And the green grass grew all around

 On the Farm  Comments Off on And the green grass grew all around
Jul 012014
 

 

Summer is officially here. With the heat and sun, our seeded pastures are, for the most part, growing well.

 

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We’re still low on grass though, which means Paul’s pasture math is really critical. We’re also finding ourselves needing to temporarily fence small parts of pasture in order to make sure the two herds — the yearlings and the cow-calf herd — have enough to eat and to grow.

Here our friend Cory, who came up for a weekend to roll up his sleeves and lend a hand, and Paul are tightening a new fenceline by putting tension on the wire.

 

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This day consisted of harvesting t-posts from old, useless fence lines and pounding them along a new fence line, a foot or so away.

 

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adding insulators,

 

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and pulling the wire along the new fence line, with the help of a cart and quad. (We’re all grateful that we held off on trying to quickly selling the quad that we had to buy with the farm. It’s definitely not how we want to get around the farm longer term — we are dedicated to our farm bicycles — but it’s definitely speeding up work during this hectic first season).

It’s strenuous work, and at this point, we’re only about 10% done the fencing that needs to get done, but it’s definitely a scenic work place.

 

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We’re also working on getting all the barbed wire and page wire out of the pastures, by creating different reels for easier removal.

 

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And we’re using some of the page wire as trellis for our lentils and peas. (Also, the garden is starting to look like one!)

 

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We don’t really have the time to stay entirely on top of the potato beetles and weeding, but the plants are doing well for the most part.

 

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And in other news, we’ve added four laying hens to our farm ménagerie. We built a mobile coop (also called a chicken tractor) for them, and like the cows, they get fresh pasture (for their pecking and bug eating pleasure) daily. They share our dairy cow’s pasture and the calf is really very entertained.

 

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On pasture, everyone.

 On the Farm  Comments Off on On pasture, everyone.
May 222014
 

 

Well, today was the day : all of the cows and calves are officially on pasture — including our beloved dairy cow and her twin calves. My sister Roxanne is here for a visit and got to lead the pasture parade.

 

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It was the first time the baby calves ventured out, and while they were pretty nervous and tentative at first, their curiosity soon took over.

 

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This one had gotten to our back entrance, and too close to the road, so had to be carried back. At 10 days old, he’s about 60 pounds and quite the little prancer.

 

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And here they are, all three of them on pasture right outside our back door.

 

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Kiddo was happy that the “bébés!” are closer to home, but the calves aren’t the only little ones that will need to get the hang of being around electric fences, so this mama is holding on tight.

 

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And in other good news : we just found out that there’s an app that will allow us to read cattle ear tags ! (Which is great news. As we’re working on getting all the right farm registrations and farm numbers, we were told we need to submit our inventory i.e. all of the tag numbers for the cattle we have. Numbers we don’t have on paper. The thought of having to chase down all forty five cows to try to read and write down these small identification numbers was pretty daunting. So voilà ! Hours of work saved.)

Tomorrow : we till to start planting our vegetable garden and we keep working on fencing.