Gone with the Wind

Our greenhouse cover could not withstand the high winds we experienced Saturday morning. The cover tore off on the leeward side and flapped for hours before dawn. The noise was so loud we wore ear protection while we cut it off. As the plastic tore off, it broke apart and released tiny bits over the lawn. The third photo shows the wear and tear from the wind, compared to another piece of the plastic that had been held taut, until we cut it off.

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Who wore it better?

A world of fashion opens up when your chicken likes you. My vote goes to Lorelei, but you have to admire Cole’s spirit. Lorelei goes on to hone her runway skills with other placements. photo credit: Scout Sullivan-Fielding

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G’ma Joan’s Boot Camp

There’s so much to do in South Hero.
So, four grandkids have come from Virginia and South Carolina for a week to visit. They can’t get enough of the animals. First it was a “name them and tame them” session with the pullets. After multiple catchings, the chickens became quite accoustomed to it. The creative names included Sunburst and Chunk Muffin. Then they approached the cattle, who were shy at first, but eventually enjoyed a chin scratch and were curious enough to lick the extended hands. White’s Beach was refreshing and Faywood Garden’s cooking class was hands-on and filling. The kids made linguini, ravioli and a cream sauce. Before the kids left, the pullets started to lay. So exciting…

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VT Digger Q&A for New Farmers Joan and Bob

June 5, 2019 edition VT Digger article Q&A: New farmers in retirement: ‘The animals keep us young’. Article and photos by Anne Wallace Allen.

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In the news! SEVEN DAYS article on Humane Certification

Health Hero Farm Promotes Awareness of Humane Certification By MELISSA PASANEN (photo credit DARIA BISHOP)

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Finally Grazing

This is what we’ve been waiting for — fresh, nourishing grass. Even the newborn calves are trying it out.

Fran’s calf nursing

Starting to graze

The herd on pasture, after weather delays

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Grass Gods, Make it happen!

We’re running out of hay and the grass needs to grow some more, before we declare “TURN OUT DAY”!!! Allowing cattle to graze soggy fields or grass just starting to grow will stunt the pasture for the coming year. So we wait… And we sing a simple song of longing to the Sun God 😉

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New website connects people to humane farms

A group of Vermont farmers created a website to help consumers find products from farms that treat their livestock humanely – EthicalEaterVT.org. You can read about it in VTDigger (article).

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Do cattle wear makeup?

mascara smudge

eyebrow liner

You be the judge!

Update:  This little bull calf just weighed in at 113,  13 days after birth.  Given that we could lift him as a newborn, he probably gained 60 pounds.  That grass milk is amazing!!!

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And it’s a girl!

Kit just gave birth to a little heifer. This morning, we noticed that we were down a head at the bale ring. When we checked the barn, there she was — Kit with her sweet little calf. Now we watch, hoping to see the calf nurse so we know the calf will be healthy.
More to come… Well, the update is that the calf failed to nurse. She was clueless as to where the teat was. So we had to bottle feed her some colostrum, which she chugged down. Then we put Kit in the squeeze chute so we could handle her safely and milk her a bit to see if there was anything there. The calf did succeed in nursing a little, since we guided her mouth onto the teat. Two days later, after two more squeeze chute training sessions and a few intermittent bottles of milk, the little heifer has mastered her assignment and now nurses with high enthusiasm. It is a delight to watch her bouncing around in the barn and outside where the cows are eating hay.

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