Our upcoming move to the Catskills means leaving this farm behind. It's been very good to us. We've been lucky to have a turn at caring for it for awhile.
Our old dairy barn with its new metal roof keeping it sound for the years to come. Feels good to play a small part in preserving history.
The Fuchs family arrived in this area around a hundred years ago, started farming the land, built a simple home, and raised 15 children. In 1944 they added onto the house and along the way brought more fields into production. This photo was taken in the fifties. I'm still in awe of what they accomplished through sheer hard work erecting buildings and turning the land into a productive dairy farm. Some of the children who grew up here have told us stories of sleeping on pallets in the unfinished upstairs in wintertime when the snow would sift in through the spaces between the boards. The house is very different now from its early history and also from its life in the sixties and seventies. We've revealed and finished the original hardwood floors, removed dark paneling and opened up the rooms. Snow no longer drifts in to settle on us in the night. Still, the history feels very close by.
Less charming than an historic dairy barn we value our 40 by 80 foot poleshed for its functionality. In the years that we lambed in March and needed to keep the newborns dry there was enough room to lamb a flock of 150 ewes. These days we use it to store round bales and straw and for farrowing and shearing. The large sliding doors on one side and one end add to its versatility. And the small sliding doors let us erect a quick pen so an animal can choose indoors or out.
It's easy to look out on the pastures and think it's all about grazing, ruminating, foraging.
To think about the lives of cattle and sheep, hogs and chickens and how they intersect with the life cycle of the grasses: growing, grazing, and growing again. It's easy to overlook the little guy, living life on a smaller scale, perhaps, but dreaming big.
Three sets of lambs born today so far. I'm glad I decided to stay on the farm rather than help make the CSA delivery to Madison today. No one has needed any help so far, but it's nice to be on hand just in case. Lambing season has officially begun!
We've been busy preparing our mobile chicken coop for its new residents.
--with the help of our sheep, of course.
We used their fleeces to insulate the building itself and the new hover Rich built.
The hover will keep the chicks warm until their fuzz turns to feathers.
The chicks are due any minute. I can't wait to test it out.
Topic: Pastured Chickens