Hurricane Farm

  (Scotland, Connecticut)
A view of life on our farm
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Work Begins On Our Newest Pasture

We've finally started work on our newest pasture.  This particular pasture is about 2/3 of a mile down the road...not far at all.  We've finally "tamed" the pasture that we acquired laste year--meaning all of the invasive trees have been cut back and we're starting to get the grasses to fill in.  This first pasture had not been tended to in years and needed alot of work.

Our newest pasture, however, is in GREAT shape and is ready for the cattle as soon as the cattle are ready to range (and once the fencing is finished).

The landowner of the new field has allowed us use of his 29 HP New Holland tractor complete with brush-hog and post-hole digger attachments.  First we mowed down some of the field to make space to work.  Then we attached the post-hole digger, drilled some holes, and set the corner posts.  The next job was to mark out the location for the rest of the posts on each side.  Some rebar and surveying tape worked nicely.


The attachment worked better than we imagined!  It took only a couple of minutes to line-up and then drill each hole.  We hit very few rocks, maybe 4 all day.  Great soil!

We were able to get down about 4 feet for each hole!  Now I can do this with a shovel, but not THAT fast!  Check out all the "Danger" labels on this thing! 

Corner post one.  Barely had to use that shovel off to the left.  A little "tamping" with the 2 x 4 and it's all set.


Being used to a 1963 Farmall Cub, this "new" tractor was a completely different machine.  I think that I could turn a complete circle atop a postage stamp with this thing!  Amazing control, both forward and back as well as steering.

Drop the three-point hitch, bring up the throttle, and then a touch of down pressure...

Still lots more to do, but we're off to a good start.  It's been a full few weeks, with field clearing, harvesting chickens, and building chicken coops for customers, but we're on our way to some new farm land!





The Further Emergence of Spring

Spring continues its forward progession. 

New calves have been introduced to the growing "herd" out in the pastures...

A new lamb, named Vera, is introduced to some of the other sheep in the flock...

A little girl holds one of her favorite hens...

A flower pops its head through the freshly tilled and fertilzed soil...

Fiddleheads pop up alongside the brook and stream...

Spring is here and in full force at Hurricane Farm!


Cleaning Up the Pasture

So every once in a while we have to go out into the main pasture and clean up a little bit.  Fences sometimes need to be tightened, and sometimes we have to remove undesirable plants to keep the pasture healthy and useful.  Aside from finding various remnants of super-huge fireworks that our friend Jeff brings over for July 4th, we have to contend with giant "pricker/cactus-like things."  (See photo below.)

If anyone can tell us what these things are, and what their purpose is (if any are known), we'd be much happier when working to rid our pasture of them.  They do have a beautiful purple flower that comes around mid-to-late August.  Problem with that, though, is that when the flower comes so do all the pesky little seeds that scatter around to make more of these things.  We got most all but one of them last year, I think, but that one that we let bloom procreated all over the place!  I know right where it was, too.  Smack dab in the middle of the turkey's pasture.  It managed to spread over several acres all on its own.  What a great job it did!

You can see from the above that the cattle love to eat just about all that grows in the field EXCEPT these little buggers.  Now, Sarah, the milk goat, does enjoy eating these things, but I have kept her out of the pasture lately since the largest cattle is kind of standoffish around other four-legged creatures.  He likes (or at least abides) the turkeys, geese, chickens, ducks, and crows, though.  Check out the next shot where it almost looks like a carpet of grass except for the presence of these prickly devils.  We'll be putting the sheep in to clean up whatever the cattle missed and then after two weeks or so with this weather, the field will be ready for the next set of cattle to move in.

We all worked on getting the pasture in order that day.  You have to try to get the whole root out; otherwise, the pesky bugger just grows right back!

Here comes the reinforcement, pink shovel in hand!

If these plants have any value, then we have yet another thing that we're naturally great at growing (add to list of rocks, stones, poison ivy...).  I generally don't wear gloves, especially on such a hot day, but MAN, those things have a nasty bite to them.  The prickers are up to an inch long.  I have no idea how the goat can eat such a thing.

Maybe it's an acquired taste, say, like hot pepper or anchovies.

Liev came out with his shovel and worked pretty hard along side of us until he started to spot parts of the fireworks.  He then set about to collecting all that he could find, making a pile of the pieces, and trying to assemble his own "rocket ship."

A lush pile of "pricker/cactus-things."  This was merely 1/3 of our take for the afternoon.  It would have been a bountiful harvest if we were harvesting, say, ANYTHING but these things.




Growing Up and Expansion

There is so much to do that sometimes we don't take time to notice how large some of our animals are getting, especially as they transtition from little babies.  Remember those hogs that we used to till up our gardens, orchard, and bramble patch?  We brought them to Farm Day in Scotland, too.

Well, they've grown substantially and we won't be bringing them around for fun any more!

Additionally, we have been working on our new pasture.  It is pretty large, about 7-8 acres in all.  We'll be using the back 2/3 for now and maybe more later.  I spent yesterday brush-hogging the areas where I plan to erect the field fencing, and then I set in some nice cedar posts.  I plan to finish the cedar corner posts and then strech the fence today and tomorrow.  We'll be using metal t-posts between the end/corner posts to allow us to move the fence if we need to easily enough.  Our neighbor has been generous enough to let us use the field/pasture free-of-charge for a couple of years.  We'll be bringing our cattle down there next week at the latest, I hope. 

It's amazing, but we have more than doubled the size of our grazing area in the course of a couple of days.

I drove the tractor down to the field last night so it would be wating for me this morning (it's fun to drive on the roads!).  We took a few photos of the field before the fencing is up and we'll post them later on.

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