Or it is nearly complete so we have officially marked this task off of our “To Do” list. We finished everything except installing gate latches on December 18th, but we have chained the gates closed, and are THANKFUL that we are officially keeping the deer from accessing an additional 2 acres of farmland. We are looking forward to adding this field back into our rotation plan and believe it will be a big help in improving our soil fertility. It has been 6 years since we have grown anything the deer find tasty in this area so are excited about once again growing crops such as greens, corn, peppers and winter squash in these fields. The last we remember, it grew those crops well, and so we will keep you readers posted as to how it does in our 2013 growing season.
We divided our deer fence project into 6 phases and used this guide for instructions in installing this type of fence.
- Phase 1: Planning and acquiring all the supplies
- Phase 2: Clearing the fence line and setting the posts
- Phase 3: Installing the corner and line braces
- Phase 4: Pulling the 8 foot woven high tensile wire, tying off the corners and splicing where needed
- Phase 5: Driving and attaching 11 Foot T-Posts
- Phase 6: Hanging the gates
One would think that Phase 1 of our project is very quick, but THANK GOODNESS Carl is one to analyze the situation to death, so this phase took a bit longer than expected. When using equipment and dealing with a deer fence, one must leave room to get equipment in and out of the fields, and for us that means being able to get the tractor into a bed midpoint in the field with crops growing in all the other locations. We debated if we should move our driveway a bit so that we could include as much growing area within the fence as is possible. However, moving our driveway would have meant installing an additional culvert pipe because fortunately
we have a little branch meandering along the driveway feeding into Meadow Fork Creek. We decided that moving the driveway would be “Scope Creep” and that we would sacrifice a bit of production area because of the cost. Once we decided the area to be fenced, we measured the area, then Carl calculated the supplies needed: how many feet of the 8 foot high tensile wire was required, number of 11 foot T-Posts, quantity of crimps, the size of gates, the gate hardware, wire for constructing braced corners, number of posts and braces. We ordered all of our supplies, except our wood posts/braces, from Kencove Fence
because they supplied us with our fencing materials for the last deer fence project and were very knowledgeable and informative. We purchased our 6x6x14 foot round posts from Southern States
early Spring, and since they are a local company, we didn’t need to pay shipping except our fuel costs! Our 4x6x12 foot braces were purchased from Summit Building Supply
The project manager and mastermind of the farm!
Here is the the 8 foot high wire, t-posts, gates and hardware such as fencing staples, gate hindges, and latches.
Here are the 29 posts that need to be set, plumbed and concreted!
of the project began with the assistance of Alvin and his equipment. We had plans on fencing along our old fence line, which we had let grown up in trees, so needed not only to cut the trees, but also remove the old barb wire and locust posts. Click here to read our journal entry
with photographs of us clearing our fence line!
Once our fence line was cleared, we partly used a tractor mounted auger to dig our post holes, but mostly dug our holes manually using a digging bar and post hole digger because our auger can’t dig through rocks and our fields are loaded with rocks. For any corner or brace posts, we must dig these post holes 4 foot deep, and add a bag of quickrite to the bottom of the hole so that the posts have an “anchor” keeping it strong and upright because our high tensile wire can put a lot of force on the post. Carl bought us a new post hole digger that works incredibly well for 4 foot deep holes. Most post hole diggers require the handles to be pulled apart, then closed around loose dirt, just to remove the dirt. Our old post hole handles couldn’t easily be pulled apart to remove dirt after our hole was about 3 feet deep.
Most of the 28, 4 foot deep holes, were dug using the digging bar to crush rocks and the post hole digger the right to remove dirt!
The quickrite mix that we add water, and once all the mix is completely moist, put it in the post hole so that the posts have an anchor
Carl adding water to our quickrite mix. Then we use a hoe to mix it well before putting it into the post hole.
Phase 2 complete! This photograph is a line of posts that have been set, plumbed and concreted.
Once our posts are concreted and the concrete cured we began Phase 3 of this project in constructing the corner braces! This is probably the most complicated part of the project and we have a total of 11 braces to build. Most braces are built for the corners; however, we have one section of the field that slightly changes direction so that required a brace. It is recommend that if the inside angle is 120 degree or less (Of coarse, you don’t have to brace for 0 degrees!) then normally a brace is needed. The braces 4x6x16 feet long, so for each braced corner we were careful when setting our brace and end posts, making sure that they were spaced no further than 15 feet 11 inches apart. We were required to cut a bit off the brace so that it would fit snugly in between the end post and brace post securing them together.
Our tool box the front-end loader!
The brace is 4x6x16 and very heavy to lift up since it is suspended 7.5 feet up in the air. We use our tractor to hold it up until it is secured.
We first measure the distance between the posts and cut the brace to length so that it fits snugly.
We have a support board that is used to determine the height of the hole on the end post for the 5 inch pin, and this board is also used at the opposite end on the brace post to support the brace while drilling the hole for the 10 inch pin. The 10 inch pin will go all the way through the brace post, with 4 inches into the brace, and approximately 1 inch extending out from the brace post so that it can hold the brace wire.
The end post will have a 5 inch pin with 2 and a 1/2 inches into the brace and another 2 and a 1/2 inches into the end post. Carl first marks the end post where the brace will be lined up and drills the hole into the post. Next he drills the hole into the brace and sets the 5 inch pin into the brace. He has duck tape on the drill bit so that his pin hole is only 2 and a 1/2 inches deep.
The 5 inch pin that is set into the brace and will be positioned into the end post.
opposite end of the brace we drill the hole for the 10 inch pin. Before drilling this hole, we slide the 5 inch pin of the brace post into the end post, while the tractor holds up the brace for security purposes.
Carl hammering in the 10 inch pin. We leave about an inch of this pen extending out from the post so that we can secure the wire that is used to make a triangle in creating a VERY STRONG BRACE!
These are big wire staples!
Once we have the brace up, we put a wire staple at the bottom of the end post that has the 5 inch pin so that we can string our wire through it.
We use a jenny, centering it between the end post and brace post, so that we can pull a wire from the bottom of the end post with the 5 inch pin to the top of the brace post with the 10 inch pin, in a figure 8 pattern. The brace post will have about an inch of the 10 inch pin left out near the top, which is used to support the wire, then the wire is pulled to the bottom of the end post with the 5 inch pin and wire staple.
We begin by pulling the wire through the bottom wire staple on the end post.
Then we pull the wire over the 10 inch pin, the portion left out, on the brace post.
