Sunday, October 14, 2012


Well, we had our first encounter with a mink at the farm.  And it has what is possibly the best ending that could be. (Well, not for the mink, but...)
Anyway, we were gone to NB for Thanksgiving and left poor Wendell in charge of the chickens. I had just moved the sheep, so they had fresh pasture.  And the cow and calf were together on their pasture so no one needed to do anything with them.  The pigs had grain and the meat birds were all in the freezer, so all that was left was to let out the layers and shut them in at night.  We were gone for two nights.
We have two pens of chickens right now, since our last batch of layers was too young and getting beat up by the older girls, so they've got the executive suite with Roosti (who we figured would kill our other roosters, or at least get aggresive, if we put them together).  Anyway, until they get a little bigger, they're not let out yet.
Apparently at noon on Sunday Wendell went into the coop to get the eggs and checked on the young ones' feed, to discover a bunch of beat up hens and a bloody rooster.  He initially assumed that Roosti must have gotten aggressive with the hens and had beat them up, so he took Roosti out and put him in his own little cage for the time being.
Later on, Mark's sister and brother-in-law were down visiting and Wendell mentioned it to them.  They said that there's no way the rooster would have turned on the hens suddenly, so Wendell took Jamie out to prove it.  As they approached the chicken house door, who was standing there to greet them but little Billy Mink, apparently unafraid.  After a tussel involving a 2x4 and a couple shovels Mr. Mink was no more and Roosti returned to his pen, heralded as the saviour of the four remaining, terrified hens.
me and a survivor.
On a somewhat unrelated note, our garbage collector left a hand-written note that he does not accept chicken carcasses in the compost bin.
No word on mink carasses.

buckwheat being swathed.
We are waiting on dry weather to finish up harvest this year.  There is buckwheat laying in swaths waiting to be picked up and soybeans standing the field waiting to dry up.  Other than that our lives have been somewhat taken over by the upcoming season of meetings and conferences.  We are speaking at a couple different workshops at the ACORN Conference (in Ch'town this year) and are working on our stuff for the Outstanding Young Farmers event following that.  I'm also organizing the roller derby awards gala this year and the open house which will hopefully inspire our next round of fresh meaters.  I've also taken on the tall order of trying to instill some sense of direction to the nursery at church, but it's proving trickier than I imagined, with a tiny space and a wide variety of ages.  Anyway, a nice on-going challenge.

My part-time job is nearly finished up for the season as well, which will mean more time at home and less running around. I say part-time, but it was really only two mornings a week, yet it's amazing how two little mornings away from the house can lead to such chaos for the whole week.  My food purchasing, preparing and enjoying went downhill pretty solidly and I think we all noticed it.  I don't think I realized how many meals I make that require longer cooking or prep times. Besides chicken, I can hardly remember the last roast I've cooked.  And 'tis definitely the season for warm roasts and stews with these chilly days!
And speaking of roast chicken- we're sold out!  It was a great year of learning new skills and testing the market in some new ways, but overall, another good one.  We're really excited for next year!  This is a picture of the freezer we use when we do our urban drop-offs.  Cute eh? :)
I realize I haven't posted any pictures in quite a while, so here's a brief picture catch-up of a few highlights from the last part of our summer shenanigans.
We finally made it to Panmure Island one Sunday (down off the southeastern corner of PEI) and it was beautiful!  Here we are enjoying lunch at the lighthouse with the beautiful draft horses in the background (who did not like raisins much to the Thayne`s chagrin). (And yes, as a livestock producer I see the danger of strange kids feeding strange foods to strange animals.  But I was actually curious too.)

Hard to believe this was one month ago!

 On one our trips `home`to NB, our last stop before heading back was a visit with Uncle Grant and Aunt Diane, who were kind enough to load up everyone with some sugary ice cream cones.  You can see they were a big hit and a much approved `bed lunch`choice.  :)

 This is what I call a real merry maid.

 This is probably one of the nicest shots I have of the three of them.  Of course it had to be in the barn, on the chicken wagon, water tank behind.  But I think their smiles trump the background anyway.
And of course it wouldn`t be summer without my trip to the Expo Kent for the sheep show.  Here is a picture of Mom receiving the trophy for her get-of-sire class, with her handsome assistants, Dad and grandson, Isaac.