Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Summer 2013 Excitement

Meredith and our herding pup in training Kiely (Border collie/Cattle dog mix) take a dip

Our free-range chickens love Joanne's flower gardens.

Red's bull calf, one day old, decides that sleeping on the old manure pile is the quietest place to catch a nap.

Meredith is only interested in riding horses, even the mechanical kind.

Drummond takes Pearson on his first Ferris Wheel ride.

Meredith wants to farm!

Drummond rides the bull!!!

Meredith & Pearson love exploring nature; a new bug is today's observation.

Peasrson has really taken to swimming like a fish, with special thanks to his instructor John for making it so much fun.
The summer 2013 has been a very busy one for all of us at Torhaveen Farms!  The month of May started us off with a lot of bad luck, that made farming difficult over the summer. Amanda returned to full-time work in Montreal, and soon got the stomach bug at the office and shared it with the whole family.  Sawyer, one of our livestock protection dogs, was accidencely run over and underwent surgical reconstruction of his hip, and during his absence we lost a few sheep to predators. He is home and doing well now.  Drummond too hurt a leg, and has been careful not to dislocate his ankle again. 

Rain, rain, rain, rain, rain, rain.

No hay to speak of for much of the summer, due to rain.  With a wet and hot summer came lots of parasites on the animals and foot rot.  We were not as bad with these ailments as many other farms, as our diverse landscape (uplands/lowlands, forests and fields) provided natural opportunities for the animals to keep themselves healthy.

At least with rain and no chance to hay came the opportunity to re-fence large sections of the farm. Drummond, along with good farming friend Andrew, and few paid workers got an entire South/North fence replaced or repaired with new gates and all in the Oak and Whale Rock fields.  Woohoo! The old fence was between 30-50 yrs old in dire need of replacing. It looks fabulous and keeps our animals safely in the fields where they should be and helps to keep predators out.

Living in the country during the summer means FAIRS! We were happy to attend the Vankleek Hill Fair, Williamstown Fair and the kids went to the Ayer's Cliff Fair in QC with the Holt family.  Pony rides and swimming at the farm will be the highlights for the kids this summer. The new riding ring is fantastic for everyone, and the Pearson is now riding Robin without her being led.  He loves to swim and cannon balling off the diving board is a must when at the pool.  Meredith will ride any horse that is tacked up and insists on seeing her pony Robin daily.  She and her brother both like collecting the eggs and feeding the barn cats.

September brought summer weather and finally we had the chance to get the rest of the hay in.  We process everything organically, so we need 3-5 days good sunshine to cure the hay and do not pour acid on it to dry it in a short time, as is the practice with most conventional farms these days.

Many friends and neighbours helped us out this summer, and we are grateful to them for all their help: Andrew, Yves, Merton & Steve. 

No comments: