Farm and Soap Updates

More adventures in calving

farming

More adventures in calving

The cows seem determined to keep me on my toes this year. After our first ever winter calf back in January, I've now had my first calf rejected by it's mother. While this isn't common, it does happen, and first time moms (heifers) are the worst culprits. Our winter calf was also born to a heifer but she took to her role quite readily. Up until now I've had nothing but problem free heifer calvings. Enter Cheeto. This heifer is actually the daughter of one of my best moms, Cherry! Cherry likes to make sure you know that she will...

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Should eggs be washed and refrigerated?

farming

Should eggs be washed and refrigerated?

To wash or not to wash? That's the egg question.Whether 'tis fresher at room temperature to preserve,The cuticle around the shell, yolk and albumen,Or to take soapy water against the forces of rancidity,And by refrigeration end them! To rot - to spoil, no more. - from my forthcoming play Omelette -with apologies to Frans Hals and his work Young Man with a Skull(Shakespeare, on the other hand, I think would be totally cool with parody) I jest, of course. But seriously folks, there is quite a lively debate among both farmers and consumers in small farming circles about how fresh eggs...

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The Future of Farmer Pits

small business soap making

The Future of Farmer Pits

I started experimenting with deodorant recipes almost ten years ago. While I've adjusted the ingredients over the years, mainly to help it tolerate the hotter summer temperatures it may encounter when being shipped outside of Vermont, the shape has remained the same. As you might have guessed, Farmer Pits is indeed poured into cupcake trays. The advantages to this are cost (even in bulk, deodorant tubes are expensive!) and minimal waste (just a paper wrapper to throw out, not a big chunk of plastic).  Now the disadvantages. One is purely aesthetics, when I sell my products in person at a...

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Update on Rosie the Winter Calf

farming Vermont

Update on Rosie the Winter Calf

If you didn't already read about our calf, Rosie, who was born in mid-January during a cold snap, you can do so here. Rosie is seven weeks old today! After a rough first day, she very quickly got busy drinking milk and growing. Now she's big and spunky and is sporting a nice winter coat. It does look like she will lose both ear tips (her inexperienced mom plopped her out in a snow bank and didn't lick her off right away!) but she doesn't even seem to notice and will have no trouble living her best cow life with...

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Calving in season and out

farming Vermont

Calving in season and out

For the eight years that I've had cattle at Fat Chance Farm, I've always managed to keep our calving dates "in season," that is during Vermont's warmer months of May through October. Warm season calving is better and less stressful for all involved, cow, calf and farmer! When calves are born, they don't know what season it is, they're born with a summer hair coat no matter what the weather is like. Since they are wet when they're born, if not dried off promptly they are susceptible to chills and frostbite, even hypothermia! Which is why I was a little...

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