A Weekly Account of Life on the Fairview Farm
By: Asher Wright
Weekly update: August 4th – August 10th, 2019
- 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.