Sunday, July 10, 2011

Check out our New Website

We have a new website with answers to many of your questions about how to buy farm fresh food, lodging options at the farm and the farm experiences we offer.   It also has stories from the farm, all of the old blog posts, recipes and what is for sale at the farmstand each week.

You can also follow weekly photos and stories on facebook.  


Green Mountain Girls Farm

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Getting Closer as We Grow the Farm

Some of our favorite farmers and mentors advise you can’t afford to take a struggling piglet away from a sow for intensive care. We know it is futile to try to care for a piglet if it was not able to get some of the sow’s first milk, the colostrum, with its special antibodies. Our first tries at piglet emergency care did not work for this reason, as our “Risk the Runt” story documents.

As was the case with “Tiny Tim,” a little come-back pig worthy of a book, Sphinx is a pig who’s pork alone won’t pay off the time we take to give her care. Yet while Sphinx is a bit of a distraction, she sure is adding value. We are all amazed watching her wound heal – unbelievable that in 2 weeks the cavernous hoof-shaped wound on her back has almost entirely disappeared. And bottle feeding has afforded many of us a closer look at all of her pig cuteness. Simultaneously we are growing with her, knowing our food intimately and confronting what it means to, like the pig, be an omnivore.

She is also growing the farm. Our little Sphinx is even holding court on FaceBook! Over the weekend Melissa Pasanen, cookbook author and Food Editor for Vermont Life, visited our farm, piggy-backing on chaperoning a gold-medal science fair effort. Sphinx won a place in her heart… and on her facebook page. Sphinx is a good story inside a good story. She is accelerating and deepening relationships between this farm and people and broadening the community to whom we are relevant. Sure we grow delicious food but really we are farming relationships.

As we write we have pulled a limp and struggling member of Fife’s litter into the bathroom. We say out loud again “didn’t we have a Tiny Tim policy” (translated = no more pigs in the bathtub.)? If we are all lucky he could become a gentle boar (Fife, his mom, has struggled so much sadly she won’t be a long-term sow). If not, we’ll mourn his loss as he joins the other saints in the warm compost. Either way, he too will grow our farm.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

More Snow and more kids

We rely on the Eye On the Sky boys. In fact we are weather junkies. Cross any farmer with a former ski racer & coach (choose the right wax!) and you are likely to wind up with this breed. But as we managed for last weekend’s storm we were focused on drainage for the rain and melt out and were completely flat-footed and eventually amazed by the snowfall!  Skiers of course prefer to be leaning forward.  Anyway, Monday was given over to defending the hoop houses from the weight of the blowing snow.  Add on making loafing areas accessible to the other animals and the household level responsibilities like clearing for the mail and it tallied up to 16 person hours plus 7 tractor hours! Much of it was enjoyable but the 3 plus hours clearing each panel of the new hoop house roof while the old one shed its snow consistently made us bitter that the USDA grant disallowed the double plastic layer and the fan to inflate it into a bubble.  Subsequent to our construction they’ve changed their policy.  We will be installing another layer of plastic and the inflation fans prior to facing another winter!  Hopefully all you are fairing well.  As one drives by small hotels shoveling rooftops and cranes lifting tarps of snow off big-box stores one questions how businesses small or big can profit in the month of March?!

Jenga delivered Set & Isis in the storm
Somehow, none of it bothered the goats as they kept delivering healthy kids throughout. In fact all does have now delivered and we have 15 kids bouncing around the hoophouse.  Now, the countdown to piglets begins.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Cycle of Life


As often seems to happen on our farm, just as we say goodbye to one set of animals, we are welcoming in another.  Young Moon, led off the kidding season this week, delivering one buckling on a very cold President’s Day Morning.  They are doing well, though the cold day and night temperatures did have us move Moon and her little buckling down to the Hoop house so they could soak up the warmth of these sunny days before they faced the cold nights.  He is up and about, has figured out milking and at two days old you can already start to see the bounce in his step...sure to come soon.

