News and Blog

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Posted 3/29/2011 12:28pm by Bill Oyler, Mary Ann Oyler, Sara Baldwin, Jacob Oyler, Katrina Oyler.

pruning

We have been busy as usual as we work to finish pruning our apple and peach trees.  We do as much pruning from the ground as is possible, however we use a machine called a hydraladder to prune the tops of our trees. 

We are gearing up for the warm weather.  We have been spreading soil amendments and preparing for spring tasks such as replanting the trees that the bucks broke off last fall.  We have also been working on marketing for the fall and will have some exciting news for you next week.  Stay tuned!

Sara

Posted 3/18/2011 9:34am by Bill Oyler, Mary Ann Oyler, Sara Baldwin, Jacob Oyler, Katrina Oyler.

its a boy

Guess what we found when we went to feed and water the cattle this morning?  A calf!  Momma had him licked clean already, although she was still exhibiting signs of calving pretty recently.  Since she is the friendliest cow we have, she let us pet him!  She is still protective and will run right up to you...so you have to be careful!  I guess Mother Nature knows best...this was such a pretty morning to have a baby! 

We hope you are enjoying the warm weather and have a good weekend!

Sara

Posted 3/9/2011 2:42pm by Bill Oyler, Mary Ann Oyler, Sara Baldwin, Jacob Oyler, Katrina Oyler.

nose     cow

Where did the sunny, warm weather go?  It was quite raw outside when we moved the cattle today!  I took these pictures on Tuesday; the cattle were loving the sun.  I couldn't resist taking a picture of Sweet Pea's nose.  If you bend over, she will come up and touch noses with you!  Sooo cute...although I do not recommend cattle kisses.  I am generally successful at pulling away before she actually gives me a kiss!

Jacob gave the momma cow, who is almost due to have a calf, some attention yesterday.  Her actual due date isn't for a few days yet.  I hope the little one is healthy.  I will keep you updated as I have more news!

The grass is starting to green up and spring will officially be here in less than 2 weeks.  We are still pruning and making plans for this year.  Apple blossom will be here in less than 2 months.  Time is flying by!

 

Sara

Posted 2/22/2011 7:39am by Bill Oyler, Mary Ann Oyler, Sara Baldwin, Jacob Oyler, Katrina Oyler.

snow     bmsb

It's hard to believe that we have snow on the ground again after the warm weather we had just a few days ago.  We are still pruning and working on plans for apple season this year.

Yesterday we attended the President's Day Fruit Grower's Educational Meeting in Biglerville.  Researchers from Penn State spoke on various topics. 

A hot topic of discussion for the day was the brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB).  Dr. Greg Krawczyk spoke about the BMSB to many of the fruit growers in the area.  Nobody knows quite what to expect this year in relation to the BMSB.  It has growers of many crops concerned as the BMSB can cause damage from April through October and feeds on over 300 types of plants.  Dr. Krawczyk offered a hypothetical scenario which offers a reason why the BMSB populations have exploded so rapidly.  One female overwintering in your house can leave your house in the spring and result in roughly 91,000 females by the end of the fall.  This does not account for males and does account for four generations of reproduction within the season.  So if you see them in your house, even though they smell bad, get rid of them! 

On a lighter note, another one of our cows is showing signs of having a calf.  We aren't expecting the calf for about 3 weeks yet, but we are excited!  She is getting pretty big! 

Sara

Posted 2/11/2011 7:11am by Bill Oyler, Mary Ann Oyler, Sara Baldwin, Jacob Oyler, Katrina Oyler.

bull calf     heifer

 

I can't believe it's February 11th already!  We've been busy pruning, planning for this year, and attending winter meetings.  We had a great time as usual at the PASA Conference in State College.  We also attended the Mid Atlantic Fruit and Vegetable Convention (aka Hort Show) in Hershey in the middle of last week.  We learned a lot at both conferences that we would like to incorporate into our farm.

