Farm News - October 2019
Capital Funds for Loafing Cows: Please Help!
Plans have been finalized to renovate the loafing shed at the far end of the concrete pad, near the main barn at Four Corners. This humble structure may be more important than most farm members realize. Not only is it a place where the cows can take refuge from the weather after milking, but it is the place where all the manure that is donated while the cows are on the pad can be collected for later use. The proper collection and handling of this manure is essential for the fertility of the gardens and pastures. (The manure now gets moved to the new composting area that Silvano has created next to the hay barn.)
The shed has put up with a lot over the decades, as farmers and cows have worked in it. We will eventually need to replace the shed. For now, the farmers have developed a plan to reinforce it for the safety of the farmers and animals and to extend the roof area so that more of the concrete pad is sheltered. This will allow for a better system, as the greater area under cover will allow more separation between the cows' resting/eating area and the area for manure collection. This will lead to improvements in sanitation and in manure handling. The estimated cost of materials will total $10,000.
Many of you have contributed to our new capital fund, but it may be that summer activities and the abundant vegetable harvest have taken center stage, and you may have forgotten that you wanted to contribute. Now is your chance! With the milk pipeline also nearing completion and the purchase of a much-needed manure spreader (should arrive any day now!), the farm needs your financial help to accomplish this year's major improvements.
Please help! Make checks payable to "TWCF" and drop them into the lock-box in the Farm Store. Please write "Capital Contribution" in the memo area of the check.
Event: Cow Horn Preparations
On Saturday, Oct. 12, you are invited to help stir and spray the cow horn Preparation 500 over the farm’s pastures with Benjamin Meier, our Cheese-maker.
We will gather together from 2-4 pm under the maple tree by the apprentice house (across the parking area from the Farm Store).
The preparation will first be stirred for one hour, and people can take turns stirring. The stirring activates the preparation. Immediately afterwards, the liquid will be ‘sprayed’ on the fields. The more people we have participating, the faster it will go! Children are welcome!
If you would like to join us, please bring a bucket and a clean large paint brush (like to paint a house).
For questions and RSVP: firstname.lastname@example.org 603-546-5737 Following is Benjamin’s explanation of the how and why Preparation 500 is produced:
"The cow horn manure preparation is one of the preparations done by BioDynamic farmers to enliven the fertility for land and plants.
A cow horn is filled with cow manure and buried in the ground over the winter.
In spring the manure is taken out of the horn and kept in a dark and cool place until it is used for spraying over the fields.
Then this very transformed manure, which is by now dark, rich soil, will be stirred in water for one hour. You change stirring direction once you have achieved a strong vortex.
Why is manure put into a cow horn? Manure is a great fertilizer. The cow horn concentrates the energies and so transforms the manure to a very potent substance.
Why is this preparation buried in the Winter? Manure is energetically and emotionally quite strong. The Winter gives this force clarity and direction.
Often, BioDynamic farmers use this preparation not because they understand exactly how it works, but because they see the great effect it has for land and plants"
When I joined the Co-Op board, I was asked to collect some cost estimates from the farmers for this season’s farm projects. When interviewing the farmers, I took notes on projected-costs to build and repair things around the farm. I couldn’t help thinking they were out of touch with the real world!
After listening and taking notes for a while, I challenged them, "You’ll never get it build for so little". After an awkward pause, “That’s just the cost for materials. We’ll build it ourselves”.
The men and women walking around in high boots are very capable people! Strolling around the farm today, I noticed a few of this season’s improvements. I snapped several photos on my walk, below, and offer appreciation and gratitude for the accomplishments our farmers have made for us all. Two Rolling Chicken Houses
New Composting Area
Winter Chicken Quarters
Coming to a barn near you... Two Calves!
We are expecting two calves this month, from Little Cloud (a heifer) and Snowy (who last gave birth in Feb 2018).
Our cows are named with the same first letter as their mother. So we will have "C" and "S" names to select soon. If you have any suggestions, find one of our dairy farmers (Silvano or Scooter) and let them know.
By the way, "Little" Cloud is the largest cow in our herd!