Middlesex County 4H Fair

Written by Paul on August 25th, 2014

Southborough Science and Agriculture 4H Club was represented by Ian Bourdon, here driving our oxen Henry and Peter. IanOxen2014


Rainbow over the Pasture

Written by Paul on July 29th, 2014



Clovelly our Milking Devon Cow has a New Calf

Written by Paul on May 21st, 2014

More than a week late Clovelly finally has her calf and its a girl. This is important as the future of the breed is dependent on how many girls there are. Clovelly was bred last August by artificial insemination with semen from a NewDevonMay2014bull collected and sold by the American Milking Devon Association.


Trip to Red Hill in PA

Written by Paul on May 8th, 2014

Another trip to Red Hill in Hyner, Pennsylvania produced more outstanding 361 million year old fossils. This trip we thought we were collecting more head plates and it ended up we extracted a foot long cleithrum of the lobe finned Hyneria lindae that must have been about 10 feet long. Hyneria was the top predator in this river ecosystem. Here is Ian is extracting the cleithrum from a ledge we cut into the rock. In addition to the cleithrum we also collected many scales and uncovered a massive jaw which will be be retained by the museum. The site is overseen by the Philadelphia Academy of Natural Science.IanRedHillHeadPlateInteriorHeadPlateExterior


Garden Progress

Written by Paul on April 29th, 2014

The garden beds are being laid out on the contours this year to try and capture the rain runoff. We also trench each bed so we can bury logs and sticks at the bottom. As the wood decomposes, it releases nutrients but it also absorbs water which is then available for the plant roots. Well that is the theory. Of course we use lots of compost in there too.DSCN4042


Pasture is green but still has a way to go before its ready for the cows

Written by Paul on April 29th, 2014



Piglets are pretty cute. Good thing they don’t stay that way

Written by Paul on April 29th, 2014



Time to move the compost to the garden

Written by Paul on April 29th, 2014


All winter we’ve been collecting manure in compost bins and now its time to move it to the garden. We were lucky to have a Track Loader to do the heavy work. Ian is putting his video game skills to use here.


Bad Hair Day

Written by Paul on April 26th, 2014



Garden beds being planted on the contours

Written by Paul on April 18th, 2014

One of the driving principles of permaculture is the capture and storage of runoff. Slow, Spread and Sink. By building beds level on contours, water is not allowed to just run down the path of least resistance ending up pooling where there is already too much or just running down the street. Holding the water behind swales allows it to spread across the garden and sink into the ground. These garden beds use the principles of Hugelkultur developed by Sepp Holzer in Austria. We trench the beds and take waste sticks and logs and bury them at the bottom with lots of compost from the cattle, pigs and chicken. As the woody material slowly decomposes it not only provides nutrients to the plants above but also stores water. The beds will be planted not only with food plants but also with herbs that extract and hold mineral nutrients like comfrey and herbs that attract beneficial insects. By balancing the pest and predatory insects damage can be kept to a minimum. Garden14Apr14