Thursday, December 1, 2016

Unity Farm Journal - First Week of December 2016

As winter approaches each year, we work hard to prepare the farm property for the cold, dark, snowy days ahead.    Weekends and nights are spent clearing brush, /storing all irrigation infrastructure, and doing the last digging/hauling/siftng before soil freezes solid.   At this point the barnyard,  trails and  the sanctuary next door are ready.   All farm equipment is freshly oiled and filled with winter-ready fluids.  We purchased a snow blade attachment for the Terex front loader since we’re responsible for snow removal on our 1/2 mile of local roads.   The Terex snow blower attachment is ready for paddock clearing and removing snow from those areas that a plow cannot reach.

Winter is a hard time for animals and we’re readying for new arrivals.   All three pigs (Hazel, Tofu, and Lunchbox) are now living together in harmony and we’re preparing for a potential fourth pig, Penny, who we’ll visit this weekend.   She’s a Yorkshire with a rough history and she’s underweight for her age (about 40 pounds at one year old).  We’ve been reluctant to take on Yorkshires because they can grow to 600 pounds.   What does a 600 pound pig do?  Anything it wants to!

We’ll also be meeting two groups of goats this weekend.   In December, three horses will arrive at the sanctuary - Amber, a 20 year old female Arabian; Sweetie, a 20 year old female Welsh Pony; and Pippin, a 30 year old male Welsh Pony.  

We’re being very careful to avoid over extending ourselves, our resources, and our community volunteers.   Every day we’re presented with a new rescue inquiry.

As a certified organic farm, commercial kitchen, and bonded farmer winery, we’re very familiar with legal paperwork.   This week we submitted our final paperwork to establish a new non-profit corporation - Unity Farm Sanctuary Inc, a public charity devoted to animal rescue and public education.    We’ve selected our initial board of directors, and established early funding streams to ensure the Sanctuary persists beyond our lifetimes.

Although it’s cold, we’re still having late fall rain and so the Shiitake mushrooms have be fruiting nicely.   Here’s what a mushroom delivery to the farmstand looks like

Now that Thanksgiving has passed, local businesses are donating their pumpkins to us by the pallet.   When a forklift loads a pallet of pumpkins into your farm truck, this is what it looks like.

Speaking of Thanksgiving, here’s what the traditional holiday meal looks like on an organic vegan farm - plates of local vegetables, Unity Farm ciders/beers, and a vegetable-based field roast.   No animal products of any kind, virtually no fats, and no processed sugars.  There is much to be thankful for in 2016.

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