July’s helping hands

New Hampshire Hen devouring cow pie!

I’m really amazed how fast summer is moving along. Suddenly it’s August! It’s hot but I’m seeing signs of Fall. Yesterday swimming in the river I noticed a few trees along the river bank beginning to change color. I can feel the change is on the way but we still have 6 weeks of very detailed work before October blesses us with her cooler temperatures and autumn display of outrageous colors.

Michael moving chickens to fresh pasture

 Last month we had new volunteers on the farm. Nacim, from Washington D.C. future lawyer, and Jason from Brooklyn, New York. We processed 400 plus chickens together!

July's helping hands!

One of the farm owners, Kip Brooks pitched in. She was surprised that the processing was a bit easier than she imagined.I think she meant emotionally!  In fact, she enjoyed the experience! It’s great when new people participate in this aspect of the farm. A little bit more connection to the source of their chicken dinner goes a long way.I’ve said it before but  I love watching the turkeys. They are growing super fast, eating up grasshoppers as quickly as possible. When the males do their turkey dance it elates me! They are so demonstrative, really  good actors.

Turkeys strutting

Michael and I have been holding down the fort until our next group of helping  hands arrive this month.  We managed to get into a really swift timely rhythm every morning which is such a different feeling when our season started and our chores felt out of reach and overwhelming. After moving the egg mobile, (this week 2 miles from the farmhouse), I tend to the baby chicks in the brooder, then we move and feed our  250 plus turkeys, and finish up moving our 16 chicken tractors. Michael moves the tractors. I feed and water. We’ve found a good pace. It takes us about 2-3 hours for our morning chores. I would say it’s the equivalent of a 90 minute work out in a gym. I’ve had an affinity for the outdoors as long as I can remember so working outside on a daily basis is a blessing. This is another one of the positive aspects about farming, IT WILL MAKE YOU STRONG!

Homemade Tomato Sauce from our hoop house tomatoes

 It’s taken a little bit of “allowing” on our behalf to get used to the climate in Virginia. The humidity is really an adjustment for us west coasters, so after our morning chores we take a quick dip into the glorious river, the water temperature is perfect. Then we head into the house for a very well deserved  breakfast. Homemade bread, Polyface pork sausage, our pasture raised eggs, and our hand made granola. Our most recent volunteers, Jason and Nacim said they have never eaten as well on any other farm they have participated in.Eating well is one of the various reasons we got into this business. Health is wealth!

Hens in Campbell Field, Sunrise

Michael harvesting hoop house tomatoes

Eating pollen at Buxton

"Jack" guarding hens in Campbell Field

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About Grace

Grace and her husband Michael manage Buxton a Polyface satellite farm. Her first passion is to align with radiant health. She knows intimately that when you have your health you can do anything. Next, her passion for vibrant healthy food and beautiful landscapes along with her interest in permaculture influenced Grace's decision to align with the Polyface farming model. With 20 years of experience in the healing arts, she feels growing food and pasture raising animals is one of the greatest healers and a true source of personal empowerment. It's been said, "if you're not living on the edge your taking up too much space." Grace lives joyfully on the "leading edge" surrounded by the breathtaking beauty of the appalachian mountains where her and Michael steward 1000 acres with profound appreciation."

5 Responses to July’s helping hands

  1. Shari Miller says:

    I read these blogs every morning and I know inside of my heart that this is how God intends for us all to live. We have become so lazy in this country. My own children would just die if I made them get up at daylight and make them go out and do chores. I love what you are all doing…..keep up the good work…y’all inspire me 🙂

  2. Sheri Salatin says:

    Love your pictures, Grace 🙂 Awesome post!!

  3. Marci says:

    We are already seeing the early signs of Autumn here as well. I love tagging along with you on morning chores.

  4. Brenda says:

    Great photos and “life on the farm” post! Thank you for sharing! I love seeing what life is like for you guys there. 🙂

  5. Kristen Long says:

    Wonderful post, Grace! Thanks for sharing!