the feeder in Pittsfield. How easy is it to eat from?
What Ground Hog Day Means To Farmers
Submitted By Carole Soule
Three wrapped 1,000 pound bales are fed out everyday to the
cattle... more in frigid weather.
Bruce, driving the Bobcat skidsteer, delivers two
unwrapped bales to hungry cattle.
your hay by Ground Hog Day,” is an old saying that helps a farmer
estimate how much hay is needed to make it through the winter. Even
if Punxsutawney Phil's shadow does not frighten him back into
hibernation, and spring comes early, livestock will still need hay
well into April.
coldest days, we dish out four or five 1,000-pound round bales of
wrapped hay called baleage. After it's cut, grass used for baleage
is allowed to dry just a bit. It's best when only 40 percent of the
moisture in the grass has evaporated. Then this wet grass is then
rolled into large, round bales, wrapped with mesh and covered with
plastic. The plastic wrap creates an airtight seal that allows the
hay to ferment. Without the plastic seal, the damp grass would rot.
Sealed, the wet hay ferments into a delicious, juicy meal; high in
protein and pleasing to a cow's palate.
baleage because there is more protein in fermented hay than in dry
hay. Not all livestock can eat fermented hay. Horses, goats, and
donkeys might get sick or die if they eat baleage, so we feed them
the dry stuff. But cows thrive on it.
plastic rips and air gets into the bale the hay will spoil, so
careful handling is required. Wild animals love this stuff, too.
Porcupines will rip open bales left in the field, eating what they
want and leaving the rest to spoil. Spoilage can be controlled by
applying special, expensive tape to each tear, sealing the bale
tight again and protecting our investment.
yearly bill for more than 500 of those big, round bales is $30,000 –
a number that shocks me every time I think about it.
we don't want to waste expensive hay, it's essential that cattle get
enough to eat. They use a lot more energy to keep warm in sub-zero
weather, so they have to eat more.
day we strip the wrapping off three to five round bales, depending
on the temperature, and husband Bruce carries them two at a time out
to the pasture. He's really strong–especially when he's driving the
skid-steer tractor. Then the ground crew, usually me, strips the
plastic and removes the inner lining. This task can get painful and
frustrating when the plastic cover or the inner mesh wrap freezes
into the hay. That's when I have to take the gloves off my already
frozen fingers and pick at the wrapping. Brrrr.
the hay is free from its wrapping, Bruce delivers the bales to the
field, placing them about 40 feet apart, so the cows have easy
there are leftovers at the next feeding, that means we might have
served one bale too many. But if the bales are gone, we probably got
it right – unless we find the cattle are waiting impatiently at the
gate for their next daily ration. That means we have fed them too
look at the 60 bales of hay in the baleage pit (a concrete bunker
for storing feed) and think, “Half my hay by Ground Hog Day,” I know
I'll have to buy more hay. Thankfully, Howard Pearl, a state
legislator, and sixth-generation Loudon farmer, has plenty of bales
to feed my hungry herd. Meanwhile, I'm hoping for a nice, cloudy,
non-groundhog-scaring February 2 with an early spring, and plenty of
free grass ASAP.
Soule is co-owner of Miles Smith Farm. She can be reached at
Kid’s Money Workshop!
Saturday, February 2, 2019
Hampshire author Kathy Stoughton will be at the library introducing
her book “Where Did All The Money Go?” There will be a mini
workshop, some crafts, and games with playing store! The book
is written for four to six year olds, but bring the whole family to
the workshop. The snow date is February 16, 2019. It can
be FUN and important to teach young kids about money. Come and
see how you can help young children build strong thinking skills and
acquire the building blocks to manage money.
Letter to the Editor
an Economic Development Committee (EDC) was established as a first
step to stimulating much needed economic growth within our
community. Between 2006 and 2010, many volunteer groups and
individuals worked vigorously to accomplish the foundational work
necessary to begin taking on some sustainable economic development
projects in town. Such activities included establishing a Property
Acquisition & Redevelopment Expendable Trust Fund in 2008
($100,000), adopting RSA 79-e (tax incentive for businesses to
expand in town) adopting ERZ162 (state tax credit offered to
businesses) placing state business signs on Route 28, updating
economic profiles and strategies and establishing the Suncook Valley
Regional Development Corporation (SVRDC) in 2009. After a year of a
lawyer working pro bono with members, the SVRDC received its tax
exemption status in 2010.
purpose for establishing the SVRDC was “to work in conjunction with
the Town of Pittsfield and its representatives in promoting and
developing the growth, prosperity, and general welfare of the Town
of Pittsfield and the surrounding region.” Given the various town
owned properties to consider for economic restoration and/or
enhancement, the SVRDC would work with developers and/or businesses
in receiving, expending and administering funds from public or
private sources as well as borrowing and lending. The SVRDC would
also have the capability to receive by gift or otherwise acquire
real estate and to participate in its development and resale, lease,
or other disposition to further the economic development goals of
(13 years later) neither the SVRDC or the property redevelopment
fund have been utilized for their intended purpose. A petition
warrant article has been included on the ballot to discontinue the
fund and return the $100,000 to the taxpayers. I believe it is in
your best interest to support this article on March 12th.
