Farm and Soap Updates — farming

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...

Read more →


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...

Read more →


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...

Read more →


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...

Read more →


Good Spirits and a Broken Furnace

farming Vermont

Good Spirits and a Broken Furnace

I am not a great memorizer of quotations or poetry but there are a few turns of phrase that really do stick in my head. At the moment it is this: “There are two spiritual dangers in not owning a farm. One is the danger of supposing that breakfast comes from the grocery, and the other that heat comes from the furnace.” - Aldo Leopold Currently there is no heat (or hot water) coming from our furnace, so consider my spirit in a place of safety. Luckily, it's not all that cold out and the wood stove does keep the...

Read more →