Monthly Archives: December 2012

What do cows and autism have in common? Temple Grandin!

We watched the HBO movie Temple Grandin last night on Netflix.  Loved it!  I was inspired on a variety of levels.  Temple struggled with autism before there was an informed medical community or public regarding autism.  She and her family overcame barriers and stigma, and she excelled and inspired.   You can learn more about Temple through her TED profile.

Temple became a doctor of animal science and taught at Colorado State University.  Her observations of cattle behavior led her to design humane slaughter facilities that are widely used today, though, unfortunately, not used 100%.

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Always an opportunity to learn

Of course, there are ample opportunities to learn as you go in farming, and I am certain that I will experience plenty of those learning opportunities!  We are, however,  fortunate to have access to many valuable farm and business educational resources in WNC, and I believe in utilizing those resources.

Recently I attended at “Getting Your Farm to Scale” workshop at Mountain BizWorks where Lee Mink of Leap Farm provided a variety of practical information about scale.  I loved a quote he used to express his thoughts on the importance of farmers:  “The world needs dreamers who do!”

The first weekend in December I attended a two day risk management training organized by ASAP:  Growing Farm Profits.   Now I have the tools to track and analyze our farm numbers and assess what is and isn’t profitable and make adjustments as we go along.   Gary Bullen, NC State Extension Agriculture Economist presented and discussed farm management and Enterprise Budgets.  Ellen Polishuk of Potomac Vegetable Farms presented the Veggie Compass a whole farm profit management tool.  For those of you in the DC area, seek out Ellen at a variety of markets and stands in your area.   She is passionate about farming and good food!

Wild turkeys, fresh eggs and lost honey bees

The wild turkeys are enjoying our buckwheat, and Glenn sees our chances of the buckwheat reseeding itself being gobbled away ; the flock of 30+  are grazing daily and taunting Tillie on our morning walks.  Glenn and Tillie have informed them not too push their luck too far or one of them might be the lucky bird  to be marinated in bourbon and apple cider and roasted to a golden brown next Thanksgiving.

Our hens have finally slowed down egg production, but we are still getting two eggs a day which is fine from the five hens.   They were thankful for the   cornbread dressing that they received after Thanksgiving, and I am thankful for the fresh eggs that definitely make a more delicious quiche.

On a sad note, we lost our yellow hive of honey bees; we are still analyzing the evidence, but it looks potentially  like colony collapse disorder.  This hive was always weaker from the start, but we had left all their honey in the hive in the hope that they would be able to survive the winter and gain strength going into next year.  We had seen a lot of bee activity during the sunny days when we looked out at their hives, but upon closer inspection, Glenn realized that those were robber bees enjoying all the yummy honey.  It seems that they had a Thanksgiving feast as well.