Apr 20, 2015

New Brooder and New Flock!

 As many of you know, we moved last September and are now renting a beautiful place out in Paintersville, a little closer to the farm and with a little land of its own as well. We have had out layers out here all winter and plan on raising our meat chickens and new flock of layers here as well.

One of our first priorities this spring was to build a brooder for our meat birds that we raise from day old chicks. Below are some pictures of the project.

 Coffee is a farmer favorite!

Our New Flock!
We picked up 140 new Pullets and temporarily had to put them in the new brooder while we made ready their layer Wagon

The hens are not used to roosts yet.... until they begin laying, that instinct won't kick in.....
140 Pullets inside of the layer wagon does not leave a lot of room, but once they are out on pasture they will only lay eggs and sleep inside.
The door has been open for 4 hours and non have been brave enough to see the world yet... Chickens

Mar 16, 2015

Learning to Start Again

Everyone needs a little help and time to reflect now and again.  At least I know I certainly do.  Recently breaking my leg has led me to depend on others in new and humbling ways.  In moments of discomfort and difficulty (due to my limitations), there always seems to me to be an element of mystery which calls one to grow and mature, learn and develop.

Despite my passion and commitment, running a small farm operation proves to be a challenge each step of the way.  Whether it’s keeping the books throughout the year or loading pigs and cattle, I feel no deficit of moments which question my farmer capabilities and know-how: “Do I have what it takes?”

This past weekend, Sean and I took advantage of a local learning experience at OSU’s College of Food, Agricultural, and EnvironmentalSciences’ Small Farm Conference in Wilmington.  This year’s theme: Opening the Doors to Success.  With tracks ranging from livestock production to business and pasture management, this day away from our families immediately proved to be a valuable networking venue, bringing together farmers from our local region.  Attending hour-long lectures with novice and experienced farmers, Sean and I were able to share our experience after three years and learn from those who have experienced farming and all its demands and provocations for much longer than we have lived and farmed.

In all this, I realized how important such events are not for their educational tracks and relevant topics, but rather, for the speakers, experienced attendees, and time for connection and closeness in between lectures.  Farming, like many lost arts today, is something bestowed.  It’s not something you can readily learn in a classroom.  It’s something lived and passed down.  Because of the essence of the craft, country conferences, apprenticeship programs, and relationships are established to bestow the skill of farming.

Although I have yet to see what “doors to success” will be opened to Full of Graze Farm this coming season, I now know the value such events bring to the community, the farmer, and the life and activities we hold so dear.