Thursday, March 10, 2011

Spring is here!

It is with great excitement that we share pictures of our first spring chicks. There is something about chicks hatching that means Spring is here!

In November the farmer turned off his incubator for it's long winter nap. The hens settled down and gave us an occasional egg here or there just to keep us guessing on who had laid that day. Then in late January with a couple of nice sunny days, the hens decided they would start giving us a couple more eggs, and then a couple more and some more and well you get the point. So the farmer decided it was time to start the big incubator up again. The eggs were carefully gathered. The egg consumption for the family and some of our loyal winter customers was stopped. All were entered (and continue to be entered) into the incubator.

On Friday, March 4th, the farmer started hearing some peeping and then through the weekend, the hatching began. It was a little slow this time. We are not sure if it was just because we had a big order for our first hatch or if we were just out of practice but finally there were chicks.

Our youngest son was just as excited as the farmer. He has "patiently" waited for these chicks to hatch checking on them everyday for any activity. (It helps that the incubator has a clear door for him to see.)

So we are back in the chick business. We will continue to have chicks hatching from now until...well until the hens decided that would like a break. Next to hatch is some of the first turkey eggs. Then the farmer will be very happy.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Rubber Boots

One must never underestimate the importance of a pair of good rubber boots. Here at Whipowill Hill Farm everyone owns at least one pair. At one point we probably should have invested in some stock for the ones the farmer was buying as it always seems his would spring a leak and we were off to buy another pair. We have since invested in a more hard core pair that seem to be holding up much better.
The kids all have their boots as well. The two older boys have the plain old black ones but our younger two always seem to find cool ones that have a little bit of style to them. They have had lady bugs, and firetrucks, pink ones and bright blue ones. The farmer's wife even has a pretty pair of green ones with flowers all over them.
With last night's rain the need for the boots has come again. All of us were finding them when our youngest pointed out that his had a hole in them. This was very devastating to our three year old and we ensured him we would be on the lookout for a new pair as soon as we can get to town. Our daughter just got a brand new pair of boots for Christmas and after sloshing around in the water looking for salamanders last night, she has now informed me she needs a new pair too. It seems her's have split on the side.
Once again, I stress the importance of a good pair of rubber boots. Ones that will hold up with active kids, dogs that chew and pigs that step on your toes. I guess this weekend will involve shopping for rubber boots. A task the farmer's wife doesn't mind at all....

Thursday, February 17, 2011


We are excited to share with you some very good news! We learned last week that our farm has been chosen to receive a $10,000 RAFI grant. This was a huge deal for us as I know it would be for any small farm. We of coarse are excited but in the same way we are a little sad that several great farms did not get grants the year. So with that in mind we want to make sure that we are very good stewards of this money and make everything that we said would happen, happen.

We wrote the grant in three different phases. The first phase of our grant is to add an additional cabinet incubator. This will allow us to hatch all of the eggs on the property. That includes chicken, turkey and game bird eggs. We already have a waiting list for the chicks and poults. This also means will will have a lot less eggs to sell. But don't worry, we can set you up with an extremely bird friendly farm (Hope Farms) that will be able to take care of your egg needs.

The second phase of our grant is a processing facility for birds. My husband is thrilled with the idea of an automatic plucker. It is going to save him SO much time. We will be able to process our own birds, at our own time and be able to provide a very fresh product to our customers. The facility will be a site that we can use as a teaching tool for those who would like to learn how to process their own birds as well. We believe in the sustainable farming movement and want to be a resource to any one who wants to learn this.

The third and final phase is our marketing phase. We plan on putting a logo on our trailer and adding a fridge and a generator to it so that we can take it out to the markets. This is the phase that brings it all together for the customer.

It will be a lot of hard work on the farmer but he is up for the challenge. We look forward to the support of our family, customers and new friends as we are all learning together. We are so thankful that our prayers have been answered and that we get a chance to really make this work. What a great blessing to start off spring!!!

Monday, January 31, 2011

Winter Woes

Here it is....February. It seems to have snuck up on us. While I have always tried to keep our blog positive I think it is important that everyone gets the whole picture. We take the good with the bad and learn from it. That is what makes us stronger.

January was a hard month for us. The freezing temps, the extra snow and then the ice was hard on the farmer and the animals. While we were fortunate that we did not loose any animals the extra work has taken a toll on the farmer. His hands are worn and chapped, his stomach is in knots and I have even noticed some worry lines around his eyes. (We won't mention the extra white in his beard.)

