Tiny Farm School - A day in the life at Grand View Farm
Since you're a lover of everything Green Grocer, you know that food isn't grown on supermarket shelves, already wrapped in plastic and priced. You are keenly aware of the fact that you vote many times a day - in fact each time that you eat! And luckily for Green Grocer and Grand View Farm, you are increasingly voting for local, GMO-free, organically grown, pasture raised, rotationaly grazed, unmedicated meats from an animal that was respected and appreciated. So since you know all of that already, then you know that it takes a dedicated group of local farmers and the incredible people at Green Grocer to put in long hours to make sure that you get all of that delicious, nutrient-dense food each week. With that in mind, we wanted to give you a brief look into the life of a GVF farmer.
A typical (if that exists) weekday: Wide awake (sort of) just before that beautiful sun breaks on the horizon to grace us with the fuel needed to grow that thick, diversified, mineral-rich grass that our animals love so much. First things first - move the egg layers to a new pasture and let those little pasture cleaners out of their nighttime shelter so that they can eat all of the bugs that have collected on the pasture overnight.
Then it's over to the cattle to make sure they are looking good and to check on their portable water tank and minerals. The cattle are not moved to a new pasture until later in the day when the grass is most appetizing.
After the cattle, it's time to check on the brooder house chicken peeps. These little balls of yellow fluff need a lot of attention when they're young, so we make sure that the brooder house is the correct temperature and ensure there is plenty of fresh water and GMO-free feed for them for the day.
Next it's on to the friendliest, smartest, most enjoyable creature to roam the woods - the one and only GVF pig! We check on the piglets first, since they require more attention than the grown pigs, we want to make sure that they had a good night. Once we check the fencing, water and feed, it's time for a few belly rubs before heading out to the woods to find the grown pigs. They seem to pick spots that make it hardest to find them! They are typically still snoring when we arrive, all laying in a hole that they proudly dug the day before. We check their fence, water and feed before servicing more belly rub requests and heading out to take care of the older broiler chickens in the mobile structures that we call "chicken tractors."
Each chicken tractor gets moved to a new section of pasture every day, then gets fresh water and some feed. The chicken tractors are floorless so that the broilers can enjoy every aspect of the pasture as well as fresh air and sunlight, while still being protected from predators.
After a couple hours of being able to watch the sun come up and taking care of the animals, it's time for the farmers to head inside for their breakfast. We answer emails, talk to customers, make plans for the day and order supplies If needed. Then if it's lucky Tuesday, it's delivery day! We pack up orders for local co-ops, area restaurants and one of our favorites - Green Grocer. Tuesdays, Fridays and Saturdays are some of the most enjoyable days on the farm because we get to interact with customers and supporters of GVF.
Afternoons are always busy on the farm. This time of the year we are busy getting ready for all of the families who will come to the farm to get their Christmas trees! Starting the day after Thanksgiving through Christmas we'll have a fun kids barnyard complete with a Christmas tree maze, North Pole Slide, Festive Field Chalkboard all while tons of families pick out their favorite Christmas tree.
Beyond our fun holiday activities, many times each month we have groups to the farm for tours. This is always a fun time, interacting with young students, scouts, church groups, gardening groups and more. We typically do tours in the afternoon so that we have plenty of time in the morning to take care of the animals. If we aren't making deliveres or leading a farm tour, we are working on farm projects, moving cattle, collecting eggs and the list goes on!
Thanks for taking the time to learn about a day on the farm at GVF. Be sure to check out all of our delicious, nutrient-dense product offerings through Green Grocer, and if you're ever in the Harford County, Maryland area be sure to stop by and see what we're up to!
– Nick Bailey