- Van Wert
Diary of Bethann Niederman - Niederman Family Farm Week 5- April 25-30, 2011
Monday, April 25
It's is crunch time! We have two days to finish "everything" before our first group on Wednesday. Thanks to our 4-H clubs, Liberty Livestock, we are in really good shape. The club came out last week and swept, cleaned and scrubbed our barns for us. Today I will do a walk through every station and make notes about what is needed to be 100% ready. It is also helpful if I have talking points for each station so our staff knows our key message to share. Bob worked a small patch of ground to plant our pumpkin seeds with the kids. We were worried about getting that done with all the rain. Because this is an outdoor activity, we have tried to make everything under cover (as much as possible) in case of rain. Kids don't mind the rain and mud at all, but we sure try to keep the bus driver, teachers and janitors happy too!
Tuesday, April 26
Chicks are here! Just got a phone call from the post office to come and pick up my box in town. The baby chicks are making a lot of noise!I ordered the baby chicks from the hatchery. They were hatched yesterday and placed in a special box with little holes for air, straw for bedding and a tiny little heating pad. Chicks are born with a 24-hour good supply and that’s how the hatchery can send them overnight to us. As soon as we get them home we put them in a cat proof pen with a heat lamp, water supply and special chick food. They quickly adapt to their new home and huddle together under the heat lamp for a nap.
Wednesday, April 27
Today's preschool arrived right on time. We love to see all the smiling faces, the kids are so eager to learn about the farm, the farmer and our animals. Of course the most popular station is lunchtime and the play area! Grandpa Bob is always a hit with the kids when he talks bout "Bessie" our fiberglass cow. He shares with them about his life as a dairy farmer, then they all take turns milking her. Bessie was a huge investment, but it is so nice to just unplug her at the end of the day. She doesn't eat or mess her pen!
Thursday, April 28
The tour season is underway! We will host farm tours every day in May and part of June. A new area of interest in our farm is for company picnics. So many groups and businesses are looking for something close to home. We are glad to help provide clean family fun and entertainment. With warmer weather, people are also calling to get their boats out of storage. We store boats and campers for families that don't have the space at home. The extra work for Bob this time of year makes getting the regular farm work done a challenge. Like many farmers, he puts in 12-14 hours a day to get the chores done. He can't just leave work at the end of the day… he is surrounded by it!
Friday, April 29
Farmers will hopefully be out planting their fields. Corn and soybeans can be planted as soon as the soil dries out from all this rain and it warms up a little bit. We purposely wait until June to plant our pumpkins and corn maze. This later planting date for the cornfield keeps the stalks green longer and safer for our cornmaze guests. At the end of the corn maze season, we do harvest the corn for feed for the steers. Fall is another busy season for us with our corn maze and pumpkin patch. Everyone loves a hayride and a trip to the pumpkin patch to pick their favorite pumpkin. Top that off with a bonfire and some of our homemade doughnuts and it is a pretty good day.
Saturday, April 30
It has been my pleasure to share a little bit about Niederman Family Farm with you. I hope it helped create and understanding of not only or business, but our lifestyle choice. We all need farmers for the food we eat, some of the clothes we wear and products we use everyday. Farms come in all shapes, sizes and many different locations. To feed our growing population we need all our farmers. Hope to see you soon at Niederman Family Farm.