The pigs appear to be very happy with their new surroundings.
Friday, May 27, 2011
The pigs graduated to the woods today to make room for the tomatoes, which will go in the newly vacated, pig-plowed plot. Rather than risk the escape of 6 hundred-pound snout-o-tillers, we decided to enclose the pigs in their mobile shelter for the move out to the woods. Though a bit of a workout, it was fun to watch the pigs march along inside the shelter as we dragged it forward. And when we paused for rest, they quickly started tilling up the ground. Perhaps one day we will use them in such a way for precision tillage.
Thursday, May 26, 2011
Perhaps as exciting as a Cirque de Soleil performance was the discovery of the first Frith Farm egg. And it was no ordinary egg, but rather a double-yolked one, which we decided to see as an excellent omen. It was fried up on the spot and shared among all present. The results of the taste test were, of course, off the charts.
Tuesday, May 24, 2011
The meat chicks moved to their portable shelter today at just under 2 weeks of age. They spent their first day on pasture exploring the unfamiliar yet instinctually delectable grass, dirt, and insects, chirping merrily away the whole time. They will be moved to new pasture every day so the freshness and variety of their natural smorgasbord never diminishes.
Saturday, May 21, 2011
With the rainy weather this last week, the soil has been too wet to work, so we spent much of the week weeding. The ever-persistent quackgrass thrives in the cool wet spring, and would easily reclaim the fields if we looked away for too long. While it is difficult to ignore the Sisyphean nature of hand-plucking rhizomatous grass, it can be a rather meditative task, and a well-suited background activity for stimulating conversation. And it is undeniably satisfying to start with a grass jungle and end with 4 nice straight lines of tender mesclun greens.
Saturday, May 14, 2011
The farm community here has undergone a rapid expansion in the last two days with the addition of 75 day-old meat chicks and 6 Katahdin lambs. The chickens will be ready in just eight weeks, while the lambs will help us mow the lawn into late fall. We look forward to watching them grow!
Wednesday, May 11, 2011
The pigs have graduated from their hog panel pen and are now full-time employees of the farm. Contained by a couple strands of electrified wire, they have been commissioned to till and incorporate several truckloads of leaves and manure into the future tomato plot. Ideal workers, they have not requested a raise, but rather have tackled their new task with zeal while decreasing their grain consumption. Seems their discerning palates favor the grass, grubs, roots, leaves, and acorns over purchased feed.
After many months of waiting for frozen ground to thaw, and high water tables to descend, we have finally erected the Frith Farm roadside sign. Now any curious passersby can confirm this is in fact a farm.
Saturday, May 7, 2011
It's been great to watch the hens forage more as the tender green grass of spring grows tall. It's quite a thrill to walk out into the pasture just before dusk when the hens are all spread out, partially hidden in the tall growth, eating their fill of grass, clover, and fleeing insects.
Sunday, May 1, 2011
It is exciting to watch come to life the many hidden surprises of the land that were dormant for winter. We now have located the rhubarb, asparagus, and mint patches, along with numerous flowers and budding berry bushes.