Starting a Family Farm in Vermont


Welcome Doubletake and Thunder!
September 10, 2006, 1:39 pm
Filed under: Cattle, Farming

                                                                                                                                                        /The

The first of our miniature cattle arrived today! Doubletake and Thunder. Double Take is a beautiful Registered Miniature Belted Galloway cow. She is currently pregnant. We purchased her along with her bull calf, Thunder. They came from Ministock Farm in Randolph, Vermont. 

Thunder will become the Farm’s herd bull. We are keeping our fingers crossed for at least one heifer out of the the last two pregnant cows from Ministock Farm. Since they will have different fathers it would be nice to secure a heifer for Thunder to breed.

 We are still waiting for our fence work to be completed before we get the rest of our cattle. Those will be the 4 Registerd Lowline Agnus heifers from Dayspring Farm. They are all bred, and the remaining Miniature Belted calves that are due soon. Please feel free to check out the new Video Page  I added to our site.    Enjoy — John



Farm Happenings —
August 19, 2006, 4:13 pm
Filed under: Chickens, Construction, Farming, Pigs

  

The Barn is almost completed. It came out fantastic. It is a post and beam construction similar to our house and built by the same builder, John Newton of Landgrove, Vermont.  Our next major undertaking is the fence work. That should start very soon. We have hired Springfield Fence and can’t wait to get that going….

  

 The Landgrove Inn is now serving Asmall Farm’sFarm Fresh Eggs for breakfast! Tom and Maureen love the idea of Farm Fresh Eggs and we are right around the corner from them and will be delivering weekly. I highly recommend the Inn. It’s a cozy “Vermont Style” Country Inn located on Landgrove Road in Landgrove, Vermont.

 

Lastley, our GOS piglets have been born at Elysian Fields Farm and will be ready to be picked up in late September. Also, our Cattle ( Miniature Belted Galloways and Australian Lowline Angus ) will be arriving this fall. I will keep everyone posted —-  John



House for Sale — Landgrove, Vermont
August 8, 2006, 1:51 am
Filed under: for sale

We have a home for sale in Landgrove, Vermont. It is the “River House”. It was Built in 1830 and renovated in 2005 and sits on the West Branch ( Utley Brook ) of the West River. The home has 4 bedrooms and 3 baths. The Master Bedroom overlooks the River. It was featured in the March 2006 issue of Home Magazine. We are selling it because we found a larger home on 20 acres in the same town and had to make the move. Having 4 children and living here full time our current house suits our needs perfectly and is the site of our Family Farm. The “River House” is ideal for a second home for a family looking to get away from it all. Landgrove, Vermont is an extremely special place and I have been told and believe it chooses you and you don’t chose it. There are approximately 150 full time residents in the town. The nearest ski mountains are Bromley ( 5 minutes away ) and Stratton ( 20 minutes away) and it is a  20 minutues drive to Manchester, Vermont. We purchased the River House in October 2004 as a second home and immediately started renovating it. All the floors we either stripped down or replaced with wide planks. The exterior is freshly painted historic Dorset Gold. A new metal roof was put on. We added 2 dormers to the second floor above the living room which can be used as a study, office, or a 5th bedroom. The new appliances include an oven, dishwasher, washer and dryer. Almost all of the windows have been replaced and most have been fitted with custom screens. In the basement, we poured a concrete floor and re-insulated (sprayed) the walls. We also added a free form stone walkway which leads to the new mahogany front porch. The house is currently listed at Country Living Properties. If you have an interest, feel free to email me at john@jfrusso.com —-  John 



Sugar is Stayin’, Pullets are Layin’, Barn is Raisin’!
July 21, 2006, 7:03 pm
Filed under: Chickens, Construction, Pigs

                                                                                                  There have been a few recent developments on the FARM over the last couple of weeks. The first is that our pig, Sugar, will remain on the farm. She was originally being raised for a neighbor for a pig roast. He has since decided that he doesn’t want her. I can honestly say we couldn’t be happier. She will now be kept to breed and her offspring will be used for pasture raised pork. She is so nurturing to the other piglets we just got and we can’t wait for her to have her own. With her fun personality and fantastic characteristics, she will make a great Sow.                                                                                                                                                                                  The second news is that our 45 Pullets ( hens before maturity ) have begun laying eggs. Our chicken headcount is 65. At full production that will equate to around 5 dozen eggs a day. Melissa started an egg delivery business several months back and we have been selling out weekly. This added supply will help us  meet our current demand.                                                                                             The last developement is the barn. All the rain has stopped and the foundation has been poured. This picture was taken several weeks ago. They have really been moving on the construction. I think we are probably 6 weeks away from completion. I will continue to keep everyone posted. —John 



Another Girl!!!
July 7, 2006, 1:08 am
Filed under: Donkeys

Michelle finally had her baby early this morning. She looks to be healthy and happy. Miniature Donkeys have a gestation period of 11 1/2 to 13 months and I think Michelle went right to the end. It was becoming a joke when people saw her. The first thing they said was, “Poor Michelle she is huge!”.. She was starting to look like a mushroom but all that is in the past. She is very protective over her newborn whom Melissa named Lulu. Miniature Donkeys make great mothers, very loving and nurturing to their offspring. Michelle is no exception. Our other foal, Jenny, is doing very well. She has adjusted to her new family just fine. Many friends have asked why Miniature Donkeys?? — The honest answer was originally to keep our Shire company. They make great companions to other livestock and are protectors against predators. — Will we sell any? I would like to sell 2 of the 6 we have — keeping the mothers and their babies. — John



The 4th of July….
July 5, 2006, 4:22 pm
Filed under: Pigs

The 4th was a busy day at the farm. I picked up 5 more piglets from Walter and Holly of Sugar Mountain Farm in West Topsham, VT. They are all adjusting very well to their new surroundings. In the group of piglets we got 4 males and 1 female. They are all absolutely loving Sugar and Sugar is loving them. We had planned to keep the little ones apart from Sugar, but when they saw her they broke right into her area so we left them there. They couldn’t be happier. When I checked up on them this morning they were all fast asleep, cuddling with Sugar. As the time nears for Sugar to be sold to our neighbor, it is a little difficult. Not only is she our first, and such a great pig, I know she would make a great sow to keep on the FARM. Our decision was made when we bought her. She actually was purchased for him and we need to stick to our plan. I will keep everyone posted on future happenings—– John



Barn or Ark???….
June 26, 2006, 4:48 pm
Filed under: Cattle, Construction, Pigs

This weather has been nothing short of horrible. The construction of the barn has been underway but there is no question that this rain isn’t helping us. We are using a talented local builder, John Newton, who actually built the home we are living in. Luckily we started the clearing for pastures when we did and they are finished. The logging was done by Will Crandall from Peru, VT. His crew did fantastic job. My wife Melissa and I did all of the electric fence work that would put a smile on Long Island’s finest —- Rose Fence.. The permanent fence work will be done by Springfield Fence of Springfield, VT. 

 As far as the animals go, we have moved what we have now to their new home located on Ridge Road in Landgrove,VT. It really was a sight watching Melissa walk our pig, Sugar, through the village of Landgrove to the new house. As most of you are aware from my previous blog, we are purchasing a Miniature Belted Galloway Bull, his mother, and are waiting for others to be born in July. We have also purchased 4 Lowline Angus heifers that we be pregnant when we get them. On July 4th I will be picking up 5 more piglets from Walter of Sugar Mountain Farm. If all goes as planned the farm should be in full operation by the end of the summer/ beginning of fall. I will be sure to keep everyone posted— John