The Safety Net We Take for Granted

When the barn attached to our home caught on fire near midnight on Thurs Nov 4, the first responders were the only difference between losing something and losing everything. There were ten Fire Departments/Companies responding–in addition to 5 other state and county agencies–and we want to publicly recognize them and share our deepest appreciation for … More The Safety Net We Take for Granted

Farm Choreography

Our culture has always had a fascination with group performances. There is synergy—even magic—in the collective movement of a dance troupe, or an orchestra playing music together. When it’s done well, it is a visual and auditory feast. But if someone is having a bad day and gets off rhythm or misses a cue, the … More Farm Choreography

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