Carl on the ladder pulling the wire over the portion of the 10 inch pin that is sticking out on the brace post.
Once the wire is pulled in a figure 8 pattern between the end and brace post, the strainer is installed, which has a ratchet so that the wire can be tightened to pull together the posts. The wire creates a strong triangle for added strength when pulling the High Tensile wire tight.
A close up of the crimps we are using for our 12.5 guage wire. We used a total of 500 crimps for this fencing project!
: The wire from the brace post is crimped onto the strainer using these crimps.
Feeding the wire from the Brace Post into the strainer. The wire from the brace post will be crimped.
Putting on the crimps to securely hold the wire.
Using the crimping tool to fasten the crimps. This tool is used a lot during this project - not only to fasten all 500 crimps - but also to cut the wire.
Feeding the wire from the end post onto the strainer. The wire feeding from the end post will be cranked tight.
The wire from the end post must be fed into a little hole in the strainer.
Using the strainer ratchet to tighten the wire securing the brace.
The strainer is tight creating a very strong braced corner.
Once all the corner braces were complete, we transitioned into Phase 4 stretching and tying off the high tensile wire, and during this phase of the project we spent most of our time stripping and straightening the 20 strands of wire for the ends that were tied off around posts. Also, it was during this phase of the project when we would wake up in the middle of the night with numb hands. The wire is 8 foot high and made with 12.5 gauge wire which is very STRONG and hard to bend. We must learn how those folks who install this type of fencing for a paid gig can handle this. We figure they must have special tools for stripping and straitening the wire. Perhaps their hands become very strong dealing with this heavy wire so they don’t have to work as hard.
One roll of the wire is 330 feet long and each roll probably weighs about 292 pounds so we use our tractor to position it near the fence line where it will be unrolled.
For each run, and we have 5 runs, we roll out the wire, then strip and straighten the wire for the first end that will be tied off. Once the end was striped, we used bungee cords to hold the wire up for the first hundred feet, making it easier for Carl to crimp the ends at the right height.
We first tie off all 20 strands of one end which uses 40 crimps. Once one end is tied off we can pull the wire tight.
Once the first end is tied off, we put our oak stretcher board on which we made around 6 years ago for our other deer fencing project, then with a tractor and chain we pull the run tight.
Once the oak wire stretcher is attached, we use a chain in the middle connected to our front-end loader. The tractor can then pull the fence wire tight.
Another photograph of the tractor holding the wire tight.
Carl tying off this end while the tractor holds the wire tight.
One run of our fence was longer than the roll of wire so this required us to tie the fence off in the middle of the run. We used the tractor to pull the longest section keeping it tight while we connected 2 oak fence stretching boards with come alongs.
While the come alongs are in place pulling the two sections of wire tight Carl ties these off. A splice in the middle of the run requires 60 crimps – 3 on each wire – to tightly secure the two runs of fence.
Once all the wire was hung, we began Phase 5
of this project, installing 11 foot T-Posts, which felt like the light was at the end of the tunnel on this project. This phase is probably not OSHA approved but is much safer than using a ladder on our unlevel ground. We hook up our carry all to the tractor, containing our generator and air compressor, so that we can use our air powered T-Post driver
. We had 42 T-Posts to install because we placed one approximately every 16 to 20 feet between corner/line posts. The T-Post holds the wire along the ground keeping the deer from going underneath. We also put additional T-Posts in if the contour of the ground changed so that we could pull the wire to the ground.
First I market the location for the T-Posts with orange flagging tape. I used a calculator to calculate the distance between the T-Posts between our end/line wood posts. We wanted them evenly spaced and somewhere between 16 and 20 feet. Then we distribute the T-Posts along the fence line at the marked locations.
Next we hooked up our 3 point carry all with the generator and air compressor so that we could use our air powered T-Post driver. One can’t use a manually operated T-Post driver 11 feet up in the air.
I then lift Carl up in the front-end loader, 11 feet in the air, so that he can put the T-Post driver onto the post. The T-Post driver is heavy and I seriously doubt I could lift it on that high in the air.
Phase 6, hanging the gates, went rather smoothly because Carl made a jig with pre-drilled holes marking the spacing of the gate hinges. He then plumbed and leveled the jig to the post so that it was rather easy to figure the spacing and the position of the holes on the face of the post. We had 5 gates to hang: One eight foot gate for access when irrigating and near where our irrigation lines enter the field, one 16 foot gate, and two twelve foot gates that create a 24 foot entrance into the field for large equipment such as our disc harrow. We skimped on spending money for gates with our first deer fence, and have regretted that because now when we are irrigating, one must walk a good distance to get into the field to unclog the rainbird nozzles. This go around, we spent the money for an access gate when irrigating.
A close-up photograph of the jig with pre-drilled holes for the gate hinges. Using the jig, he doesn’t have to measure for each hinge or does he have to align the holes vertically on the face of the post.
Carl attaching his jig to the post, making sure it is plumb and level, just so the gate will hang level.
Carl drilling the holes for the gate hinges.
Carl installing the gate hinges for our 16 foot gate.
Using the tractor to carry up our 16 foot gate to the opening in our fence.
This gate is rather heavy so we used our tractor to align it. Then we nudged it into place.
Our 16 foot gate is installed! All of the gates have been installed and the deer can no longer get into our fenced area. We are excited to see how much our cover crop will now grow with the deer not grazing it down each night.
Tips and Tricks that we learned from this project and should remember should we ever install another fence of this type:
- For a run of wire: Before tying off the first end, strip all 20 runs of wire. We used 36 inches to strip and straightened wire to wrap around the post and have enough work space. That way we had 24 inches of wire extending out from the post and another 12 inches to go around the post.
- Before tying off the first end, unroll the wire the length of the first run, then use bungee cords to tie up the wire so that it is somewhat level and one can judge easier in lining up line 14 from the bottom so it can be stretched with the fence stretcher. Line 1, 14 and 120 from the bottom are all larger gauge wire.
- Use a fence stretcher, with the ratchet, to pull the wire tight when tying off the ends just to easily get them all even.
- While one person is tying off an end, another can be stripping the opposite end to save time with the project. All crimps can be slid on ahead of time, duct taping the ends of the wire, just so it is ready for tying off.
- Our homemade oak “Fence Stretcher Board” should be positioned so that the carriage bolt heads are against the brace so that the tractor can pull the high tensile wire tight. The nuts should be away from the brace.
