Haystack Farm

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Blog posts : "General"

Retrospective

Renovations turned into reconstruction! The 2017 season saw us experimenting with a few changes to combat predators. Our poultry did not fair as well as we had hoped though our guard geese thrived. Maybe Haystack Farm pasture raised goose is in our future! We waved good-bye to the remainder of our f…

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Progress in Reverse

I've never liked to back track, in anything. Hiking, driving, career plans, finance, I have always thought to go backward was to waste energy.  Over the last couple of years, once again, farming has been a wise and demanding teacher. It has taught me the value of retreat. 

Now I'm not talking r…

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State of the Farm Address


Some of you may have known the kids and I were away from the farm for most of the summer. While we were away our lone farmer was forced to deal with all manner of things gone wrong. So this is our state of the farm address to explain where we are at and where we are going. The weather, though grea…

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Baptism by Drought

It is unlikely one has never heard discussions of farming and drought. I've seen pictures of deserts in Africa, and dry fields in Saskatchewan. This year, however, put the idea of drought into a whole new perspective for me. Drought doesn't mean you have to work a little harder to produce a crop. Dr…

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An Inuit Inspired Philosophical Farming Moment

Here's my philosophical moment for the day. Though it doesn't come from a farm setting I think it is very relevant. I've been reading a book called "The Long Exile" by Melanie McGrath. It's set in a changing Inuit culture. In describing the culture and the changes brought about by contact with white…

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Pigging

Our sows have become surprisingly enthusiastic when it comes to meal times. They actually break into a run to get from the building to the trough. I'm hoping this is a sign they were both bred by the boar and they have the pregnancy munchies. We'll have to get some more alfalfa hay in to them this w…

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A Long Telling of a Short Story About a Morning Walk

When you enter a forest with peace, you never know what she will show you. Miraculously I had no children for a few hours on Friday morning.  The two youngest successfully convinced their Dad to save them from just another morning home with Mom.   Driving into town for a load of lumber must be more …

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Farming and Church

I am not a church going person but I am not completely unfamiliar with what happens inside those sacred walls. The sights, sounds, and feelings of Catholic mass are etched into my childhood memory.  This spring, one of my goals, aside from keeping everything alive and where it is suppose to be, has …

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A Salute to Prairie Heroines

My fixation with the homestead era on the prairies dates back to who knows when really. It has always been a period of history that has captured my imagination.  I often ask myself the question "Would I have wanted to live back then?" I think the answer is, if given the chance I would love to visit …

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For Whom the Farmer Farms

The mental mulling of this issue of planning seems endless. It would be simple to set stock numbers and profit targets for the next three years, at least seemingly more simple.  Where our machine has become mired is the balance between principles and profits.  Our production methods are not up for n…

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The Fine Art of Farm Planning

We are approaching our third year of farming. When we first began we knew the learning curve would be steep but we were optimistic that by year three we would have a few systems in place that would make the spring start up a little more smooth. Oh how wrong we were. It turns out the longer you farm,…

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What a difference the breed makes!

Last night we had the honour of sharing our first meal of Icelandic lamb with some good friends. Though we were hesitant to share the unveiling of our latest endevour with lamb conosieurs, our fears were unfounded. The company was great and the lamb was amazing!  I can honestly say I thought twice a…

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Air Chillin'

Haystack Farm is proud to announce we can now sell our chickens as "air chilled". We just came back from Pigeon Lake Poultry Processors with a load of beautiful looking "air chilled" birds!

When chickens are processed the carcass must be cooled quickly to prevent bacterial growth that can lead to sp…

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Food Security

The news is a swirl of alarms about the safety of beef products from the XL Foods plant here in Alberta. This is the perfect time to think about what you are supporting when you buy your meat directly from a local farm. Not only are you supporting that farmer but also all the smaller independent ind…

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Great Day for Farming


As the weather turns to fall it's tempting to wish our busy season was during these cooler, bug-reduced days. Though with days like these maybe it's perfect that the farm starts to get quieter so we can enjoy it to its fullest. If only all our animals didn't get a late start this year.  We should be…

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Modern Technology in Farming

Finally, the website is up in some operational form!  With life being so consumed by staying ahead of the day to day demands, the website launch has been slow in coming. When you think of farming and technology usually one tends to think tractors, combines, and fertilizers yet when you really think …

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16 Blog Posts