Monday, July 4, 2011

This and That

It's been awhile!  Things have been pretty busy around here.  We've finally finished our first-cut silage - yeah!!  It was really hard to get enough 2-day weather windows to accomplish that.  It's been hard to get good weather windows period this season, though.  What a late start and a slow growing season.  This time last year we had baby carrots and new potatoes.  This year it looks like we're a couple of weeks away from those at this point.

The kids have been a big help this year. Here they are in action!

Grace washing eggs.
Katie picking blossoms.
Jamie picking blossoms.

This week will be our first week for the 2011 CSA.  While we may be short on variety for the first week, we will have strawberries!!  It's a wet day today.  I'll get some pictures of the red beauties tomorrow.   For today, though, I'll close with some pictures around the farm. 

Peas - June 24, 2011

Beans June 17, 2011
New babies  June 24, 2011

View from our front step - June 9, 2011

Potatoes - June 24, 2011

Green manure crop in foreground, Potatoes in background - June 24, 2011

Happy Hughes Hill Farms Hens June 24, 2011

Saturday, May 14, 2011

The Circle of Life

I guess it's only fitting that since my last post was about new life on the farm that this one is about death on the farm.  Yesterday we lost our dearest and most favourite cow in the barn - Bliss.  Bliss was one of the largest and most gentle cows we've ever had.  The kids could lie on her back in the stall and she seemed to enjoy it!  She was always a willing customer for their grooming practice.  Bliss had been ailing somewhat lately and died last evening with the kids at her side - almost like she waited for them.  It was very sad and we all cried for Bliss, our favourite.  One thing about growing up on a farm, you learn a lot about life and death.

A Happy Day!  -  Bliss and her baby "Pearl"

In other, happier news, the bit of early things I got in the garden (spinach, lettuce, radish) are all peeking through.  We just need some sun to get things going!  We also need a stretch of good days to get our waiting potato sets planted and a good garden planting in.  We're going to be hopping when the weather breaks!  The baby tomato, pepper, celery, etc. plants I have started in the house are beginning to outgrow the space we have for them - I have to get something else set up for them.  Take care all!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

New Arrival

I haven't posted anything for a long time, I know...but I just couldn't miss this one!  I just delivered this calf all by myself!  This is the first time I've ever done anything like this all by myself with absolutely no one else around.  Gary is away at a seminar today and it is quite mild and I thought I better go over to check on the temperature in the barn.  I was glad I did because I discovered a loose calf sucking on a cow - a definite no no!!  So, after I managed to catch the calf and tie her up, I heard the moan of a cow in labour.  My immediate thought was "Oh no, Gary's not home!".  When I got the courage to go look, I discovered two feet, a nose and tongue sticking out.  I was worried because they felt cold, so I figured she was having a hard time pushing the baby out.  What to do?!  I found Gary's calving chains, wrapped them around the hoofs and pulled as she tried to push.  It didn't take too long before the calf slipped out.  Gary makes everything look so easy when I watch him do that - that baby was heavy!  It was all I could do to get him (yes, unfortunately, him...not a heifer that we could keep!) up beside mama so she could clean him off.  What a feeling to know that I can and did do that!!  Baby seems OK and mama will be milked for the first time in her life this evening - this was her first calf as well as mine!

In other news, we have some seeds germinating - nothing up yet, though.  We're looking forward to Matt coming home from  NSAC soon!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Photo Updates

As promised, some (belated) pictures!

Baby Chicks 2010!

Grace & Jamie with the new babies!

Pepper Plants
Tomato Plants


Well, grass cutting season is in full swing and we should have a lot more garden planted than we do, but sometimes things just don't go how you think they might!  While the grass is in full swing, temperatures have remained quite cool and while it hasn't been what you may call a "wet spring", it hasn't been a very sunny one either!  I'm anticipating a very busy next few weeks!

I'll close with a picture of the kids at last weekend's Mayflower Alpaca Show in Crapaud.  They all participated in the junior showmanship.  Grace got 3rd place, Jamie 4th, and poor Katie ended up only with a medallion and honorable mention because her alpaca "spooked" and drug her around the show ring.  She made us proud, though, and handled it well. 

Grace, Katie and Jamie at the Mayflower Alpaca Show

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Jamie's Big Day

Today was a special day for the Hughes family.  Jamie made his First Communion today - the first gluten-free First Communion in our Parish actually!  As you can see, he was decked out for the event (less the needed haircut)!

What's new on the farm?  Well, most of our early garden planting has come up.  Yeah!  I can almost taste the fresh lettuce mix and spinach.  Also making an appearance are peas, beets and Swiss chard.  No sign of the carrots yet, but they usually follow close behind the beets which are just barely peeking.  Our tomatoes, peppers, onions and flowers started indoors are doing well too.  I will get some pictures of all that this week to post.

Other big news on the farm is that we will be getting some baby chicks (meat birds - layers will be next month).  So, I will definitely get some pics of those cute yellow fluff balls posted for everyone's enjoyment! 

I'll sign off with a couple of pictures of the day we planted our early potatoes/garden (the week after Easter).  Take care.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Out with the old....

2009 financial books that is! Yeah, I finished the books on Friday! Now, to get started on 2010 and do a little bit weekly to keep it manageable - a goal that we will succed in this year!

Approximately 1500 onion seeds are busily germinating, but not peeking at us yet. Last year was the first we started onion from seed (in addition to sets, which was always what we used - but are not available organically) and we were very pleased with the quality of the onions. They are actually quite easy to grow from seed, but take up a lot of room! This is the year we plan to finally get a greenhouse, though, so we should have more room for our "grow op" as Gary has dubbed it (I'll include a pic when there is actually something growing). I'm a bit later getting some things started compared to last year, but I felt I had to get the books off my mind before I could focus on anything else. Next to be planted: more onions, leeks, peppers and tomatoes!

Well, our early, beautiful spring weather seems to be taking a break - but, wow, the snow has really disappeared! The kids have their bikes out and are loving it!

Hope all is well in everyone's world!

Monday, March 22, 2010

And we begin!

Well, this is all very new to me. I thought it was about time to embrace the world of blogging! Since we don't have a website yet, I thought it would be a way for friends, family, and people who support our certified organic market garden products know what life is like here on our farm.

On the market side of our farm, we are happy to announce that we will be offering a limited number of CSA shares for the 2010 growing season. The share cost is $400 for 20 weeks. Thanks to Kerry & Julie McKenna for being our first share owners:)!

March Break is over and spring has sprung! The amazing weather we've been having have stirred up those feelings of wanting to grow things again! The winter break from planting, weeding, harvesting and preserving certainly does wonders. It won't be long 'till we're back at it. I love seeing those first signs of green peeking out in the garden!

One of the March Break activities - cleaning out the hen house!

I'll try my best to keep up with this blog. Hope all is well with everyone!