- When stripping and straightening the wire, roll out the entire line of wire, then strip/straighten while the wire is lying on the ground.
- Don’t forget that when the tractor is set with the front end loader pulling the wire, we will have leakage with the hydraulic system, so just check the tightness and alignment every once and a while.
- T-Post Driving. Lift Carl up in the front end loader so that he can put on the air T-Post driver, then lower him before we begin driving the post in, and after he is lowered turn off the tractor. Once the T-Post is driven, with Carl still in the front end loader, have him put on the top two wire clips.
- Measure 104 inches from the top of the T-Post and mark a line that is used to know how deep the T-Post should be driven.
- Use a jig to install the gate hinges with pre-drilled holes.
This has been our household discussion for the past several months as we begin planning for our 2013 growing season. Anyone who has been following our journal may know that several years ago we had winter computer work that supplemented our farming income making it financially feasible to farm during the summer. Our computer work provided income for investment in the farm infrastructure and a bit of savings for our retirement. During these times, we hadn’t even considered investing in a “Farm Vacation” cabin rental, only because the computer work allowed us additional income without the capital outlay for building a cabin.
The income from our computer job disappeared a few years ago. A combination of the economy crashing, and after we completed the software for running their business, the company no longer had enough additional work to sustain our farming career. It was at this time we decided that, if we wanted to continue farming, we needed to have additional income and needed a job that we could juggle with farming. We decided the Farm Vacation Cabin Rental would provide additional income while allowing us to continue farming.
Further complicating matters in transitioning towards offering Farm Vacations, is that because we are full-time farmers, we don’t qualify for loans because we have no capital or documented income. In the bank’s mind, the trailer that we call our home, isn’t valuable enough for use as collateral in securing a loan nor our farm land. Our farm land, in the bank’s mind, is considered raw land and not valuable, even though it provides families with food. Since we are self employed, we don’t have W2′s, so the bank’s don’t see us as having a steady income. So we decided to harvest the trees from the farm and saw our own lumber for the cabin, allowing us to move ahead in building a farm vacation cabin rental, and perhaps one day offering farm vacations without much capital outlay.
In reality, it has been much easier writing about our dreams than actually physically moving towards achieving our dreams, as we have been busy harvesting and cutting timber for the past few winters and crop farming during the summer. The past couple growing seasons we hired 5 or 4 apprentices, rather than our normal 2.5, hoping to free up our time so that we could prioritize the farm vacation cabin rental during our crop production season. That hasn’t seemed to work these past couple seasons, mostly because farming continually demands our attention, and work on a farm is never done. One can always look around and find something that “needs” to be done right now and those tasks continually take priority over moving towards the farm vacation cabin rental. There is always the desire to have perfectly weeded crops and as long as we have crops growing the weeds will also be thriving. Each week during the crop season, we are always trying to meet the demands of our production schedule in providing highly diversified CSA shares and a booth full of produce for market customers, taking away from moving forward with the farm vacation cabin.
So that is our issue – how do we transition from crop production to building the farm vacation cabin rental – while still having an income? Our production income is currently paying our bills so we need to continue farming enough to cover our living expenses. On the other hand, farming takes an extraordinarily amount of labor, and we can’t seem to free up our time to work on the cabin, because as long as there is a production schedule and crops in the field we feel committed to caring for them. For example, it is very difficult for us to say, let the weeds overtake the spinach, that way we can prioritize building the cabin. We can’t simply walk by the spinach without weeding it and then lo and behold where did the time go?
Suggestions have been made to us that perhaps we should hire someone to help build the farm vacation cabin rental. From a financial perspective, it doesn’t make sense to us because most carpenters earn $15 to $25 per hour for their labor, while we are earning at the most $5 per hour growing crops. We can’t justify paying someone more for their carpentry skills when we know full well we are capable of doing the same work.
So how does the small farm re-invent itself? I bet almost any small business has this issue. For that matter, our country is having a hard time figuring this out, in deciding how to live within our means and creating new jobs. New jobs for our small business is a farm vacation cabin rental, new jobs for our country might be healthcare, sadly hydrofracking, but hopefully someday jobs will be created in alternative energy but that probably won’t be until the economic model factors the environmental impact of hydrofracking into the cost of this energy source. We on this small farm are trying trying to figure this out. The difference with our country is that it has an unlimited credit line. Our small business, and many others like it, don’t have this option. At this time we feel that we have to decrease our production by half and “tighten” our belts a little further in decreasing our spending all the while prioritizing the cabin. This is a necessary step for us to make a living from the farm. The cabin will be our retirement. We don’t have near enough retirement funds at this time, nor will we be able to keep up this scale of production as we age, and we do not want to sell the farm land but rather transition it into a “farm trust” for future farmers.
Life is COMPLICATED. It is really hard for a small business, where you have such intimate relationships with your customers, to make a decision to decrease production. We have been discussing decreasing the size of the CSA or even eliminating our CSA for the 2013 season. The reasoning behind this concept is that because we feel committed to our CSA, we will always go above and beyond what is required just to have a continuous production for the CSA, so we feel we could never prioritize the farm vacation cabin. When growing for market, if we didn’t get a crop hoed or seeded because we were working on constructing the cabin, we wouldn’t feel as bad not having as much produce for sale at market as long as we can earn enough to cover our living expenses. However, the CSA has been KEY in our farm surviving and thriving, these families have supported us for the past 13 years as we have learned how to farm. For us, it is very difficult to think about not supplying the CSA members with a weekly basket of veggies throughout the growing season. These are HARD and SERIOUS decisions for us to make and we need to make these before ordering seeds for our 2013 growing season so our goal is to make these decisions by the end of December.
What have we been up to in November? We’ve been harvesting for market and our last CSA delivery. We also finished planting our garlic, later than normal, but our garlic seems to be developing a root system underneath our cold soil. I took Vanessa’s suggestion to dig a few cloves up to see what was happening beneath the soil and we saw a lot of little roots! We also took a weeks vacation with Mom and Dad. THANKS for visiting Mom and dad we had a BLAST with you. We also spent a bit of time concreting the posts for our second deer fence.
These are anaheims that we are drying for our stash of "chili powder". We use a lot of dried peppers over the winter and even during the summer when we have an abundance of fresh chilies.
Last CSA harvest for the season with neoprene gloves! Carl ordered these and they definitely make it bearable harvesting and washing veggies when the temperatures are around low to mid 30's. WE LOVE OUR NEW GLOVES!
