While chopping down thistles in the north pasture, we found a small nest among the prickly thorns! That bird has made a good place to hide its babies, so we left that one thistle undisturbed (not to worry – there’s lots more where it came from).
Toad Hole Farm is very happy to be hosting Wwoofers this summer for the first time (see www.wwoof.ca) – Josef and Iva have been at the farm this past week, helping us with painting implements, feeding the calf and chickens, cleaning, and generally bringing their wonderful energy and enthusiasm to us. We look forward to other visitors as the season goes on!
There have been 9 calves born this spring on the farm. We expect to have some beef available by late August, as well as pastured, organic chickens! Please contact us if you’d like to place your order before we’re sold out again.
Niels surveying the snowy fields
Most everyone has been experiencing an intense winter this year. The snow just keeps coming! You may have heard that Dufferin County (where Toad Hole Farm is) was declared a state of emergency last week, but all is well at the farm. The cattle have been close to the barn with extra straw bedding and lots of hay, and Niels is keeping the home fires burning (mainly so the pipes won’t freeze!).
We found a great blog post on how to prepare grass-fed beef, along with some recipes, so check it out: http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/blog/whole-story/cooking-grass-fed-beef (by the way, this isn’t written by Niels’ sister, Liz Pearson – but someone else who enjoys grass-fed beef!).
We’ve just sold out of our last beef for now, but we’re taking orders for our next round of sales. We also love to hear your feedback, and we’re glad so many of you are enjoying our beef.
That’s right – we’ve got 4 adolescents “free-ranging” all over the farm! They were the crew born this summer (including those twins), and somehow they’ve figured out how to get through the electric fence. So we keep encountering the rebellious youngsters in all the wrong places – on the laneway, front lawn, good hay field, etc. Instead of hooligans, we call them “mooligans.”
We haven’t yet snapped a photo of the gang, but in the meantime, here’s a nice picture of Niels’ hay this summer. Brrr… it’s starting to get cold!
After 3 long weeks on the tractor cutting, raking, baling and finally drawing in the hay, Niels has 337 big bales to feed his herd this winter! Whew!
There’s quite a few calves this summer cavorting with each other, including a set of twins. They are very cute and stay close together all the time!
Bulrushes coated in ice
We’ve been collecting and boiling maple sap down in the bush for a few weeks now, and this Friday’s ice storm seemed to make the sap flow even stronger this weekend! Here’s a photo of bulrushes coated in ice beside the Toad Hole pond. Another baby bull was born this week (that makes 3 in the past month!), so signs of spring are everywhere. Now where’s the warmer weather…?
I love this photograph. It’s Niels at the farm with his long hair and rifle around the age of 11 or 12. He was already well on his way to deciding he felt most at home working on the farm, with men like Johnny Gallaugher as role models.
Welcome to our “orgasmic beef” blog! We intend to post info, photos, recipes, and fun stories from the farm for all to enjoy. So come along for the ride, and let’s have some fun while supporting one of our favourite local farmers, Niels Pearson.