Friday, May 17, 2013
It seems that I'm getting a lot of spam here at the blog lately. In an effort to cut down on it, I've added the dreadful word verification form to the commenting process.
I don't like it. But I also don't like spam. If things lighten up (spam-wise), I'll try taking it off for a while. In the meantime, please accept my apology for the additional step when you comment. (By the way, I love comments!)
We are busy planting crops and moving sheep and cows from pasture to pasture and endlessly fixing broken equipment. We are also struggling with the reality that an extended family member is under hospice care. Forgive me if I don't post as often as I should to hold your interest. Life is short. Please go hug those you love...
Tuesday, May 14, 2013
The sheep are happily out on pasture now--this is the first pasture we put them on. It was slightly overgrazed late last year, and is not lush like it should be. They spent a couple of days there, closer to the house, where we could easily watch them.
This is only a small group of the sheep--we have around 100 ewes and their lambs. They tend to spread out when they feel safe and they're grazing.
They've now moved on to another pasture. It's due to be taken out and planted to crops this spring. But it can provide much-needed feed for the sheep before we till it under.
With last year's semi-drought, we are being extra careful about not wasting anything. Any pastures that grow faster than needed will be cut for hay in late spring. While many appreciate the late spring this year (to protect other farmers' fruit crops), it was a bad year to have a late spring for livestock farmers. Most of them were low on hay anyway because of last year's drought, and hay was so expensive. Hard decisions have to be made sometimes--about whether to keep extra animals or sell some, simply because of financial reasons.
Friday, May 10, 2013
Michigan has many microclimates which support the growth of over 200 commodities on a commercial basis, making the state the second more agriculturally diverse state in the nation.
Over 702,310 TONS of fresh market and processing vegetables were grown in Michigan in 2010. The state ranks 8th in fresh and 5th in processed vegetable production annually.
Labels: Ag P.R.
Wednesday, May 8, 2013
Monday, May 6, 2013
Lately we've been getting phone calls, emails and facebook messages asking if we allow farm visits. Some of them are even phrased more directly, such as "when can we come and visit?"
We struggle with this, and I always carefully craft a response. I aim for a kind answer, but I'm not always sure I achieve that.
You see, if we started allowing personal visits to the farm, we'd never get anything done. That's our reality. The truth is, there are times when we run from one thing to the next.
But we do realize that we have something very, very special here. Something that not a lot of people have a chance to experience. And we want to share that.
So when there was talk of letting the sheep out of the barn for the spring, we decided to offer a quick glimpse to whomever could come on short notice. We emailed those who are on our email list, and posted it on facebook. We gave about 2 days notice, and we offered only a one hour window to come, late on a Saturday afternoon.
We had maybe 20-25 people come. Nothing like our shearing day. But that's okay, as it was a low-key event.
In fact, the sheep weren't all that entertaining. They took a few steps out of the barn, and immediately buried their noses in the grass. They eventually did a little baaing and running about, but they were mostly interested in the lush grass.
In case you are tempted to ask if you can come for a personal tour, just know that we will probably say no. But if you like us on facebook, or sign up for our email newsletter, you might just get to hear about a spur of the moment event that may be almost as nice as a personal tour, and still allow us to get our work done.