The blog of Hope Grows

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Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Help Arianne get to Italy--go to Field of Greens!

So, I'm going to Italy...soon. Yep. Been a dream I've had for four years now--and finally, thanks to the generosity of: Slow Food Atlanta, the Coastal Organic Growers, and Slow Food USA (whew, that's alotta hyperlinks) it's coming true. If you haven't heard yet, I'm headed to Terra Madre--an international network of food producers, cooks, educators and students from 150 countries who are united by a common goal of global sustainability in food. The "food communities" of Terra Madre come together biennially in Turin, Italy to share innovative solutions and time-honored traditions for keeping small-scale agriculture and sustainable food production alive and well.

Huge honor, right? Right. I still don't believe I'm going. But I'll take pictures and videos and it'll probably all seem real once I get back...

In the meantime, Field of Greens is a farm festival
happening this Sunday, October 3rd that brings together locally grown food, live music, and green living education, all in a family-friendly, fun environment. I'm mentioning it here because:

1.) I definitely think you should go if you can--I'll be there volunteering.

2.) Proceeds from Field of Greens benefit Slow Food Atlanta, who will then turn funds over to Terra Madre delegates from Georgia (ahem--yours truly) to help cover travel expenses to the conference.
3.) There's going to be good food, good music, and lots of sexy people (this is unconfirmed at the moment--but entirely possible when you're talking about folks that eat well).
4.) Why wouldn't you go?

Friday, September 17, 2010

Turkey Brooding Lessons

I've asked one of our turkeys to write down his tips and thoughts on brooding for any future turkey farmers. Here goes:

"Hi, I'm turkey #57. Here is my list of tips -

Brooder Safety
Always keep in mind that we will kill ourselves if given half a chance. Look in you brooder and get in the mind of your turkeys, say to yourself 'I'm a suicidal turkey - what can I kill myself on in here?' and then go over every inch of your brooder and remove any questionable situation - nail, spot we can get our legs caught, etc.

If there is an area with a drip we will get soaked there even if the rest of your brooder is dry and toasty.

Remember - we are NOT CHICKENS - we NEED fresh bedding every day, pine shavings for 2 weeks, hay for 6.

Green Material
We LOVE grass and weeds, start feeding this to us ASAP.

You would be bored too if you spent 8 weeks in a brooder so keep us busy with green material, piles of straw, and other novelties or else we'll start pecking each other.

If one of us gets a wound we will all turn into Hannibal Lector and peck him to death - so please check us frequently and pull anyone out before its too late!

Brooder Floorplan
If you try to use sides - like this - we will escape.

Better to use an open floor plan so there is no way out.

Feel free to contact me with any further questions."

Thanks Turkey #57! Appreciate you taking the time.

Up next - (once we've got it down) tips and thoughts on pasturing turkeys)


Sunday, September 12, 2010

Belated Pig Moving Videos

We have been so busy blogging has fallen by the wayside.

If you follow the blog, our first attempt at moving our pigs out to pasture was not very successful - see here.

It was a great learning experience however.

*Make sure your fence is properly grounded, 1 rod per joule. Our charger is 1.5 joules so I used 2 rods this time, instead of 1.

*Pigs do not like walking up steep inclines (i.e. 5 foot plywood up to the bed of the pickup), longer ramp into a trailer is best.

*Give your pigs access to what they will be moved in so they get used to it.

Loading, transporting, and unloading went very smoothly this time, we had one little hiccup once they were unloaded though...

With everyone back in and relaxed, pig bliss ensued.