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News from the Farm: A Real Fence, Finally! Porktoberfest next weekend

Hello friends -

First, there are only a few days left to sign up for the "Everything but the Oink" whole animal butchery workshop. The past 3 years, this workshop has been attended by a great group of people of all levels of experience, who come together to learn and to work together to make something good. We get feedback that it is a ton of fun and a unique educational experience.

News from the Farm

Finally - Better Fencing.

At long last, we have bit the bullet and have hired an Amish crew to install some heavy duty high tensile woven wire as interior fence lines. This type of fencing is the only thing we’ve found to stop pigs, goats, and sheep from going wherever they please, wreaking havoc as they go ("care to nibble some young tender fruit trees, anyone? Or perhaps a quick dig through the landscaping as we pass the house on our way to the road?")

Since Brooks and I started farming together 10 years ago, we have been making do with portable electrified netting and DIY high tensile wire fence. These are totally functional - except when they’re not.

You can see in this picture some of the hand cut locust posts that we put in when we moved to this farm in 2011. We did what we could with what we had. It was cheaper, but we have paid the price difference in high labor costs ever since.

The issue is, that any electric fencing is what’s called a “psychological barrier”. As anyone who has seen Jurassic Park knows, an electric fence won’t actually stop an animal from getting through if it wants to. So if the animal is young and not trained, or the fence is not hot enough, or the animal is in heat, or hungry, or in a bad mood, all bets are off. In our experience, the grass is often greener on the other side. And they know they can get there if they try.

Well - not for long. This is in the works, and we are hopeful that it will eliminate many of the high-adrenaline incidents of escapees on (and off) the farm. These episodes are good exercise and full of excitement, but we won’t be young forever.

Check out our Facebook page for some videos of the heavy equipment that was used in the installation of this fence.

Brooks has high hopes that his pig and sheep chasing days are mostly a thing of the past.

Some of them anyway.


Porktoberfest IV

So come on out to the farm next weekend to see what's new! All are invited to our fifth annual celebration of the fall harvest.

We do ask that you bring a dish to share!

We will be hosting a pig roast from the butchering class, and sampling other delectable pork items taught in the class. Arrive at 4pm for a tour shortly after, with the highland games following at 5. Dinner will be served in the barn at 5:30, with bluegrass and dancing in the barn. Bring a dish to share, and we will provide the meat and the drinks from Big Hill Ciderworks, Troegs, and the Millworks Brewery. The farm party and tour are free; please Sign up for the butchery class and the highland games to benefit the Shon Seeley Legacy Fund and PASA. No matter what your level of experience in either butchering or throwing heavy objects, it will be a fun and educational experience for all!

~Brooks Miller and Anna Santini

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