Sunday, July 31, 2011

Rabbits!

Vanessa is excitedly putting together her rabbit hutch for Stark Hollow Farm's newest offering: Rabbit. We are experimenting with adding rabbit to our meat offering. More info to come.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Icelandic lambs go to college

Stark Hollow Farm sends two ewe lambs off to college. Corinna and Cavona were purchased by Basil Tangredi, retired veterinarian and professor at Green Mountain College. They will be used by students to learn about shearing, body condition scoring, parasite management, wound dressing and other general animal health care to support the pre-med vet program. Green Mountain College was voted the "nation's greenest school" by Sierra Magazine.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

New Portable Chicken Condo

The most artistic, beautiful coop ever, designed and built lovingly by Vanessa. The construction follows traditional timber framing principles. Soon it will have wheels and be moving around the pasture behind the sheep.



Under construction...

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Building a Hay Stack

There is nothing quite like the smell of fresh mown pasture grasses...except of course the smell of sheep on pasture. So sweet, so earthy, so ancient. Our ancestors, when they first domesticated animals, then had to learn how to keep them through the winter. The hay stack is a method for keeping hay for feed during the long winter months. Our first attempt is experimental. It's hard to learn an old-fashioned technique simply by reading about it. Like all farming, it's best learned by doing.
Here's how Vanessa did it:
~ First, she cut the field with our mower.
~ Then, she selected a spot close to the edge of the pasture, out of the wind to place the stack.
~ Then, she placed a center pole and tripod poles, with branches coming off them.
~ Next, she placed cut boughs and branches as the base to allow airflow under the stack.
~ Then, with a modified rake, the hay was raked up into long rows.
~ After that, the hay was spun up with a pitchfork and stacked on top of the boughs.
~ The hay stack grew taller and taller around the center pole.
~ Last, she will comb out the hay to allow it to shed water.

Laura rakes the hay into rows


One pitch fork full at at time



Pitching the hay onto the stack