November Farm Update
Time sure does move quickly, just like that we are rapidly approaching the end of 2022. I thought I was long overdue for a farm update!
In October we sold Miss Lolly, one of our original milk cows who made the trip from CA to TN with us. It was an emotional day but she went to the best possible home. With rising costs of pretty much everything it was the best financial decision to downsize our herd and biggest eater. We have Marigold who will freshen this next summer and Meadow who is currently supplying us with our raw milk. It's always hard saying goodbye to any animal, but you have such an intimate relationship with a milk cow, they come to their name and you build a bond. Needless to say the kids and I had no dry eyes saying goodbye. It's been fun to keep in contact with her new owners and build a friendship. We were able to give them our family milk cow course to help with all the questions that come with new cow ownership too!
We incubated two more rounds of chicks, giving us 49 more to add to the flock. We love our incubator and if you are in the market I'll put a link here. I also ordered 30 something pullets from well hatchery. Why? Well because I am a chicken addict and because of the ones we incubated half or more could be roosters. We really need a good chunk of new hens so we keep the egg flow all through winter. This year we have dropped to 2-5 eggs a day. Needless to say we want to not be in this position come next winter. We would of had a lot more chicks but the fox family that came through this spring took out 65 chickens that would of been laying now.
We raised some pasture pigs for us and a handful of other families and were very happy with the size and meat. We hope to grow this operation more and I have a waitlist for next year if you would like to be on it. Make sure to shoot me an email firstname.lastname@example.org and I'll get you on the list. Raising animals you will eventually butcher is never something taken lightly, we enjoyed these pigs so much and the kids gave them scratches and treats daily. Part of their pasture had a swing in it that the kids would swing on and joke that the pigs would swing when we weren't looking. We cured our own bacon for the second time ever, back in CA the butcher would do it but here in East Tennessee it's just not how they do it. The first time we cured it we didn't like it at all, this second time though we were all excited cause it tasted like bacon! Next we are saving for a smoker but that isn't high on the priority list right now.
The garden spot we have been using we decided to clear and are trying to figure out the best plan of action to attack the terrible crap/Bermuda/grass from the devil out of there. We are starting a new spot up on the hill and we may turn the old spot into raised beds. Right now we are trying to get as much organic matter down and heavily mulch to build soil. This TN red clay is not great for growing and we have a lot of work to do. We hope to double our garden size and get bigger yields to not just feed us but also have overflow for all the animals as well.
We had family photos done on the farm by a dear friend. I absolutely love getting photos done right in our backyard, what a beautiful way to document the land we have been blessed with. There isn't much more of an update I can think of but I hope this post finds you well and you embrace the holidays as they quickly are approaching.
Happy Homesteading Friends
Vaughan Family Farm
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