Our family share, and final delivery for the season, delivered 11/14 and 11/17. Included in this share is: Romaine Lettuce, Red Leaf Lettuce, Kale, Napa Cabbage, arugula, a HUGE Daikon Radish, Japanese Radishes, Japanese Turnips, Butternut Squash, Sweet Potatoes, Irish Potatoes and Garlic.
We FINALLY planted our garlic! We first break apart the garlic bulb into individual cloves just before planting. This is a photograph of our Music that is VERY FLAVORFUL and reliable.
This is a photograph of the garlic cloves spaced 6 inches apart with the roots down. We plant 2 rows per bed with 19 inches between the rows allowing us to use the tractor for cultivating. We still are required to do a lot of hand weeding so we don't damage the garlic while it is developing into bulbs.
Carl covering the garlic. Alvin taught us to cover the garlic just by walking along and pushing dirt over the trench using our feet. Our soil is a bit too wet for that technique so we are covering with a hoe. Because this is the latest we've planted garlic, we have considered covering with row cover to warm the soil until the cloves sprout and develop a good root system, but a few of our fellow farming friends thought the soil still warm enough for the root system to establish before winter.
I am working at socializing the girls. They are starting to get used to my voice and eat from my hand. This red star is sitting on my lap!
We’ve been hiking to the ridge each week. This photograph is of Bluff mountain through the trees. It looks a little different at the top of the ridge behind our house rather than in our valley. So BEAUTIFUL.
Production note to self: We planted garlic November 4th trough the 11th in between delivering CSA shares. This is the latest we’ve planted garlic but our temperatures have been very warm this November.
We have the BEST CSA MEMBERS EVER and are thrilled to have had so many CSA members help make the Killing Frost Celebration a HUGE SUCCESS! We had amazing live music performed by the Barefoot Movement. Christopher and Meagan came through, arriving early, and helped make excellent salads, pizza sauces, clean up the barn apartment for guests and finally spent the entire day keeping the pizza oven fire hot so that we could crank out nearly 58 pizzas. Betty and Dave helped prep pizza toppings. Susan, Charlie, Anna and Liam all helped keep the pizza line going in making excellent pizzas. Josh, Melanie and Mathew took photographs. Not to mention, we had the most BEAUTIFUL WEATHER for our Killing Frost Celebration, because today as I write this journal entry only the following Sunday after our celebration, it is COLD AND RAINY!
Charlie who made pizzas for nearly everyone! She has been eating most all the type of veggies we grow since she was very YOUNG. Thanks to her parents for encouraging that and serving FRESH and homemade meals!
Liam also helped make pizzas for everyone! He is Charlie's little brother and LOVES every kind of vegetable.
Anna, Charlie's little sister, who also helped make pizzas for those celebrating with us! She also eats every type of veggie we grow. Their family also grows a garden so they are used to eating FRESH food. Anna quit eating pork after meeting our pigs.
Celebrating with the folks who eat our food, amazing bakers and fellow farmers: Frieda Probst, Dale and Nick Pallotta, John and Anne Beckman, Annie and Joe Ritota, Ted and Yvonne Lappas
This is our annual celebration of earth and life. Earth, which is the foundation for growing/raising the food, in providing the nutrients to the crops/animals while it is being grown/raised. We celebrate the water used for keeping the crops/critters alive (Meadow Fork Creek), the farmers’ who have worked so hard growing/raising the food and the people who eat the bounty from this farms soil. Western North Carolina is blessed with great soil, farmers’ and folks who support a local food economy. THANKS to all the folks by eating LOCAL and SEASONALLY, you are making a choice to eat more sustainably, and you are voting with your dollars for a greener economy and a healthier environment in not having your food shipped here from across the country. Not to mention, eating fresh from the farm is more nutritious.
As I write this journal entry, the Killing Frost hasn’t yet arrived in our valley, and we have harvested a lot of peppers over the past couple weeks anticipating a frost. This is the furthest into fall that we can remember our peppers surviving. We are expecting very cold weather early in the week, and although we would like a little down time today since we haven’t had any Sunday’s off recently, we will harvest early for the CSA with the anticipation of freezing temperatures here in our valley on our normal harvest day. We also spent time covering crops with hopes that they will survive the snow. At this point, the forecast for Tuesday is a high of 34 degrees and a blanket of snow, which is too cold to harvest. We’ve never harvested a few days ahead because for the past decade, during our fall season, the temperatures have warmed up enough by mid morning to pick greens and lettuce. In the past, our fields have been frosted over on fall harvest days, but normally we can wait until the frost burns off then harvest, and still supply SUPER FRESH veggies to our CSA.
Our walk-in cooler full Sunday evening after harvesting greens for the CSA. We harvested Sunday, rather than our normal Tuesday, because of the forecast for snow.
A few of our crops that we put floating row cover over with the anticipation of snow. Our hope is that the lettuce, cabbage and tatsoi survive because we are offering a Thanksgiving Share in a couple weeks which will be our final CSA delivery for the season.
Our lettuce, on Tuesday which is our normal harvest day, covered with snow. We are thankful that we harvested on Sunday.
Our collard greens and kale, on Tuesday which is our normal harvest day, covered with snow. We are thankful that we harvested on Sunday.
Our Family CSA share delivered 10/31/12. Included in this share is: Romaine Lettuce, Slicing Tomatoes, edamame, Boc Choi, Kale, Arugula, Daikon Radish, Regular Red Radishes, Butternut Squash, Sweet Potatoes, Sweet Red/Yellow/Green peppers, garlic and a jalapeno.
Wednesday afternoon, Bluff Mountain is covered in snow, but the snow has melted in our valley.
Normally the season begins winding down about now, but for the past month the farm crew consists of just Carl and Julie, so we’re working long hours and successfully delivering around 68 CSA Shares (which is our highest priority) and are also selling just as much at tailgate market. We wouldn’t want to do this long term but it is the hand we were dealt this season.
We are proud to have transplanted approximately 2500 strawberry plants the past couple weeks and are very happy that Mother Nature seems to be working with our schedule. After we finished transplanting the strawberries last Monday, it rained all night, watering in the plants, and now we are hopeful that the strawberries develop a good root system before winter sets into this valley.
our strawberries for 2013 transplanted with fall leaves scattered across the beds. The trees along the creek are dropping their leaves and we are nearly at peak color here in the mountains.
