04 Feb Newsletter: January in Review
Hello all! This year we will be writing a monthly newsletter to update our community on what we have been up to and to share any important information for the month to come.
-Our Farm Stand is closed for the remainder of the winter and will reopen again in April
-We will not be having a CSA program for the 2015 season
-Live on the south end of Wilmington? We need feedback from you. We are planning the year ahead and have thought about having a Buying Club in the south side of Wilmington. We will take orders (for eggs, meats, produce, flowers-whatever we have available) from people on that end of town and deliver to your neck of the woods twice a month at a central drop off location. If you or anyone you know lives in south Wilmington and would be interested in this option please share this info with them AND be in touch with us to let us know you would like to take part. Please email us at [email protected] if you are interested! If we have enough feedback we will plan to have a South Wilmington Buying Club twice a month beginning in April.
-Our pasture-rasied eggs are available at Tidal Creek Co-Op off Oleander Drive in Wilmington. Aren’t those yolks gorgeous?!
January on the Farm:
We’ve been busy with planning and building projects. We made a roadside sign and Kyle began construction on our corral barn which is where we will milk our cow and where cows will be introduced to the farm and loaded and unloaded to come or go. When we moved to the land the main barn was already standing and was used as storage for wood, bricks, and other random items. We have been wanting to clean it out and make it a functioning barn but did not have the time to undertake such a task. We are so excited to say that the barn clean-up and makeover is underway and it looks great and is feeling more like a barn! Kyle along with Bob Foy and some friends cleaned out one side of the barn and took a load to the dump and the burn pile. We now have hay stored in the barn which is what we feed the cows in the winter months when the pasture grasses are all dead. We have a new system for storing all our animal feed and it is much more efficient and a better use of space. We also built a farrowing structure in the barn for our Mama Pig to have her piglets.
Kyle built two of the ten broiler chicken shelters that we will need this year to grow out our pasture-raised chickens. He cut down two of the cedar trees from the property and took then to a man in a nearby town to cut the logs into usable wood to use to make the shelters. We currently have a batch of egg-layers in one of the shelters until they are big enough to join in with the rest of our flock roaming the pasture. We have more chicks in our brooder house that will also grow our layer flock. This coming year we will be producing many more eggs and chickens than last year to supply our farm stand, Poplar Grove Farmer’s Market, Pembroke’s and Rx Restaurants and Tidal Creek Co-Op. We are excited for more people to get to receive the benefits of this nutritious food we grow (or raise)!
The beginnings of the corral barn
The First Animals Born on the Farm:
Last Wednesday afternoon our Mama Pig began labor without us knowing it. For over a week we checked on Mama during the night and throughout the day to see if she was in labor. As Kyle was going to check on her Wednesday he saw a baby piglet nursing! Labor had begun! He called me and as our daughter woke up from her nap we ran out to find that two more babes were born! Just before labor started Mama pushed all the hay together to make a fluffy oval-shaped nest for her to labor on, it gave me an entirely new meaning to the behavior we call “nesting” that mom’s do just before having a baby. Mama had eleven piglets in total and one stillborn that did not make it. It was a beautiful and miraculous process to behold and we are so grateful for the abundance of piglets! Kyle stayed in the pen and kept an eye on things making sure Mama didn’t accidentally roll onto one of the babies. We had heat lamps set up and everything went smoothly with each babe nursing so well on their own. I was wrangling Adah and Owen as they played in and around the barn and I kept popping in with hopes to see one come out however I kept missing it by milliseconds. Mama’s breathing would change stlighty and briefly before she was about to birth another one and it didn’t give much time to prepare. We also had no idea how many babies she was going to have so we didn’t know how long it would keep going. Finally I was able to be there for number eight and see him being born! I was a little freaked out because the piglets sound like they are choking at first and have a sack around them that they bite their way out of but I quickly learned that the scary noises were in fact normal. Kyle and I had absolutely no experience assisting with pig births prior to last Wednesday. Quite a weight was lifted after all the piglets were born and what a joyful experience we were able to be a part of. All are doing well and we are so very grateful!