Dispatches from the Hill RSS



Farm Tours; and We've Got Chicken, Yes We Do...

With two incredibly successful batches of chickens under our belt for the season, our freezers are packed to the top with some of the happiest, healthiest, most-carbon-sequestery chickens Vermont has ever seen. We're incredibly proud of the work these birds did for the land while they were with us, and we're just thrilled with the quality, flavor, and texture of this natural meat. If you'd like to drop by to see the field improvement we've been able to achieve with the help of the sheep and chickens, please call us at 802-379-9070 to schedule a time. We're always thrilled to meet new folks and explain what we're doing and why it works. Bring friends. Make a day of it! And...

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Want to get to 10,000 steps every day? Farm.

Back in my web programming/marketing/design days, I sat. A lot. Almost all day, in fact. The things that you would expect to happen, happened: I got fat. I got slow. I had chest pains and leg pains and problems sleeping. I was angry a lot. I was addicted to beeps and pings and bright screens—the brighter the better. One day, while discussing my sedentary life with my wife—who was in the business with me—we settled on the idea that we wanted to know just how sedentary we were.The idea of "10,000 steps" kept coming back into the conversation. She, or I, had read somewhere that a "healthy" person gets 10,000 steps in a day. How many is 10,000 steps...really? What does...

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50 Sheep Added to Our Hayfield Restoration Program

For a few years now, Cally and I have been tossing around the idea of bringing sheep here to the farm to compliment the work that the poultry is doing in our pasture (soil) rehabilitation program. The advantages were clear: sheep are smaller than cows (and therefore less of a danger to wee Angus); sheep can be contained by our mobile fencing; sheep are ruminants (and we're a grass/hay farm); sheep "mow" the grass to the perfect height for the chickens; sheep manure is incredibly rich; sheep are so darn cute. But, because we're incredibly careful people—and despite thoughtful encouragement from elders we trust—we hadn't braved the plunge into shepherd-hood. Then, a few weeks ago, there was a knock on our door. To make...

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How We Raised Pastured Pork in 2014

Last year, as one of our early pastured meat experiments, we raised four Gloucestershire Old Spot pigs from Hidden Nest Farm in Argyle, New York. As we strive to provide any animal we bring onto this farm with a full, safe, and interesting life, we circled a 1.5 acre hillside—complete with an old horse stall, trees, grass, and a stream—with a one-foot high electrified fence. (We also chose the spot we did because we hoped that the pigs would do some work of clearing away the underbrush that make access to the aging trees impossible.) We were HIGHLY skeptical about the ability of a one-foot high fence to contain four fully-grown pigs. But, because we read the tip in Living with Pigs...

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Hayfield Restoration With Chickens: The Exciting Results Can Be Seen From Space!

It is March 18th here in Vermont, and while all the bitter dispositions of Vermonters are slowly warming, the temperature outside is decidedly not. It is an 18° Windsday today—the wind is cutting straight through wool, beards, and bone. It turned out to be fortunate, however, that the weather is so bitter, because had it been pleasant—and had I been outside—I would not have discovered the subject of today's blog post: Chickens in SPACE!!!

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