This past Saturday was EXTREMELY BUSY and our single busiest week of the season! We harvested Friday for market until about 12:30 PM, then slept a couple hours, went to the North Asheville Tailgate market and sold veggies to our AMAZING customers, came home and finished digging sweet potatoes. We decided we couldn’t put off digging sweet potatoes another week because they are extremely frost sensitive and our crop would be ruined if exposed to freezing temperatures. Irish potatoes are deeper in the soil, while sweet potatoes grow near the surface so are more apt to frost burn, and Sunday night our forecast was for temperatures VERY CLOSE to freezing. We didn’t want to risk loosing 700 pounds of sweet potatoes to frost. We are SO THANKFUL that the rain held off until Saturday night, because had it rained Saturday morning, the soil would have been too wet for digging sweet potatoes after market. So our Saturday ended around 8 PM and we are estimating that we have about 1600 pounds of sweet potatoes curing in our cooler. Again, thanks to Mother Nature for cooperating with our schedule!
Carl plowing up sweet potatoes. We use a middle buster plow (known by some as a potato plow) to dig up the potatoes then crawl along the ground gathering them and putting them into harvest bins. We will cure these for a couple weeks before selling them so that they sweeten up.
Harmon loves snuggling in the moist dirt of freshly dug sweet potato beds. He also does this when we are digging irish potatoes.
Then Sunday came, and the forecast that morning was for a low of 38 degrees, which meant here in our valley it would be 34, too close to freezing for comfort. So we contemplated should we cover the green beans, edamame and harvest all the peppers? We were geared up to do so but didn’t quite feel up to it after working a lot of hours this past month…. So then around 3:30 PM we checked weather again and the forecast was for a low of 40 degrees, and we still have cloud cover, which was enough to make us comfortable to where we decided to just simply drink a glass of wine. Then around 5:30 PM the sky began to clear and the forecast for a low of 40. That clear sky was enough to make us go out and pick a few bushels of peppers. It is inevitable that we will soon have a freeze and will need to do a mass pepper harvest before that time so this Sunday evening was as good a chance as any. These are the type of decisions that us farmers’ make over a couple degrees.
The Freedom Rangers eating crabgrass! We are hoping they will eat the seeds to this invasive weed. We are expecting a lot from them.
The “Stanford Study” has been a top news story recently, and spurring plenty of conversations at market in regards to ogranic food, so please read the this article
in regards to just another opinion of the study.
I’ve been thinking about this word the past month because I think this personality trait is required for any of us to be a farmer. The definition of perseverance according to Cdictionary.com
, “steady persistence in a course of action, a purpose, a state, etc., especially in spite of difficulties, obstacles, or discouragement.”
And the definition from Merriam-Webster
… “continued effort to do or achieve something despite difficulties, failure, or opposition : the action or condition or an instance of persevering : steadfastness”
Why do I think this personality trait is required for a farmer? A farmer, particularly on the small highly diversified farm, continually encounters challenges when dealing with nature. The challenges of the season will impact production to where it never goes PERFECTLY and ACCORDING to plan, or for that matter, sometimes not even CLOSE to one’s plan. So that in and of itself requires perseverance. Not to mention, most farmers I know work long hours during the season and I don’t know any farmers that work under a 40 hour week. Keep in mind, many farmers do have fewer hours in the winter, which makes up for many of the long hours worked in the summer.
I am wondering if one is born with this character trait? Does one learn this from their surroundings and life experiences? Can this character trait be taught by our parents, family and friends, and if so how does one teach it? At what age should this trait be learned and how do you know if one has this personality trait and to what degree?
Carl’s quote is “Any strength taken to excess can be a weakness.”. In our case, perseverance might just be a weakness because we think we can farm, harvest trees for a farm vacation cabin rental, saw the trees for the farm vacation rental cabin and finally build the cabin using timber framing. If we didn’t have such a strong “perseverance” in our personality trait we would simply stick build the cabin with purchased lumber and we would probably already be earning additional income from farm vacations.
This season alone I can think of several instances where this personality trait became a weakness. One case is when I harvested and processed cilantro for the CSA early in the season. It wasn’t good quality and was very labor intensive to make bunches but I thought the CSA should have cilantro. And… Just a few weeks ago Carl and I spent an hour picking green beans, that were mostly eaten by the bean beetles, just so the CSA could enjoy a few beans. (Beans haven’t been growing well this season.) We should have mowed down the beans and included winter squash in the share. Another example was when a critter ate the beets, but I wanted to include these in the CSA share so I harvested as many as possible that were not eaten by the critter and included those in the CSA share. I am certain there are more instances, too numerous to mention, where this personality trait has been taken to a weakness. Just last week we spent an hour hoeing beans, with many already eaten by a ground hog, so the possibility of harvesting any is slim.
I can think of a couple situations this year where perseverance paid off…. Our winter squash plants didn’t have good roots and the fungus gnat larva were beginning to overtake the plants. We had contemplated just composting the plants and starting again. Making that decision would have probably set the squash so far out on the production schedule that the squash wouldn’t have set fruit and matured before downy mildew or frost killed the plants. So we decided to transplant the unhealthy plants, even though it took a lot of labor to put down the plastic and mulch to crop, but our yield was GREAT. It probably would have been better with healthy plants but we have enough yield for the CSA and market customers. In addition, our summer squash plants had the same issue so we hand transplanted a bed and we harvested squash from that for both our CSA and market customers. The yield wasn’t as high compared to healthy plants but at least we had summer squash.
Inspiring and great reads the past month:
What have we been up to? We’ve been pulling up landscape fabric from the fields where the Strawberries and Winter Squash were planted, rolling up drip tape, pulling out our overhead irrigation pipe, mowing down spent crops, disking the fields to break down spent crops and weeds, hoeing crops, transplanting additional crops, placing row cover to protect our fall crops from the flea beetles, hand pulling crab grass that has been taking over our fall fields, harvesting and packing CSA shares, delivering CSA shares and selling produce at market. I guess that is enough for a month!
For most of the cover crop seeded in our growing areas, we seed a tri-culture of Rye, Vetch and Crimson clover. Carl ready to seed rye where our onions and potatoes were planted.
Although pricy, we use organic cover crop seed when available.
We are seeding oats and austrian winter pea where our potatoes will be planted next year. Carl inoculating the austrian winter pea with a bacteria so that it will add more nitrogen to our soil.
Our winter squash plot seeded in rye, crimson clover and vetch.
The Freedom Ranger chicks growing!
