Saturday, January 9, 2010

Farm Happenings - Winter

"So things must be slowing down for you guys on the farm now that the winter has set in."

This is question asked of us almost every day and it made me realize that it is been some time since I wrote about our farm activities.

As was written by Sir Albert Howard in his awe-inspiring book, The Soil and Health: A Study of Organic Agriculture, no soil can be truly healthy unless animals graze upon it. This was a concept that Alfred and Carney Farris took to heart and plans were made to remedy this situation on their farm. Thus the long process began to switch the farm from all grain to a grain and livestock farm which entailed fencing the entire farm and installing a watering system that could water the stock anywhere on the farm, a task of monumental effort and resources.

Anyone who has been to The Farm Shop since the summer has seen the trenches stretching across and throughout the fields. These trenches house an intricate labyrinth of pipes all feeding several watering troughs over approximately 260 acres.

Our new solar panel harnesses energy from the sun to run a pump which fills the blue tank that has found its way to the back of my garden. All the troughs are filled utilizing gravity power. So, next summer when you come to the farm shop you will be able to see all of the animals trying out the new system.

Now that most of the trenches are filled we go back to the everyday workings of the farm, feeding, moving, milking, collecting eggs and caring for our stock which knows no seasons. So, unlike a produce farm that tucks the garden in for winter, livestock farming, with the exception of smashing ice in the water troughs, continues on virtually the same throughout the year.

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