31 August 2014

Robust August

What you can't see is the horses drooling over the beautiful hay.

What a summer and how it has flown by!

As Kate and I get our first full season under our belt, we seem to be learning how to refine our vision for the future every day. Farmers markets take a lot of time with only two full time people; most especially when you are doing three!  We will be reformulating how many markets we will be doing next year. We will also hopefully continue to be making loose hay like above!  Post on this by itself in the future...

Hay!  Stop having so much fun!

We are finding that we also enjoy having the farm stand here at the Bridge Farm.  Less time to set up and break down and much more time at the farm to do the things we need to do.  Plus it's always nice to have visitors at the farm!  Kate has a very good eye for aesthetics in the farm store and at our farm stands.  She loves making bouquets; you can tell by how much they brighten the atmosphere in the store (and at Ship's Chow Hall right across the bridge in Dresden Mills.  Lennie does a good job using local ingredients where he can and makes a pretty mean omelet!)



Ponies! (mmmhmhmhmmmh)

The horses have had a break in work as there hasn't been much more hay to make and cultivation isn't very difficult work for them.  Therefore, they are puffing up a little bit.  We will hopefully be making some second cut the next stretch of good weather.   Our neighbor Bruce thinks we've probably got enough hay already for our three horses, but it won't hurt to make a little more!  Plus the second cut will be a treat for them in the deep winter.

Kinda loud, kinda intense, but what a thrill!

Tony and Jess have had a little bit of work over the summer helping plow and prep a garden for our neighbors down the road.  It was nice to just walk them down the road for 15 minutes as a warmup and cool down to sandwich the work they had to do in the neighbors' garden.  I was also able to plow with the walking plow and team by myself; a major accomplishment for the three of us!

Happy Farmer

The only other bit of work they have had is dragging out witch grass in a field we have just seeded oats on as a cover crop.  It is hard work as we have to set the spring-tooth harrow deep in order to pull out as much of the witch grass rhizomes as possible in order to make it workable for next year.

Hogs! (weh weh)

I dare you to scratch me!

Our pigs are almost ready to become pork.  They are set to go to the butcher in two weeks. That means setting up a little den for them in the trailer so they won't be afraid to get on when the time comes for two of them to go for their one way trip off the farm. They're about 220 pounds at this point.  A nice size for all.

We are trying not to get too attached to them as they have been very friendly lately; especially after a couple of them came down with a very high fever for a couple of nights.  It turned out that they were fine, but it was scary seeing one pig's temperature at 105F when it's normally supposed to be 101F!  After that, they never seemed to mind a good scratch on their flanks or behind their ears.

Layers (rawwwwwk)

Don't tell me that chicken isn't a little scary looking.

Our layers meanwhile are spritely, curious, and active. They still won't be laying eggs for another couple months. I don't know if I can wait that long. While I walk around the barnyard, there always seem to be a couple of hens that think I will dispense food from my boots. They seem to particularly like the barn interiors. I'm not sure if the horses like sharing their space with the chickens yet...

Edible leaves

In between all this stuff going on at the farm, Kate's been helping out at weddings here and there, I've been volunteering on the MOFGA Low Impact Forestry Steering Committee, and we've been looking at purchasing a farm in Richmond.  Pure madness!  We're very excited to have a chance to have our own farm with a farm stand already set up and fields that have been used for vegetable production already.  We shall keep you posted when we hear back from the FSA (Farm Service Agency).

Radicchio!

Thanks to everyone who has been supporting us this year so far!  Despite the long days and few and far between off-days, it's been exciting, invigorating, and rewarding to be sharing food with friends, family, and local townspeople.  Photos courtesy of Kate's iPhone.




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