We have seen a black rat snake swallow a chick much larger than these Freedom Rangers which is why our chicks are in a snake proof brooder.
We’re moving along at a snails pace in our endeavor into the slow building movement. Last winter we harvested the trees for a pavilion and cabin, piling them in the sawmill area, and then the weeds grew up around the logs while crop farming consumed our time. For the past several months it has been hard to imagine finding time to work on the cabin project, that is until this past week, when Carl’s brother Greg showed up, all the way from Missouri to saw trees. THANKS GREG! And thanks to our farm crew who took responsibility for the crop production side of the farm while we were sawing!
Looking at a pile of logs in the weeds was intimidating to both Carl and I. We wondered which tree to begin with…. How to get the log onto the sawmill because most of the logs are too heavy for our front-end loader to lift… Evaluating each log trying to decide which log to saw first… What part of the pavilion each of the logs should be sawn into so that we are getting as much board feet from each of log as is possible.. And the list of intimidating thoughts go on and on. It took a lot of time to fell the trees, limb the trees, buck the trees into logs and haul them out of the forest so we want to get the most board feet as is possible from each tree.
Our logs in our staging area with weeds grown up around them! It doesn’t look like it, but there are a lot of logs in this area, and probably not enough for the cabin. So guess what we will be doing again this upcoming winter?
Our first task was figuring out how to get the log onto the sawmill. When Carl was visiting an Amish sawyer prior to purchasing the mill, he noticed that he had ramps for rolling logs onto his mill, because the Amish farmer didn’t use a tractor. So our first sawing assignment was building the ramps. This photograph is Greg and Carl making ramps for rolling trees onto the sawmill.
Greg digging out a bit near the beginning of our ramp so that we have a gentle slope allowing us to roll a tree onto the mill.
Using the tractor winch in pulling the tree up to the ramp.
Carl and Greg testing the ramp out by rolling a hemlock onto the mill using the ramp. They are using peavey and cant hook to roll the log.
: Using the winch attached to the sawmill for the final turn of this HUGE log off the ramp and onto the sawmill.
The ramp works GREAT and the hemlock is now on the sawmill.
We have a cut list for our pavilion that has all the lumber needed. We evaluate each tree deciding if it can be best sawn into. We like for those lumber that will be carrying a lot of weight to be sawn from the heart wood, while the lumber carrying less weight can be sawn from the perimeter of the tree. This is a very complicated math problem and by the end of our first week sawing Greg and Carl were beginning to get the hang of it. The log may have a bit of sweep which also is factored into what lumber sizes may be sawn from the tree. The trees are PRECIOUS, because most of our tress are more than 75 years of age, so evaluating what should be sawn from the tree takes a little advance planning.
This is just one of the timbers sawn for the pavilion. These are LARGE and HEAVY timbers!
Using forks that are clamped to our front-end loader for moving timber the stack of lumber for the pavilion. Some of these timbers are too heavy for us to carry. We were amazed at how much these timbers would lighten up just after one day of drying.
Our yield after our second day of sawing. The first day was spent mostly figuring out how to get the log onto the mill and the second day figuring how to get the most board feet from the tree.
What Kaiser thinks of sawing!
THANKS to Meadow Fork Creek and our irrigation pump that we set up for cleaning the logs!
After dulling a saw blade the first day of sawing lumber, we decided to use our irrigation pump and a garden hose to wash the rocks/grit off the tree before it is sawn. We need a little more pressure so might try our pressure washer in the near future. In the past, our forefathers would cut/limb/buck the trees then float the logs down the river to the sawmill, which I guess would clean the logs. Greg washing the log while Carl is resting on the Peavey.
Alvin Kirkpatrick has SO GRACIOUSLY allowed us to use his track hoe to haul logs to the mill which is SAVING us a lot of time. ALVIN IS AMAZING! The trees stay much cleaner with the track hoe because one is not dragging them through the dirt and rocks like that done with the tractor winch. Carl can simply lift the trees and place them on the ramp for cleaning. Then we roll the tree onto the mill.
The pavilion after day 3 of sawing
The pavilion after day 5 of sawing
This is a pile of 1 x’s that were cut from the outer edges when squaring a log. This entire stack needs to be edged which is a very time consuming job. One must group all into like widths, then put a stack on the sawmill, then turn a couple times to remove the bark from both sides. Our neighbor Alvin wants to us to all go in on designing a process to make edging easier.
This weeks favorite tool is the peavey and cant hook.
. We would like to purchase another peavey, because when rolling a tree up the ramp and onto the mill we can’t get a good grip with the cant hook, and it takes at least two of us to roll that log onto the mill. Click here to read about the peavey
Our family share delivered 8/15 and 8/18. Included in this share is slicing and cherry tomatoes, sweet corn, beets, leeks, yellow and white bulb onions, potaotes, green/red/yellow/orange sweet bell peppers, yellow squash, garlic, jalapeno and serrano peppers.
Production Note to Self: We just had our smallest vegetable harvest in over 6 years so we are thankful to have pork as another mix in our production. We’ve had rain nearly every day for the past month. We’ve had a few successions of lettuce not germinate, our summer squash has died rather early, our beans did not yield, the crows ate most of our sweet corn and melons, our basil has downy mildew, our a lot of our parsly has dyed most likely from phytophthora, our cucurbit transplants have been very POOR, and our eggplant yield is WAY DOWN. When it rains it pours! Our next crop of beans are growing rather slowly, and our winter squash just died this week and our yield looks to be nearly half of that last year, and last years winter squash yield was down. My winter job is to think of something to change in our production, for this time next year, that will be a backup crop. Perhaps the lettuce thing is just VERY UNUSUAL so next year it will be back to normal and we have our cucurbit problem figured out.
So we thought we had summer lettuce production figured out. Why did we think this? Mostly because for the past 6 years, we’ve had plenty of lettuce at market, nearly each week for the entire summer. In fact, last season we had too much lettuce during the summer and didn’t sell it all so this season we’ve reduced our lettuce production by 25%. Another reason why lettuce production this season has been unreliable, is because we’ve had several successions not germinate and are unsure why, thus have missed a week or so in delivering/selling summer lettuce to our CSA/Market customers. On top of that, we haven’t been keeping the weeds at bay and normally hoeing lettuce makes the priority list each week throughout the season, because lettuce is a crop that particularly likes good air flow in hot weather. It seems that with our afternoon showers the weeds grow HUGE during the night while we are sleeping. Perhaps this wasn’t the year to reduce our lettuce production!
