August 24, 2015
Greetings from the endless drought! As the (what feels like) the longest summer ever draws to a close, many of us here in Western Washington – and throughout the Pacific Northwest in general – are feeling and seeing the effects of this season’s El Nino weather. It’s been so hot and dry here that our non-irrigated home pastures were fried by early July. The apples on our wild trees ripened very early, and litter the ground around them, making perfect snacks for hungry deer. We’ve got some hay in the barn and are already researching our options for winter feed, as we anticipate haylage being a hot commodity due to the fires in Eastern Washington and the nonstop heat (some farmers around here thought they’d get another hay cutting, but didn’t).
We’re awaiting the arrival of Bestla’s 2015 calf, which will give us a total of five new babies for 2015, the most we’ve ever had. Everyone’s doing great on our leased summer pasture, but with limited space at home, we would like to reduce our numbers a bit going into winter. We are getting ready to list at least two of our heifers for sale, and will likely also sell our two February steers and Ari’s lovely February bull calf once they’re all weaned. Xoe delivered a surprise red heifer on June 4, having apparently bred back at 42 days post-calving, which we didn’t know was possible.
We’ve had a lot of fun trying new things with Asher, but we’re ready for the change in season, a chance to slow down and savor some quiet time and hearty comfort foods featuring our own grassfed Highland beef (and the fish that Paul caught this summer).
Hope you and yours enjoyed the summer! Stay cool!
Paul, Amy and Asher
January 26, 2015
Happy New Year! We’re nearly through the first month of 2015, and the weather is teasing us with the promise of Spring! It’s been a very (oddly) mild winter this year (knock on wood), with only a few hard pretty substantial freezes and very little snow. Shrubs and trees are already starting to bud out. Here on the farm, our girls are happily munching away on prime haylage from Chehalis, maintaining a nice winter weight despite nursing calves (for Xoe and Bestla) or growing 2015 babies (Xara, Elodie and Arianna). Actually, our first calf of the year is due as early as next Friday, January 31st. Ari, Amy’s sweet “birthday heifer” (purchased for her birthday in 2012) is due with her first calf. Our bull, Albie, has produced lovely offspring so far, so we’re excited to see what our 2015 calves will look like. Elodie and Xara are due a little later, although Xara’s looking close, so she may calve in early February. Her 2014 calf, Caris, weaned herself while on our leased pasture and is a solid little hunk of beauty. We don’t own her sire, so we may keep her for ourselves, but will likely be selling Cali and Cricket once they’re weaned this spring. We’d love to keep everyone, but it’s just not possible, and we know we’ll find wonderful homes for our little girls.
Our little guy, now 19 months old, loves his cows. One of his first, most emphatic words (after “uh oh”, because, of course) was “MOOO!” He loves looking outside at the cows, or walking over to the fence to check them out. We look forward to him getting a chance to interact with them as he grows older and bigger (and, maybe, a little less daredevil?).
Hope winter has treated you well!
Paul, Amy and Asher
Paul and Amy