Monthly archives "December 2011"

Read more about ..

5 little bunny babies, the new LTD project is working!

turkey hens we're keeping over winter to try our hand at turkey breeding in the spring. Are we crazy? yes.

Belle is growing into a teenager pup!

beautiful Rosie, a pig who we loved so much. She had a good life here.

Happy New Year to you all! Will you be reflecting on the year you just passed through? Full of celebrations and joy, or perhaps remembrances and tributes, 2011 has been another incredible year. We’re all so blessed to have each day, each year we pass through. Make every day count, or do something to make it count!

 A reflection on our year here, the first on our new farm. We met SO many amazing new people. We got to continue relationships with our customers who are now friends. We worked our butts off gardening in totally new soil, with some successes and much learning (failures.) We held some awesome workshops with fascinating people attending and visiting our farm. We grew so much sustanence for ourselves and others from our land. We fermented, pickled and canned our hearts out. We learned about the predators we have to deal with here, in a very hard way. We learned how priceless good farm dogs are. We got exhausted, wiped out, and there was no end in sight. We continued to dream and experiment and will continue to do so in 2012. We lost the covering on our hoophouse right after the tomatoes were planted in it. We fell in love with the community of amazing people all around us. We butchered 3 goat bucks and 4 pigs, 100 broiler chickens and 60 turkeys. We learned that death is really hard with animals you’ve tended and loved, but part of the circle of life and being able to provide an alternative to grocery store meat is very important to us. We learned why it is hard to be small scale farmers and make a living. We learned that diversification is essential to make it on a small scale farm, but you must not drive yourself crazy with too much diversification. We learned what we love to do, what we need to do to continue farming here, what we do well, and what we excel at together. We got married and every day is a blessing on our farm. We learned that money is essential to pay bills on the farm, but it will never bring happiness. We learned that food raised on a real small scale farm tastes better, is more nourishing, and that our customers love it. We learned that no small-scale farm can be an island….. Farming takes a community of farmers and eaters. Thank you for being part of our farm. We could not do this without your involvement!  Thank YOU!!! We have a limited number of CSA shares for 2012 and are reserving them now. See our “farm products” tab.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Read more about ..

As per usual in December, we’ve received a lot of snow, and most nights the temperature dips below zero. Our outside spigot has frozen up & our annual water hauling adventures to the animals 3 times a day from the bathtub begins. Winter isn’t so bad, once you get into the routine… stoke the woodstove, get out the scarves and warm muck boots, drink hefty mugs of hot coffee. Our new puppy Belle has been keeping us on our toes, each day we take snowy walks with the 3 dogs around the farm teaching the puppy the lay of our LTD Farm land. Soon she’ll be a workin’ dog……but first we’re bonding!!!

The past several days have been odd, as it warmed up considerably. Having the woodstove going seemed rather pointless! In the city, people love it. But out here as the snow melted, the sun came out, the paths went from snow trenches to spring-thaw-like muddy trails. Puppy poops softened on the ground…yuck.

We’re back to normal freezing December weather as of this morning. The road in front of the farm is covered with glaze ice. Luckily we don’t have to go anywhere today. Hoping for a nice load of snow to insulate the ground and keep the flora safe til spring. Most of the little hazelnut, saskatoon berry & nanking cherry bushes we planted this year have their springtime buds formed, which means they settled in well. We saw evidence of the 500 aparagus crowns surviving their first year, and a cozy layer of snow will increase the chances of them carrying on into their second year. Then in 2013, we can actually harvest asparagus!

We had our Kickstarter Celebration party last week, and it was such fun! THANK YOU so much to all our very loyal supporters, customers, friends!!! During the party, it was just beautiful to see all these people being fed from our farm. Where there is a will, there is a way….we made it through our first harrowing year on the new land. We fed a lot of folks with the help of our farm’s soil, the animals, the sun and rain, and our hard work. Learning so much about this particular place has given us new insights for next years’ growing season. Once winter runs it’s course, we are ready to get back in the saddle of growing and raising the best food for our customers.

Farming on the new agricultural frontier is a serious challenge. We’re doing something that’s pretty unusual….heritage duck eggs, with ducks free-ranging on pasture. There’s a reason why “conventional” agriculture favors keeping poultry in confinement buildings their whole lives- poultry are delicious prey animals that attract a lot of wildlife attention. But a life indoors is not the kind of life we want for our ducks. Nor do we want to eat food produced by animals living in confinement. Unhappy animals living unnaturally, do not make healthy food for us to eat. We strongly believe in sunshine, fresh air, soil and forage for all our animals. How do you want to live? The golden rule applies across the species line at L.T.D. Farm.

We’re reconsidering our initial building plans for the new flock of ducks. Something solid and safe is definitely in order now, after many of our lady ducks fell prey to a predator only a month ago. Hoophouses are wonderful animal housing, but there is nothing to make them predator proof. The current flock of our lady ducks, and the baby ladies, are all safe and sound. Thank you to Javier and Little Blue, whose alternating sentry posts & diligent barking have kept the predator away from the ducks, as well as being a soothing lullaby as we fall asleep.  We have a couple months before construction begins, so we can really thoroughly plan out the new building to perfection.

 

life goes on

Still haven’t caught the predator, but with the help of the dogs and the new duck safe house inside the hoophouse, we have had no more casulaties. Realizing how important the LTD farm dogs are in deterring predators,  seeing as our big guys are both nearing senior citizen age, and having a bit of our wedding gift money left, we decided it was time to find a puppy. We’d been waiting until the perfect situation presented itself, and were referred to a local cattle ranch that’s been raising working blue heelers for 20 years. Call them, and what do you know, they had three pups just weaned off momma. Welcome to Bluebell, our little 6 week old Blue Heeler pup!

Little Blue- slightly jealous, but he'll be a good big brother.

All we know is the next duck house will be set up very differently, and we have winter to put all the plans together……………..because WE REACHED OUR KICKSTARTER GOAL! That means we now will have the funding to go forward with another hoophouse,  set up with the knowledge of which specific predators we are dealing with out on our farm. What’s amazing with this Kickstarter platform is that it is all about alot of a little. Each one of our backers kicked in and each one made it happen. We are SO excited and beyond words with gratitude.

We had snow, we had no snow, and again a nice layer greeted us this morning. Thinking winter is finally here. A whole new season of planning awaits us in these dark, long nights ahead. Absolutely elated to be here, living the dream. Thank you everyone for all your support of what we do.