Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Sizing Up

Things around here are moving fast, we're in full swing production mode already! We've got meat goat kids, chickens, turkeys (arriving by post tomorrow), hogs, and, in a few weeks- weaned lambs. We've built an insulated brooder, a mid-size chicken pen, a new field pen for grass-eaters. We had our first CSA delivery (yes if you still want in, you can) and just got back 5 pigs from the butcher. And, this week we had our two does give birth to new kids! Fiona (resident cuddler and trouble-maker) had twin bucklings, and Noelle (resident chatter box) had a sweet doeling last night at around 11pm. I didn't hit the hay until close to midnight, and was back at it around chore-time this morning and just sat down a moment ago.

There is fencing to run, pasture to plant, a processing facility to build, and a duck pen to construct. Sizing up is simultaneously the most exciting thing I've ever done and the most terrifying and exhausting. This is kind of a make or break year, we've got our opportunity and we need to keep pushing, keep working, keep growing to make sure that we are successful. We are going to have A LOT of product, so please, please come visit us at the farmer's markets! We do still have shares available, and we also are taking a few more orders for sides of pork for the end of May. 

Unfortunately, I haven't had as much time to update, but you can follow us on twitter or facebook for regular updates. We'll write as often as we can! 

Monday, March 9, 2015

Phew! What a winter!

Well, it's daylight savings time, which signals to us that it's time to kick the season into high gear. Unfortunately, the piles of snow and continuing cold have other ideas about when we should start the bulk of the work. Still there is a notable change in the weather, and we're seeing the promise of relief from winter soon.

Our first cold season on the farm has been challenging. The house needed some major overalls and routine maintenance, every time we turned around something else was broken. From blown thermostats, to pipes, to the oil burner, to wall leaks from water lines, to a busted wax seal on a toilet- it was a whirlwind. You kind of expect those things in your first year of an old home, a barrage of repairs- especially with the cold we have had.

The livestock have fared as well as can be expected, we spent long hours trying to keep bedding dry and feeding extra to soothe their weariness of the weather. Now that we've seen some sun they are noticeably perking up, and we're mindful of the fact that there will be much work on fencing to do as soon as possible so they can enjoy more of the pasture- finally!

Our new chicken brooder, which is insulated and has a thermostat has already proven to be invaluable! We had several snaps below zero, and the chicks came through just fine. We still have some improvements we'd like to make (like an automatic watering system), but it's light years away from what we have had before!

We can't thank those of you who contributed and promoted our Kiva loan enough, last week the plumber installed our well pump, freeing up the secondary well for livestock chores and saving all of our household fixtures from the mineral deposits (we were in danger of some major damage if we used the sulfur well long term). We are still working out the details of the processing facility with our contractor, but are hopeful that as soon as the ground thaws, we can begin that much needed work. We are looking forward to the increased production that the facility will allow, and to paying back all of the generous folks to helped make these improvements possible!

This Sunday, March 15th- we're partnering with The Flammerie- a fantastic bistro in Kinderhook to put on a prix-fixe menu featuring some of our products! It will be a 4 course dinner allow folks to taste our turkey, rabbit and liver- cooked by one of the best local chefs. It's not something to be missed! We'll be there and hope you will too!