Strawberry Hill Farm / Blog / Pumpkins, Strawberries, and Challenges with Livestock

Pumpkins, Strawberries, and Challenges with Livestock

Posted on by Tim Livingstone

We have a lot of pumpkins for fall decoration.  We will bring some on the bus for those of you who come to the bus weekly.  We also have a lot at our roadside stand.  You are sure to find a size and shape that fits your tastes.

I'm not sure if I've told you our strawberry story  so pardon me if you have already heard it.  When we bought the farm we did not intend to grow strawberries.  Organic strawberries are very difficult to grow and we decided the entire farm would be organic.  Later we decided to call it Strawberry Hill Farm because it is on Strawberry Hill road.  Nice name and fitting to the history of the farm but this has caused us one problem.  People cannot accept the fact that we would not grow strawberries with a name like this!  As a result, we are in our third attempt to grow organic strawberries successfully.  This spring we had some great tasting berries, but the yield was so low that our costs where not covered.  We have completely changed our system and today a couple of veteran Strawberry growers stopped in to pick up something.  They never grew organic strawberries but we still asked them to look at our plants to see what they thought.  They were amazed how good the plants are looking at this time.  Their comment was "maybe it is possible to grow organic strawberries after all!"  We won't know for sure until we harvest next spring but this is probably the most encouraging piece of Strawberry news to date.

We have also had a few adventures with our livestock over the last week.  It was time for the bull to go home to the neighbour but he did not want to go!  He has rarely been confined or tied so he can be quite a handful when he has a mind of his own with all 2,000 pounds.  After a broken rope one day and about an hour of pulling and coaxing the next we managed to get him into a trailer and back home.  Sure was good to have him back home for the year.  

The eggs from pasture raised hens are far superior to indoor hens but we have had a few problems with wild life this year.  We have seen a hawk come and get a couple hens and then last night something else appears to have gotten through the electric net and gotten a couple more.  We will be setting up a game camera so we can see who the night time culprit is.  There are many benefits to farming in the country, but as with anything, there are the negatives too.

Mice have been sampling our winter crop of kohlrabi.  As is typical with mice, they just eat a little bit from each one then move on.  If they ate one completely it would not be so bad.  We are trying to figure out how to keep the mice out without poisons.  Maybe a hot pepper spray will deter them but we would have to make sure it is rinsed off before we send them in the boxes!

Here is a picture of Stephen picking the salad mix for this week.  The cold weather makes it milder than it was in the late spring.  It can be used as a salad or it can be used as a brazing mix.  I think you will find it has enough flavour not to need salad dressing but if you find a little spicy, then ranch or french salad dressing can help to tame it down.  

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