RicelandMeadows


Working At It
May 20, 2019, 9:32 am
Filed under: May 2019 | Tags: , , , ,

KAHplowing22019

May 20, 2019

Here we go again! The rains are still trying to keep us out of the fields, but a breezy day and warm sunshine dries things out fast. We have two wet places that would stop a tractor, but the horses plow right through.

Many farmers are getting very worried as planting days are held off by the weather. Much of our areas field work has not even been started. We are playing catch up ourselves. The horses, are soft from all those days off due to the rain, so I have to go slowly with plenty of breaks. I’m fine with that. We are making progress and that is what counts.

I am pleased with our efforts so far. The horses are working good together. This much horsepower makes everyone’s job easier. It looks like we will be able to plow for at least the next two days, but who knows? We will just take it in stride and work steady. Slow is steady, steady is fast.

The hay fields are growing quickly. Looks like as soon as the corn gets planted, we will be shifting gears and begin the work of making hay. Farm life is full of ups and downs, but a man is never bored!

num91

The new haymower…..soon it will get its debut.



Water Water Everywhere
May 13, 2019, 10:48 am
Filed under: May 2019 | Tags: , , , ,

sprinplow2019evener

May 13, 2019

Well, another half inch of rain in the last twenty-four hours. More is forecast for the next several. The mud is everywhere and spring work is stalled. I am sure some guys are getting very stressed. I am taking it in stride. The weather is something we cannot control. Patience is tested, but better to focus on making sure everything is ready to go, once the weather breaks.

We have things ready, I think. The planter is ready. The harrows and drags are ready. The horses and I are ready too. In the meantime we watch the grasses grow, the flowers bloom and the baby lambs being born. Warn dry days will soon be here, we just have to wait.



2019 Oats Planted
May 10, 2019, 10:22 am
Filed under: May 2019 | Tags: , , , , ,

k&hspring2019

May 10, 2019

The recent rains have made the pasture grasses and hay fields grow. They have also delayed most field work for us farmers. We got a quick dry out over the last few days. I worked quickly to try and get our forage oats planted. Forage oats are a leafy oat plant that we sometimes grow for pasture or hay. I hope to use this years crop for hay.

The soil was marginal on Tuesday, but I managed to disc over it all once. I incorporated last years corn stubble and the applied compost. It was too wet to make another pass, so we moved on to other projects.

The sun was very warm on Wednesday with a stiff breeze blowing. I walked out and check the field. It was better, but still too wet for any field work.

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Thursday morning, the wind was blowing stiff, the temperature was hot, almost 80F.  I scrambled to disc the whole plot again. It was amazing at how much the soil had dried. It was still wet in places and I made a few ruts.

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We broadcast the oat seed on the disced ground, using my homemade spinner seeder. I spun the oats on at a rate of 4 bushels to the acre. Once the broadcasting was done, I rolled the whole field with a large roller. It is not the best job that I have ever done, but the oats are in. The rain started falling again, just as I put the last tool away.

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The hope now is for a crop to make hay. I am thankful that the field dried, the rain held off and that I was able to stay on track. This job can now be scratched off the list. Once the soil dries out again, we can get back to the job of plowing. Abby (our filly) is still out for breeding at her husband’s place. We missed her yesterday. I am also thankful for our mixed powered farm. I used the tractor yesterday in the heat and rush of trying to beat the rain. The horses did inspect my job and I think they approved.



Trying Again
May 7, 2019, 4:32 pm
Filed under: May 2019 | Tags: , , , ,

Bpackage12019

May 7, 2019

After a season of not having honeybees, we are trying again. Nature and man is really working these creatures over. I feel it is only right to try and help them. We put bees into two hives and will nurture them to the best of our ability. They look good so far. Later this week I will open the hives and check them all over.

What you see is a row of bee packages waiting to be picked up by beekeepers like myself. The bee yard was full! Many folks were coming to get their bees. It is amazing to think that this is just one pick up site. I hope we all have successful hives.

bpackage2019

In each screened box is a queen, a swarm weighing about 3 pounds and a can of sugar water to feed them.

