Archive for June, 2010

Brush Hogs

We haven’t written much about the pigs since they arrived in May, I’m not sure why. Like all the other animals on the farm, they play a vital role in maintaining the ecosystem. Their main job is aerating the soil, turning over compacted soil, and in doing so they are also able to clear overgrown brush areas. They do so by using there snout like a shovel to dig to find great sources of protein. This photo shows a new area we put them in today, where they will clean up so that we can put up a new fence.

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Chicken Shelter 2.0

Thank you to everyone who attended our Field Day yesterday. I hope you enjoyed it as much as Omar and I did. We got many nice comments, suggestions, and even some offers of volunteer help!

There is never a shortage of need for help. A group of students from High Mowing School has recentely helped us build a second pasture shelter for our second batch of chicks. The new shelter has an innovative feature: a door for the farmer! (D’oh! We forgot that on the first one.)

The chicks in this batch are all Redbros—the same genetics used in the Label Rouge program in France. Like our New Hampshire Reds, the Redbros are slow-growing and good at foraging for their own food (i.e. well-suited to our pasture day-ranging system).

Our first batch is already spoken for, but we have started taking orders for this second batch, which should be ready at the end of August. Please see our to-order page for prices and ordering details.

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Reminder–Field Day Sunday

Reminder: we are hosting a Field Day this Sunday, June 20 from 12 to 4PM. Stop by and help us feed, water and move the pigs, chicks and cows, and learn all about our pasture-based livestock management system. Remember to bring a lunch. Address: 226 Charles Bancroft Highway, Litchfield, NH.

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We’re EQUIPed

There is nothing like having a giant excavator working on your property to get the neighbors to stop by, asking what on earth is going on. The answer: we just received a grant from the NRCS EQUIP program to fund a number of projects, including repairing this section of road that was badly eroded. In this photo, it kind of looks like a road to nowhere (which has been known to happen with government projects), but really it connects our upper and lower fields. The old road was like a river when it rained and a sheet of ice in winter. The new one will be a huge improvement, except that driving the tractor up and down it in winter will be nowhere near as exciting as it used to be.

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New Digs

Today we moved the chicks out of the brooding house and into their new movable pasture shelter. From now on they will get a good percentage of their nutrition from grass, bugs, and worms.

Unfortunately, not all the chicks are clear on the concept of staying inside the poultry net electric fence to be protected from predators. And there is a family of foxes living nearby. We did a test run with a small group of chicks over the weekend, and they all learned pretty quickly, so I have my fingers crossed.

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