831 Students Named To President's List At Plymouth State University
students have been named to the Plymouth State University
President's List for the Fall 2018 semester. To be named to the
President's List, a student must achieve a grade point average of
3.7 or better for the Fall 2018 semester and must have attempted at
least 12 credit hours during the semester.
Gaudette of Pittsfield
John-Zensky of Pittsfield
Kelley of Center Barnstead
Blad of Northwood
Brewster of Center Barnstead
Danby of Gilmanton Iron Works
Justin of Chichester
St Jacques of Epsom
Kirwan of Gilmanton Iron Works
Letter To The Editor
Board Meeting 1/22/19
board reluctantly accepted the resignation of Cemetery
Superintendent Don Fife. After 46 years as full-time caretaker
(more if you include part-time as a kid), Don has decided it’s time
to move on. The trustees will be hard pressed to find a way to
replace him. I’ve never heard one word of complaint about the
way our cemetery looks- thanks to Don.
the town warrant a final going-over before the deliberative session
Feb. 4. Anyone wanting input on the final version must attend the
deliberative session where changes to some articles are allowed.
reviewed and approved the municipal operating budget of $4,505,380
proposed by the budget committee. Your select board and budget
committee have gone over every proposed expenditure with a
fine-tooth comb and believe there’s no waste anywhere in the budget-
it’s what’s needed to meet our obligations and keep the town running
at a safe, effective level.
year’s operating budget is $14,000 higher than 2018- (a modest
3/10’s of one percent) mostly due to an increase in insurance costs.
A bottom-line budget increase of $173,000 is primarily because of
repairs that must be made to the Clark’s Pond dam in a separate
warrant article. If we don’t repair it, the state will make us
remove it, which ironically would cost more. We also must play catch
up setting funds aside to replace equipment as it wears out, also in
separate articles. Watch The SUN for explanations of expenditures
the budget committee will submitting. Countless hours have
been spent laboring (and frankly agonizing) over what to ask
taxpayers for- please take time to understand what the town’s needs
are. We’re still focused on doing anything we can to
responsibly keep taxes under control.
Letter To The Editor
31 – voters’ petition to replace HSA Ordinance with State Rental
vote NO to the upcoming warrant article #31, replacing the Housing
Standards Ordinance. What this article is stating is to shut
down the HSA in our town. Without bi-annual inspections from
the HSA of the 550 rental units, structural, safety, and health
issues can be overlooked for years. Just this fact could be
detrimental to the tenants as well as the landlords. The HSA is not
in place to add undue expenses to the owners, it is simply there to
protect the tenants as well as the owners from harm and litigation.
After the inspection of apartments in the town, it has been noted
that there were several safety violations that would not have been
corrected that were unknown to the owner. If the HSA had not
inspected the apartments, these items may not have been brought to
the attention of the owners. The HSA's only concern is the
safety of the tenants and cooperation of the owners to repair all
issues noted on the inspection report. The HSA strives to be
self-funded and uses no tax payer dollars. If this passes, all
complaints will go through the selectmen and the fire department.
The fire department is already limited in their resources and it
would be a burden on them. You will no longer have one person
who will deal with your complaints directly and immediately.
We are trying to be proactive, not reactive. We are all entitled to
a safe place to call home.
Simonds, Housing Standards Administrator
Josiah Carpenter Library February News
10:30 am on Saturday, February 2nd, New Hampshire author Kathy
Stoughton will be at the library introducing her book Where Did All
The Money Go? There will be a mini workshop, some crafts, and
games with playing store! The book was written for four to six
year olds, but the whole family can enjoy the workshop. The
snow date is February 16, 2019. It can be FUN and important to
teach young kids about money. Come and see how you can help
young children build strong thinking skills and acquire the building
blocks to manage money.
Hour for babies, preschoolers, and families meets on Thursday at
10:00 am will be learning about transportation. The Adventures
Club (kindergarten thru 3rd grade) that meets on Tuesday at 3:30 pm,
Creating Adventures (3rd thru 6th grade) that meets Wednesday
afternoons at 2:00 pm are continuing to work out some Lego design
challenges. A Lego car race will be held at the library at
5:30 pm on Tuesday February 19th.
Book Worms will gather at 6:30 pm on Tuesday February 12th to
discuss Flame in the Mist by Renee Ahdieh. The Pittsfield
Writer’s Circle will meet at 6:30pm on Tuesday February 26th, bring
your latest work to share and hone with this dedicated group of
writers. The adult book club will meet at 10:30 am on Tuesday
January 22nd at the Pittsfield Senior Center to discuss The Hate U
Give by Angie Thomas. Anyone who would like to join the book
discussions can pick up the books at the library, come and enjoy
some spirited conversation.
next gathering of the Chichester-Epsom-Pittsfield Libraries Memory
Café will be held at 2:00 pm on Monday February 11th at the Epsom
Public Library. Local caregivers and folks living with memory
loss can come and relax in a supportive environment; refreshments
will be served.
assessment grant from the New Hampshire Preservation Alliance has
been approved for the “library barn.” The assessment will
include a structural analysis, general care and upkeep, re-use
strategies and budgeting for a potential revitalization plan.
The assessment report will be available in the spring.