Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Happenings at HillTop

Pasture Management at HillTop Farm
We have been very negligent bloggers....sorry about that!  Ok so only 1.5 months later here is what we have been up to....

K moving the tempory fencing
1.  70 sheep have been in our front pasture helping us with bringing back the fertility of the pasture.  We followed the intensive grazing strategy which we read and same videos about from Greg Judy.  This is where you divide your pasture into small paddocks and the animals stay there for a few days eating up the good fresh greens and then you move them so they do not live in their own manure.  We installed a permanent fence along the periphery of the pasture and within this, temporary fences are set up to divide up the field.  This is all electrified.  You may also see a llama in the photo...he is there as a guard animal and his name is Rainy.  He was so cute and made this great little cooing noises.  Quite the experience.  I do have to tell you, that we did have a night where they escaped.  We had gone to bed and it was around midnight and we could hear the sheep baying really close by...K looked outside and they were right under our window and on our front porch...not just 1 but all 70 plus the llama.  Out we rushed in his underwear and my jammies, we managed to get them all back in which is a story on its own...not so funny and that time, but now we chuckle everytime we think about it. 

The girls enjoying an afternoon snack

 2.  The garden is also coming along...not great, but it is coming along....
The tomatoes, peas and beans
We installed a small water system in the garden and have started to collect rain water in buckets that are stored in the blue container.  There is a tap and hose on the blue container that you put a bucket under, open the tap and voila, water!  We also have about 150 feet of hose that runs from inside all through the garden when we need to do a really big water.  Today we received some black gold which we felt the garden REALLY needed...

Fresh load of compost!  We can see them growing.
I am also trying to grow some peanuts.  I got the seeds from a friend who got them from Owen at Annapolis Seeds.  Who says we can't grow peanuts here in the North...
Peanut Plant

And last but not least 3.  Chickens.  We let out our youngest batch of chickens about 1 week ago and there was definitely some adjusting both to the outdoors and the big girls.  We found the big girls being a bit of a bully so we let the little ones out first thing in the morning, but them back in and then let the big ones out.  Now, they are all just one big happy family....thank goodness!
These are 9 week old chickens.  

Oh yeah...I can't forget our "boys"....I could not resist this photo....they just loved the umbrella
Spart and Smarty Pants, getting out of the sun
Promise we will not be so long in posting next time!  Thanks for being patient!

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