I like that we offer lettuce almost each week to our CSA because it makes a summer box look full. Granted, the dollar value of the summer shares are normally much higher than the retail value, because of those heavy crops such as tomatoes, potatoes, onioins and squash. It always seems to me that Spring boxes look packed full because the greens are so beautiful and fluffy. I have to admit that I am obsessed with trying always to have something included in our share each week that is “Fluff” and normally lettuce, basil and parsley is “Fluff” for the share during the summer. Carl thinks it is ridiculous for me to try and have “Fluff” in the box just so when one opens up their share the perception is that it is very FULL containing a good portion of food to last the entire week. I would love to get beyond the desire to have “Fluff” each week but just haven’t been able to do so. Many CSA members might get a little tired of the basil and parsley; then again many CSA members also like to dry basil and parsley, or freeze it in batches of pesto for their winter stash. . I know our CSA members could care less about “Fluff”. It seems they are happy with whatever is harvested which that I am thankful for.
The Fluff Factor for CSA shares has been difficult this season. In part due to our problems with lettuce, but also because most of our basil crop has succumbed to downy mildew, and quite a few of our parsley has died and the parsley still alive doesn’t seem to be growing so we haven’t harvested parsley for the CSA the last couple weeks. So my mission for the rest of the summer… Try to understand why our lettuce is not germinating well this season and to keep our lettuce hoed! So that is what we did last week…. Hoed away the weeds from our lettuce and are now preparing the fields for lettuce to be transplanted again.
This weeks family share delivered 08/01 and 08/04. Included in this share is lettuce, green cabbage, green beans, carrots, slicing tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, sweet red and green bell peppers, patty pan and straight neck squash, zucchini, potatoes, red and white bulb onions, basil, garlic and a jalapeno.
A little off topic… I’ve just finished reading, “What Matters”, written by Wendell Berry. I recommend this book to anyone interested in reading about a concept for a more sustainable economy. Dad, if your reading, I bought this book for you! The below is a summary from this book, in regards to conserving the forest, that I find very interesting as we delve deeper into the silvaculture enterprise of our farming operation. My hope is that we can achieve the same goal in our forestry plan for maintaining the current ecosystem and maybe even improving it over time.
The Menominee, native Indians in northern Wisconsin, originally inhabited approximately 10 million acres and survived as hunters and gatherers. In around 1854, their land holdings were around 235,000 acres of which 220,000 acres were forested so they implemented a forest management program that would “sustain” their people. Over the 140 years between 1865 and 1988 their forest yielded approximately 2 billion board feet. Today, with a continuous logging plan over the last 140 years, their forest is STILL estimated to contain a billion and a half board feet (same estimate as when they first implemented their forestry plan in 1865) with the diameter of the trees only being reduced by 1/2 of one inch. Mostly because foresters want few large trees.
That is what I have been the past couple months. I have been having a rough time setting aside time to update our journal. Probably because there is so much work to do outdoors that I find it difficult to prioritize indoor responsibilities such as keeping our journal updated.
Well…. Our fields have been very dry this past month with Carl irrigating a couple days each week which makes for a long work week. So we were praying for rain. Last Tuesday our prayers were answered. It rained… and rained…. And it has been raining for the past 5 days. We’ve had a few inches of rain this past week and now we are praying for dry weather once again. That is the farmers’ life. Praying for rain… Praying for dry weather…
Our priorities changed a little bit these past couple weeks…. We have a BEAUTIFUL onion crop and the plants were beginning to die back, around three weeks earlier than in previous years, so we have pulled down all the garlic from the drying racks to make room for onions. We’ve harvested our Candy (yellow), Sierra Blanca (white) and Cabernet (red) onions, and are pleased that most all of these onions are curing on the drying racks. This is our best onion crop in 6 years providing that they all cure in our humid weather conditions. Our onions are HUGE, SWEET and BEAUTIFUL! Meanwhile, we have additional successions of seeding that needs to be done, crops that need to be seeded directly into the field, crops that need to be saved from the weeds, all in trying to keep up with our “production schedule” that was made in January before our season was underway. All these variables is what happens when running this small farm. Priorities are constantly changing, the crops and the weather dictate the “Priority of the Day”, so we the farmers must be flexible with mother nature. Our Candy onions are SO big that they required additional curing racks so Carl made a couple additional racks. Most of you who have been CSA members or market customers in the past probably are well aware that the Candy onions are ever so tasty and probably sweeter than vidalia onions! Last week we spent some time hand weeding carrots and beets so hopefully these crops won’t need much more attention before they grow into delicious edible food.
Just last week We also spent time hand weeding the sweet potatoes, which wasn’t on the “to do list” for that week, but the weeds grew back quickly and we are pleased this crop is just beginning to vine, and I must confess that we spent a half day weeding them for two consecutive weeks. We couldn’t believe the weeds grew back within a week, and you would think that after all these years farming, we would be used to weeds growing back ever so quickly. But each week we still are amazed how quickly the weeds grow. We prioritized our sweet potatoes over celery and celeriac but hopefully these crops will make our priority list again in the next week or so. One thing about sweet potatoes grown on an organic system, they require hand weeding, because they are vines we are unable to tractor cultivate this crop. Using a conventional system, weeds are controlled using herbicides, which makes it a lot less labor intensive.
We are thankful that we decided these past couple weeks to prioritize harvesting onions. We beat the rain. Had we left them in the field they may have soured with all the moisture. Not to mention, they would have been much harder to cure, especially if they would have absorbed the three inches of rain.
Carl driving the trailer to the field. Of course, Kaiser has to help with almost any farm job!
Carl, Danielle, Justin, Allison and Emily pulling onions from the field into harvest bins that are loaded onto the trailer. The onions are then placed in curing racks on tier poles in the barn.
Sierra Blanca onions. We love this onion and couldn’t get seed for them last year. It is supposed to be a spicier onion but our crop this season is sweet. Our onions will get spicier as they cure.
We are running out of curing racks. Normally we don’t have plant sale plants taking up rack space right now but we are hoping to sell a few plants on the Farm Tour.
Julie putting cabernet onions on curing racks.
We ran out of rack space, and rather than leave the onions in the field with the forecast for rain, we loaded them onto the trailer.
Our candy onions on curing racks. We are thankful to have them out of the fields and in the barn curing!
Just another photograph of a few of our candy onions curing!
A typical candy onion. We are worried about them curing correctly because they are big BUT THEY ARE SWEET!
