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Thursday, December 13, 2012

Saturday August 4: CRAFT Days and Busy Days!

The past few weeks on the farm have been busy, busy, busy!  The now almost mature corn field has had to be fenced (to keep out the racoons and squirrels), many of the vegetables, including the potatoes, tomatoes, eggplant and very productive zucchini are starting to produce!  We have had volunteers and WWOOFers come and go, my fiancé, Rebekah, was here for one glorious week and Paula, one of the other interns, took her week off this past week.
Yesterday I moved the pigs.  Really this just means expanding their pasture on one side to include some fresh area and reducing it on the other side, to let the old pasture re-grow.  Pigs are intelligent animals with good memories; ours have learned that I usually bring them their food.  So for the entire time in the pig-pen I was followed around by a curious and expectant entourage of ten of so pigs!   Another aspect of pigs' memories, they remember where the electric fence used to be and will not easily cross that line even when the actual fence has been removed.  It is possible to completely remove ther fence (we did), giving them access to the corn, tomatoes, potatoes, etc, before re-stringing it without worry of them wandering off!  This is not true of any other animal, just pigs!
It took them three days to go from the old area into the fresh grass, in the end we had to pour a trail of pig food from the old area into the new to entice them over!
On Monday we went to a local CRAFT day.  CRAFT stands for Collaborative Regional Alliance for Farmer Training.  Each CRAFT day (once a month or so but not everybody attends every one) members of the local network gather at a host farm for a potluck lunch and a day of workshops.  This Monday's CRAFT day was hosted by Jim and Maurine Giffin on beautifulEdencrest Farm.
Jim and Maurine have two Belgian draft horses which they use for much of the general work around the farm.  Tthey also have tractors so not all of the work on the two-hundred plus acre farm is done with horses!  We learned, among other things, about caring for and handling these beautiful animals, some of the economic realities of farming and about beneficial (and harmful) insects.

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