Farming with animals is hard work. There is never a day off, it can be dirty and the pay is terrible. But something keeps taking him back out there day after day. He has taken the responsibility to tend to these animals. In exchange the animals will take care of us. He wants to provide for his family. He believes in hard work and he knows with just a little more we'll make it over this winter and spring will begin. He is such a strong man.

On the positive side, the turkey lots have been completed and the mating has begun. We look forward to those spring eggs. The meat processor is back open and we look to process two pigs this month. 50 Red Broiler chicks have arrived so we can get a head start on some chickens for the spring. We have met some really nice people with farms that we are able to share and learn with. We have two new set of piglets and our expecting goat kids any day now. Our children are thriving and we are very proud of their accomplishments. All things that keep us going when we are down.

To sum it up... Spring can't get here soon enough for Whipowill Hill Farm!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

So Much To Be Thankful For

I think this has to be one of my new favorite pics. Not because I think the color is good or because it is centered or any of that technical garbage but because it just sums up how I feel about life right now.

Being a city girl and growing up in many different places I never would have dreamed of being around so many farm animals now in my life. It has been quite a learning curve for the farmer's wife but one that I have enjoyed learning and have embraced.

I knew I would always have boys. I love them and I love how rough and tough they are. But when I dreamed of being a mom of a little girl, I always dreamed of barbie dolls and dresses and tea parties. Never did I dream of rubber boots, play clothes and pigs for her. But you know what? She loves it!
So as I sit back in amazement of how my life has turned out I am happy to say that I have a whole lot more thinks to be thankful than I ever imagined. This farm has added so much to our lives and while it has been a struggle to keep going at times I would not have traded these experiences for anything.

Just a few of my things I am thankful for:

My kids have play clothes and know how to have a good time outside.

My kids have a good pair of boots for town, and a pair of rubber boots for outside play and work.

My kids know the importance of taking care of an animal and how to treat one with respect.

My kids know where their foods come from.

My oldest son has calluses on his hands because he loves to be outside helping with the farm.

My kids own at least one animal on the farm that they care for.

My kids have shown goats and turkeys this year and had a great time.

My kids are healthy and happy because they just get to be good ole country kids.

My list could go on and on but I think you get the point. So when you are feeling down and out just come for a visit. We will introduce you to some of the greatest kids on earth and some of the coolest farm animals around!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

The Great Turkey Round Up

Wow, we can't believe that we will be rounding up the turkeys this weekend. It seems not too long ago we started adding them to the wooded pastures to only have them fly out and hang out in the yard. We have had turkeys on the trucks, turkeys on the clothes line, turkeys on the roof and even turkeys on the TV antenna. While the farmer's wife complains about them and their mess, she will miss their sounds on the roof the most. (If you listen closely it sounds like Santa's reindeer.)
Round Up will be taking place this Sunday and the farmer's wife has thought about selling tickets for people to come watch as it will surely prove to be very comical to watch. The farmer could use any extra help so if you are free and want to help please give him a call.
The turkeys will be taken to the processor on Monday. We have scheduled two pick up times: Novmeber 19th at Whipowill Hill Farm from 5:00 PM to 7:00 PM and then November 20th at the Asheboro Farmer's Market from 9:00 AM to 10:30 AM. These turkeys will be FRESH (not frozen). How many have ever had a turkey that has been that fresh?
The response to these turkeys has been wonderful. We have some big plans for next year and hope we can accommodate all the request we have had. We do apologize to those of you who were unable to place an order this year.
For Christmas Whipowill Hill Farm will be offering pheasants. There are only a few left and if you are interested in those please call us right away.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Central Park Annual Gathering
with Guest Speaker Joel Salatin

How exciting that Whipowill Hill Farm was asked to be part of the Central Park Annual Gathering here in Montgomery County. It was an amazing day full of great people trying to do wonderful things for local folks. It was very refreshing to be among people who appreciate what we do and respect how we do it. I think our favorite part was getting to eat lunch with Joel Salatin. He picked on Donny's country accent, but they hit it off. Donny was very impressed with Joel's callused hands, a true sign of a hard working man in Donny's opinion!

This has been one heck of a year for us. We are growing by leaps and bounds and are thankful for it. We feel so blessed and loved right now. Thank you!!!