Burnout

As we slide toward November, the farm to-do list still threatens to drown us. While I can’t speak for all farmers, I believe this is a common feeling in Fall. We are all operating on an uncertain, though certainly short, timeline before the freeze sets in. Before equipment disappears under a blanket of snow, or … More Burnout

Major Additions–and Deletions–on our Evolving Farm

Here’s the quick 2015 update for those who don’t want all the details: No pigs this year (!) But we will have meat chickens The beginning of our orchard is planted–picture apples and pears in 3 years! We got a grant to build a new 30’x72′ hoophouse for 4-season production Beef cattle arrive this Fall … More Major Additions–and Deletions–on our Evolving Farm

Predators Beware

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

Mud Season

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

Daffodil harbingers

There’s still a lot of snow up here in the hills of Caroline, but who’s complaining? I can see bare ground in most places, and where there’s bare ground there will soon be grass, and flowers, and LIFE! The daffodils have poked their heads proudly up through the chilly soil to announce that Spring is … More Daffodil harbingers

Visible Progress

Gone are the days of parking by the side of the road and wading through waist-high goldenrod and wild raspberry when we visit our farm land. We now have a home base there: a driveway, pond, and the beginnings of a multi-purpose barn/apartment/workshop building. Nearly 16 months ago we salvaged a hemlock timber frame from … More Visible Progress

Off and running

It’s been a while since our last update. We had a major scramble as the trees, bees, and chicks all arrived around the same time (who planned that, anyway??) and of course, finishing the chickens’ pasture shelters took about three times longer than we thought it would. But the trees are in the ground – … More Off and running