After 67 years in the Warren Family, Randy and Heather have sold the Warren Farm to Theodore Wiegand and Eleanor Kane.
Theo comes from generations of wheat farmers in Montana and Eleanor is originally from Massachusetts. They're moving to Barrington after farming in MA for three seasons, where most of their experience was in grassfed, organic animal husbandry and small scale, organic vegetable production. They're excited to continue the tradition of cut your own Christmas Trees, as well as expand the vegetable operation and offer grassfed goat and lamb, pasture raised pork, chickens, eggs, and Thanksgiving turkeys.
Posted by Eleanor Kane :: Tuesday, October 14 :: 7:04pm
All summer long I look forward to the sun setting since it means that we can go inside and be done for the day… except for those days we get out headlamps, turn on headlights, and keep working well past dark. These days, I’m rather wishing for the late evening sun of June and August – getting the farm ready for winter is an enormous project, and one which I underestimate every single year. It’s all small stuff that seems like it should be easy, such as moving the pigs up to the barnyard before the first snowfall. Just go get the pigs, right? But first we have to set up a new area for them, since we have our boar now, and we need to keep the ladies separate until we’re ready to breed them. That means picking up cattle panels and T-posts from Agway, clearing brush with the chainsaw to beat back the woods where we want their enclosure to be. Then, there’s the couple pieces of farm equipment that are sitting in the way, and it’s a seemingly simple project to move them, until we actually start doing so. Hours (or days) later, when we finally have their new fence set up, we need to figure out their water situation for the winter, what’ll be sturdy enough for three sows, what our system to keep it unfrozen will be, and when that’s done, we need to build a shelter for them which, you guessed it, means another trip to Agway. Then we might just be ready to go get them, which will involve hooking up the trailer, driving it out to the back pasture where they’ve spent the summer, and loading them up.
Each and every time we do this, I think to myself, ok, we’ll just get them on the trailer, drive them back, unload them and be done for the day. Of course, the optimal phrase there being ‘just’. Loading pigs generally goes a couple ways. The special, perfect, karma-filled days are those when they saunter up onto the trailer like they’ve been waiting for us to show up. What happens most of the time, though, is that they stand six inches from the ramp and refuse to budge. No amount of coaxing, luring, and convincing with delicious grain and cracked corn will get them to move and we’re reduced to waiting to see if, and when, they decide to go on. It’s always a roll of the dice as to what’ll happen and I generally go into those days with my fingers crossed.
Farming is often like figuring out a giant jigsaw puzzle: we can’t get the pig area set up until we have the materials, and we can’t go get the supplies right now because there’s hay in the truck, and the reason the hay’s in the truck is because we haven’t unloaded it yet, and the reason we haven’t unloaded it is that everyone’s out planting garlic, and the reason we’re planting garlic today is that it’s going to rain on Thursday and we want to get it in the ground before that, and we didn’t plant it last week because we needed to get the field disced and why didn’t we disc the field ten days ago? Because we had the brush hog on the tractor and were mowing the Christmas tree fields, which we still haven’t finished because we’re getting ready to work on the pig area, and all of this needs to happen now, so that we can get the broilers and turkeys processed, the chicken coop set up for winter – and don’t forget about that storm coming, let’s make sure we’re ready for that, someone remember to throw a tarp over the firewood.
It’s like this all year round, which keeps our job fun and interesting… and means that when it starts getting dark earlier this time of year it’s slightly frustrating to have our work days curtailed. It’s also a welcome treat to put down our tools, toss the pigs some grain out in the field, and tell them we’ll be back for them tomorrow. Assuming we get that hay unloaded.
Please note that we will be closed on Saturday!
This Week's Vegetables:
- Brussell Sprouts
- Acorn Squash
- Butternut Squash
- Delicata Squash
- Swiss Chard
- Fresh Eggs: $5 /doz
- Homemade soap
- Handmade, local pottery, including mugs, bowls, jars, and plates
- Local maple syrup from right here in Barrington, NH