Any farm is a highly dynamic system. Wild Haven is still very much in the startup phase and we have some big changes coming up for the first half of 2023 and we’d like to share them with you.
We will be planting about 250 trees again this spring. We will be planting maples, oaks, and pine this year. That will bring out plantings to 550 since we moved in in May 2021!
Ducks are going away temporarily for 2023. We will be taking a break to research best practices for a duck habitat and, hopefully, get that built in 2023. We have begun reaching out to various sources including Certified Humane to help guide our design.
A big change here at the farm has been the closure of our horse boarding program. The three amazing horses we have on site are still here but we have closed new applications. Horses have not been our primary mission and we will be focusing our resources on our goats, poultry, bees, and kitchen garden.
You read correctly, we will be adding an apiary (bees) in 2023. The plan is for four to six hives. A few of those will be Russian and the rest TBD. There will be no honey production until 2024 since we will be focused on establishing the hives for overwintering. Watch for organic honey in 2024!
Again, I gave it away. We will be putting in our application for USDA Organic certification in 2023 through MOSA. This is a complex process but we have been doing almost all organic practices since the beginning so we don’t expect a lot of heavy lifting, just a lot of paperwork. Certifications are very much a learning process and we’ll be sharing all that learning with you over the coming year.
Certified Humane is another certification that we are working on and you will hear a lot more about in the coming year. This one is really important for us because it directly addresses the welfare of our animals. Again, we have been doing most things right but there are always ways to improve. This certification will require the building of some new facilities such as the new chicken coops.
We expect to start marketing our products more openly in 2023 so stay tuned! Our primary product for 2023 will be chickens and eggs. We will continue to sell goats as pets and breeding stock. A very limited amount of produce may be available but we’ll have to see what we get in the ground.
Well, not just any dog. We are exploring adding livestock guardian dogs to the farm, possibly in 2023. This is a huge step and a huge commitment…and a huge cost. Szumería Kuvaz, one of the worlds top breeders of Kuvaz happens to be in Minnesota and we are working with them to source a pup and get him/her established on the farm. The training of a working farm dog is a massive undertaking but will pay huge dividends in the safety of our herds and flocks.
That’s just the summary of changes! I told you it’s a dynamic place. Stay tuned to all the amazing stuff happening up here. It’s more than just cute baby goats. They do rather steal the show, don’t they.