Lists are so boring but so essential don’t you think. Every Monday morning I try to make a decent list of the weeks work. But this morning my mind seems to have slipped into a blank state. So I am writing to you instead.
On the weekend we shifted Aunty Anna (the shorthorn/hereford cross) and the big Hereford steer over to the West fields, the pasture there is growing well and the Carlos the Tiny bull awaits Aunty Anna.
Also Molly came out of the Rat-House paddock and is in the big corner pen over on the West side – she will go to Manu the boar in a month. I will lock her up for one more heat then they can be together. If all goes well her piglets could be due in March. It will be cold in March but this winter I will work on enclosing the farrowing pen even further Another list is the Babys When list. A BIG list is the Building and Repairs List. John prefers to work on machines and I don’t have many of those so the building list is a long one.
I can make no lists for the cows as I am still having trouble getting someone out to blood test them.
Jake is working on opening his new seasonal and local produce restaurant in the spring of next year so that gives me a guaranteed market for my pork, so I am growing pork for him. I will also grow his herbs with his own gardens and mine supplying some of the vegetables. This plan has been in the works for a while now, and is looking more and more positive, which is why I am growing the farm, but there are so many variables. And so many lists. And so many risks.
We still have a good ten days of reasonably mild weather ahead of us – nothing below freezing forecast yet. The tweens (three month old pigs) will be divided up this week and the ones that are sold will move off and the ones to fatten for December will go into one field for milk and eggs and the ones who are growing through to the spring will be in another field to grow slowly. It is nice to be able to have them outside still.
They have almost finished cleaning the thistles out of this field (these shots show only a portion of the field they are working on). This field will be resown in my special mix this coming spring. Another list – the rotation of pastures list – is kept in my head. The fields are cleared by the pigs and resown every three or four years. It is an easy list.
Garlic to be planted is on the list but I am hesitant with this warm autumn. I don’t want it to sprout before the winter. The ground is very warm.
All the new baby trees need to be mulched and protected from rabbits and frozen winds, I have collected PVC pipes for this, it is not pretty but is sturdy and works well.
All the outside pigs need more straw in their houses. One group will be living in the root cellar/storm shelter until it gets really cold though would the barn be warmer than an underground cellar? I am not so sure. But I will pack it with straw and watch them closely to see how they go. A root cellar is normally about 10 degrees warmer in the winter. Pigs have been using it to sleep in all summer but I have never had so many that I needed it for the winter. It might be a great choice as long as they still go outside for their toilet.
I will take a photo of it for you today. There are cows in there at the moment to clean up the grass – (Txiki, Bobby T and Difficult) I hope they are not going down – cows leave a MESS.
We must be careful not to be lulled by this long autumn – winter will come. We do not live in a temperate region – this is a land of extremes. The heat of the summers and the cold of the winters are extreme. This temperate autumn is making nervous.
I see the sun beginning to colour the sky, time for me to get to work.
I hope you have a lovely day