An update from the pigs: They are hot.
Here is a pig that found on a creative way to use his water trough. Chilling his bum. By the way, this is a red pig with a white band.. these days they all look the same! They use the mud to keep cool because they cannot sweat.
gs are well into the rhythm of rotations and have got the hang of moving from a pasture to a new one. They get so excited when you open a new pasture, especially if the new place has different herbs and trees compared to the previous one. The picture below shows a group of pigs that just entered their new paddock. They were chomping on those plants like you would not believe. If you look carefully, in the background, you will see strands of ripe winter rye. We seeded the rye last year and now the pigs are doing a decent job at harvesting the grains. There is an unexplainable satisfaction in seeing pigs harvesting their own food straight from the land. A month ago we seeded one of the fields with special legumes and vegetables for them. The plants and grasses are coming up strong and happy – I can hardly wait for September when this field will be ready for them! I take pictures!
of For what concerns the sheep, we are proud (and surprised) to announce we got 2 new lambs in July! Appropriately named Giulio (july) and Tempesta (storm) – they were born during a rain storm and we found them all wet under mom in the meadow. I am getting ready to say goodbye to Asiago, our ram. We are looking for a new farm for him. He has been with us for three years and for genetics reasons we need to move him out the farm. He is a gentle and kind soul. He will be missed (and he has impressive horns!).
Opening Agricola Meats! Some of you already know we are working on creating our own meat processing facility where we will make cured meats. We are already making some salame at Mad River Food Hub but we are limited by the little space and time available they have for us, the difficulties juggling the slaughtering datres with their limited availability, limitations in the type of products they let us make over there, and high prices. We have been processing our meat there for 6 years bu it is no longer feasible for us. Thus… we put together a business plan to make cured meats in a new facility. We will not only make our own cured meat products but are committed to creating unique products for other 4 farms to create a map of Vermont flavors. Currently we are creating salame for 2 farms and are selling our products in Boston, Vermont and New York. We are not yet in the new facility but things are finally coming together and we can hardly wait to walk into our new place. As soon as we get in there we will be able to start making a variety of cured meats such as prosciutto, coppa, pancetta, lonzino a zillions of other products. We are so excited and ready for this shift! Our hearts also warm up because of the enthusiasm that we find for the project all around us: from the farmers that are happy to finally get a fair price for their livestock and create a unique quality product, from the shop owners that are proud to promote a product in which they believe, and from the people that buy the product and discover a delicious and nutritious way to promote responsible agriculture and be part of the green change that is happening at our farms. It has been a wild and happy ride to get this project going and we have countless people that helped us on the way that we need to thanks... Elizabeth and Fred from Addison County Economic Development, Jim and Cairn from Windham Grows, Omar from UVM extension, Jill from FSA, Dan from VCLF, Lynn Ellen and Diana from Working Lands, Liz from Farm and Forestry Viability Program, Jen from NOFA, Rose Wilson (from everywhere), Annette and Gail from the Women Enterprise Center, Mike Redmond (our neighbour and he can do anything), Tony our future landlord, Carol Degener for branding, Brian from SBDC, Prof. Alberto Brugiapaglia from the University of Agricultural science in Torino. Wow..now that I look at the list (and I am sure I have forgotten someone), I feel so humble that so many people have just offered their time and their expertise and many of them have done that without asking for a compensation, only because they believed in the importance of the project... the importance of supporting Vermont Farms, the importance of supporting a type of agriculture that helps our environment and the importance of creating a top product that can make Vermont proud.