January 27, 2012:  Farming can have it's ups and downs and this week was certainly one of these times.  On Monday after considerable sleepless nights we decided to put "Peaches" down.  She developed a foot problem last summer called "founder" which can come about when horses are grazing on too lush of pasture.  

The vets don't really know the exact reason but for some reason horses are susceptible to founder in the springtime and the grass is growing very quickly.  The hoof develops a condition where the two plates in their foot come loose and begin to grind back and forth causing a tremendous amount of pain to the animal.   Once a horse founders they never recover.  After many visits from our vet and farrier throughout the remaining summer, fall and this winter, Peaches was getting worse and not better.  Every step she took you could see the pain in her eyes, she had lost quite a bit of weight, and it took her forever to walk to the hay manger.  I have farmed here on this location all my life but never have felt the sadness and frustration as I have experienced this past week.  Now Peaches if finally free of her pain.    On Wednesday, some guy came off the sideroad and was looking for 10 chickens to be in a movie - believe it or not.  They had to be pretty looking and have all their tail feathers.   We showed him our laying hens and we agreed on price.   He picked out his ten and drove away happy and contented.   Now it may not make sense that we sold 10 laying hens since one of our enterprises is selling of the eggs, but as most chicken farmers know, your poorest layers are usually the nice looking and fully feathered hens.  Some don't even lay at all.   So far, our total egg production hasn't suffered from the loss of our movie stars.   This day on January 27, 1916 my great grandmother's diary says: "Dad chored, Ellwood and Kenneth cut and brought ice home from the river, Harry (my grandfather) took away our big sleighs to draw Newman another load of hay to go to Barrie tomorrow, Gordon took 15 bags of grain to New Lowell to get crushed". 

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2904 Rainbow Valley Road
Minesing, Ontario
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My kids really enjoyed going out to Edencrest, to see the animals and the farm. I was delighted to findout all the fresh CSA food you have available, including the pasture-raised beef.

J. Gingrich, Barrie, ON