Thursday, October 25, 2012

Short Days :: Long Days

I know that I said a while back that I was back to blogging again, but then I sort of trickled off ... like I have done a lot lately. This time it wasn't because of a lack of desire to write, but rather because I've just been plain busy. Now that I have more mobility and one semi-working foot to go along with the good one I've been trying to do as much as possible ... although I do things more slowly than before because I'm not near full strength yet.

With that being said there has been a lot accomplished lately. As you can see from the picture above we made it through our second Farm Crawl which meant we spent a lot of time getting the farm prepared for hundreds of people. In fact in the week leading up to the Farm Crawl there was much cleaning done as well as even some fence building. Now we have a hi-tensile wire fence around the yard and for the first time in four years the animals don't have free and easy access to the yard ... on the downside there will be A LOT more mower gas used next year (even if it is another drought).

Of course the Downtown Des Moines Farmers' Market has continued (only one left) and we have begun taking in hogs for our whole and half customers. I'm very thankful for our whole/half customers and will admit that it is a lot of fun (and feels like a huge accomplishment) to take large groups of hogs into the processor all at once. I have another batch going in a couple of weeks and then we'll be down to our sow herd and pigs mostly between birth and 150 pounds ... a little less feed will be used at least for a short while.

And then most recently I was able to go up and help my uncle put the tarp on his 36' x 100' hoop house. His is for storing machinery, but it was nice to seen one in person and the building up close. It makes me want a hoop house for winter farrowing/growers even more than before. So ... I'm researching different brands, checking prices, and trying to figure out just where I could put a hoop house!

I hope everyone is getting much accomplished this fall ...


Donna OShaughnessy said...

Like you we spend a lot of time doing a lot of things. But always it is so rewarding to see those hogs we worked so hard to raise actually make it to the locker and come out as a whole season healthy meat for one family.

Rich said...

How and where do your pigs spend the winter now?

I've always thought that raising pigs in a hoop house and getting the bonus of making compost from the bedding would be a useful addition to a small farm.

Combining the area where cattle are fed hay in the winter with a deep bedded pig area and all the resulting compost (maybe throwing some cropland, hay meadows, or gardens in for good measure) makes even more sense.

Bruce King said...

I just finished putting up my "tensioned fabric structure" aka hoop house, a few weeks ago. They are very handy. For hogs, we did ecology blocks along the sides. you can see pics here:

I did concrete floor and block walls so that it could be easily cleaned with the tractor, but we filled it with 3' of wood chips, about 180 cubic yards of material.

Anonymous said...

I have just read the 5 years of the begining farmer. Thank you i will be a follower in the future for i am too in the exact same spot you where in 5 years ago. Large urban garden two small chicken coops, living on the cheap to save for the farm and a DREAM! of some day being able to retire and live my life out Farming for the Health of it.

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