We have been so busy farming we haven’t posted in months. What’s been happening?
- Vegetables are in full production and we are at the Flesherton & District Farmers Market every Saturday morning from 8 AM to 1 PM until Thanksgiving (except this Saturday, July 25).
- The first batch of chickens is in the freezer and the second batch move out to pasture in the next week.
- We got our six Berkshire pigs at the end of May and they are finally moving from the barnyard to full pasture this week.
Many projects around the farm in support of the above:
- Frost-seeded two fields to increase their forage and soil quality.
- Replaced the barn board on the south wall of the barn.
- Finished painting our bridge.
- Built a third chicken coop for pasturing.
- Rented then bought a wood chipper to convert brush from our tree lines into bedding for the pigs (and managed to keep all my fingers and toes attached).
- Bought/built equipment for the pigs: portable electric fencing, waterers (thanks to Bullfrog Machine and Tool in Desboro for welding them to T-bars so I can use them in the field), a brush cutter so the electric fencing doesn’t ground-out in deep grass and weeds, and feeding troughs (thanks again to Bullfrog for finding a galvanized water tank and converting it into two troughs).
June and July are the busiest time of year on the farm. For the vegetables, everything is going on simultaneously: seeding, weeding, harvesting, and markets. I am seeding the last of the head lettuce this week and weed pressure will decline in August (if I can stay on top of them a few more weeks). Most of the livestock transitions also happen during this time: moving chickens from the brooder to pasture once they fledge (get their feathers), moving the pigs to pasture once they learn to respect the electric fence. It is also the only time of year when we can do outdoor painting: most paints don’t cure properly below 10⁰ C and our frost-free window is from early June to early September. That means anything I need in 2016 that needs weatherproofing or painting needs to be built and painted now.
Sunny days ahead make today a perfect day to hand weed. Time to rescue those cooking onions…