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Posted 4/9/2018 10:45am by Kerry Gawalt.

Good Morning,

We have had a busy last few weeks on the farm. Winter is still here. two of our big greenhouses were damaged by the high winds last week. We will be giving them complete overhaul this month. Our heated greenhouse with all the baby plants is fine. The whole greenhouse is covered in a single layer of 6mil greenhouse plastic. The ends and sides are secured on an aluminum track with "wiggle" wire. It is always an adventure maneuvering a 48 by 100 sheet of plastic. It generally costs about one thousand dollars to recover a greenhouse just in plastic. Labor and other materials like new wood can bring the price up closer to $1,800. The beauty of these greenhouses is that they do not require any electricity when they are used as "cold frames" for season extension. They can be heated with the installation of a furnace. We have continued our heifer run on the farm with six in a row including the Holstein baby. Stop by the barn to meet Hazel, Willow, Zeetah, Olive, Zakia and Button. The Hartland Cattle Club spent yesterday at Flavors of the Valley educating the public about 4H and cows and gave away lots of our cheese. They will be at the Townline equipment open house (Plainfield,NH) on Wednesday April 18th with a jersey cow, our Gouda and Smoked Gouda cheeses. Stop by and try a piece. Pet a cow and learn more about the cows.

 

Posted 3/14/2018 12:58pm by Kerry Gawalt.

Even though we just got buried in snow, signs of Spring are around the farm. We have a new heifer calf born this morning at 2AM. Odelia gave birth to the calf inside the warm, dry barn. Once the calf is born we give it an oral vaccine and milk the cow. The colostrum provides the calf with a good dose of immune system booster. Every hour after birth the calf's intestinal wall closes more and the calf can absorb less of the colostrum. So getting the calf feed right away is vital. All the antibodies come through the colostrum. The cow get free choice electrolytes  to drink, good hay and her dish of grain. We want to see the cow up on her feet, eating and having passed the placenta soon after calving. If these things have not happened, there usually is a problem with the cow. We bring our close to calving cows and heifers inside into individual box stalls. The box is bedded with dry pine shavings. This is our 3rd heifer calf in a row. We have 3 more heifers due to calve next week including our Holstein. In the greenhouse heated with propane and the sun it is spring like. We have seeded onions, leeks, spinach, beets, celeriac, bok choi, lettuce, chard, kale and scallions. Most of these plants are just emerging from the soil. The greens will be transplanted in our unheated high tunnels in early April. We still have a few CSA shares available for this season.

On the cheese side of the farm we have sent our first batch of Gouda to be smoked at Grafton Village Cheese. We will have aged and baby smoked Gouda available at the farm stand and in stores by the end of next week.

Kerry

Posted 3/14/2018 12:49pm by Kerry Gawalt.

Even though we just got buried in snow, signs of Spring are around the farm. We have a new heifer calf born this morning at 2AM. Odelia gave birth to the calf inside the warm, dry barn. Once the calf is born we give it an oral vaccine and milk the cow. The colostrum provides the calf with a good dose of immune system booster. Every hour after birth the calf's intestinal wall closes more and the calf can absorb less of the colostrum. So getting the calf feed right away is vital. All the antibodies come through the colostrum. The cow get free choice electrolytes  to drink, good hay and her dish of grain. We want to see the cow up on her feet, eating and having passed the placenta soon after calving. If these things have not happened, there usually is a problem with the cow. We bring our close to calving cows and heifers inside into individual box stalls. The box is bedded with dry pine shavings. This is our 3rd heifer calf in a row. We have 3 more heifers due to calve next week including our Holstein. In the greenhouse heated with propane and the sun it is spring like. We have seeded onions, leeks, spinach, beets, celeriac, bok choi, lettuce, chard, kale and scallions. Most of these plants are just emerging from the soil. The greens will be transplanted in our unheated high tunnels in early April. We still have a few CSA shares available for this season.

