understand the breadth of the tasks. 

The film is not overly graphic but it does portray the processing of turkeys, each step. So please be aware of that before you watch it. But if you eat meat, do consider watching it. The way we do things here is drastically different then a commercial slaughterhouse. And it is work we stand behind. 

It's also timely, we are only $1700 shy of fully funding our Kiva loan- which will allow us to take our ethical practices to the next level with a more efficient facility. You will see in the video how much that will impact us! (You can check out and share our Kiva loan at http://zip.kiva.org/loans/11016/i/wkg)

Thank you Rebecca, for this. We are honored to share it.

Now, without further ado...


Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Winter WOD

The winter WOD (workout of the day)!

Agility: 

Hopscotch through bottle feeding goat kids who have taken up residence in your mudroom. 
Do this while avoiding poop hooves bc you are still in pjs Bc it's 7am and they won't stop screaming while you have coffee. Repeat 3x daily. 

Strength training:
Shoulder carry 30lb shavings bale from the back of van to the barn, up a 45 degree hill of about 200ft, in knee high snow drifts where your snowblower path used to be. Repeat with 100lb feed bag. 

Haul hay bales through the barn, pop open. Shoulder push through the back door barricaded by snow (again). Fill 2 five gallon buckets with hog grain, balance the hay under your arm and take a flying leap off the loading dock to back paddocks. 

Dodge 8 giant pigs after high stepping over the electric fence, with buckets above hog head height in your race to the troughs. Sprint! 

Feed 2 smaller pigs in their own pen while restraining pregnant goats by simultaneously flinging hay in their general direction.  Repeat 2x daily. 

Endurance:
 Fill 6-8 five gallon buckets with water down at the house and load up plastic sleds with three buckets each. Pull each of the sleds up the hill to the barn like a pack mule, and attemp to fill watering buckets without drenching livestock. Repeat 3-4 times daily.

Shuffle slowly through the ice skating rink where your farm road use to be, to the hen house to collect eggs and feed hens. 

Cool down:
Feed all rabbits and carry a crate with their frozen water bottles down to the wood stove to defrost. Return defrosted bottles promptly. Repeat 2x daily. 



Monday, February 9, 2015

Winter Spell

A note on our blog posts copy editing... Our beloved dogs ruined our computer, and so we are using our kindle or phones to update the blog. So the editing will be worse than usual, but hopefully not too eregious. 

We are in the midst of quite the storm at the moment, and have spent several hours digging out already. We thought we would just share a few winters photos today, but there are some big updates to come! Also, we are offering $10 off all of our shares JUST for today if you pay by our online invoice. It's likely the last discount we will offer off of these shares! 


Monday, February 2, 2015

Snow!

Today the farm is a swirling, twisted blanket of winter. There are knee high drifts and patches of ice and the roads are quiet. To do chores we have to wear our warmest gear and keep your face towards to the ground in order to trudge through. You would think it would make for grouchy and overtired farmers, but I really don't mind. 

The animals are tucked up safe in their barns, full of breakfast and with fresh bedding. The snow covers manure, bare earth and dead grass. Everything is sparkling and even as we are coated from nose to toes in frost you can't help but feel lucky for the view. Back inside the heat and coffee are all the more welcome. The appreciation for comfort is all the greater for the simple struggle of completing chores. It takes twice as long to do anything and you have to work at least twice as hard. We go through more supplies, but damn does that bacon taste good once you are done. 

Snow days are often the only time when the whole modern culture agrees it's ok to slow down and admit we are part of the natural world. Not everyone, but enough that it almost closes the gap between the way we live, ruled by nature and in constant preparation mode- and basically the rest of everyone. It's nice, to feel a little less alone in our storm prep and weathering. 

Of course, in between the slow bucket March through the snow and defrosting, we still have plenty to do. There is south planning, organizing and ordering to ensure a successful season. And best to do it now, before the sun is high and we are in full production mode- which is only a few weeks away. 

Speaking of, we are so incredibly grateful  for the number of people who have bought shares (plenty more available), sent us notes, or contributed to our Kiva loan (60% there!), we are only as strong as the community who supports us. We may only have the snow days in common in our daily routines, but it's amazing to feel that the work we do matters. Happy snow day! Enjoy that hot cup after your shoveling, you'be earned it.