It’s been harvest time on the farm, starting with the thoroughbred sale in September where we send our yearlings to start the next phase of their life. Not the best of sales for us, more of a buyers market, but we had 5 lovely horses that I’m sure will do us proud on the racetrack, as it seemed they all found brilliant homes.
On returning home we weaned Sarah Schwarzenegger, Mascaretta is acting as grandma, and now we’re waiting for the right moment to wean Picasso, who is getting quite independent.
Next up were the turkeys who provided many great Thanksgiving turkey dinners, there are a few left in our freezers for anyone thinking ahead to Christmas. All our young pullets sold and it will be next spring before we have more young birds for sale. The farm saw a big hatching amongst our own chickens and ducks, of special importance was Annie the naked neck chicken, hatching 7 babies at the regal age of 9!!! Unfortunately the ravens are causing us a lot of grief, stealing eggs out of the laying boxes in the hen house and a high rate of attrition amongst the chicks. Annie only has 3 babies left! Hawks are also a possible cause with the chicks.
In the meantime we have been madly harvesting apples from the orchard, and all sorts of veg from the many gardens. The heritage tomatoes are fabulous as are the Egg plants [aubergines] Hard to keep up with everything so we are looking to reduce the work load. We have sold Silke & Sadie, our 2 pregnant pigs. Sarah will remain whilst we see if she’s still fertile. Also looking for special homes for our beautiful jersey cows, Bella, Zenyatta and Patsy. We love the milk but it’s time to change direction slightly, and that’s not possible with all these animals around.
In the feed store we now have a full line of Non GMO poultry feeds, Pro Forms Natural Harvest line, from 26% turkey starter to 15% finisher made from proteins all sourced in N America, that went into production in September, something that we and are customers are very happy about. The certified Organic feed is incredibly expensive and some of the inputs are coming from as far away as China and India, which doesn’t make sense to me.
The Washington hay supply is coming in regularly and we are seeing lovely low sugar on our hay tests, the quality is great this year, We just unloaded 35 tons of 3 string timothy that average only 17 bales to a ton [you figure out how heavy each bale is!!! so I think I’ll go soak in a bath with epsom salts!