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Tis the Season

Here we are again! It’s that time of year for us when the rubber hits the road and we set out looking for customers to enjoy our labor of love.

We kept our herd small again this year while we get our watering system established, so we only have 5 cows available to the public.

This is the part that always makes me anxious if I’m being honest. We lovingly grow our calves, but now we need to find the customers to enjoy them. We never have trouble finding customers, but still, it makes me nervous. I have a feeling that part of this process will never go away.

This time of year also makes me sad. The cows develop personalities and we name them a lot of the time so it’s sad to see them go. The part that gets me by is knowing they were loved while they were here, and now they will provide nourishment to others.

On a happier note, if you follow along with us in Instagram and Facebook, then you probably know that Aisle is quite the celebrity here on the farm. He’ll soon be expanding his reach and will be stealing hearts of folks all around Pennsylvania as “Mr. December”. What I mean is he’ll be featured as December in the Pennsylvania Grazing Lands Coalition’s 2019 calendar. 😊 This is the shot you’ll see:

Such a stud muffin….. this was taken last winter while he was out enjoying the snow.

Anyway! That’s it for now on our end! If you have any questions or are interested in reserving some of our beef, please let me know!

I hope you all have a wonderful holiday season! And thank you for supporting your local farms!

Fall Update 2018

Life has been busy on the farm these days! If you’ve been following along on our Facebook page, you already know that since our last post we’ve hosted two preschool groups from Welcome Little Ones in Palmyra

We had the honor of having our church family at Holy Trinity Lutheran in Lebanon hold a church service on the farm

And we’ve seen a new batch of baby chicks arrive. We think the mama hen had her nest in our garden since there was no shortage of cover with all the weeds we weren’t able to get to! 😊

After our sweet corn was harvested we let the cows come in and “clean things up” for us. They’re the best workforce!

Our Red Angus has quickly become my favorite in the herd. I’ve lovingly named him Bobby Flay.

We’ve also been dealing with lots and LOTS of rain this year. Here are the two littles playing in “River Albright” in the middle of our large pasture earlier in the summer.

As you can see, the babies are getting big fast! That means it’s time for farm chores! 😊 Alfie has been showing Roman what it means to fix fence. He better be a fast learner! We have lots of fence. Lol

As we head in to fall we’re getting things ready for winter weather. The cows are meandering through our bigger pasture and we’re stockpiling three of our smaller paddocks for the winter months so they hopefully have plenty of grass to enjoy along with the hay.

This next round of cows will be ready in March and we have new arrivals coming at some point this month to join our little motley crew.

Thank you to all of you who read our posts, enjoy my recipe ideas on Facebook and Instagram, share our page, and have been customers of ours. We’re very blessed to have you!!

The Good Life

This week we had the opportunity to attend a grazing school in our area. I just have to put out here in to internet land that the PA Grazing Lands Coalition as well as the NRCS have been an invaluable resource to us as we’ve ventured in to the world of being graziers. As we were at this workshop, there were times when I was so overwhelmed with how much we still have to learn, and yet being there in fellowship with other like-minded farmers– it put more wind in my sails. What a great group of people we have the privilege of spending time with!

It got me thinking…………….

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Farming can be frustrating!! Learning what it means to be a farmer can be frustrating!! Working with your husband or wife every day can be REALLY frustrating!! Especially when it comes to having differing opinions on when to move the cows, which pasture to move them to next, etc.

But ya know what…….. we wouldn’t have it any other way. After leaving corporate America in April of this year and having lived in that environment from the moment I graduated– I’ll take the frustration of losing some hay due to rain or fixing fence at 10 o’clock at night any day. It just plain feels better.

This thought process was solidified even more for me today while Alfie and I were in the field with the kids checking on the condition of our pastures planning our strategy for the cows for the next two months before they head for harvesting.

The first thing we happened upon was a monarch. While it was sad that she appeared to be in her last days, it gave us the opportunity for the kids to be up close and personal with such beauty.

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Next we went to check on the cows.

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After that we went to check on the watering trough and happened upon some frogs hanging out in the water. Abby was braver than I am and decided she wanted to pet them. (blech!)

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And finally, they hung out in the pasture with me as I moved some fence around. We have an area of one of our pastures that just gets to be a soupy, soggy mess. We’re hoping to address it more in the spring when we put our permanent water system in place, but until then we do our best to keep the cows out of the area when we know it’s going to rain or that it’s soft.

While I was moving fence, I hear Abby and Roman giggling up a storm. I look over, and there they are, splashing each other with water from the trough.

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And just about that time……. Roman decides he’s thirsty and takes a drink. That boy…… so far in his 16 months of life, he’s eaten chicken feed, horse feed, alfalfa pellets, apple & oat horse treats, and has now taken a drink from a watering trough. I’m fairly certain he’s going to have a bionic immune system.

As I stood there watching the kids, I couldn’t help but think– this is the good life. No matter the frustration– the endless to do list, things that constantly need fixed on an old farm, the chores that get neglected at our home, etc. How fortunate are we to be able to watch the kids frolic in nature, and work with nature, and watch how nature works together and the end result be that we feed our family and other families as well.

I hope our kids will one day look back and smile, and appreciate the childhood they’re living. Not every kids gets to be ::this close:: to a cow, or hug a chicken, or collect eggs to take back to the house for breakfast. Simplicity…… the good life.

What’s in a Name?

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It was two years ago this week that we took ownership of our farm after purchasing it from my mother-in-law’s estate. It was an overwhelming feeling. You’re feeling sad from the loss of family, hopeful for a bright future for the family homestead, yet scared about what it would mean going forward. “Will we still be able to take family vacations? Will the work be too much? What if we fail?”

Even with all the questions and unknown, my husband and I kept coming back to the thought that we need a name for the farm. Much like the legend of an unnamed boat not finding it’s way back to port, we felt the farm needed a name to get started off on the right foot.

The question was– what do we call it? We knew we didn’t want our last name included, but we also wanted there to be some sort of family significance for our children and our children’s children so on and so forth.

We were at a loss, and then one evening I was woken out of my sleep with a name. I woke Alfie up. I had a name! Goldfinch Farm. He said, “I like it hun, but can we get back to sleep?” The next morning we talked about it more. Alfie liked it, but wanted something other than the word “farm” in it, and said he’d rather it be Goldfinch Meadows. And so the name was born.

Goldfinch was Alfie’s grandfather’s middle name. He lived on the farm until his passing in 1983. Alfie and I both had memories of watching the Goldfinches on the farm with Alfie’s mom. I firmly believe she’s the one who sent the name to me in my sleep. Even our logo has a little ode to the family. Alfie’s grandfather was an aeronautical engineer and so the “wings” off the sides of the bird and crest are a little hint of flight wings.

Goldfinch Meadows Logo

So there you have it! The significance and meaning behind the name of our farm. Lets hope it brings us good luck!