"Vermont's Year Round Diversified CSA Farm"

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

Sunday, April 22, 2007

The long awaited arrival of the vernal equinox

I don't want to shout it out too loudly, but I think spring might be in our part of Vermont. These last few days have been in the 60s and yesterday and today in the 70s! Our ground needs this warm weather to dry out as it has been very soggy. We havent been able to get into the fields to plant our vegetable transplants which should be in the ground by now. We should be able to get some in over the next few days.

We just got the 370 or so laying hens out of the vegetable hoophouse (their winter quarters) and across the road onto new pasture. We hearded them via poultry netting to a livestock trailer. It didnt work very well. As it got dark they all wanted to head back to the hoophouse and were starting to pull down the netting, quite a few got out but we managed to start grabbing birds and getting them into the trailer. A short trip across the road and into their perimeter netting on the new pasture where they huddled together - and the job was done. The boots came off and the homebrew was swilled around 1130pm. We need to figure a better system for next year!

I have been building a makeshift wood and tin laying shack for to house their nest boxes. Eventually this summer we will build a larger structure on a hay wagon frame that we can pull around with the tractor. The birds have settled in and producing great tasting eggs - and lots of them! The peak of egg production is upon us!

The pigs are out on pasture and boy they were happy to get on some new ground! The piglets born in November/December are sizing up well and should be ready for market starting in June/July. We have 3 sows that should farrow in the next few weeks and another 4 gilts that should have their first farrow in May or June. I am working on fencing off a section of pasture along with a tree island for sow farrowing. The plan is to put in some mulch hay, a few A-frames or tarps to keep the rain at bay and let the sows select and build their nest and have their piglets. I am looking forward to seeing how well they farrow outside the hoophouse. Which reminds me - I need to start digging out the hoophouses and composting their contents so we can get plants into the ground! Lots of work to be done around these parts - enjoy the weather!

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