As summer is slowly winding down, we take time to reflect on all the ups and downs of 2022. Overall we are thankful for where we find ourselves, and look forward to finishing up third cutting, and grazing as long as the land will let us.
2021 has been an amazing year. It started out rough, not knowing if we would have enough hay, or even pasture to support ourselves. Yet mother nature was kind enough to give us what we needed and we surpassed our need for hay, and our pastures ended up doing fantastic. Now I would be lying if I were to say that wasn't without some creative pasturing plans for a bit to get us through the slump, but we did it!
We brought home Alice this spring who gave us our much anticipated Angus bull calf "Scotty". We then tried our hand at artificially inseminating some cattle and had some decent success. We have a registered Belted Galloway on the way along with a registered Angus, and two British Park Commercial Crosses.
We then added in Abbie, Stanley and Virginia. All of which have goals and purposes on the farm that we greatly look forward to.
We dabbled into genomic testing of the Angus for enhanced EPD's on all of our registered stock, and have now started to DNA test the Belted Galloway and commercial cross bred cattle as well. This will allow us to fully utilize each one to their fullest potential by the traits they carry.
We added a second beehive, which was a blessing as honey production for Hersey was down so that allowed us to still harvest some honey, just in lesser quantities than previously anticipated. We have goals of increasing our hives again next year.
Maple syrup went well, and as always and it was fun.
Calving season went well.
We planted a stand of Indian Corn that did amazing and we couldn't be more happy! We have plans to continue that in the future.
Fall of 2021 I started attending some craft shows, and had a great time. The plan will be to attend more in the future to market candles and soap, along with our other goodies we produce!
We would like to thank each and every one of you that support us and follow us on our journey. We appreciate you, and we are thankful. We are trying to carry on a tradition of agriculture while making our own way, while upholding our values in cattle handling and farming practices. Truly the support we receive from everyone is amazing.
Special thanks to everyone at Grassfest last night. It was a great meeting, and we are looking forward to more....
Peace and love friends,
- Brandi Mitchell
Alice the registered angus cow is here! We are so excited! She is due to calve sometime around early May and will have a registered calf. She comes from a great line of cows, is extremely mild tempered and we could not be more excited. We have big plans for Alice. She will be used to produce registered stock for both our farm and we will also have registered calves for sale from her in the future as well.
Maple Syrup season has also began! A great time to be in the woods, enjoying all of nature in its glory.
Well Skye is weaned!
This little girl is going to be a special cow. She has an amazingly calm demeanor. When she was born I was already petting her, and she would really seek out humans, and she has already warmed back up to me. Many times it takes a bit after weaning to trust me again, leaving mom is very stressful, but Skye is doing great. She is a larger frame Belted since she is crossed with Angus, and her growth rate has been amazing. She does seem to have a more Belted hair coat, which is nice we like the curly hair. :)
Excited to watch her grow, she will be an excellent addition to our breeding cows once she's of age. For now, she will have nice second cutting hay to eat and have time to bond with me and hang out with her steer buddies, and the other young heifers.
Continue to follow along to watch her grow up!
Today is our second day rolling our round bales to feed our cows. This helps spread out the manure, and aids in regenerating the soil, as well as allowing all the cows to eat at once without competition. We still will feed with bale rings, as in days like tomorrow with the inclement weather we want to put out two bales so we will drop those in rings, but on nice days we can spread out the hay like this now. We continue to grow and learn as much about regenerative agriculture as we can to help heal the land, and keep our cows happy all at once.
A year to remember...
I don't think anyone will forget 2020 anytime soon. What I would like to remember it for is a few milestones we have had this year.
We added a bee hive to the farm, and harvested honey! How exciting! We were able to extract around 53 pounds of wonderful tasting honey, and next year plan on increasing our bee hive to at least two. We plan on having honey for sale next year in the fall, contact us if interested in being on our waiting list.
The bees have been a extremely rewarding and entertaining endeavor and I am so glad we did it. We have always wanted to support pollinators, what better way than having your own!
Maple syrup we sold out! Very excited to hear such amazing feed back on our syrup, thank you to all our buyers. Again, let me know if you want to be on the waiting list, I will gladly add you. We can't believe that March is creeping up on us again..... but we are always thankful when it does as that mean the harsh weather is typically going to break.
Beef production is going extremely well, we slowly increase our herd to match our pasture and hay supply each year, and that allows us to increase our available steers for beef as well. So far we have increasing demand and we will continue to grow, if you have interest and are not currently on our list it takes 24-28 months for us to finish a beef, so please contact me and we can add you on that list and start to plan accordingly. People are becoming more aware of where their food comes from and supporting the local farmer and that is something we fully stand behind as a main core value. Raising natural, pasture raised beef, while ensuring our farm and environment stays healthy so our farm can be here for many years to come.
Belted Galloways - Near and dear to my heart have always been the breed of the Belted Galloway cattle. They happen to be a breed meant specifically well for grass or forage based systems as they grow slow, with excellent feed conversion and docile temperaments. We now have 4 Belted Galloway purebreds on the farm, two proudly bought this year are fully registered. This allows us the opportunity to produce purebred registered stock to offer for sale via artificial insemination, for a future venture. We may have some Angus/Belted cross calves available this fall if we have heifers, please follow along with us on this exciting journey. Belted Cross cattle also make excellent crosses for multiple uses.
Artificial Insemination - I will be attending cattle artificial insemination classes to be able to provide this service directly for our farm. This is will open up a new door, for our Belted Galloway venture, as well as others which is exciting.
Take care all our friends and followers,
- Brandi Mitchell
We have maple syrup for sale freshly boiled down in 2020, if you are interested get a hold of us today! We had a great year, and a great run and have pulled our taps already.
Spring is finally coming, and with that we enter into maple syrup season. It is a nice time of year, being in the woods with the sun and snow is just gorgeous. We are running 41 taps this year on the farm. Once the sap starts to run, it is gathered daily, and then the boil down process begins. Anyone interested in purchasing maple syrup, please contact us!
The cows are still getting the yummy haylage bales, and we are about 30 days out from the start of calving season. It has been a mild winter which we are thankful for after the last winter, which was pretty wicked. We have all our garden seed already here at the house, and are excited for the warmer weather to come. We are planting a new hay field again this year to keep up with our growing cattle herd, and the cattle will be able to graze on our newly planted pasture field, which is a lovely grass and legume mix that will be lush and beautiful.
Well it is winter. It is here if you want it or not. It is cold, windy, doing a little snow, inter mixed with freezing rain. Tank heaters are going strong to provide fresh water to all the cattle. Hay is being eaten up and the cows are doing pretty well. In a few weeks we will start feeding the breeding cattle haylage bales, (fermented third cutting bales) that we rotate with dry hay to provide them the best nutrition in the bad weather we can. Feeding the haylage bales smells amazing, it is a smell that is just good. Sweet, even for me. The cattle know as soon as Jordan brings one over the hill.... there is 0% waste from one of those bales. Our calves from this year we kept back are doing good. I work to tame them down and teach them a bit on handling manners. They are all turning our very nice. All in all winter is going well. Let us hope January treats us the same.
Who would have thought after this spring I would be asking for rain... lol well I am now! It is dry. Very dry. I just watched a rain cloud this morning miss us by like a mile... maybe in the next few days. Regardless I have no complaints besides the lack of rain. We had a record setting first cutting, we have all we need for the farm for the year and that is not to shabby, we also were able to sell some and have some more packed in the barn, can't complain. We are done and awaiting the growth of second cutting. Best of luck to you all my friends stay hydrated this week!