Late summer on the farm is a time of transition. Since we don’t use pesticides, some of our tomatoes and sensitive summer vegetables finally start to succumb to blight and pests. Some things we succession plant, so we will continue to harvest until frost, but other things have simply retreated for the year. Soon it will be time to compete with the squirrels as we gather black walnuts for future dying projects and baking!
Ben has been busy with the ongoing task of improving infrastructure for the sheep and cows. Our strong commitment to maintaining grassfed and finished livestock plays a huge role in how we invest in fencing. Every post has been hand dug/tamped/driven, every inch of wire strung by hand. It is exhausting work, but greatly appreciated.
Grazing will greatly improve the health of the soil and promotes the health of our ruminants. The chickens, ever the opportunists, follow the flock as they graze around the farm. They eat the bugs the sheep disturb as they graze, reducing our feed costs while adding necessary protein to their diet. They also find their way into the cow pasture. In their pursuit of food, their scratching up cow patties distributes nutrients and reduces flies.
Additionally, our choice not to use chemical fertilizers means that we leave the task of adding nutrients to the soil to the ruminants and plants themselves. Improvements are slow, but our animals are healthy and gain well on grass, so we know that we are headed in the right direction. After we have built a bare-bones fencing system, our future plans include cross fencing and a poly wire system to improve rotational grazing capabilities.
In other news, we have greatly enjoyed connecting with the Ashland, KY community at the KDMC Farmer’s Market! It has been amazing meeting so many people committed to supporting local farmers and who want to know where their food comes from. We get many questions about fiber, food, and how we care for our animals. It has been a pleasure to meet lots of new folks who now enjoy using our soap and has been humbling to hear stories of how much people are enjoying our products. We have had several people inquire about lamb; we hope to increase our flock numbers and make more lamb available for the community. Please contact us to be added to the waiting/contact list for lamb. Thank you for your interest and support!
Fiber friends, thank you for your patience as we wait for this year’s shearing! Many are chomping at the bit for Tarheelbilly Farm’s Tunis roving and yarn. We hope to hear something soon from the various mills we used this year!
Soon we will have our fall soaps back in stock. Look for apple pie spice and pumpkin in early September. We are also playing around with new soap packaging ideas. We do not want to increase prices on the soap but we would like to reduce our plastic usage, so please bear with us as we try our a few new ideas. Also coming up, we’ll have samples of winter/holiday soaps that will be available for preorder next month. The KDMC market ends October 31! We will be happy to take bulk and custom orders to ensure our loyal customers won’t run out before the 2020 farmer’s market season.
Thank you again to customers and friends new and old. We appreciate your support!
2 thoughts on “Late Summer 2019”
Loved reading your blog update on the farm. I hope I can catch some more of that delightful Tunis when it comes back from the mill. It is wonderful to spin and knit.
So glad that you enjoyed working with it! I check fleeces periodically and it seems we’ll have some nice fleeces next year, too! 🙂