Saturday, June 28, 2014

the barn reno progress update

Right now the guys (Garry hired a couple Ukrainian guys for the summer when the building team was here) and Andrey Rudei are finishing the septic system, building and hanging gates in the barn, and starting work on installing the brisket boards (they are boards placed at the front of the stalls). Here are a few photos.

these 8 inch boards were special cut for the brisket boards

unloading the truck

Looking good in the barn

almost ready - one of the bathrooms

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

New students and cows

Garry and I are back in the village, and he is busy with crops and stuff for the trade school, getting the new barn ready for cows and students for September. We are pictured with some of the pregnant heifers who have moved into the paddock outside the new trade school barn. Most of the heifers here will calve in the fall and form the nucleus of the herd there. They had been living in rather overcrowded conditions in our little barn, since Garry had bought several over the last two years from people he breeds cows from. Most of them are half Holstein, and should give much more milk than their mothers-the native Russian reds that predominate in this area.

 Garry bought as many as could fit in the little barn because he wanted them for the trade school barn. However, this will not be enough cows to fill the big freestall barn, so he is trying to find more bred heifers. It seems that not many milking cows are sold here in Ukraine, but heifers a few months pregnant are so he hopes to go look at some today with Maria. If you have donated money to buy a cow for the barn, you could be seeing a photo of her soon!

We have three new students accepted so far for the fall term, one girl (one of the foster girls that is living at the house now), and today there was another male student that toured the farms and met the boys group home parents. I believe there are two more guys coming for interviews in the next week, so that would make six students. I am sorry that I did not get outside for a photo while they were here on our farm. This orphan has a brother who was adopted to the US and he has a good relationship with the family, they contacted us by email. He came by train with his music teacher early this morning, and Garry picked them up, he had to drive them back to Zaporosia for the one pm train to return to the orphanage. Garry tells me that he was told that historically most of the students at this orphanage attend university, 15/16 graduates last year. With the new emphasis by the government on getting kids into foster care, they only have 38 living at this orphanage right now, but are expecting a large group of kids from the Donestk orphanages in the immediate future.