The queen is in a little wooden screen box about 1 inch by 3 inches with a few “nurse” bees to care for her. The box has a cork in one in that when removed, has a candy plug inside. By the time the bees eat the candy plug (about 3-4 days), they are all bonded with the queen. Once she is released from the box, she sets up house keeping inside her new hive and starts laying brood

The box above gets opened, the can of sugar water is removed. The queen, in her box, is placed into the hive between a couple frames. The cork removed from her box, revealing the candy plug. The rest of the bees are carefully dumped into the hive. The hive gets closed up and we walk away for 3-4 days.

Upon opening the hive after the wait period, we will check to see that the queen is out, the bees have started making honeycomb and all is well. The vacant queen cage will be taken out and the hive closed again. The bees will be coming and going, in and out of the hive opening, gathering pollen and nectar and doing “bee things”.

Our hope is that both colonies get strong, pollinate our garden crops and make plenty of honey for us, and most importantly for themselves!



A “Husband” for Abby

Firestorm3

May 2, 2019

Meet H&M Firestorm, a registered Percheron stallion. He and our Abby will soon share a baby together, if all goes well. I have searched for quite a while looking for what I wanted in a mate for her. Size, disposition, confirmation, attitude and breeding, all played a part in picking this guy out.

Firestorm2

He is a handsome fellow.

Firestorm1

He has great “assets”! He is a quiet guy with very good breeding behind him. He is sensible and broke to work on farm machinery. He is on the smaller size as draft horses go, but that is what I want. As I get older, I’d like to one day have a small farm team, easy to harness, but still able to do all the farm’s work.

Abby is also well bred. She too is a sensible horse to work and in the barn. I believe the foals from this mating should make for some great work horses. Only time will tell of course, but that is my hope. We should know a lot more by this time next year. It is my hope to raise several foals out of these two horses. Nothing in farming is “for sure”, but the promise in new life can be found easily on a farm.



April Delay
April 30, 2019, 4:34 pm
Filed under: April 2019 | Tags: , , , ,

delay243019

April 30, 2019

Well, the rain keeps falling here in northeast Ohio. Plowing for the next few days has been delayed again. The grass is growing very well, but the soil is very wet. I am glad for the growing pastures and hay fields, so will just smile as I wait for drying conditions.

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The soil is turning nicely when we can do it. The field should be a nice seedbed for the coming corn crop.I could drain this water quickly, but doing so will let a lot of soil and nutrients escape from my farm. I keep a sod strip between me and the road ditch as I try to be a responsible land steward. I don’t want to pollute any water sources downstream of my farm.

This rain has stopped all field work, but other projects rise to the top of the list. We are also working on filling the sugarhouse woodshed for the 2020 maple syrup season. We still have a bit to go, but it is filling quickly. We had a good day last Saturday splitting and stacking for a few hours. We had lots of help and the job went quick and smooth. Just two short rows to go and the woodshed will be full. A great job to have done before other seasonal jobs take our time.

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Progress is a wonderful thing. We will wait on the rains to ease, but we won’t just sit around and watch it fall. This farming life gives us plenty of opportunity to use other skills and equipment. I may even work on some forging projects, but first to complete the woodshed filling job!



As The Soil Turns
April 24, 2019, 8:48 pm
Filed under: April 2019, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , ,

plowday42419

April 24, 2019

Almost like a soap opera, we continue to plow our old pasture. We will be planting our 2019 field corn here. The corn is used for animal feed. I am taking my time. The going is a bit slow because the horses are soft from a long winter break of not much work. I have also been delayed by our rainy weather. No matter, we will finish in time.

Today, my youngest son visited with me for a bit. He climbed on the seat for a couple of lessons. He made a few rounds. I think he realized that there is a little more going on than it looks like. He did well. The horses have been driven by him often, but not on the plow. Once he sorted things out, it went good. I’m sure a little more time in the seat is needed, before he will be confident. I just hope that I can continue to help him learn.

jakekah2019

There is not much of a better feeling, than when you are passing along knowledge. I am pleased that he wants to learn some of these old ways. I have taught butchering, woodland management, hunting, gun safety, gardening, animal husbandry and a host of other things to my children and friends. I am always thankful that I can pass what I know along to others. These things that I know are gifts from God and a whole lot of folks who could tolerate the questions from an inquisitive mind.

I encourage you dear reader, to teach a skill that you possess to another. It can be a small child, a neighbor or a dear friend, but it is a gift that keeps giving! So, the next time you want to give someone a piece of your mind, smile and give without drama, without agenda and without wondering if you’ll ever get paid back. The feeling is wonderful.