On May 29th we were struck with 90-100 MPH straight line winds. The damage was extensive, as you can see in the photos below. We estimate close to 50 trees blew over, crushing 500 feet of fencing and two gates. Somehow, only two fence posts were broken.
Miraculously, neither the house nor the barn took a direct hit, but the rear overhang of the barn sustained minor damage. We were out of power from Wednesday to Saturday. Fortunately we have a backup generator.
It will be a year or more before we get everything cleaned up and even then it’s not likely we will get our trails cleared. There are so may trees down, we can’t even see them at this point.
We completed our final community service commitment on Sept. 24th. For the past two years we have helped clean up the Schuylkill River Trail three times a year. We thank all the members who gave their time to support this worthwhile project.
The Montgomery County Farm, Home and Youth Fair was held on Aug-8-10. As usual our 4-Hers performed well.
The opening of the Lansdale Farmers Market on May 18 saw a huge crowd turn out on a beautiful May day. The alpacas were a huge hit. Channing actually allowed people to pat and hug her. Arthur was a bit less affectionate but still allowed some people to touch him.
On Thursday, May 2nd we had our annual shearing. We are fortunate to have a very accomplished shearer in Ethan Good, who won Grand Champion shearer at the 2019 Pa. Farmer Show. Ethan hails from York and comes east for about a week at a time to do all the local farms. He knocked off eight alpacas and two sheep in about an hour and a half. We were thankful for a few visitors as well as several of our 4-H kids, who helped in bagging and cleaning up the fiber .
Our 9th Annual Agility Invitational was a bug success. We had more than 40 kids participate from four 4-H clubs, including ones from Maryland and New Jersey.
Our kids performed well. Sisters Annabelle (12-14) and Vanessa (8-11) both nabbed first places in their respective age groups. Leah (second), Weston (third) and Asher (fourth) also laced in the 8-11 age group.
Naomi (second) and Kylee (seventh) too spots in the 12-14 age group, and Aiden came in seventh in the 15-18 group.
On Sunday, April 7th, our 4-H club met for the first of three trail clean-ups as part of our Adopt-a-Trail program (notice our club logo on the sign in the background). We cut back encroaching vines, racked leaves and trimmed overhanging branches and did a bit of socializing in the process. It was a perfect day.
Each year the Pa. Farm Bureau sponsors an Ag Literacy Week in local schools to educate kids about where their food comes from. On March 13th, two of our 4-H kids read a book and led an activity with first graders in our local school district. They enjoyed the experience and the kids learned as well.
• On Jan. 8, our 4-H kids competed at the Pa. Farm Show. We are very proud of their performance, which was one of the best in the last few years. We garnered two 1st places, three second places, one third place, three fourth places and one sixth place in the Showmanship and Agility competitions.
Our lone senior, Sarah placed fourth in Showmanship and second in agility and was awarded Reserve Champion for her performances.
In the Intermediate Division, Kaylee finished fourth in Showmanship and second in Agility.
We had three contestants in the Junior Division. Naomi, the most experienced, placed second in Showmanship and first in Agility to earn Reserve Champion.
Our other two contestants were competing at the Farm Show for the first time. Leah placed third in Showmanship and second in Agility. Weston place fourth in Showmanship and sixth in agility.
As a conclusion to the competition each county competed in a fun event, dressing up an alpaca. No awards were given but each county dressed an alpaca and then concocted a story about it.
Our annual 4-H Fair, now called Farm, Home and Youth Fair, was held Aug. 9-11. The kids competed in Showmanship and Agility in Senior and Junior divisions.
In the Senior Showmanship, Naomi place first with 87 points, Jonathon came in second with 83 and Kylee placed third with 80. Annabelle came in first in Senior Agility with 94 points, Jonathon finished second with 92 and Maggie came in third with 87.
In the Junior Showmanship, Weston won with 85 points, Leah placed second with 80 and Vanessa was third with 74. In Agility Leah finished first with 92 points, Weston was second with 87 and Vanessa scored 79 points for third.
Our 8th Annual Invitational was a great success. We had over 30 kids from three 4-H clubs participate on May 16 at the Montgomery County 4-H Center. In the 15-18 age group, Aiden finished second in agility and third in showmanship, while Sarah was second in agility and first in showmanship; in the 12-14 age group, Naomi placed first in agility and first in showmanship, Annabelle took second in agility and second in showmanship, Kylee placed first in agility and fourth in showmanship and Jonathon finished fourth in agility and first in showmanship; in the 8-11 category, Asher was first in both agility and showmanship, Vanessa was sixth in agility and fourth in showmanship, Weston was third in both agility and showmanship, and Leah was second in agility and showmanship. Congrats to all the kis for a great showing!