|Apparently cattle are not that afraid of fire (source: Stephen Winter |
presentation to 2012 Tri-StateConservation Grazing Workshop)
The rest of Thursday was spent at Fruitful Seasons Dairy, owned and operated by the Hoffman Family). Fruitful Seasons Dairy is a family operated small dairy located near Alexandria, Minnesota. their primary product is raw milk cheese that is crafted on the farm in a licensed facility using quality milk from 100% grass-fed Jersey cows. The family gave us a tour of their entire farm and dairy and answered a lot of questions from the group, from how often they moved cattle, problems they have had as well as successes. They have been in the business about three years now. One of the reasons they started the business was that they were looking for an activity that the entire family (six kids plus Mom and Dad) could be involved with. Visit their website www.fruitfulseasonsdairy.com for more information on their operation.
|Happy Cows make for good cheese at Fruitful Seasons Dairy|
|The Punk Rock Cow! (Note the spikes coming out of the cows nose.|
These are temporary to break to cow from sucking on other cows.
|This contraption is called a dairy bar|
and is used to bottle feed calves after they
weaned from their mothers.
The picture on the left is of the dairy's four stanchion milking parlor. Below is a picture of the dairy room where the milk is filtered and stored in the small bulk tank. From the bulk tank it is transferred (pumped) to the cheese making room.
|In addition to dairy the farm raises some pastured hogs. |
The hogs diet consists of whey (a by-product
of cheese making), grass and whatever else they root up in the pasture.
|They also have laying hens and sell eggs.|
Friday morning we were back to Bluebird Gardens CSA and started the day discussing the planning effort that goes into determining what will be in each weekly box. They start out the year with a rough plan on what they will have each week of the season. They use this plan to initially determine what they plant when, what will follow (succession planting) and then they make adjustments as the season goes on and the weather happens. In addition to filling boxes the coordination of box transportation and delivery is another significant planning and logistics effort.
|A single share box being filled while planning next weeks delivery.|
Friday afternoon was spent back on campus working on fence building skills and forage crops. The Sustainable Food Production Program is sponsoring a workshop on Energized Fencing Strategies for Grazers from 12:00 to 3:00 pm at the Fergus Falls Community College on Saturday October 13, 2012. The cost is only $15 and includes lunch made from locally supplied food. To register contact Marci King at 218-736-1625 or firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also find additional information at this link http://www.minnesota.edu/_RESOURCES_/_UPLOADS_/_SPECIAL_/M_State_SFP_Fencing2012.indd.pdf
|Digging a hole for a corner post. The post|
needs to be at least as far in the ground as
the height of the top wire is above ground.
|Corner Post with a Deadman Brace. |
Good for up to three High Tensile (HT) wires.
Friday all day was spent working on construction of a winter greenhouse. We were working on the wood foundation and setting the posts for a post and frame construction greenhouse. We will be working on this project for the next several weeks so you will get more in-depth updates in the future.
|Setting up my Dad's old transit to shoot elevations.|
|The greenhouse will be attached to the pole building.|
The pit will be filled with a rock mass for thermal storage of solar energy.