Thursday, October 13, 2016

Unity Farm Journal - Second Week of October 2016

Despite my international travels this week and next, the farm waits for no one.   150 creatures need food and warmth.   The buildings and infrastructure need tending.   The vegetables and fruits need harvesting.      Between Denmark and China, I returned to Boston for day to ensure everyone was healthy and happy.

The temperatures dipped to 31F and I tucked the pigs into their quilts, shut the barn door, and let the panel heaters raise the temperature of their pig palace by 10 degrees F.

The chickens and guinea fowl generate so much body heat that their coop was a cozy 50F

The alpaca and the Great Pyrenees love the cold so they basked in the dry evening not inside the barn, but under the stars in the barnyard.

The consistently cool temperatures have brought out all the colors in our swamp maples, oaks, and poplars.  Unity Farm is now at “peak”.  Here’s a view of the farm lane along the meadow.

Before I left for Denmark, I used the Terex front loader to clear a 12x24 foot area of the forest behind the barnyard for the aviary we’re building.   Our animal rescue activities include birds that need to be isolated or kept safe from predators.  The base of the new structure is 1 foot underground so no creature will burrow into it.    We’re applying for the appropriate state licenses to host pheasants and other rescue birds.

Our apple pressing efforts this year have been very successful with nearly 1000 pounds processed using our manual grinder and press.    The first batches are done fermenting and we’ve racked them into fresh sterile containers for secondary (malolactic) fermentation over the winter.

Our farm sanctuary planning continues and we’re designing the integration of a public farm educational and animal rescue center with the existing Unity Farm barnyard, orchard, and trails.   It’s an exciting time and we think 2017 will be a pivotal year for our activities.

While I’m away, Kathy will have part time help a few hours a day to do the tasks I would normally do early mornings and evenings.    She’ll harvest our mushrooms, lettuce, and remaining apples.   She’ll ensure all the animals return to their protected shelters at night.    She’ll keep the farm a vibrant place.   She's amazing.

The farm beckons in the Fall, but  IT duties call and there are miles to go before I sleep!


Anonymous said...

Dr. Halamka -

I had the privilege to work with you briefly on HITSP.

Your posts about Unity Farm are inspiring, especially to a vegan, buddhist, and although suburban-by-background, a country-boy in demeanor and inclination. Have you grown garlic? I have an acquaintance who's advocating for the value of garlic as a profitable crop that is easy to grow.

Again, thanks for the wonderful work you do, both in healthcare and in Unity Farm. Too, your support for Kathy during her cancer travail was helpful for me when my wife was diagnosed and treated for bilateral ovarian cancer.

Unknown said...

Yes Kathy is amazing.