Friday, January 20, 2006


The farm sits on top of Mitchell Hill which has an elevation of 1480 feet. We can see about quite a distance to the East, South, and West. Our view to the North is only about a quarter of a mile. The wind can be pretty impressive sometimes, flipping wagons and turkey shelters. We have learned to store gustable items strategically. The plus side is that the hay dries fast and we don't need an air conditioner in the summer. Also we have some spectacular sunsets. Surpisingly this old farmhouse (the oldest portion is from 1840) is fairly tight, and we rarely use more than 700 gallons of fuel oil per year. We do also burn an old cookstove in the kitchen which does a lot of the heating during waking hours. Mitchell Hill runs a mile to the west and 3/4 of a mile to the east. Springville, which is at the bottom of the hill to the east lives in the shadow of Mitchell Hill, especially in the winter when the sun sets there at 3pm.

The weather has been so warm this January that I have the cows back out on pasture. We have a couple of fields that we want to try frost seeding clover on this spring, so we have to graze them pretty short. Frost seeding is the practice of broadcasting seeds onto the ground in the morning after the ground has frozen into a honeycomb structure over night. Some of the seed lands in these openings and is pulled under the soil surface after the ground thaws. This should enable us to improve our pasture sward without having to plow.


Blogger Walter Jeffries said...

Hi Peter, You asked a question on my blog about our farrowing greenhouse spaces. In a nutshell, the pigs don't seem to be bothering the plastic. This is a bit of an experiment. I used the plastic because 1) I can't afford the Kalwall or Lucite I would like to have and 2) I have found that our pigs don't generally bother inanimate objects. Most of all they'll rub on things to scratch an itch. I have heard of other people saying that pigs will rip everything up. It sounds like that happens in cases when they are confined. Ours have a big garden corral that they spend most of their winter time in. They are also able to go out into the entire south field which is about seven acres. On the breeding, we keep our boar with the herd. He is a real gentleman and good with all of the ages - piglets to matron sows. Cheers, -Walter

1/23/2006 01:41:00 PM  
Blogger Walter Jeffries said...

Huh, you are at almost the same elevation as the start of our land. Like you we have natural air conditioning from the plenty of wind and we plan carefully to make sure the wind helps us rather than hurts. Our house is actually a bit sheltered by the arm of the mountain. The winds could be worse. We have a neighbor up in the notch who burns many cords of wood a year in a modern well insulated house. I would not want to be in the high force wind area like that.

1/23/2006 01:44:00 PM  

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