On the cheese side of the farm we have sent our first batch of Gouda to be smoked at Grafton Village Cheese. We will have aged and baby smoked Gouda available at the farm stand and in stores by the end of next week.

Kerry

Posted 3/14/2018 12:46pm by Kerry Gawalt.

Even though we just got buried in snow, signs of Spring are around the farm. We have a new heifer calf born this morning at 2AM. Odelia gave birth to the calf inside the warm, dry barn. Once the calf is born we give it an oral vaccine and milk the cow. The colostrum provides the calf with a good dose of immune system booster. Every hour after birth the calf's intestinal wall closes more and the calf can absorb less of the colostrum. So getting the calf feed right away is vital. All the antibodies come through the colostrum. The cow get free choice electrolytes  to drink, good hay and her dish of grain. We want to see the cow up on her feet, eating and having passed the placenta soon after calving. If these things have not happened, there usually is a problem with the cow. We bring our close to calving cows and heifers inside into individual box stalls. The box is bedded with dry pine shavings. This is our 3rd heifer calf in a row. We have 3 more heifers due to calve next week including our Holstein. In the greenhouse heated with propane and the sun it is spring like. We have seeded onions, leeks, spinach, beets, celeriac, bok choi, lettuce, chard, kale and scallions. Most of these plants are just emerging from the soil. The greens will be transplanted in our unheated high tunnels in early April. We still have a few CSA shares available for this season.

On the cheese side of the farm we have sent our first batch of Gouda to be smoked at Grafton Village Cheese. We will have aged and baby smoked Gouda available at the farm stand and in stores by the end of next week.

Kerry

Posted 2/27/2018 11:23am by Kerry Gawalt.

Dear CSA members and farm friends,

Spring is right around the corner. Please sign-up by the end of the week for the CSA this Spring and Summer. Our first seeds are going in the ground in our greenhouse. We use compost from our dairy cows along with peat moss, ground minerals, perlite and lime for the starting mix. Our heated greenhouse is near the farm entrance, a 12 by 48 foot greenhouse plastic covered tunnel. It has a double wall to add insulation value and is heated with a wall mounted propane heater. We start plants in there from March until August. We start all our transplants inside the greenhouse. Onions, leeks, parsley, celeriac and celery and some flowers require 8-10 weeks before going out into the field. Lettuce and brassicas only want to spend 4 weeks in a flat. Our tomatoes want 7 weeks from seeding to going into the fields.

Kerry

Posted 2/20/2018 3:48pm by Kerry Gawalt.

Dear CSA members and farm friends,

Last chance to sign-up for a CSA share for 2018. You can sign-up online or we can send you a paper form. We have vegetable or beef shares or the omnivore share which is beef and vegetables.

Kerry

Posted 2/20/2018 3:03pm by Kerry Gawalt.

Dear CSA members and farm friends,

Two films about New England farms have been shown over the last few months. The first one is "Vermont Farm Kids rooted in the land" and features 2 kids from our farm, my daughter and her friend Kate.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nB2Q5gnc94w&sns=fb

The second film is "Forgotten Farms" about New Englands struggling dairy farms. It can be watched on line from the producer. A very important look at the struggles of dairy farming.

http://forgottenfarms.org/buy-or-rent/

 

Both films are worth watching. Dairy farms are vanishing every day from our landscape. Buying US produced milk and asking your elected officials about supply management are a start in the right direction. We will have a screening for both later this Spring at the farm.

Kerry

 

 

Posted 2/12/2018 9:24am by Kerry Gawalt.

Dear CSA members and farm friends,

The garden plan is in its final stage for 2018. If you want a CSA share this year please sign up. We will be starting the plants in a few weeks. What we grow for the CSA will be based on how many people sign-up this month. We will always have extra produce at our farm stand on Wednesdays in Hartland.

Thanks,

Kerry

Posted 2/8/2018 4:59pm by Kerry Gawalt.