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Posts Tagged ‘goat’

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These Little Piggies

. . . cried wee, wee, wee; all the way home.  Saturday I drove down near Seymour to pick up three feeder pigs.  While our first experiment with raising pigs did not work out, there is a demand for pork that we have decided to tap into with feeder pigs.  We are starting with three to get our system worked out.  The plan is for the pigs to follow the sheep and cows through the pasture.  We would like to run them all together but the feed and shelter needs of the pigs cause issues with the other livestock.  In addition to the pigs, we also picked up a new milk goat Sunday afternoon and the turkey eggs started hatching Sunday night.

We appreciate your support at the markets.  For the most part, they have been quite successful for us.  The problem is, we weren’t quite geared up for such support.  We will likely sell out of lamb, goat, and chicken this month.  That will only leave us eggs, of which we have plenty.  We are doing our best to supply your local, organic food needs.  We will have some additional lamb and our first beef available in July.  We also plan to have more chicken and pork available in October.  If all goes well we will also have three or four turkeys available for Thanksgiving.

We will be at two markets this week.

Friday, June 14, 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. – Farm to Fork Market at Normandy Farms (79th and Marsh Road)

Saturday, June 15, 8:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. – Zionsville Farmers’ Market (Main Street and Hawthorne)

Please also support the Decatur Township Farmers’ Market at 5106 S. High School Road, Tuesday, June 18, 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.

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I was stopped at an intersection on the way home from the Farm to Fork Market this past Friday when a Papa John’s delivery car pulled up behind me.  As we sat at the intersection, a Dominos delivery car passed from one direction and a Noble Romans delivery car passed from the other.  After I got through the intersection, I was passed by a Fox’s Den delivery car.

I realize we all have busy lives (see Stop and Smell the Lilacs from last week).  Our family also breaks down on occasion and orders a pizza.  We’re all human.  But that food is what’s causing our health problems and our economic problems.  Most “dining out” food is highly processed and is devoid of the proper nutrition we need.  The money we spend for that food goes to shareholders and out-of-state corporate hierarchies.  I know many of these businesses employ our teenagers, but so would your locally-owned food establishments if they had the financial support to do so.

As a society, we need to spend more quality time with our families, eating quality food from our own gardens and local farmers.  When we treat ourselves to meals away from home, we need to support our locally-owned restaurants, cafes, and pubs.  Doing this will allow us to lead healthier lifestyles, both physically and mentally, and will provide economic support for our neighbors and communities.

Eat healthy.  Grow your own garden.  Support your local growers, farmers, and artisans. Support your locally-owned businesses.

We will be at two markets this week.

Friday, June 7, 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. – Farm to Fork Market at Normandy Farms (79th and Marsh Road)

Tuesday, June 11, 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. – Decatur Township Farmers’ Market (5106 S. High School Road)

If you can’t make it to one of the markets, we will also be happy to sell to you at the farm.  We will be fairly busy this weekend but will be around during the weekday evenings after 6:00 p.m.

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We will be at three markets this week.

Friday, May 31, 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. – Farm to Fork Market at Normandy Farms (79th and Marsh Road)

Saturday, June 1, 8:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. – Zionsville Farmers’ Market (Main Street and Hawthorne)

Tuesday, June 4, 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. – Decatur Township Farmers’ Market (5106 S. High School Road)

We all have busy lives working and pursuing endeavors that are important to us.  During the busy times, please don’t forget to set aside time for yourself.  Lilacs are in bloom for only a short time in spring.  They also happen to be my favorite flower.  We were so busy this spring that I didn’t take the time to smell the lilacs that grow right outside our kitchen window.  I didn’t even get a picture to share with you.  Now I have to wait until next spring for the opportunity to smell fresh lilacs again.  Make sure you take some time out of your busy life to smell the flower of your choice.

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. . . but they’re already home, and so are we.  After 24 days of rotational grazing, the livestock made an entire trip around the pasture (minus a couple of paddocks due to some strategic netting issues).  The picture shows their last paddock in the rotation, one they hadn’t grazed in 5 weeks.  Thankfully, we have had plenty of rain and as you can see, the pasture is taller than the sheep.  This total rotation is just barely enough to break the parasite cycle of 21 days.  I’ll fix that though, by buying another length of netting (to make 8) so that my paddocks don’t have to share a side.  This will allow me to add 2 or 3 more paddocks to the total rotation for an additional 4 to 6 days of grazing.

