Starting a Family Farm in Vermont

Sweet as Sugar
May 22, 2006, 9:19 pm
Filed under: Pigs

Mark and Sugar

Sugar Update—-

Sugar is getting big! She is our first pig and I guess she has that first child thing going on—-She is completely SPOILED.. We are raising her for a friend in town and we want her to be perfect. She is one happy pig. I must admit, pigs really do get a bad rap. These animals are smarter than most dogs, extremely clean, and a lot of people eat them on Sunday mornings with their eggs or pancakes. There goes that infamous question; “How can you raise her then have her butchered?” My answer is this, ( if you have read my previous Blogs, forgive me for repeating myself ) my family eats Bacon, as do many…I guess the Bacon in the store comes from something other than pigs. At least I know that Sugar is having a great life. I’m not 100% sure of the “grocery store kind of bacon.” Did these pigs live in Vermont? Were they Spoiled by the farmers that raised them? Did they ever see the sun? I only hope the answer to those questions aren’t all NO…..


IT’s a Girl!
May 7, 2006, 3:52 pm
Filed under: Donkeys



We had an eventful weekend. It was spent moving the animals we do have from our old house to our new house where the farm will be run out of. We are in the process of having a barn built on a portion of the 20 acres where our new home is.
We received a call on Saturday night from a neighbor saying that there were some fox hanging around our area and he thought one of our chickens fell prey to them. I went over the next morning to gather the hens and bring them to their new home and feed the donkeys and pig. When I got there I noticed that we did in fact lose a hen, and also had a new arrival. One of our pregnant Miniature Mediterranean Donkeys, Danielle had a baby! We named her Jenny and she is perfect. People have been asking why we got the miniature donkeys and the reason is strictly as pets and to keep our horse company. They are great pets and gentle enough for the children to play with. Also, they are known to keep predators away from the other animals. When we had our 4 donkeys and horse together with the chickens, we never had a problem with fox.

Big Brother is Watching Small Farms
May 1, 2006, 8:31 am
Filed under: Issues

National Animal Identification System (NAIS)—-
What is it? How does it affect me? What can be done?
NAIS is a new federal program that is currently a hot topic among both small and large scale farmers alike. It is a national program designed to identify and track livestock animals with Radio Frequency Identification (RFID), as well as, with GPS. Poultry, horses, cattle, goats and sheep will be tracked and monitored in order to prevent wide spread disease outbreaks. Sounds ok? No! Every farm or household is required to register with government agencies even if you only have one animal. Do we, as Americans need to be subjected to the government monitoring like this?
Our family is new to the world of small scale, family farming. We have been blessed throughout the years which affords us the opportunity to start up. NAIS will absolutely make it much more difficult for the small scale farmers to not only enter the space, but to stay where they belong!
Walter Jeffries of Sugar Mountain Farm has put so much time and effort into squashing NAIS. Here is the link with much more important information on NAIS