We live on a farm in the headwaters of the Shenandoah River - a tributary of the Chesapeake Bay. How cool is that? We started this year’s calving season on March 1st with 122 pregnant beef cows. All of them have calved except nine. Cow #65 and #X6 had twins....
He said, "Solar panels are only 40 percent efficient." I thought, "Are you kidding, it's free." The sun shines and "Zap", you have electricity, isn't that 100 percent efficient? Well, not so fast smarty pants. The 40 percent rating is true if one thinks about how "they" measure efficiency -...
May might be my favorite month. The energy of spring swells in every living thing. I remain in awe of all the energy. A Catbird sings all night outside our open window. Robins begin their singing at 5:15am. That’s the warm-up for the avian symphony that will last all day....
The sun’s energy has transformed our brown pastures into green carpets of food for our beef cattle. The surge of spring is upon us. Red Wing Blackbird males are singing their shoulders off, “Concareeee”. Meadowlarks are singing, "Spring of the yearrrr". Because of the vast grasslands in Swoope their populations...
Winter in Swoope. I walk along the banks of Middle River on our farm in search of treasure. Dexter, our Border Collie usually walks along with me but he passed on and I sure miss him. Cold air seeps through the opening in my collar; the brown, frozen grass crunches...
I love the smell of hay…and putting it away for the winter. It’s a good feeling; knowing all the winter feed for the cows is ready. Jeanne is now in the throws of bush hogging the pastures with her new fifteen foot wide “bat-wing” mower. We mow the pastures to...
May fills my senses as I walk our “river field”. Life’s energy surges this time of year. The avian migration is at its peak. All the birds that want to be here have arrived except for the Dickcissels. They will arrive when the peonies and day lilies open. The...
"Just because the problem seems unsolvable doesn't give us the right to give up". I can't remember who wrote that but it sticks in my mind. And just like the people trying to find that one blight resistant American Chestnut tree, Bobwhite Quail lovers keep hoping that maybe...
This past week Swoope bore the brunt of the Snowquester, a.k.a. winter storm Saturn. It gave us almost two feet of snow - unwelcome weather for cattle farmers during calving season. A calf born in this weather can perish quickly. We were lucky. The storm left no casualties among our...
Figs and Great Wine For the first time in my life, we harvested figs… which means we either got lucky or the planet is warming. We sliced the figs in half and ate them fresh with a dab of creamy blue cheese while sipping a full-bodied, peppery Cabernet Sauvignon. Pair...
“Bobby and Jeanne show us how agriculture and conservation can work together, just as the couple’s remarkable marriage does. This book is about their journey together on the farm to produce healthy livestock and clean water.
This book gives us a blueprint not only for the restoration of the Bay and the waters of the United States but also for the family farm.”
Will BakerPresident, Chesapeake Bay Foundation
Blog Post Categories
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- Soil and Water Conservation
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