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, April 20, 2010

You Can't Make Up This Stuff

Today when Dad called to tell me the Fish Commission was stocking Big Spring with trout and he & his buddy, Ted, were going fishing. Did I want to go? Hell, yes! This is an age-old ritual of following the stock truck of which I had not participated in a very long time. However, seeing that I've been on a steady diet of fresh trout & asparagus of late, I just couldn't pass up the opportunity for catching my limit. That's Dad & Ted at the front of line for a bucket of fish to stock where they pleased.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Virgin Browse

Until a few days ago, the goats had never been out on this patch on the farm. Ten years ago, the entire property, save for an acre by the house, was this densely overgrown. There's about a fifth of the land I have yet to browse. This particular area was at the far end and on a hillside down into the wetlands. It is woefully overgrown with invasive, non-native species of which the goats are rapidly clearing. 
This is the dent they put in the first area only after two days on the job.

Monday, April 12, 2010

The Latest Project

Last year I had the opportunity to have a land use professional take an objective look at the farm and offer some suggestions. It took ten years and someone with a PhD in Geography to show me exactly where my property lines are. All I could say was, "Wow! This is all my land?" which was promptly answered with "Yes, so why aren't you using it?" So, this is the plan...
Maximize land use while enhancing the riparian viewshed through the reduction of undergrowth and invasive species using goats.

This project is on a hillside so this is the top of the slope and below is the edge of the wetlands.

Before the electric netting could be run down to the water's edge, a path through undergrowth needed to be cleared.

One of the adjoining properties had recently been sold so now there is surveyors' marking tape making it easier to locate the corner of my land.
The bluebells were in full bloom while I was working and I couldn't resist taking a bouquet back to the house to enjoy.
Once the hillside down to the waters edge has been cleared, there will be a walking path and a sitting area (already have the park bench there) for contemplation, birdwatching, etc. Clearing out up to the stream banks, a small bridge will extend the walking path across the water to the hardwoods. With the removal of the invasives growing along the stream bank, these beautiful flowers will have more opportunity to proliferate. It will also create more nesting habitat for water fowl.