Monday, June 11, 2012

Week One at Tullamore Farms

     This is my first week interning at Tullamore Farms, a grass-fed beef and pasture chicken egg farm located in Stockton, NJ.  I am working with Jeanmarie, the farm owner and Greg, a farm hand; they are both amazing people with a lot of knowledge to share.   The farm has about 147 acres of hay and 35 acres in cow pasture. I learned so many things on just the first day that I don’t even know where to start.  I will begin with the morning chores, which take place every morning.  Before starting anything, you need to make sure you unplug the electric fence which detains the cattle .  After that’s done, we have to check on the chickens and unlock their cage so that they can walk around on fresh pasture.  After that, it is time to move the cows to fresh pasture simply by removing the temporary fencing. It is very important to check on all of the cows to make sure they are all healthy.  Some things to check for are extremely runny noses as well as any cow that strays far from the herd.  The cows are comical; they know what time you are coming, and if you are taking too long to walk out to the pasture and move them, the entire herd starts mooing.  After moving the cows we check to make sure they have plenty of straw bedding and enough hay to eat and fresh water.

Coop for the Egg Layers
Beginning To Build the Chicken Tractor
      Now that the morning chores are done, the rest of the day is spent doing general work around the farm.  The past few days Greg and I started building chicken tractors.  My project for this internship is to raise pasture meat birds from start to finish.  So far, I have been building chicken tractors, but I will also be assisting in planning, ordering, and selling at the farmers market.  

     On a side note, Greg started teaching me how to drive a manual farm truck.  It is a little difficult, but I will eventually be able to drive it with practice.
     Greg and Jeanmarie are constantly checking the weather, it’s a very important to know if rain is coming.  They have about 147 acres of hay and they have to cut it and bale, and they can only do that when there is no rain.
     I finished the week out visiting the farmers market.  I walked around and looked at the other vendors, and got a feel for the customer base.  There were a lot of organic and grass fed farmers at the market.
     Greg and Jeanmarie are anxious to start cutting and baling hay so hopefully I will be experiencing that next week

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