Exploring Your Community
This is the first day of October and what a beautiful day it is. It’s a little on the cool side, but at least it’s stopped raining. This is the weekend of the Culpeper Harvest Farm Tour and I decided to explore my community. I went to a farm that raises bison and to one that raises Clydesdale horses. Both were extremely interesting.
Cibola Farms employs sustainable agricultural practices and they adhere to environmentally friendly procedures. They raise bison, Tamworth hogs and grass range turkeys and geese.
The livestock are moved between pastures allowing the old pastures to regenerate while the animals graze on fresh grass. They employ composting practices to prevent pollutants from entering the Chesapeake Bay Watershed.
I was fascinated by the hogs. They were huge. They were napping after their lunch, but when the interpreter saw that I wanted to take pictures, he prodded them so that they got up and walked around a little.
After photographing the hogs, I was ready for lunch. They offered several choices and I enjoyed a bison burger. It was delicious. By the way, a bison and a buffalo are the same thing.
Next I walked to where the bison were grazing. There were different pastures where they were separated, based on their age. In the breeding area, there were babies mixed in with huge males and very large females. I discovered that the babies are born with a brown color but they quickly take on the familiar black that we see on the adults.
The bison are raised without growth hormones. Their meat contains more nutrients and less fat than beef. Because bison have been living in North America for so long, their systems have adapted to our climate extremely well. Their digestive systems are very efficient and require only a little grain supplement to the grass that they graze on. This mimics the vegetation on the plains where they originally lived. They rarely get sick and can withstand severe winters with no injury.
Genesis Farms breeds Clydesdale horses and they are awesome. Several of their horses have won prestigious awards. This is an excellent breeding facility, which offers stud services. Also, some of the horses are for sale.
The Clydesdales are in much demand for local parades where they can be seen pulling various wagons. They are often chosen to pull wedding carriages. Remember, this is horse country.
I thoroughly enjoyed my day, visiting two of the farms on the Farm Tour. It’s important to get out and get to know the community in which you live. Every time I go on a Farm Tour, I discover new communities that I didn’t know existed, and new roads that I didn’t know were there. This year I learned that a bison and a buffalo are the same thing and I got up close to some magnificent Clydesdale horses.