We have come to the conclusion that we cannot make this property viable as a farm, sadly. Our pastures suck, even after years and years of clearing and improving them. 320 of our 340 acres have a wildlife conservation easement. If we could use all the land that’s usable we might be able to make it fly. But the worst land on the farm we’re leasing would still be the best land here. There are entire acres there that can simply be tilled and planted with vegetables. The best land here is too steep for anything but hay or orchard. and the rare flat land is ledge, wet, or both.
This place is beautiful, which is why Frank bought it 25 years ago, and we will miss our dream house. But western Vermont is beautiful too, and it’s the dream house of a couple of hi tech hired guns with a pair of teenagers, which is what we were. The kids are gone, and airplanes and hotels have gotten really old. I really hated the rat race and don’t want to go back. We’d rather farm, and need a better farm, so we’re moving.
The logistics are making my head hurt. We’ve got so many animals to move, and fencing and housing for each set is necessary.
Unfortunately, we won’t be able to be set up to keep pigs right away, so so we’re dispersing our herd. We have several very good 3 year old proven mothers, registered Tamworths for sale. If we can’t sell them, they’ll have to go off to freezer camp with the rest of the crew. Spread the word! I’m contacting everyone I know and will run some ads as well.
If you are interested in some fabulous pork, we have a ton (literally) of it for sale now and for the next few months. You can have either half or whole hogs, cut to your specification, plus we are also selling by the piece. Our price list is here — and if you order is more than $100, we are offering a ten percent discount. Moving frozen meat across state lines is not something I want to attempt. The beef list is all that we have, in limited quantities, but if you’d like a cut of pork not on the list, let Frank know. We can probably arrange to get it from the next pig down the road.
Wow do we have a lot of birds. We have big breeding flocks of Icelandic chickens, Midget White turkeys, Saxony ducks and Toulouse geese. Many have babies at their side right now, and it feels like a million of them are in various stages of setting on eggs. Moving them is going to be tricky, to say the least. The timing of it all is making my head hurt.
We’ve started fencing the area right around the new house, in a spot that will hold all of the dogs until they get used to the new place. Fencing that will hold three Pyrs is tricky. They climb, they jump, they dig. We never really tried to keep them in anywhere anymore since none of them roam. They’ve established their territory here and do a great job keeping us in a predator-free environment. Fencing should be a bit easier in the new spot because it is much, much flatter and way less rocky. We haven’t hit a rock yet pounding posts which feels like a miracle.
I’ll post photos once I remember to have the camera with batteries and the data card all in the right spot at the right time. I usually am prepared and take a million photos, but I don’t know why I can’t seem to manage that right now. Too much on my mind, I guess. But I’ve decided that I’ll write about it here. That’s always helped me before, and we’ll need lots of help to get this done!
We are heading over tomorrow again. It’s a two hour drive each way. Tomorrow’s haul will be another 200 feet of fence that we’ve pulled down off the back paddock, 20 more t-posts, water hoses, and water troughs. We want to try to get that up and it will finish the spot right around the house. Then we can start taking sheep over, as we can catch them in the trailer, which we got moved the other day. (only 2 hours to move it after not moving it for almost a year)
Next is moving the hoop house and getting it set up. That’s going to be the chicken coop for a bit, until we can build one out of wood. I’d like to get it set up some place where we can till the poop into the soil in the spring and then plant in it.
Then we have a big Army tent that used to be a mess hall that we are going to use for temporary barn space. We need to get it delivered and set up. We are going to need some help getting it set up, actually. Anyone want to see the new place and let me feed you after working you to death? No? It shouldn’t be that hard, actually, but a few more people would be great. Let me know if you can help and we’ll set a date probably in two weeks, so third week of July.
(Why not next weekend? That’s because we are going to the Icelandic Affair in CT that weekend, bringing our Icelandic chickens, Icelandic sheepdogs and a few Icelandic sheep. We’ll also have some cool stuff to vend this time around, like gorgeous pelts and soap made from sheep’s milk. Stop by if you are around! Half of Iceland is coming, I hear, and lots and lots of Icelandic sheepdogs and their people. We met Gaela’s daddy there last year.) (Ooh, we could bring meat for people in the area, too.)
One of the trickiest bits of moving is that we only have one tractor. There are lots of things we need tractors for right now at both places. Even just loading equipment onto the truck takes the tractor here, but then how do we get it off over there? Plus, if we want to plant anything for the rest of the growing season, we’ve got to get some land tilled. I want to plant as many fall crops as I can, and there are some things like okra and beans that I don’t think it’s too late to start now, even. I think. My head is spinning.
So anyway, stay tuned if you want to watch and point. Or offer suggestions when I need to brainstorm. I apologize in advance if I’m hard to get in touch with. Wish us luck!