Greenmont Farm
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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.

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The front of the farm house. Our apartment is around to the right.

 

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The side of the farm house. Our apartment is on the basement level.

 

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You can park your horse here.

 

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The pond outside our front door.

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.

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The leader herd.

 

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An interesting member of the leader herd.

 

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Another interesting member of the leader herd.

 

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The big herd.

 

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Tanya

 

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An interesting member of the big herd.

 

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!

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Hay pile. We had four of these at Greenmont and are now dipping into the last one. C’mon spring!

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!

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The greenhouse

 

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A small sampling of what I plan on growing!

 

 

 

 

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About Heather Juda

Heather was born in Atlanta, GA, but spent 19 years in Colorado before moving to Virginia. She came to Polyface for the 2012 internship and has stayed on as the first female apprentice. She became interested in the food industry when she was in high school, and over the years sought to eat in a healthier way through community gardening, hunting and supporting local farmers. She had a very blessed and “comfortable” life in Colorado complete with a good IT career and condo, but on a calling from the Lord, she left it all to start a new life in farming at Polyface. She looks forward to seeing what the Lord has planned for the future and hopes to use what she learns at Polyface to provide healthy food for people!
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3 Responses to Greenmont Farm

  1. amymapes says:

    I love seeing family farms remaining that way…even when managed by a different family. So often it seems like we read about farmland in Central Virginia being auctioned and divided for more housing. There was even an article in the Lynchburg newspaper last week about the aging populations of farmers. Thank you for being willing to work hard so that we have food options.

  2. Kristin says:

    Wow! The farm must have quite a bit of acreage to support that many cows! We’ve been hoping spring will come on in here, too, as our cows have been consuming a lot of hay this winter!

  3. Katie says:

    Beautiful pictures and farm. We are ready for spring as well! We got a dusting of snow lastnight. Ugh. I am hoping that is the end and the weather gets warmer. So ready to get in the dirt again planting! :)

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