…but we do have ginger and honey, pork and lamb! Rewind to May 2014: if you didn’t hear the news by other means, we lost our dear livestock guardian dog–and farm mascot–Derin early this Spring. He was hit by a car while chasing a deer. We think he had a bit of Spring Fever as … More Yes, We Have No Turkeys Today
Believe it or not, I actually love winter. But by March I grow antsy, and I start fantasizing about the growing season. So here’s a post to fuel that longing for green: We aim to have diverse, lush pastures fed by healthy, well-balanced soils. But that’s mostly not what we have, yet. As we use … More Using Pigs to Regenerate Diverse Pastures
There’s nothing that can brighten the gloomy final weeks of winter like the arrival of a baby lamb. Especially when it’s the first baby born on our farm (unless you count our son, who was born here 2 years ago!) As new farmers, we started our farm by bringing in young animals in the Spring … More Our first lamb is a big milestone!
Freezing winds blow snow but in the cozy hoophouse we’re happy and warm -Derrin and his sheep With the passing of Thanksgiving we celebrate the end of our 4th year as Shelterbelt Farm. And so far our best one! With each year we get more infrastructure in place, restore more brush to pasture, and get … More Hoophouse Haiku + End of our 4th Year
In farming–as in the rest of life–the best-laid plans often become good fodder for future stories. Our sheep plan for this first year was to keep the ram separate from the ewes until early December, when we would allow them to commingle, producing a spring crop of lambs in time for pasture green-up in May. … More Reflections on “Working with Nature”
The livestock and farmers at Shelterbelt Farm can sleep a little easier at night knowing that Derin is here to protect them. Derin is a 2.5-year-old Akbash dog who has been guarding poultry in Virginia. Akbash and other types of guard dogs–the most common are Great Pyrhenes and Maremmas–have been bred for the purposes of … More Predators Beware
We picked up 10 adorable Hereford x Mulefoot cross piglets last week, and they’ve been settling in well in their new home. Being the intelligent, curious creatures they are, they’ve already learned all about electric fences and how to use a nipple drinker, neither of which they had encountered at their previous home. They are … More Now Accepting Pork Reservations!
According to the calendar, Spring is here. Those of you living in warmer microclimates (like just 15 min. away in downtown Ithaca) may even be seeing all kinds of signs to corroborate the calendar’s claims. But here at Shelterbelt, we’re in that seasonal purgatory where there’s still little to show for the transition to Spring … More Mud Season
We have decided not to raise meat chickens this year, and here we attempt to explain to our supporters and customers why we’ve made this choice. There’s a lot for a farmer to love about broiler chickens: they are ravenous insect-eaters who can decrease pest pressure in orchards and pastures, their back-end output fertilizes soil, … More Why No More Chicken?
This year’s turkeys have been fattening up and scratching studiously, and will soon be ready for your holiday feast. Our broad-breasted bronze birds free range within the protection of a portable electric net, and we supplement their greens-and-bugs diet with a non-GMO ration made from squash seed meal and organic corn. They will be ready … More The Turkeys Will Graduate Soon!