Summer Life

Summer Life

The months of July and August have been a whirlwind here on the farm.  We’d like to look back on the calendar and have the ability to recall what happened which day.  We haven’t been keeping a diary.  Life with animals is just like a box of chocolates, you never know what you’ll get or what might happen each day.

Bill finished the interior perimeter fencing last month.  Our house is now fenced in from the animals or the outside world (which can at times feel a bit animalistic).  Thankfully, unless a gate is left open the worry about goats destroying the garden and running amok across the yard is no longer a possibility. It also offers him a much smaller lawn to mow and the time saving from that is greatly appreciated.

The annual Bridgewater Lawn Party was a bit extra special this year for us after 20 years of attending the festivities.  This year we had the chance to participate in a way. We have had a large black walnut tree trunk and limbs drying in the barn for the last few years and had the opportunity this year to watch it being milled on the tractor powered saw mill at the Bridgewater Lawn Party. The largest steam engine at the event was employed to power the mill, as the trunk of this hardwood tree was about two feet in diameter. The cutting of this tree drew a larger crowd than usual.  The steam engine tractor had an awesome amount of power.  It belched thick black smoke at times when under significant load, but it always kept the four foot diameter circular blade of the mill at a constant speed as the massive 1000 pound log was pushed through it.  Photos of the event are posted at:

Our UK gilt is expecting her first litter of UK purebred piglets in September. We made a very tough decision to sell Wilbur, our ever so loving and gentle first boar.  On the spur of the moment we included Uno, one of our best sows, pregnant from our UK boar, Casper.  Wilbur and Uno are now in Georgia, under the care of a young farming family that will love them as much as we did.  It’s been both exciting and tough to see them go.  Exciting to see and help this young couples dreams come true as well as to help diversify the GOS genetics with the US/UK mix of blood lines.  It was tough to let go of a wonderful breeding pair and the barn seems a bit empty, now less about 1500 pounds of pork, and with the snores and snorts gone.

Our Muscovy we call Blackie has finally had her clutch of ducklings hatch, it’s always a delight to see new life. Our garden remains a bit confused with all the rain we have had and we wonder if we will see the sun any time soon.  Thankful for the rain and cool weather but the animals sure do not appreciate the mud.  Who would have thought that with all the rain we needed to feed hay to the goats in August, as they don’t like getting their feet wet.

The county fairs have come and gone, the kids have returned to school and fall is just around the corner.  We are looking forward to attending the 21stAnnual Harrisonburg International Festival on September 29th. There’s winter to prepare for as we enjoy the changing of the leaves while awaiting more new life here on the farm.