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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.
Posted 2/6/2018 4:49pm by Kerry Gawalt.

       Our seed potatoes are picked out and ordered. We are growing red Norland, Modoc, Nicola, Kennebec and Pinto gold. 2 types of reds, a beautiful, oval yellow, the big white standard and for fun a pink and yellow oblong variety. We buy our seed potatoes from a Vermont farm family that grows 60 acres of potatoes. We love buying our seed directly from the farm, They even deliver the bags to our area. We are planting 500lbs this year, which is close to a quarter acre of potatoes.

Kerry

Posted 1/28/2018 1:18pm by Kerry Gawalt.

Dear CSA members and farm friends,

We are busy planning our 2018 CSA season. We would like to have CSA sign-ups done by the end of February. We are growing a wide mix of vegetables. We will be starting our greenhouse in early March. The first seeds to go in the ground will be onions, leeks, celeriac, and parsley. These slow growing crops need 10 to 12 weeks before they can be transplanted into the field. The onions, celeriac, and leeks store very well, over the winter, often into June. Our greenhouse gets into full swing by the end of March. We will be working in the fields by the end of April. We are excited to be growing extra winter squash for Sunrise Farm CSA and Basin Farm. We will be bringing in sweet potatoes from Basin Farm for our CSA members. We are providing composted cow manure to Sunrise Farm and Long Wind Farm in Thetford. We have a great source of manure from our cows which makes wonderful compost.

Kerry

Posted 1/18/2018 3:07am by Kerry Gawalt.

Dear CSA members and farm friends,

It is time to sign-up for the full season and summer CSA. We are busy planning our garden. Signing up now allows us to grow the right crops for our members. In one month we will getting our greenhouses ready for starting transplants and seeding the first spring greens in our high tunnels. You may sign-up on line or we can mail you a paper form.

Kerry for the farm crew