I can’t believe it is August already! I don’t know about you, but I am just getting use to the idea that it’s summer. Although I wish time would slow down, the farm reminds me that we are just speeding up.
August is when the pigs go out and we turn our eyes from calving to breeding. So let’s catch you up!
The barn is full of sweet smelling hay and thankfully, we had such a large first harvest of hay that we don’t need to bale a second cutting. What a blessing!
In the meantime, the fields are growing as we continue to intensively graze on small sections of the field, marching them successively across the field.
Here is an example of a before and after of a grazing.
Intensive grazing places the cows on a small section of pasture for a day forcing them to eat all the forage instead of eating a bite here and there of their favorite grasses. Plus, the cows add fertilizer in a small space. Did you know a cow expels 90 pounds of fertilizer a day? That’s pretty intense in itself!
The next day, the cows move to a neighboring pasture to do the same process all over again. They get fresh forage and we get fertilizer and weed control. It’s a WIN-WIN!
The pigs are ready for processing and will fill up our freezer. This year Jason will be curing hams, bacon, and making sausage. If you are interested in this process, look forward to future posts where we will share our recipes and techniques.
Introducing Little Miss April. April was born on July 8, 2021. Another successful unassisted birth! Mother, Annie, and her new calf have bonded and doing beautifully.
We harvested all the garlic and have enough for seed garlic that will be planted sometime between Halloween and Thanksgiving. Our favorite source for Organic Garlic is Mad River Garlic Growers.
This past month, in addition to garlic, we harvested tomatoes, sugar snap peas, kale, spinach, and leaf lettuce.
Currently, the cucumbers and zucchini are growing. The cucumber are going right into pickles to restock our empty pickle cabinet. Typically, we enjoy sautéed zucchini with garlic for an easy meal. However, the large zucchini that get away from us is always a favorite for chocolate zucchini bread. Yum, I can’t wait!
Monthly Favorite Tool
Have you ever seen long rows of hay in a field? That is the job of a hay rake.
What is a hay rake and why do you use it?
Raking the hay is the last process before baling. Like a garden rake, a hay rake gathers the hay together into a nice fluffy roll for the baler to pickup. These rolls accomplish three things:
- Gathers the hay together for easy feeding into the baler.
- Turns the bottom of the hay over allowing it to dry in the sun. The bottom of the hay gets damp from the moist soil.
- Fluffs up the hay allowing better air flow for drying.
Check out our Hay Making 101 Playlist on Youtube.
There are two different types of hay rakes. One, like ours, is called a bar rake because the tines are mounted to a long bar which is attached to reels that are rotated by the axle. The second, is a wheel rake that looks like large spiky sunflowers lined up in a row. Both are very effective and do the same job.
We have a 1954-1958 New Holland Hay Rake. We love using antique farm equipment and enjoy restoring them. This is the new hobby of our youngest son, Nicholas. He is in the process of cleaning, sanding, and repainting this rusty implement to return it to its former glory. We will be video logging the process on our Youtube Channel when we have the final reveal this month.
Thanks again for following along with us! We enjoy interacting with you on Facebook and Instagram and are making many friends along the way.
What can you expect to see this month…
- Sunnyrock Meatloaf
- Sautéed Zucchini with Garlic
- Cherry Tomato Salad
- And much more.