Farm Photo Friday: January 17, 2014

Every Friday we share some snaps from our 333-acres in Kutztown, PA. Our photographers? The staff members who keep this farm chugging along. Enjoy a sneak peek at what’s going on here at Rodale Institute!

Last week's Farm Photo Friday featured extremely low temperatures, a bit of snow and a new litter of piglets.  This week we have much milder weather, the snow is gone and we have two brand new litters of piglets!  Some of us around the farm took advantage of the higher temperatures by getting outside.  To begin, here we have Lewis the ox and Zorro the goat enjoying sunrise.

Hay Ross!

Ross Duffield, Rodale Institute Farm Manager, brings in a load of nearly 50 bails of certified organic hay for the animals.

Today was particularly warm for January, so Ross took some time to wash off this tractor before getting to work on some maintenance.  He knows it's no fun working on a tractor that's caked with mud!

Here is a 'Before' pic of some the grime that has built up from regular use.

If this grime thinks it's just going to lay around all winter, well, Ross has got something to say about that.

 Looking sinister here!

Like we said, it's warm for January, but that means it's still a bit chilly.

The steam coming off this pressure washer really does the trick!

While Ross cleans the tractor, Kevin Breen, Animal Husbandry Specialist, enjoys some cleaning work himself.  Even though he is tasked with mucking out the chicken coops today, he's thrilled that at least the weather has decided to cooperate with him.

Kevin says that he thinks he might need a bigger wheelbarrow next time.

Ross is still hard at work, the mud and muck doesn't come off easy, that's for sure.

And here we have the 'After' pic - grime eliminated!  Job well done, Ross.  Well done, indeed.

About this time, as you scroll down the page, you may be asking, "Weren't there supposed to be pictures of piglets?  I came for the cuteness!"  Well, we are proud to announce that two of our sows gave birth this week.  Both Venus and Xena gave birth to nine piglets each. Venus gave birth yesterday and Xena delivered this morning.  All 18 piglets are heritage breed, Large Blacks, and they are co-mingling in the spring house very nicely.

Ross checks to make sure Xena feels well.  These little ones were born this morning - it's astounding how curious and friendly they are already!

As featured in last week's Farm Photo Friday, Tammy the Tamworth had a litter of 13 piglets during the cold snap.  She's still doing wonderfully!  Here, Ross points our the largest of the group.

Tammy is a Tamworth, a breed of red color, and her piglets are a cross of Large Black and Tamworth.  It's a very comforting sight to see as the the piglets suckle and Tammy rests, warming herself in the sun.

As the sun approached high noon today, Bill Lenhard, Strategic Solutions Support Team Member, was spotted on his rounds to feed the honeybees in their hives, spread around the farm in areas where we need their help with pollination.  It was warmer today than during the cold snap, but not that warm, Bill.  Put your coat back on!

Don’t forget… Show your organic love!

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