Haystack Farm

Your Local Farm

header photo

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 flock of Icelandic sheep in preparation to welcome a herd of meat goats. Preparations are moving along more slowly than hoped so our 2017 herd is turning into a 2018 herd. Repairs are slated this fall for our pig pen and we will be offering small numbers of custom requests for pork. Our beef herd of three steers is holding steady. Come November we'll be picking up the new batch for next years butcher. So though it looks unlikely Haystack chicken will return to the menu, we are hopeful the future may see Haystack turkey, goose, and goat. We'll keep you posted!

It has admittedly been a while since I sat down to make changes to our website. The farm has been fluxing so rapidly, often bouncing from one element of chaos to another, that trying to update the online world became low priority and nearly impossible. The above message was what I left on our homepage as parting words back in 2017. Embarrassing it has been so long but strangely, or maybe sadly, those words still ring true. I hesitate to say it for fear it doesn't hold, but it would seem our ship has found an even keel and a plausible route to navigate. Since we last spoke we have refined our poultry production to a system that produces sustainable results with few losses. I guess our love the unknown or maybe for fear of boring monotony we then took that system and have recently added turkey breeding stock and guinea fowl. The sales future of all these things is unclear as of yet but we are feeling our way forward carefully.  Our goats did finally materialize and were doing nicely for the first year. Sadly, in a moment of insanity we took a chance on a "good deal" (which in the farming world doesn't exist) for a herd out of Saskatchewan. The herd was in rough shape so our plan to resell immediately changed into getting them back on track first. That was a losing proposition right from the get go until we finally stopped throwing good effort after bad and culled them all to the meat market. As a parting gift they left our land contaminated with a bacteria that we now have to wait until the end of next summer to use safely again. So back to our rule of growing slowly and from within as it has always yielded us the best results. We have always continued to cycle through a few butcher pigs each year, because what fun is a farm if you don't have pigs, but they must be spoken for before they begin residing at Haystack.  Between the rising cost of grain and the limited access to poultry butcher, we have had to get creative in our systems to keep our operation sustainable. As our life and family change, we must be willing to allow change in the farm just as fluidly. Our near future vision includes the sale of goat meat, meat rabbits, and eggs. By request, we would like to continue with pork and chicken. Maybe someday we'll even be able to sell turkey and guinea fowl. We are keeping all the doors and windows open to our farming evolution as long as each new change continues to work for our family.

 

Go Back

Comment