November 30, 2017 • 0 comment(s)
Bo and I sorted out 40 ewe-lambs this afternoon, in the rain, to add to the breeding flock. Our breeding flock has been diminishing in size over the years, reflecting Midwesterners' favor for other meats. But demand is beginning to increase for our 100% grassfed product, so we are growing the flock to 100 ewes. These lambs are the best we have raised, reflecting good nutrition, due to a great growing season, and improved genetics, due to heavy culling over the years. The result is they are mature enough for breeding after 6 months. Typically we give ewe-lambs and heifer-calves an extra year to grow before breeding them, but don't feel it is necessary this year with these ewe-lambs.
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November 16, 2017 • 0 comment(s)
When the question is posed, Why don't you go see the world?, our response is: We are travelling in our own world, more deeply than ever previously realized or anticipated.
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November 9, 2017 • 0 comment(s)
The cows made some mud as you can see below, but frequently moving them forward in small increments onto thick fescue grass reduced impact. The creek rose by 8 feet that night and jumped the banks, delivering standing water to low areas of fields. But within two days, the creek had receded and buried drainage tile had wicked most water away. We were grateful for stockpiled fescue, on which calves could find freedom and cows nurture, during an adverse moment.
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November 2, 2017 • 0 comment(s)
THIS PICTURE WAS TAKEN IN AUGUST AT OUR NEIGHBOR'S FARM, WHERE OUR FIRST BATCH OF TURKEYS IS BEING RAISED, ON PASTURE, WITH NON-GMO FEED. THESE BROAD BREASTED WHITE TURKEYS WILL RANGE IN SIZE FROM 20 - 30 LBS. IF THAT IS TOO BIG, WE CAN CUT THEM IN HALF. PRICE WILL BE $3.50/LB, WITH MAXIMUM PRICE OF $100. THEY WILL BE BUTCHERED ON SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 18, FROZEN, AND WILL BE READY FOR PICK-UP SUNDAY THE 19TH, AT THE WINTER FARMERS MARKET IN HYDE PARK, 3030 ERIE AVENUE. HIGH GRASS-CONTENT WILL OFFER ABUNDANCE OF FLAVOR. PLEASE CONFIRM YOUR ORDER VIA EMAIL, IN PERSON, OR BY TELEPHONE.
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October 26, 2017 • 0 comment(s)
Excellence is always difficult to achieve, but perhaps nowhere more so than in human relations: raising children, nurturing long-term partnerships, caring for elders, working through conflict, and having difficult conversations... No simple formula presents the pathway forward, which is discovered one increment at a time, like navigating in fog. The process can be unnerving, for reefs are usually hidden. But having a strategy or philosophy by which to navigate, and trying to stay consistent to it, despite fog, does yield results over time, sometimes long periods of time. Those results, patiently awaited, generate a glow of satisfaction, the reward of work well-done, a sense of approaching some sort of excellence.
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October 19, 2017 • 0 comment(s)
Irish-Americans, German-Americans, Mexican-Americans, and India-Indians gathered together in a remote corner of Appalachia to celebrate the growing and savoring of nutrient-dense food, on a beautiful landscape. It was a remarkable cultural event, unlike any we have experienced on this farm. Many widely different perspectives quickly found unity over something essential - healthy food. Such convening seemed effortless, and was enriching and gratifying.
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October 12, 2017 • 0 comment(s)
We are celebrating the turning of the season with a farm tour this Saturday, consisting primarily of members of the Indian community in Cincinnati. We didn't know any Indians before we started raising and selling grassfed meats. But now we do, and have fallen in love with them. That is yet another testimony to the power of nutritious food to create connections and build bridges. The spirit of food and the spirit of fall will be commingling this Saturday, to which we look forward.
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October 5, 2017 • 0 comment(s)
That makes sense, when it is hot out. In like manner, when plumbing is leaking, we fix it; when livestock are on the road, we remove them; when a tire is flat, we repair it. These are significant matters calling for practical solutions, typical of life on the farm. They are no more complicated than matters particular to life in the city. Resolving them calls for measures of common sense.
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September 21, 2017 • 0 comment(s)
The forest of the hillsides provides ecological stability and serves as a protective mantel for the valley below. Its roots prevent erosion of soil and store water during times of plenty to be released during times of scarcity. Mature trees release several hundred gallons of water a day into the ecosystem, for the benefit of its community, including nearby pastures.
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September 14, 2017 • 0 comment(s)
The second of three cows to birth on Monday delivered twins. It took us about 24 hours to figure out the hiefer-calf was a twin and not a single. She appeared abandoned and gaunt, so we took her to the barn to begin feeding by hand. We debated what to do - whether to try to graft her onto one of Landis' dairy cows, as we have in the past, to feed her expensive milk formula for the next two months, or to put-her-down. Our experience with salvaging orphans has not been successful, all in all. We have tried numerous times with lambs, and they never thrive, and half of them die along the way. It is discouraging and expensive. Cattle don't have many twins fortunately, but we had two sets last year, both of which survived well. It took a day or so to figure out this calf was the twin of a small brown calf, as they looked identical, and the mother had simply decided not to pay attention to it. It probably went 24 hours without nursing.
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August 24, 2017 • 0 comment(s)
It takes a lot of footsteps to install these nets around our sheep, and move them every three days. Doing so keeps the guard-dogs in and coyotes out. It prevents sheep from "backgrazing" and infecting themselves with parasites. It keeps the flock on a constantly high plane of nutrition. And it produces the cleanest lamb imaginable - the Midwest's version of wild-caught fish.
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August 16, 2017 • 0 comment(s)
And so are the roads on our farm which need to be maintained! We probably have 4 miles of laneways to keep operable. The most important variable to effective roadways is drainage. Our farm is low-lying in many places, so drainage doesn't come naturally. In spots such as this newly poured gravel, there is no drainage-ditch to access. Instead we put down "geotextile cloth" to support the gravel, which keeps it from continually disappearing into underlying mud.
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