Well as some of you may have noticed I’ve been away from the blogging for a bit. Part of it has been due to being beyond busy with the farm and part has been from re-doing the website! Becca from Jumping Jax Designs was my designer this time, and I’m happy with the clean, crisp, modern look of the new site. My goal is to update the photos seasonally on the front, reflecting what is going on at the farm.
Second, with the new website, I’ve also added a store to purchase our products. Unfortunately due to health regulations, I’m only allowed to sell within the Province of Alberta. I would like to add some other products which would be able to be shipped outside Alberta. But that is still in the works…so stay tuned!
The rest of our calving season went off with very few issues. We did have a bout of giardiasis (aka Beaver Fever) that ran it’s course and was halted when I fenced off a slough the cattle were choosing to drink from.
We were also “blessed” with over 50 cm of snow at the end of April that was a blessing in disguise, as we are currently in a drought in our area.
Seeding went well, it was nice a dry and we were able to get the crops in rather quickly this year. After the crops were seeded we began to pray for rain, but nothing really came our way until mid-June. Many of our crops are now behind from the lack of moisture, but with decent rain amounts predicted in the forecast this week, I’m hoping we will be able to catch up.
Our cattle went out to pasture a few weeks later, as well, due to the lack of precipitation. I kept the herd home longer and used them as “lawn mowers” around the yard. They cleaned up the hay yard, which hasn’t been grazed in over 3 years. Now they are out on pasture and being rotated every 3 days. By only spending 3 days on one paddock they are only able to clip off the grass. This helps keep the grass healthy and continue growing, even in years of early seed set due to stress (ie. drought). The cattle are not allowed to “re-graze” a plant this way, and by the time we make it back into the pasture where they had been it will have had about 21 days of rest, allowing the “clipped” grass to grow. We probably have some the healthiest grass in our area from proper pasture management.
I still have a small group of 9 cows at home that are my “mowing crew.” These cows get moved around our yard and are enclosed with a 1-wire electric fence. I’m grazing areas this year that have never seen cattle in over 30 years. This is helping to reduce fire risk because when it’s dry the dead grass underneath is a tinder-box-in-waiting. This herd at home is doing quite the job and has made the house yard site look very nice this summer! They are a lot of work however, needing moved approximately every week, and depending on their location around the yard, need water hauled to them and their troughs filled two times a day!
I have also been busy around the yard. I enjoy having a big garden and canning it’s bounty. Last year my husband built me a perennial bed, this summer I’ve been busy filling it and keeping it watered! I’ve also been doing the Callingwood Farmers Market in Edmonton two times a month (first and last Sundays of the month), selling our beef. In addition the two kids keep me more than busy on top of everything!
It’s great to be back blogging and I hope to do it more regularly!