This did force a decision about the 2011 Naming Scheme.  Each year we choose a theme for all animals that come to us (born here or brought in ) that year.  2010 was space, thus making it clear that Moon was born in 2010.  We had lots of great suggestions for themes, making it very difficult to decide, but on that President’s Day morning with world events what they are at the moment, we decided to choose Egypt as the theme.  A nomination from a farm fan.  So unto Egypt was born Mubarek on a cold President’s Day morning.  Now, we understand that he may quickly be overtaken by others.  And indeed, Martha, Ingrid & Myst all seem like they are about to deliver, but so far they have been wise (or lucky) enough to hold off through these bitter cold nights.  But all of the does will likely deliver in the next 2 weeks.  So do check in on them.

And we are now looking for names!  For goat kids, piglets to come in March and the others for the rest of year.  Anything goes for an animal name—it just has fit into the theme of Egypt!  Do add your nominations.
And if you want to see photos or get timely updates about kidding, check out the Farm Facebook Page.

Friday, February 18, 2011

What They Leave Behind

It has been a quiet week here at Green Mountain Girls Farm. Statistics from Royal Butcher help us understand why…not only are the 13 “piglets” no longer with us, but they had a bigger presence than we knew.  Our “piglets” had grown even bigger than we predicted producing over a ton of pork! Chores are easier, feeding time is quieter and the farmers’ adrenaline associated with outsmarting them into the trailer has subsided.
Art by Liva Coe

But as we ready to drive to Green Mountain Smoke House with the hams and bacon and to rush the rest to the freezer, we realize these pigs left us so much more than this! Fife’s five were the survivors. In early July, Fife’s litter struggled due to her acute, sudden onset mastitis. Those that survived were hypoglycemic and sunburned by the time Dr. Stuwe confirmed the need to bottle feed them.  Many helped nurse them, first in the bathtub, then under the apple tree, until they could join their 8 cousins out in the back pasture.  Then we all enjoyed the months of silliness, curiosity, determination and joy these pigs demonstrated on pasture, digging in the woods, playing in the snow, enjoying an ear scratch and sleeping peacefully in big piles of warmth. 

As we ready to support Fife, Madison and Checkers who will all farrow in late March, we first must contend with another legacy of the 13.  Their bedded pack is a rich arc, 18 inch deep and 100 square foot area, where they left their marks.  Our team carefully layered in sawdust to capture the nutrients and spent hay and straw from their bedding area to keep the area dry.  Now the trick will be to add water and pile on wood chip to initiate the hot compost phase which will ready this material for fall garden beds.  Before even the next round of piglets, the full cycle of life is visible, even in the quiet emptiness where last week 13 good looking pigs stood.  Each litter makes a mark on our hearts, land and lives.  We thank them for all they provide.

And as Madison plowed her way through the deep snow this week [video link] we wondered if they are getting in shape to build their nest (video) and bring us the next litters to who will in turn leave their imprint on this farm community.  

Sunday, January 23, 2011


Introducing our new logo!
We hope our logo will help us extend our invitation to share our farm wider than word of mouth! Soon to follow will be our new website which will allow easier access to what is for sale each week and news from the farm. It will also better express our offers for farmstays and events at the farm. Keep an eye out for Technology improvements abound can also now find us on Facebook.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Music at the Farm

Mary Bonhag & Evan Premo,
Artistic Directors of Scrag Mountain Music
Scrag Mountain Music debuts its winter series this Friday,
January 21st at 7pm at the Farm!

Experience excellent music in a cozy venue—the barn (finished part with heat of course!) Scrag Mountain Music seeks a new approach in classical music by creating a space of warmth and welcome to everyone, especially newcomers to the genre.

Audiences are encouraged to “Come as you are, pay what you can” in an effort to make live music affordable to everyone.  Through this series (which continues in Feb & April) Scrag Mountain Music seeks to help audience members and performers move beyond experiencing classical music as an intellectual exercise, and rather approach music from the heart.  For more details, see scragmountainmusic,