New Year, New Me??
I kind of like the way the view these pigs take towards New Year's resolutions. But with this kind of awesomeness, why would you feel the need to change? We, on the other hand, have been busy taking advantage of the ridiculously warm weather to make a lot of progress on projects that have been outstanding. A major project that needed to be done was filling our freezer with old stewing hens. We haven't been able to take the time over the last few years to completely clear out the hens who were no longer laying, so we have been feeding and housing a lot of pet chickens! It took two days of the whole family working, but we emptied out a chicken coop and filled a freezer with stewing hens and also several turkeys. The most exciting part is that the emptied chicken coop is actually a rather large shed. But since we built an actual chicken coop that is a prototype for the design of coops that will really work well for us, and which will end up being a fleet of coops (okay, THREE) that can easily be moved around the pastures, we are able to repurpose the old chicken coop. Chris spent another two days cleaning out the coop and pressure washing it. Now I have a dedicated, fully enclosed small barn for kidding and lambing. Such luxury (!) for me, as well as the ewes and does! The orchard is finally ready for winter! It has taken me a few months of on and off work of pruning, mulching, and putting on winter trunk protectors (which protect young trees from sunscald from the bright snow), but the warm weather held long enough for me to get it done. The rest of the family worked to enclose them in rings made from cattle panels in order to protect them from hungry deer (if we ever get enough snow that they are truly hungry. If that happens, they can help themselves to our hay, but NOT the fruit trees.). Now we can spend the winter dreaming of delicious, juicy fruit to come! And our final, but ongoing, project is building our barnyard. We have used moveable panels in order to play with the design that works well for all the species on our highly diversified farm, and I am FINALLY quite happy with the results. Combined with all the small shelters Michael has spent the summer building, we have a lot of flexibility for whatever the needs of our animals may be at a given time. We are also constructing a better round pen for working with our young Lippitt Morgans. So exciting! Now we are hoping for the chance to hibernate a bit, and with this cold snap coming, I think we will get it. It is such a great feeling knowing that are animals and plants and bees are well cared for through the cold and over the remaining winter. It also allows us to enjoy a crackling fire, cozy blankets, good books, and hot tea (or cocoa, depending on who you ask). GREAT THINGS TO COME! Keep an eye on your inbox, as I will be sending out another email in the next week with all the details on delicious things to come! GET YOUR FREEZER FULL! First, we have another batch of pigs going to the processor next week. If you missed out on getting your delicious, custom Berkshire whole or half hog, NOW is the time. Contact me with any questions you may have, or to reserve YOUR pork. BACON will be back in stock at Cross E and Freedom Foods within the next couple of days. I don't know about you, but I have definitely been going through BACON WITHDRAWAL. Stop in next week to stock up! It goes fast, so if you want to guarantee your supply, please consider a half or whole custom pig. Additionally, we have several new SAUSAGE products in the pipeline, some of them a delicious pork and grassfed beef mix! More information on that is coming shortly. And more to come! And if you have friends who love delicious, healthful, LOCAL food, please forward this email to them so they can sign up for their own newsletter at www.shilohvalleyfamilyfarm.com! Wishing you abundant life and good health! Theresa