News and blog
Well, it appears several of the calves are coming later than expected, so we are now planning to start milk deliveries on Monday, March 10th. We have two newly freshened cows in milk and should be able to accumulate enough milk over the weekend for Monday.
Essential construction on the milking parlor has been completed. The boys and I spent Wednesday installing and wiring the milking equipment and lighting, and completing the gates and chutes in the barn where the new cement floor was poured.
Thursday we will begin test runs and adjustments of the milking machine and cooling tank.
Other than our cow Molly, who delivered a month or so ago, we are still waiting on the rest of the calves, but things are going to start hopping here very soon. Blossom is due tomorrow, Saturday, March 1st, and Penny is due Tuesday March 4th. We checked them today and nothing just yet. Altogether we have five cows due in the next three weeks.
Well, we finally got the dry break in the weather we have been waiting for!
This week in the new milking barn we set the milking stanchions (recycled from the Templeton Farm milking parlor), and laid drain lines and water supply lines.
Today, with cows peeking over the fence, we poured concrete floors in the mud-free "milking waiting room" for the cows, the milking parlor, and the milk storage and processing room. The cement should be set over the weekend, so on Monday additional walls, gates and chutes will go in.
By mid week we hope to have the milking machine and milk storage tank installed and ready to begin functional checks.
What a winter this has turned out to be! The herd has settled in here at Rehoboth Farm, and the Smythe family is eagerly anticipating the arrival of several new calves over the next two weeks. Please keep an eye out on the “What’s New” section on the webpage for birth announcements!
Due to the very cold weather in January and then an exceedingly wet February, completion of construction work in the milking barn has been held up a bit, most recently by not having a dry surface on which to pour the concrete slab for the milking parlor and cooling tank room. The good news is we accomplished final grading work today, and will get the forms built and gravel in place in time for pouring cement by the end of this week. We will then be framing in that end of the barn and building gates and stanchions.
We hope to be installing and testing the milking equipment and cooling tank the first part of next week, with the commencement of milking operations later in the week. Barring unforeseen circumstances, (and with timely arrival of the calves!!), milk deliveries will start the week of March 10th. If we get things up and running and have the milk, we may have deliveries as early as next Friday, March 7th. We will let folks know. I will be communicating separately with you to confirm your drop location and pickup day.
On an administrative note, I have been working with our attorney at the Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund in the re-write of the Rehoboth Farm Herdshare agreements (Bill-of-Sale Agreement and Boarding Agreement). For new herdshare owners, we will be sending both of these documents out for you to review and sign in the next week or so. For existing owners, we will only be sending the new Boarding Agreement with Rehoboth Farm for you to review and sign.
Put some cookies on the grocery list,
Owner, Rehoboth Farm
Bristol area owners,
I confirmed today that we have a new Bristol drop location, replacing the Templeton Farm drop. It is very convenient to I-81 Exit 5 and is on Lee Highway towards Bristol. Will be sending out details to everyone who will be using this drop very soon.
Just a heads up to be looking for February Invoices in your email inbox reflecting charges for March milking, boarding and delivery. Please refer to the new 2014 Fee Schedule.
Dr. Fletcher from Tri-State Vet came out this week and confirmed by ultrasound that all of our ladies that we had expected to be bred are confirmed to still be carrying calves!
Check out our new Frequently Asked Questions page.
Please see the new 2014 Fee Schedule.
This week renovation work on one of the barns here at Rehoboth will begin. This includes new electrical and plumbing work as well as new cement floors for the milk tank room, milking parlor, and cow holding area.
Today we disassembled the milking equipment at the old milking parlor at the Templetons and transported everything back to Rehoboth Farm. We were quite a sight rolling down I-81 with the 250 gallon stainless steel milk cooling and storage tank, the farm fridge and other equipment in an open trailer! Everything made it without incident.
Will keep you posted!