Bagheera climbing up a tier pole! Danielle and Justin saw the kitties doing their job and eating a rat this week.
Production Note to Self: We pulled down garlic on 7/2, 7/3 and 7/4. Began harvesting Onions on 7/5 and 7/6. We’ve noticed that our fruit set on peppers isn’t very high yet but are hopeful with the cooler weather that we will get some fruit set. Our sweet pepper crop is a little behind in ripening and we noticed that the irrigation was turned off in the greenhouse. This is our first year for automating greenhouse watering and we need to add a job to check greenhouse irrigation a couple times each week.
Thanks to our farm crew, Carl and I actually took off a few hours early Friday afternoon and left the crew to process all the veggies and they had the responsibility of getting everything ready for market. They did a GREAT job and we had EXCELLENT sales at market. WHY would we leave work early? All because we had the honor of being Marshall and Anne McLaughlin guests’ for a Scotch Tasting event at the Wolf Laurel Country Club and we had an INCREDIBLE TIME. If ever, you can attend a Scotch Tasting with Marshall McLauglin as your host, please be sure to do so. Thanks Marshall and Anne for a GREAT evening out.
When Marshall and Anne asked us to join them, our first reaction was maybe we shouldn’t, because about 8 years ago we attended a meeting at the Madison County Courthouse in which we were against the zoning for the airport/development at Wolf Laurel. However; ones morals can be quickly set aside for a scotch tasting so we went anyway.
On the drive there Anne and Marshall informed us that the Wolf Laurel County Club where we were headed for the scotch tasting was a completely different community than the Wolf Laurel Ski/Airport resort that we voted against on the zoning. The Wolf Laurel County Club was absolutely beautiful, well designed while preserving the beauty, with views of the Appalachian Trail and one day we hope to hike from Max Patch to Wolf Laurel! Wouldn’t it be fun to end the hike with a scotch tasting?
Marshall, Julie and Carl dressed up in front of the Wolf Laurel Country Club.
We want to hike the Appalachian Trail from Max Patch to Wolf Laurel!
When I told a few folks that I was going to a “scotch tasting”, they envisioned a “scotch drunk”, kind of like Scotchman normally do.
Scotch. Most think this is the typical scotch drinking affair where we pass out. But one just sips a few different types of scotch. This glass is a typical sample and we only had a few of these.
A few things we learned:
1. Your nose can recognize around 35,000 different smells! Your nose is how one can learn a bit about the different the types of scotch before even tasting. After swirling a glass of scotch, pass it under your nose while keeping your mouth open slightly, and this is how you can try to understand the aromas of each different type of whiskey.
2. Water can make a huge difference in the taste of scotch. Just a few small drops of water for an ounce of scotch is all it takes to change the flavor.
3. The way malt (from barley) is made will drastically change the flavors of scotch. A few distilleries, and ones that Marshall has toured, use very old timey techniques in drying the barley to stop the sprouting process. The peat dried barley scotch, with the smoky flavor, was some of the best I’ve ever tasted!
The scotch master!
Sandy. I think that everyone is a member of this country club because of her! She knows the people, what they need, and most of all she is there to make them happy! You guessed it, she organized the scotch tasting, and folks were HAPPY!
Enjoying scotch aromas and flavor!
The evening can fly by when a group gets into a discussion about scotch
Books that should be in the library of every scotch enthusiast!
Scotch tasting can become a family affair!
Can you believe that us farmers’ are thinking about fall just upon summers arrival? We are now beginning to seed our first succession of fall crops which includes broccoli, kale, collard greens and cabbage. We are seeding transplants so we are once again filling up our propagation greenhouse benches. This is GREAT news to us on the farm because once we have completed seeding our first succession of fall starts, we are beyond our peak workload for the season, and we FINALLY have time to breathe a little easier. That means that most all of our winter squash, peppers and eggplant have been transplanted to the field and we are nearly ready to dig our first planting of potatoes.
The past couple weeks the crew has been DOING A LOT OF CROP MAINTENANCE. Weeding beets, carrots, cabbage, flowers, squash. You name the crop, and it has probably been weeded, at least a couple times! The crew also finished digging and hanging all the garlic, about 3 weeks earlier than in years past, mostly because the plants were beginning to die back. We prioritized this job over seeding our first succession of fall crops because our garlic seems to have a problem with fusarium for the second year in a row so we figured it is best to get the garlic out of the field. We have contemplated whether we should quit growing garlic but can’t imagine not eating this delicacy. Even if our garlic is not prime, and has fusarium, it has so much more flavor than that purchased in the store. So… For now garlic will remain on our production plan.
Our onions growing! We had about 4 days where our onion crop was relatively weed free and they are now too large for the cultivating tractor which means us farmers have been hand pulling the weeds removing their competition and we are hopeful for a GREAT crop of onions this year.
Garlic on the trailer. A couple people use a digging fork to dig the garlic up, very carefully, so that the bulbs aren’t damaged. A couple others brush off the dirt and place the garlic on the trailer. We let the garlic dry a bit in the sunshine before placing it in our curing racks. This allows the dirt to easily fall off.
Danielle placing garlic onto our curing racks. We used to hang it in bundles from the tier poles but have found that the garlic will dry faster and better using the curing racks. Our guess is that in our humid climate our garlic needs a little better air flow.
Justin placing garlic in our curing racks. It is a bit dangerous climbing on our tier poles and not for those who are a little nervous of heights. Justin is a Rock Climber so this is a piece of cake for him!
We also fenced in another area for additional pigs and picked up a few more little piglets. The Marscheau’s, in Edney South Carolina, bred and raised these feeder piglets for us. They seem very socialized thanks to the attention they and their children have provided these piggies.
The Marscheau’s bred and raised our piglets until they were weaned. WE THANK THEM! The Marscheau’s live in South Carolina which is just as close as many pig breeders in North Carolina. Here are the babies sleeping in their stall.
The babies’ mommy. This sow is a Yorkshire resting in her stall.
The babies’ daddy. This boar is a Hampshire and the Marscheau’s purchaseed this breeding stock from Indiana. HE IS HUGE!
The pigs home on our pasture and we are thankful that these little ones have been raised with a water nipple. They will be living in a tent the remainder of the season.
The pigs enjoying grass. They haven’t eaten much grain because they absolutely love their grass and pasture. It is EXCITING to watch the pigs eating grass!
« Previous Page — « Previous entries « Previous Page · Next Page » Next entries » — Next Page »