Saturday, March 28, 2015

Signs of a Spring freeze

Tonight's temperature is forecast to be in the low twenties. With Burlington Downtown Farmers' Market opening in one week and Three Farms CSA beginning in 3 weeks we couldn't take any chances with our crops and we've been preparing for a couple days to protect them tonight.  
We did have the starts outside to "harden off" in preparation for planting. The low twenties is too cold for tender plants to survive so we crowded everything into the greenhouse. Fortunately, the greenhouse came equipped with propane heaters and Charlie built a second shelf  to give us more space for flats. 

We've covered the beds of mangels, tatsoi, brocolli raab, baby pak choi, carrots and peas. While the plants would survive a frost they would be slowed in their growth and there is no time for set backs this spring.  We are glad we took the time to do this work yesterday in the rain as we had a light frost this morning when the low temperature on the farm was 32 degrees.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Signs of Spring

How do we know it's Spring?  Less snow, longer days, warmer weather and. . .
Starts planted! Tatsoi, broccoli raab and baby pak choi.

Charlie on the tractor pulling the disc to turn over the winter barley and prepare the garden for planting.

.Lots of eggs!









Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Snow surprise!

We were not expecting snow when we went out to begin morning chores today. Sometime after 5 a.m. it began coming down and is still falling.  Only yesterday it was finally warm enough to melt the last batch of snow. Here we go again!

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

First Snow

The morning after our first snow of the season the chickens were reluctant to come out. When a few did venture out, they flew, hopped and hurried under the hen-a-bago to stand on grass rather than the strange, cold, white stuff. You can see a few in the shadows under their home.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Kunekune on Pasture!

It didn't take the 5 Kunekune any time at all to adjust to their new home on pasture. They are enjoying the "salad bar" surrounding their Hawg Haus.
Home with a bluebird house in the yard.

The Hawg Haus is equipped with a water storage tank and solar collector to charge the battery which provides the electricity for the fencing.

Chomp, chomp, yum!

The goats and dogs were fascinated by their new neighbors, but not for long. 

Pig's eye view of the fine eating on this pasture.
Stepping out the door for the first time and eating with every step.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Five Little Piggies

The Kunekunes are here!  Charlie drove to Virginia yesterday to collect our five pigs. Unlike other breeds of pig, Kunekune are vegetarian and can be raised on pasture without supplemental grain.
Bella is the ginger-colored gilt. At 5 months of age, she is our oldest and largest pig. Miracle is the black with white spots boar to her right. He is almost 4 months old. He is blind in one eye due to a piglet accident with a dog when he was very young. 

Five piggies in the straw though only 4 are visible here. The black one in the forefront is Snickers, the smallest and youngest gilt.  She is almost 3 months old. The two ginger pigs in the middle are the barrows, destined for the freezer rather than the breeding program. 

Miracle is in the front here and the other 4 are packed like sausages behind him catching a few winks as they recover from yesterday's trip and become acquainted with their new home. They will be moved to pasture and their "Hawg Haus" in a few days, after they are trained to recognize the electric wire that will define their space on pasture. 


Monday, December 29, 2014

Carpenter at work

Charlie is taking advantage of the sunny days we have between rain storms to work on the Hawg Haus. The doorway has been framed. The pigs are much shorter than this doorway but this structure will serve eventually as the farrowing house so we have to be able to get the farmers into it in case any midwifing is needed.


After building the door, Charlie propped it in the doorway until he has time to attach the hinges.