Welcome to Painted Hand Farm

Painted Hand Farm is a 20 acre Civil War era farm located in Cumberland county, Pennsylvania. We raise meat goats, veal calves, turkeys and organic vegetables using humane and sustainable agricultural practices.

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Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Long Time, No Post

Yes, yes--I know that I've been remiss in keeping up with the blog and lots has been going on. Here's the rundown on what's been happening.

PASA's 17th Annual Farming for the Future Conference
Nearly 2,000 people from 39 states and 8 countries attended this year's successful conference. It was such a whirlwind event that I took very few pictures. The Everything Small Ruminants pre-conference track was sold out. Sheep & goat farmers learned about nutrition, managing pasture & browse, sustainable sheep farming, fiber production, managing parasites and my personal favorite, prescribed grazing which was presented by Kathy Voth of Livestock for Landscapes.
Dr. Steve Hart from Langston University's E (Kika) de la Garza Institute for Goat Research gave a demonstration on how to prepare and read your own fecal tests for parasite egg counts using a McMasters slide. Dr. tatiana Luisa Stanton from Cornell University's Extension gave an informative presentation about managing goats and sheep on pasture and browse.
One of the funnest parts of the conference this year was the entertainment on Thursday evening. Adrienne Young, a very talented singer & musician from Nashville. On Saturday night after the conference, I had a chance to sit down and talk with Adrienne and her boyfriend about their beliefs in and dedication to sustainable agriculture.

Snow, Snow and More Ice
Winter just won't give up. Poor Jess has had school canceled three times in less than a week due to snow & ice. You would think she'd be excited, but it decimated her spring break and extended her school year. Pax, the Great Pyrenees pup in training, looks over the fence and asks when all this white stuff is going away so she can roll in the brown stuff and do her Chocolate Lab immitation.
Goatie Visitors
Bella & Jazzy have come for a 'visit' with the buck while their farmers have gone to Australia for a few weeks. The bleat with an Aussie accent.

Hay Day
I wish the barn was big enough to store all of the hay we need to over-winter, but about February our stores run thin and it's time to rustle up small bales out of someone else's barn.

Tractor Supply's Out Here Magazine
For the next few months when you visit Tractor Supply, chances are you'll see a familiar face on the cover of their spring issue of Out Here magazine.

Kidding Season, Round Two
It started again on Sunday morning when I went out to feed & milk. Kay had a fresh pair of twins on the ground--both does. These kids are out of the BIJO buck owned by Earl Martin.
And when I went out for the evening feeding & milking, Mischievous had another set of twins--a buck and a doe.

Friday, February 01, 2008

The Winter of Ice

Here we go, another ice storm. This one even worse that the others we've had so far this winter. Truthfully, I'd rather it be snow. Snow isn't as destructive or treacherous. It was so miserable out this morning that the calves refused to come out of their shelter when I walked out with a bucket of milk. I took that as a sign that the animals had battened down the hatches and as soon as I was done milking, I should go back in the house and do the same.
In the middle of milking I heard two cracks that sounded like rifle shots followed by a creaking and then a crashing. I feared looking out of the barn door hoping not to see major damage to our beautiful large pine tree. It was one of the smaller shade trees that had lost two large limbs. Although I wanted to inspect closer, many of the canopy branches sagged under the weight of the ice and I thought it best to keep my distance.
Ice on the fence line as the goats gobble up a meal during a break in the storm.

Cinderella begging for attention.
Mimi and Andy were more interested in the fresh round bales we put out yesterday than staying dry. Only during the worst of the storm did they seek shelter. Other than that, they had their faces in food. The other round bale looks as if it's sprouted some sort of weird fur as ice formed on the tendrils of loose hay.It may be winter and covered in ice, but soon spring will arrive and the old iron will be hard at work once again.