A Weekly Account of Life on the Fairview Farm

By: Asher Wright

Weekly update: August 4th – August 10th, 2019

Per usual, below you will find a recap of this last week. It has been a good and productive one and everyone has been doing a great job executing all of the tasks that we have to do while fitting in the ones that help us advance. Enjoy.
  • We weaned the group of sows on Monday that were at the top of the berry field. This entails separating them from their mom, giving them an injectable dewormer, and putting them into a nursery area where they get a higher quality feed compared to the field pigs, adjust to being by themselves, and most importantly learn the electric fence.
  • The Crew finished building the new nursery pen on Monday and that’s where the piglets weaned into.
  • The Crew built 6 new farrowing pens for the next 6 sows that are about to farrow. They are due around the 15th. This was a lot of work pounding t-posts, running new waterline and moving all of the Sows into their homes on Friday. It’s important to let them get settled for a week before they farrow, so they feel comfy and at home, it’s those extra touches
  • All of our focus that past 10 days, outside of chores and a few other items we had to do, has been on the sow pens and the nursery. Getting these pieces of infrastructure built allows us to focus solely on animal welfare and not have to scramble the next 8-10 weeks which is where we need to be. I’m really impressed with everyone’s hustle who helped pull all of that off.
  • We have continued our quest to repair the Ford 5000 and have made progress by finding a salvaged, high-pressure steering line. It was about $425 cheaper than buying the factory made one for our year and model. This was after 2 sourced parts didn’t quite fit right. We still have another major repair on our hands to get the steering 100%, but for now it’s safe and can help us finish out the season.
  • I went down to Rutherfordton this week to assess current forage availability, think about winter stockpiled forage, and help make a plan that ties that all together. Each year we pull a portion of our pasture out of grazing rotation towards the end of summer to allow it to grow and “stockpile” throughout the fall for the winter. This is in the place of hay which saves money by decreasing labor, wear and tear on our equipment, and fuel consumption.
  • On this trip I also looked at some used farm equipment that an old timer is selling that would allow us to make our own pig feed. This is all exploratory and research based at this point, no changes are being made at this point.
  • Our orchard and berry specialist, Craig Mauney visited the apple orchard on Friday to help us get an idea of where we are at with disease and pests and this years harvest. We have some final work to do in the coming weeks to prep for U-pick. We will be mowing, weed whacking, and cleaning that area up next week. I ordered apple picking baskets for the higher branches as we should be ready to pick the early ripening varieties in 10-14 days. More to come on that.
  • This past week on Friday our next intern to start, Darla, arrived in town and she is moving in this weekend. She officially begins next Tuesday. I’ll be sure to introduce you if I’m around but please introduce yourself and make her feel welcome if you see her, we are excited to have some extra hands in the middle of the busy season.
Until next time!

A Weekly Account of Life on the Fairview Farm

By: Asher Wright

Weekly update: July 22nd – August 2nd, 2019

I hope everyone had a productive week. Remember, the key word is “production” if you can’t produce, you can’t stay. Ok, ok, that’s really just what I say.  So what’s been going on? Check it out here:
  • I had the pleasure of joining some members of the meats team as we went down East to Duplin county to tour some of our hog producers’ farms and meet with them to talk about what lies ahead and to help everyone get a better understanding of where we are headed. It was a great trip. I especially enjoyed our 5 hour car ride back as Natalie and Sam serenaded us to top 40 hits over the past 20 years in the back seat like 2 agro teenagers.
  • The team continues to push forward with fence line weed whacking. This is hard work, tell the crew thanks when you see them. Because we don’t use herbicides on our farm we have to maintain our fences with weed-whacking instead of spraying.
  • We have been monitoring the orchard closely and the early ripening varieties will be coming off in the next 2-4 weeks. Stay tuned!
  • The crew built another pig paddock for our top hogs in the Sawmill pasture and got them moved out of their old paddock and into their new paddock. The old paddock was the one I wrote about in my first post. We will be rotating them through pasture space every 4-6 weeks to keep the ground protected and new forage in front of the piggies.
  • We are about 90% prepped for Turkeys and they are hitting the ground around August 15th. This involved setting up the houses and tarps, getting the propane heater dialed in, setting up the water system, and cleaning and sanitizing the feeders and waterers. We will be bedding the houses with straw and pine shavings before they get here.
  • The production team had a meeting to discuss all the infrastructure that will be needed for the fall agritourism push and begin knocking out that check list. This week we fixed the broken electrical box on the Southeast corner of the event shed.
  • The steering broke on the Ford 5000 and I broke into a steering line project. Because the tractor is so old and has a number of parts exchanged over the years it took me awhile to find the correct part, but we did, and it’s on it’s way.
  • Eli led a tour to about 40 campers and did a fantastic job. They looked happy and I know they learned a lot.
  • We made another weed whack pass through the berries and got them mowed. They are looking sharp and we are ready for the final U-Pick push. We have some blue berries still and are full with black berries. Spread the word.
  • Today we build a .14 acre, woven wire (thats like the wire that’s around Atticus) fence nursery for our weaned piglets. This is where we we will wean them, give them higher quality feed and train them to the electric fence. They will hang here before moving in with the other growing pigs. We will also be moving some of the small pigs in the viewing area out to the nursery as well. Our plan is to leave the boar and a buddy in there for the fall season.
  • We named the boar! He is that studly looking black Berkshire boar in there. His name is Diesel. Go say hi, he is cute.
  • Beyond these items the crew has done a great job moving the cattle along and managing our pastures nicely.
  • We have gotten a little over 2.5″ of rain since I last wrote, thanks Weather Station.
That’s it for now. I hope everyone has a fun and safe weekend.