We appreciate your business.  We will be at only one market this week, the new Farm to Fork Market at Normandy Farms.  The market is Friday, May 24, from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.  Normandy Farms is located at the corner of 79th Street and Marsh Road on the northwest side of Indianapolis.  We look forward to seeing you.Image

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We will be selling at two farmers’ markets this weekend.  While two markets is not much for market veterans, it will be a lot for us in our first season.  We will be selling our full range of products at both markets.  This includes grass-fed lamb and goat, pastured whole chickens, and free-range eggs.  Our animals are raised using organic, antibiotic free methods.  Our poultry are also supplemented with organic grain.

Friday, May 17, we will be at the Normandy Farms Organic Market (79th Street and Marsh Road) from 4:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.  Last week’s inaugural market went quite well considering the little publicity at the time and the rain during the market.

Saturday, May 18, we will be at the Zionsville Farmers’ Market (www.zionsvillefarmersmarket.org) from 8:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.  This is opening day for the farmers’ market.  The annual Brick Street Market (a craft market) will also be held in Zionsville Saturday beginning at 10:00 a.m.

Please stop by one of the markets for your local, organic food needs.

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May is always a busy month for the farm and the farmers.  There are gardens to be planted, livestock pasture to manage, chicks for which to care, birthdays to celebrate, and mothers to honor.

We will be participating in our first farmers’ market this Friday.  A new organic market will be held at Normandy Farms (79th and Marsh Road) from 4:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m., May 10.  We will be selling eggs and whole chickens at this market.  They already have a vendor for lamb.  We will also be selling at the Zionsville Farmers’ Market beginning Saturday, May 18.  We will be selling all of our available products.  Please review our price list for information on pricing before visiting the markets.

For our current customers, you may notice that our prices have increased.  We recently completed an analysis of our poultry feed costs and, thanks to increases in grain prices, our feed prices have also increased.  We also have to cover the cost of market participation.  We have paid more than $500 in permit fees, licenses, vendor fees, and liability insurance to participate in these markets and bring our products to more convenient locations for you, the customer.  We appreciate your continued support.

Don’t forget Mothers’ Day.  It is this Sunday, May 12.  The Loft Restaurant at Traders Point Creamery always has special meals for Mothers’ Day and will be serving a Full Circle Farm lamb frittata for brunch.  We will all be there bright and early at 9:30 a.m.  Make your reservations now.  They confirmed ours today.

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We finally got started on our rotational grazing for the season.  The animals were more than ready.  We had them closed off to one section of the pasture for two weeks, allowing the rest of the pasture to get some growth.  The first picture shows the fairly distinct line between the two sections of pasture.  The rested pasture is six inches tall while the other section has been eaten to the ground.  The second picture shows the difference of no grazing.  Areas where the animals had not been permitted to graze at all are nearly a foot tall.

This will be our second season of rotational grazing.  We learned several lessons during our first season.

  1.  Portable shelters must be fairly stout, which makes them less portable.  The winds during severe storms and during the winter picked up and destroyed the portable shelters we built last summer.  This year we are toying with no shelters since the animals’ coats protect them from the rain.  However, we may also go with a few sturdy, less mobile shelters.
  2. Our sheep will not respect standard multi-strand electric fencing.  They have discovered that if they stick their heads between the wires, any shock to their wooly coats as they go through the fence is nominal.  The cows, however, rarely cross the fence.
  3. It doesn’t matter if you are feeding them the best quality, third-cutting hay available, sheep will still eat your pine trees.  See #2 on the fence issue.  That is why we will now use electric netting to keep the animals in place and is also why we have had to plant more pine trees.
  4. This past winter, we allowed the animals to have the run of the entire pasture, eating up any new grass in the early spring.  You can see the difference in the grass that has not been touched.  It may be better to have a “sacrifice” area closer to the barn, keeping the animals there the entire winter and allowing the rest of the pasture to get a better start.  This should allow us to start our rotational grazing sooner in the season and save on hay.  That will be something we try during this season.

Don’t forget.  We will be at the Zionsville Farmers’ Market beginning Saturday morning, May 18, from 8:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.  We hope to see you there.

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