The small farm family just got a little bigger! Busha and I are now the proud parents of approximately 200 Highliner Hens. We were all set for their arrival about a week ago, after having built four chicken tractors for them. Unfortunately, so too were the Red Tail Hawks who have feasted on a few of our birds. For the immediate future the hens will stay tucked away in their homes so they do not become lunch for the hawks. After Christmas Busha and I will be busy working on a network of netting that will allow the chickens to hit the ground and be happy, healthy, and free of worry!
We were blessed with these birds by an NC State researcher who will be using them for a fascinating research project starting January 17th. At that time, our family will be growing even larger with an addition of 4 steers who will be providing patties for the project.
Welcome Highliners! We are so happy you are here!
It is hard to believe today is December 22nd. It may be due in part to the fact that it is 70 degrees in Goldsboro today. But I think it has more to do with how I am celebrating this holiday season. I am not doing the usual Christmas shopping extravaganza, hanging lights, singing carols, or visiting family. Rather, I am here on the farm helping look after the dozens of new born calves at the dairy. Although I am spending this Christmas away from the shopping mall, the carols, and the Christmas trees, the spirit of Christmas feels more alive in me than it ever has. I have had the pleasure of witnessing the miracle of life almost everyday. And after all, a celebration of birth is to many the reason for the season. There is nothing more beautiful, miraculous, or spiritual than seeing a mother cow give birth to a healthy calf.
Witness the beauty yourself…
Happy Day! Happy Life! Happy New Year!
As October turned to November, the full season apprentices on the Small Farm Unit departed and a winter apprentice arrived. As the new apprentice, I would like to introduce myself and thank the previous apprentices for all the hard work they did that has enabled us to provide the local soup kitchen with a bounty of fresh food.
I am Callie Herron. I have no farming background and in a what now seems like past life, didn’t like to get my hands dirty or interact with animals. In the past year I have gone from college graduation at UNC-Asheville and working at a grocery store, to being a Policy Intern with the Organic Farming Research Foundation on Capitol Hill, to becoming a Small Farm Apprentice and Dairy Assistant here in Goldsboro, NC.
Over the past few weeks I have learned that I now love to get my hands (and pretty much everything else) dirty working in the greenhouses, milking cows, feeding baby cows, etc.,etc. And I have also learned that Baby Jersey/Holstein Cross Calves (don’t worry there will be pictures) are some of the cutest animals in the world. I am marveled by animals, nature, and plants and feel so privileged to have the opportunity to work the land and grow food.
This place, this community, is awe inspiring, breathtaking, and life altering. Thank you for joining me on this farming journey.