Summer has been very busy for us. Mariah and I had the opportunity to go to Michigan for a much needed get-away with family. Then on the way back we stopped by Seven Sons farm in Indiana. It was an incredible experience. They are very passionate about producing nutrient dense, pastured, GMO free food. We learned so much during our visit. My favorite thing we saw was there was their pastured laying hen system. They have several hoop coops that they move together as a group. It was a pretty innovative idea. Mariah really liked the tour of the pastured hog operation. She has been considering starting a pastured pork enterprise for some time and this trip helped her better understand the necessary requirements for a pastured hog enterprise. After a full day in rural Indiana we finally headed back for home.
This summer has also been busy on the farm as we have been working hard to finish a fence and water development project. Unfortunately, it has taken much longer to finish than we had anticipated. In part, due to a two month delay in trenching for the water line. It was so unfortunate we just had to laugh. We hired a contractor to trench for us (to save the expense of buying or renting one, which would've required a lot more of my time to run the machine). The contractor was excited about the project and told us he could have all 14,000 feet trenched in two weeks. That was March. We were excited and quickly rearranged our schedules and hired a friend to help us install all the water line in the trench and build the tire tanks (picture in spring newsletter). Let us say that by the end of June and four trencher breakdowns (and subsequent long repairs) later, only 70% of the trenching was completed. It was a major set back that has made rotational grazing on this farm much more difficult due to limited water supplies.
HOWEVER, we have been able to make the best of a not-so-good situation. In spite of this set back, the cows and sheep are doing great. All the lambs are on the ground (shepherd slang for birthed and healthy) and they are growing fast! The spring calves are also growing fast. Both the calves and lambs not to mention kids (baby goats) are providing lots of laughs with their love to climb and play.
In last spring's newsletter, we showed a picture of tiny little chicks that we are just beginning to raise. Those little black and white baby chicks finally grew up! Now we have an abundance of their small (pullet eggs). We are giving them away for free. Learn more here. The young hens lay these "pullet" eggs for several weeks when they first begin to lay. Their eggs will gradually grow in size as they age. The young hens are enjoying their new hoop coop which we pull across the fields (see picture below).
In the midst of the craziness, we have added a couple new buying club locations in St. Louis and Kansas City. We will begin making deliveries in October. If you know of anyone in those areas who needs nutrient dense, pasture raised, clean food (think everyone) let them know about us!
Last, but certainly not least, Judah is growing up. He loves to be outside on the farm playing in the grass, riding on the side by side (carefully restrained by us of course), and generally giggling at the animals (his favorite animal on the farm are the chickens). At only six months old he can crawl anywhere- and fast. He is already pulling himself up on his feet! We have had to make a few changes in the last few weeks (finding new places for magazines, books, trinkets, and computer cords), but we are so thrilled to have our little nugget.
Check out the pictures below of Judah, the calves, lambs, and the chickens!
We hope you have all had great summers as well!
-David, Mariah, and Baby Judah