Fall 2012 Update

Hope all is well folks.  We’ve been crazy busy, but having fun growing the farm.  Our work has focused on continuing to improve our annual and pig pastures, and growing our beef and sheep herd.  Additionally, we’ve added rabbits to the farm.  And lastly, we’ve been blessed with some wonderful new customers that make all of this effort worthwhile.

As far as the pastures, the cows and sheep enjoyed the millet we planted during the summer.  Was nice to get rain this year.  We’re still behind as far as rain, but much more timely rains this year.  We’re hoping to get some good rain in the next week or so to help our winter pastures get going.  In the meantime, the ruminants are enjoying bermudagrass hay.  The minerals and dolomitic lime we’ve added to the pastures has done wonders.  It takes time to convert pine forest to pasture, but there are many benefits to the conversion.  As far as the pig pastures, the pumpkins we fed last year created an amazing array of pumpkin plants all over the place.  The hogs have enjoyed pumpkins, pecans, persimmons, acorns, and of course grass over the past few months.  Has been great to see the hogs relish such nutritious feed.

As far as growth of the herds, a good friend of ours in the Pineywoods cow community was downsizing, so was a great opportunity to pick up some really nice 5 year old cows.  We added 13 Cows, 2 Bulls (1 is in the freezer), and all their calves.  The beef herd now numbers 33 beautiful Pineywoods (permanent crew includes 18 Mamma Cows and 4 Heifers)!  We bragged we would always know the name to every one of our cows, and this year it was a challenge…for a few weeks.  They all have a very unique personality, so it quickly becomes easy to get to know them.  All the cows have been very good this year…raising really nice looking calves.  We only had one cow incident this year, and it was one of the new bulls (the one in the freezer) deciding he wanted to breed one of the girls that was in a different pasture.  He made his way through the fence to visit with her.  We helped him find his way onto the trailer.

The other exciting news is the addition of rabbits.  I was inspired to raise rabbits by one of our customers at the Perry Farmer’s Market.  She raised Angora rabbits for their wool (and to show), and asked me if I’d ever skinned a rabbit.  Having been raised in the rural South, we enjoyed rabbit as a delicacy after deer season ended (and if we shot straight).  We’ve since skinned many rabbits for her, and have enjoyed the meat she has shared with us immensely.  The meat is very lean and tasty, and has some amazing health attributes.  We have started small with 2 does and a buck, but will expand in the next month or so.  We’re going to grow the rabbit herd to about 15 does in 2013.  Should work out to harvesting about 500 rabbits next year…  As for breed of rabbits, we are raising New Zealand Whites, and will add heritage breed Silver Fox towards the end of the year.

Please call us if there is anything we can do for you.

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