Calf update ;-)

Two more Galloways – one white, one black. What a surprise, when we went to check the water this morning! We quickly moved them to their own quiet area by picking up the calves, thus inciting the moms to follow in huffing indignation. They are both purebred Galloway heifers and will eventually become part of the breeding herd. The moms pushed the calves to their new bedding and are now chowing down. Truffles, born a couple weeks earlier has moved back to the herd and is now sporting her green ear tag #11.

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First Calf!!!

FirstCalf

firstcalfnursing_cropNot expected until May… The vet just wasn’t on top of his game. Imagine our surprise when we found a Galloway calf in the barn this morning, hiding behind the frost-free stock tank. The really strange part was her mom was on the other side of the corral panel fence, bellowing her heart out to get the calf’s attention and to express her distress. Of course, we reunited them. She nursed immediately (hooray!!!!) and we ushered them into private quarters. Mom is extremely protective — almost charging caregivers. But she’s calming down now, and baby is sleeping off her milk stupor, while the miracle of colostrum builds her little immune system. What a joyous experience!

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Just Dreaming

So… I just came across these videos of our own cattle, after attending a grazing conference and dreaming of the days to come. The winter on hay is a struggle for us all, but the grazing is what our cattle live for.

This is “Fran” a British White cross cow. Turn your volume up and you will be amazed with the grass-ripping action. Watch the tongue, grabbing the grass and cutting if on the bottom teeth. Cattle don’t have upper front teeth — just a solid pad.


Now we have a yearling grazing white clover, a low-growing protein-rich legume that has spread out and filled in after the last graze-through. The sound is probably static from the wind. We have lots of it here in South Hero.

Yes, there’s enough forage for all! Two yearlings going at it. No wonder they grow so fast!

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Laying plans for farmstand eggs

free range chickens working hard to produce your farm-fresh eggs

free range chickens working hard to produce your farm-fresh eggs


The chicken tractor just rolled in, loaded with laying hens. These are happy birds, enjoying our South Hero fresh air and sunshine, free ranging for food, and supplementing with organic grain. Eggs are available as an add-on to your beef order or all by themselves. We are charging $4.50 per dozen for these mixed-size eggs. The trusting hens are guarded by an electric fence and several roosters.

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Galloways Enjoying the Snow


We have the Galloways segregated from the pre-existing herd of Angus/Devon and British White. The Galloways are reported to eat less than other cattle in the winter, due to their heavy winter coats. Indeed, they were bedded in the snow in Ontario, before they made the trek south. Here, they enjoy hay bedding outdoors (some of our lower-quality bales) and higher quality hay in the bale ring. They have a space in the hoop barn where they can seek shelter when the weather gets bad, but they love the outdoors in most kinds of weather. We are enjoying observing how the Galloways are different from our other cattle.

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Bale Grazing on Frozen Ground

We’re halfway through winter! And bale grazing is in full swing. These are the bales we have set out in the field in a grid-like pattern, with electric wires controlling access to them. When the ground is frozen, we can feed the cattle in the field, with the manure distributed on the field rather than piling up in the barn. The bale rings are needed to keep the cattle from sleeping on the hay, messing it up and wasting their feed. The cattle can choose to sleep in the barn, on their bedded pack, but dinner is served al fresco — three bales for 50 cattle. We put out a 2-day supply each time. That way, the dominant cattle will get their fill, lie down, and leave plenty for the “lesser ranked” cattle to fill their bellies (rumens).

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The Galloways have arrived!

Galloways feeling at home

Galloways feeling at home in a snow flurry

We are working on our genetics! Bringing in registered Galloway cattle will move us towards our goals of producing a market animal in 18 months and a consistent product. Galloways grow a double winter coat and need less feed to make it through the freezing months. Plus they are so cute. We look forward to next spring when they will be grazing alongside West Shore Road, and you can watch them interact. You can read more about the Galloway breed at the American Galloway Breeders website.

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SEEKING ORGANIC FARMER

We’re still grazing strong!!! But we need help with the vegetables. Incredible infrastructure available for lease to an organic producer on our 180-acre conserved, certified-organic farm in South Hero, VT. One to five acres may be leased for vegetable or crop production which includes a high tunnel (with a frost-free hydrant), a farm stand with refrigerator and customer parking, an office, a walk-in cooler, a barn and sheds for equipment and tool storage. Potential business assets include a CSA customer list and access to local farmers’ markets. If your vision of farming includes livestock, this is definitely a possibility. Interested parties should contact Joan Falcao at 802-378-5246 for additional information. We would love to give you a tour of the farm and hear if this opportunity would be a good fit for you. We will be asking for a business description, a resume of relevant experience and letters of recommendation.

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Now selling at the Winter Farmers’ Market

Our Winter Markets begin NOVEMBER 5th and continue every other Saturday (November 19, December 3) through December 17th!! You can find us in the lower level of the Congregational Church on South Street in South Hero, 10 till 2 pm! Other farmers, artisans and crafters will be selling as well — along with prepared food vendors. So come on by and visit! Get out of the cold and get going on your holiday gifts. If you need beef for slow cooking, check out our sales and select from our regular offerings as well. Does rib eye ever go out of season?

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Don’t miss the Harvest Fest!

See you there!

See you there!

We’ll be selling the beef. Don’t miss this chance to stock your freezer with 100% grass fed beef at 20% off on brisket, short ribs and London Broil.

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