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Arugula's Star Farm Writing & Photos Week 2...Arrival of the American Milking Devons

Posted 1/15/2018 1:20am by Allison Mills Neal & Matthew Neal.

Arugula's Star Farm Week 2...Arrival of the American Milking Devons

The weather was cold, then warm, then cold again with even a flurry of snow! How excited we were to see Loran Shallenberger, operator of Bells Bend Grass-fed, pulling down the lane this past Wednesday with two American Milking Devons(18 months old). This act had for certain been a long time in the making, as their scheduled delivery date was marked for July of 2017. As agriculture and farming goes though, timing is not always prompt, and nor can plans be to set in stone. Nature is always changing and it is hard to know from month to month what might turn out. As Loran put it, “Better Late than Never”!

These American Milking Devons are known as a heritage multipurpose breed. They were breed for three purposes…milking, drafting, and for beef. Our intent for them being here on our farm is for agricultural purposes of pasture management and obtaining manure. We are so called “custom grazing” these two steers for Bells Bend Grass-fed, while simultaneously getting the biodynamic benefit of their presence. Initially, there was going to be 5, but since winter is upon us only 2 were brought. They are going to be eating by the method of what is called “Stockpiling” and will not need to be fed any hay. Eastenn Dutch and I will just be rotating them on a regular basis into small paddock areas, for them to eat the browned over grass from the Fall. This type of stockpiled grass can supposedly provide better nutrition for the steers than feeding them rolled hay.

The weather was so pleasant on the day that they arrived that E. Dutch was out and about bare legged trying to introduce our dog to his new found friends. Then the weather changed and the snow flurries fell and we were back to breaking ice, splitting wood, and breaking kindling. We are really enjoying our new electric log splitter that we got to replace the old one we had that hooked and ran from the back of the tractor. This method should be more efficient and allows little ones to not have to breath in diesel fumes. This little splitter is quite and powerful and I would highly recommend it, that is if you are not using the old hand fashion method.   

As I mentioned the header topics last week and stated more info would be on the way, the first one to be complete is that of the Ecosystem Exploration Family Farm Days. To learn about what these are just click here on Ecosystem Exploration Family Farm Days.  These days are a very casual mimic of the concepts of nature school and forest school and are free and open to any families interested in participating. They will take place once a month for the whole duration of 2018, come rain, shine, cold or hot!  The first one will be held on Sunday January 28th from 1:30-4:30 pm.  We hope your family will try to make it!

Heirloom Potato Planning has started and so has hay mulch acquisitions. More Heirloom Carolina Red Lima Beans being shelled and thoughts of a design of a larger scaled (but still small scaled), dry bean sheller for 2018. I have a goal that Arugula's Star Farm will be a leading organic & biodynamic TN heirloom Dry Bean producer… no more having to get your specialty heirloom beans mail ordered from Rancho Gordo!

I will be needing 1-2 Arugula's Star Farming Partners for the 2018 growing season, with more info being posted on that by next week.

Keep your thoughts high and your feet grounded and until Next week eat your organics!

Allison Mills Neal 

6624 Leipers Creek Road; Columbia, TN 38401


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