Thursday, November 3, 2016

Unity Farm Journal - First Week of November 2016

Now that I’m back from my Asia Pacific travels, I’m hard at work in the evenings and weekends catching up on the farm work I missed.    The storms of Fall have caused a lot of fallen branches and trees.  The 5 inches of rain (so much for the drought), have created a soup of mud, hay, and poop in the animal paddocks.    

We’ve created the mother of all brush piles  - 50 feet long and 20 feet high from all the fallen branches and debris in the forest around the barnyard.   We’ll grind it next week and use the chips on all the trails we’ll build on the new Sanctuary property when the transaction closes in December.

For the paddock, we’ve added 20 yards of loam and sand.  The alpaca are helping mix the amendments into the existing mud every time they walk and pronk (jump) through it.    We’ve spent a lot of time thinking about water flows around the farm, using grading, gravel, and soil additions to create a healthy environment for the animals.

Every week the farm and animal sanctuary grows.   This week, a few ducks were dropped off because they needed a pond (which we have) and more space.    One of the ducks is a male - the first drake at Unity Farm.    So far, so good.    The 7 female ducks have welcomed him into the flock.

All of these animals require food and we’ve moved beyond wholesale purchases of supplies to working directly with manufacturers.   Today, for example, we received a 2500 pound delivery of organic poultry grains.   As I’ve said before, farming is just like gardening, just multiply the scale by 100.

The donkeys arrive in mid-December, as soon as we close escrow on the sanctuary property.   We were thrilled to see this article about donkey rescue in the New York Times.   We look forward to caring for these intelligent animals that live 40 years and like pigs, are smart enough to make decisions on their own.

This weekend, we’ll be crushing another 500 pounds of apples, planting more winter lettuce/spinach, and continuing to prepare the bee hives for winter.   We’re still selling mushrooms, eggs, lager, cider, and honey but as we approach the winter, the harvest is done and the sales of produce will slow until our spring crop arrives in March.

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