It's been awhile since we started the Winter break and we miss seeing folks at our weekly deliveries. We would like to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
SO and I started the break with a terrible flu we both caught that lasted about 3 weeks. It was pretty bad and I even had to spend 3 days at the hospital. We're finally doing pretty good now. All that in spite of even having the flu vaccination. Caught it when visiting kids on the West coast. My youngest grandson had his first birthday!
Meanwhile we had a lot of last minute meat orders to fill that about cleaned out our entire inventory. Most were for Custom Orders of Livestock Portions as well as Special Select-A-Cut orders. Even had some new CSA Member sign ups which were really encouraging. We'll start planting in the greenhouses for the CSA Program next month. So, if your hoping to be a Member of the CSA Program please let us know soon so we can plan for the early veggies and be sure we have enough meat inventory ready. We will be processing some more beef and pork in mid January to rebuild our inventory.
Cattle doing great. In addition to the Alfalfa hay the warm weather has enabled them to continue eating the green fall grass varieties. Best year for late pasture I have ever seen here in 36 years. Have 12 calves so far. Six born in the last month. We have 48 head of cattle now including the calves. A few more may come soon. With my flu and the damp cool weather it was sure nice to be able to use the new tractor with the heated cab to feed them! New cow momma's had to take care of the babies by themselves. I was worried but they all did well. Warmer than usual Winter weather helped a lot.
Bought a couple new Berkshire Sows to go with 3 others I raised last Summer/Fall for continued production of the best pork in the world. The Berkshire breed is internationally famous for flavor and quality. Good thing I got all their Winter feed ready before I got the flu. I also feed them hay. They like to dig tunnels into the big round bales to stay warm but eventually eat it all as I bring more replacements. They seem to prefer the hay over the huts.
Had a water line burst going to the chickens that created a big mess in one of the chicken huts so I had to put all of the hen's in one hut. Strangely they seemed to like it and increased their egg production. The extra body heat of the crowding must've warmed them up. Now we're trying to figure out what to do with all the extra eggs!
SO bought our dog "Happy" a winter coat and a special pillow bed. Kind of spoiling her but she deserves it. Besides helping round up the cows and pigs and chasing deer out of the garden she has been a great family pet. Loves to lick everybody's face and chase toy squeekies.
We experienced a lot of troubles in 2019 with equipment failures and slow mid-season orders but somehow everything worked out great for the year. That includes financially as well as progress on farm projects building fences, barn updates and overcoming most of the breakdowns. Best grazing year ever. Gave up on my wore out hay mower but made a good deal for harvesting with a neighbor. I traded hogs for help with hay cutting. May not replace the hay mower because he would like more pigs later this year too.
Looking forward to hearing from you all this Spring!
Gary and So