Fall 2022 Update
Raising Better Turkeys
Our livestock team is always looking for ways to improve the quality of life for the animals we raise at Greenacres. Whether it’s shade structures for our cattle or improved chicken tractors for our broilers, no detail large or small is overlooked in the process. Although turkeys are only on our farm for a short period of time, we treat them with the same care and respect that we give to all of our animals. Every year after Thanksgiving, our team sits down and reviews what we can do to improve our ability to raise turkeys. “Our turkeys have always had access to clean water, fresh pastures, and the safety of our poultry tractors, but we were overlooking their natural instinct to want to roost,” says our Livestock Manager, Leevi Stump. Two years ago, we looked at our options and decided we could come up with a solution to this challenge using resources we had on the farm. The livestock team partnered with some of the master welders on our estate crew and designed a custom roosting system. This was the second year using these roosts and they have significantly improved the quality of life for our turkeys.
During their first weeks at Greenacres, our turkeys have access to pasture, but are confined to the poultry tractors for their safety. Our livestock team moves the tractors daily to ensure the turkeys always have access to fresh pasture. Once the turkeys are large enough, the poultry tractors doors are opened and the turkeys are given access to fresh open pasture along with the roosting facilities. “These roosting structures have gone a long way in making our turkeys more comfortable” says Stump, “it’s helping protect them from ground predators and lets them exercise that natural instinct to be in trees.” These structures have improved our final turkey harvest weights and we are optimistic that they will continue to have a positive impact.
“Our turkeys have always had access to clean water, fresh pastures, and the safety of our poultry tractors, but we were overlooking their natural instinct to want to roost. These new roosting structures are going a long way to making our turkeys more comfortable. It’s helping protect them from ground predators and lets them exercise that natural instinct to be in trees.”
-Leevi Stump, Livestock Manager
Education Center Coming Soon to Michaela Farm
A new education facility is coming soon to Greenacres Michaela Farms in Oldenburg, Indiana. The building is scheduled for completion in 2023. Our Director of Buildings and Grounds, Alex Saurber, tells us, “this new facility will be a replica of our Lewis Township education building with a few upgrades including a 70,000 gallon cistern and a gray-water system. Just like our Lewis Township classroom, this new building will be equipped with an abundance of green features including geothermal heating and cooling as well as automated solar tubes. We look forward to breaking ground soon!“.
Until then, any school or homeschool group is welcome to register their interest in field trip programs. Parents, teachers, and school administrators are encouraged to reach out to bring your students here for a field trip .All programming is customized to your specific needs. To learn more, contact Katie Brown at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (513) 898-3262.
“This new facility will be a replica of our Lewis Township education building with a few upgrades including a 70,000 gallon cistern and a gray-water system. Just like our Lewis Township classroom, this new building will be equipped with an abundance of green features including geothermal heating and cooling as well as automated solar tubes. We look forward to breaking ground soon!“
-Alex Saurber, Buildings and Grounds Director
Preserving the integrity of farmland is a key part of Greenacres’ mission. One way this is achieved is by strategically using livestock to manage our pastures. For example, the cattle are put into smaller sections in the pastures and moved frequently. This allows for a more even distribution of the manure and reduces over grazing. To ensure our practices are in line with our mission, the Research Team routinely monitors the pastures for key ecological indicators (i.e. plant and soil health, bare ground, insects and other invertebrates, and water infiltration). Monitoring takes place annually using a scorecard and a quick walkthrough, and every five years a more intensive protocol is used to measure long term changes. Combined, these parameters provide insight into pasture health. The information is then presented to the livestock team to guide future management of the land and animals.
“Monitoring our pastures is a crucial part of land management. The data collected show how past management has affected pasture health, but also allows the livestock team to adapt their strategies to continuously generate healthy soils and ecosystems,” says Senior Research Assistant and Pasture Monitoring Coordinator Chad Gibson
“Monitoring our pastures is a crucial part of land management. The data collected show how past management has affected pasture health, but also allows the livestock team to adapt their strategies to continuously generate healthy soils and ecosystems.”
-Chad Gibson, Senior Research Assistant and Pasture Monitoring Coordinator
In September, our events team hosted the annual Celebration Concert. The Celebration Concert started as a way to celebrate Mrs. Louise Nippert’s birthday, and is the one time a year that the Cincinnati Ballet, Orchestra, May Festival, and Opera all perform together. Over the years, the event has grown and this magical performance night is a beautiful way to remember Mrs. Nippert and her legacy. The two mornings preceding the event, school groups, including students from the Saint Rita School for the Deaf, were invited to Greenacres to experience the performing arts first hand. “Looking around the room, there were so many smiling faces, beaming with joy! It’s so nice to know that Mrs. Nippert’s love of children and the performing arts lives on, especially through experiences like these.”
“Looking around the room, there were so many smiling faces, beaming with joy! It’s so nice to know that Mrs. Nippert’s love of children and the performing arts lives on, especially through experiences like these.”
-Meredith Leslie, Executive Director
A Taste of Summer
For the last three seasons, our Garden team has planted a plot of paste tomatoes in our Ley Field, which provide an amazing visual asset for our agriculture education programs and summer camp participants. When the tomatoes are finished growing they become the primary ingredient for marinara sauce. The marinara sauce has a very simple ingredient list, and preserves fresh, peak-season tomato flavor. The practices we follow in the Ley Field ensure healthy soil, healthy plants and top-quality tomatoes – click here to learn more about our Ley Field.
Shortly after harvest, we clean and freeze the tomatoes at their peak of ripeness, storing them frozen at -15º until we have gathered the full harvest for the season. We also clean and freeze our own garlic and onions, allowing us to utilize root vegetables that may not be perfect for Farm Store sales, but will make a delicious sauce.
Once all our ingredients are gathered, we transport them to KHI Food Brands in Burlington, KY. KHI is a “value-added food producer” who started their small business in order to help local farmers capture their harvests into shelf-stable retail products. They use our recipe to cook the sauce in their 500 gallon kettle, then hot-fill the jars on their automated packing line. Our in-house designed labels are the finishing touch. We’re proud to be able to offer you this delicious reminder of summer, all year long!
Fall Equine Lessons
Our equine department has completed another busy Fall Session. Our students have enjoyed utilizing the new cross country jumps and new show jump course throughout the session. We enroll riders between the ages of 8-18. Our lessons are English only with a focus in Eventing. We still have an active waitlist, so if you are interested in enrolling your children in the lesson program we invite you to join our waitlist.
School Horse Spotlight
Moose is a 13-year-old bay Quarter Horse who is very playful and loves to play with his Jolly Ball in his stall. He primarily teaches the walk/trot students, but will sometimes teach the intro to canter students. His favorite part of the day is being groomed by all of the students. His friend Dozer is a 19-year-old gray Percheron Cross. He is our gentle giant as he is the biggest in the barn standing at 16.3 hands. He is learning to enjoy jumping, but primarily teaches the lower level walk/trot- walk/trot/canter classes. Dozer loves being fed treats from the equine staff and students. His favorite treats are apples and carrots.