"Vermont's Year Round Diversified CSA Farm"

You can eat fresh vegetables, and pasture-raised & grassfed meats from our farm YEAR ROUND!

Monday, January 29, 2007

Visiting the Lambs

Asa is sizing up the lamb herd for the 2007 growing season.

We made a visit to a sheep farm up in Hyde Park, Vermont. A young couple has been raising sheep up there for nearly a decade. We went to see the quality of their lambs for a possible purchase this spring. They have a nice healthy group of animals overwintered in a large coverall barn (think large hoophouse).

We don't have our own breeding flock of sheep, so we purchase lambs in the spring from Vermont sheep farmers to raise on our pastures during the summer. In past years we have bought lambs from a few different farms, this year we will likely purchase all from one farm. Vermont farmers supporting Vermont farmers - makes me feel good!

Asa is drawn like a magnet to tractors, so we put him up on a nice little Kubota tractor at the sheep farm and he had a good time pretending to drive the fields. It won't be long before he can reach the pedals. Then my tractor driving days will be numbered!

Friday, January 19, 2007

Asa's Throne

Asa finally has a place at the table! I finished his handmade Windsor Highchair. It has two coats of milk paint (a great non-toxic finish) sea green over a coat of red. Then two coats of an oil varnish mixture rubbed out and finally a coat of paste wax for protection from spills. This is an heirloom chair that he can pass on to his kids, and his kids to their kids, and so on...

If you are interested in purchasing a handmade Windsor Chair (adult and/or child chairs) see my chairs and other handmade furniture at: www.jerichosettlersfarm.com/windsorchairs.html

Monday, January 15, 2007

What's for Lunch?

Todays Menu: local hay, winter pasture, and day old bread for dessert

Occasional menu items: outdated dairy products, cheese

The 4 Tamworth growers in the foreground are tearing into their meal. The breeding adults in the far background are doing the same. These groups are separated by two strands of electric fence. They sleep/nap in their hoophouse which is bedded down with mulch hay.

I have weaned the grower pigs and adults from feed grain for the following reasons:

  1. The cost of feed grain has gone up due in large part to new ethanol plants buying up midwest corn to convert to fuel,
  2. I would like to reduce inputs to the farm that travel long distances (and their associated transportation and fuel costs),
  3. I continue to look for ways to support other fellow Vermont farmers,
  4. I can reduce the waste stream by transferring outdated foodstuffs destined for the landfill to growing great pork (It truly boggles me just how much gets thrown away in our society).

The pigs are still getting grains, but in a different medium as bread. Adding local hay - which they do eat, and outdated dairy products makes for a diverse diet and ultimately a better tasting product. None of this is new, the old-timers used to feed pigs much in the same way and a fellow Vermont pig farmer raises great pigs with these foods and got me excited to do the same.

So if you see what looks like a homeless person digging through a bakery dumpster at night with a flashlight clenched between his teeth - don't be alarmed (and please don't call the cops). It's just your local farmer turning bread into pork!