As I mentioned last week, I am now managing Greenmont Farm as a contract farmer for Polyface. Greenmont is located near Fishersville, VA…about a 30 minute drive from Polyface. At 350 acres, Greenmont is one of Polyface’s largest rental farms. My new position here started on January 3rd and Kevin and I moved in to the basement apartment of the farmhouse on February 8th and have been settling in nicely.
When I started in January the only Polyface animals here were two herds of cows. One herd was about 550 head and the other was about 200 head. Until the beginning of February, they were still grazing on stockpiled grass and I was managing them in a leader-follower system. This means that I would set up paddocks large enough to feed the entire 750 head. The small herd (leader herd) consisted of young animals with higher nutritional needs. This herd would have access to the paddock first. Of course, the paddock contained way too much grass for just them, but they were allowed to go in and get their fill of the choicest grass first, without any competition. In a couple of days the large herd would move in and finish up what they left.
Around the beginning of February, they finished up the grass and started on hay. Several weeks after that, the leader herd was taken to Gray Gables so I am now down to one herd….still on hay. By now, they should be eating grass again, but because winter will not go away, the grass simply is not growing. It is getting green out there, but it is snowing as I type this, so we just have not seen any consistent growth. Hopefully spring will come soon!
As far as what I’ll be doing for the rest of the year for Polyface…I will have cows off and on (mostly on). In addition I will be brooding and raising turkeys until they are about seven or eight weeks when they will go to other farms to be finished on pasture. I will also be hatching and raising pullets and managing an eggmobile. Besides that, Greenmont has a wonderful greenhouse and garden plot to which I have complete access. I have been shopping for seeds and look forward to having my own garden again!