Our babies are growing quickly.  We are very fortunate that they have been healthy.  They love to run around and play with each other.  Their mamas aren't quite as protective as when they were first born.  The calves are curious and allow us to get closer to them now.  It's almost like they are twins; they are only 2 days apart and are actually half-siblings.  After observing them for awhile, I can tell them apart.  Nacho (left) has a more rough coat and Lily (right) has a sleek coat.  Can you see Lily sticking her tongue out?

It looks like we are going to have a "heat wave" this coming week.  It will be spring before we know it!  Happy Valentine's Day!

Sara

 

Posted 2/1/2011 8:49am by Bill Oyler, Mary Ann Oyler, Sara Baldwin, Jacob Oyler, Katrina Oyler.

pasa

Looking for something to do this weekend?  The 20th Annual Farming for the Future Conference is occurring this week in State College, PA.  This is a great place not only for farmers to learn, but for consumers as well.  You can walk in and register for the Friday and Saturday conference days.

Some of the workshops that would be great for consumers are:  solar homes with year-round food production and 90% lower carbon footprint, building and integrating an organic school garden, low-cost vegetable trellising for farmers and gardeners; introduction to homebrewing; let's talk about GMOs; and getting started with beekeeping organically.

PASA is an awesome organization and their Farming for the Future Conference is always enjoyable.  If you go, keep your eye out for us because a few of us are planning on attending!


Sara

Posted 1/31/2011 12:32pm by Bill Oyler, Mary Ann Oyler, Sara Baldwin, Jacob Oyler, Katrina Oyler.

Ridge  Presenting at Vida

Earlier this month we welcomed Ridge Shinn to our farm.  Ridge consulted with us about our cattle.  He is on the board of the North American Devon Association and is very well known within the grassbased livestock industry. 

On Friday I was a guest at the Vida Charter School in Gettysburg.  I spoke with the students about why grassfed and grass finished meat is healthier for animals, farm families, the consumer, and the planet.  I highly recommend reading Jo Robinson's Why Grassfed is Best! book as it is a quick read and is very informative.  Did you know that grass finished beef is leaner and has a better ratio of omega 3: omega 6 fatty acids?  Grass finished beef also is higher in vitamin E, CLA (conjugated linoleic acid), and beta carotene.  Not only is it nutritious for you, but the animals are eating what they love...grass! 

Sara

Posted 1/11/2011 9:46am by Bill Oyler, Mary Ann Oyler, Sara Baldwin, Jacob Oyler, Katrina Oyler.

Our email provider experienced some significant hardware problems resulting in us not receiving emails between January 5th and January 10th.  We started receiving emails again this morning.  If you tried contacting us within that period of time, please email us again as we do not have the emails sent to us within that time frame.

Thank you!

P.S.-Check out the pictures of the first calf nursing and posing for the camera. I got close enough to the first calf last night...it is a confirmed boy!

 

Posted 1/8/2011 7:37am by Bill Oyler, Mary Ann Oyler, Sara Baldwin, Jacob Oyler, Katrina Oyler.

Cow, Calf, Heifer     cows and calves

The second little one arrived!  We think it is a girl (heifer) but we can't get close enough to tell for sure.  Doesn't Nutmeg look big compared to the newborn?

The picture on the right is of (from left to right) the cow and calf (born 1/5/11), cow and Nutmeg (born 9/24/10) and calf (born 1/7/11) and cow.  They are our three babies and mothers!

Have a good weekend!

 

Sara

 

 

Posted 1/6/2011 8:58am by Bill Oyler, Mary Ann Oyler, Sara Baldwin, Jacob Oyler, Katrina Oyler.

New Calf          Udder

 

I took a picture of the new calf, however it's not really close.  The mother does not want any human or animal near her baby!  Even though I want to pet it, I understand that she's just being a good mother.  The picture on the right is of the udder of another cow.  She has been "bagged up" for about four weeks now.  This means that her udder is big and she will be having a calf before too long.  Some cows "bag up" overnight and the udders of other cows develop six weeks before calving.  Assuming that we will be blessed with another healthy calf, I will post pictures of it as soon as it arrives!  Hopefully I can try to sneak closer to the new calf in the next few days to get better pictures.  Nutmeg looks small compared to the cows, but huge compared to the newborn.


Sara

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