Our farm truck had some much needed work done this week and our milk delivery Cobalt will be in this week for servicing, too. We’re also adding a heat source to our bedroom (other than a heated mattress pad we purchased last year) and filing our taxes – the last things on my “to-do” list before baby arrives! After Monday, he can feel free to come any time. 🙂
Like us, the animals are perfectly content staying inside as much as possible right now, although the cows have spent some time stretching their legs and soaking in some sunshine a few days this week. The chickens and pigs, however, seems perfectly happy to stay “cooped” up and avoid the below-freezing temps and even colder wind chills. Tonight, we are looking at another winter advisory for windchills expected to plummet between -15 and -25 degrees F (actual temperatures will be in the -5 to -10 range). It’s at this point in the winter when keeping all the animals loaded up on good, high calorie and high carbohydrate food becomes critical to helping them maintain body heat and weight. Our calf is receiving 3-4 hot bottles of milk per day in addition to wearing her cute little jacket to stay toasty warm.
Looking towards spring, we have finalized a land rental agreement with one of our neighbors to expand pasture space for both our cattle and pigs. We are now just gathering fencing materials and planning so we can begin that project as soon as the ground thaws in the spring! This should add about 4 acres of ground to what we already have in rotation and allow us to expand our pork production for both retail customers and wholesale accounts.
We will also be picking up a new cow in the next few weeks when she is dried off – she’s due to calf in April when some of our other ladies will be drying off for the last weeks of their own pregnancies. She’s the unnamed daughter of our current milker, Millie, and comes from the same Amish farm. We are very much looking forward to the arrival of spring and the calves we’re expecting in April & June!
We are also prepping for the Grower’s Fare Open House on Saturday March 21 from 9:00am – 2:00pm at the Downtown Market Farmer’s Market. We are hoping the weather looks much different a month from now! It looks like it’s going to be a wonderful event with information on area farms, CSA shares, and presentations on health, nutrition & cooking local. Of course, it’s also an opportunity to connect with your farmer! We are one of the very few non-vegetable CSAs participating in the grant through Local First, MSU Ag Extension and the West Michigan Grower’s Group so we’re excited about bringing some diversity to the group!
Now that we’re official members of Local First, you can find us on their online directory (Click Here) and will be a part of their 2015 printed directory this spring! Local First is a great organization that is committed to supporting local businesses and developing a local economy that is vibrant, healthy and serves the triple bottom line of people, profit and the planet – perfectly in line with our values!
Stay warm! – Dan + Whitney + Cecilia + Baby Bear
P.S. Remember that we are taking pre-orders for pasture-raised chickens until Friday March 20! Click here for more information.