RicelandMeadows


The End to a Perfect Day
October 16, 2019, 11:36 am
Filed under: October 2019 | Tags: , , , ,

sunset101519

October 16, 2019

First I should clarify, any day is a good day. Each day we are given the opportunity to reach for our goals, strive for excellence and share our light with the world. It is a choice to be happy, so smile, be kind and give of yourself to others. This positive attitude towards life, will make every day better. Sometimes, you may be the only positive thing others will see that day. You may uplift someone else, by simply smiling, now that my friends, is power!

I have been working on many projects as autumn is making itself known. It’s that last dash of preparation before winter slows down and even stops some outside activities. My biggest push right now, is to get the field corn harvested. The picker is ready to go. The crib needs emptied of the last of last year’s corn. A good clean out, fix a slat or two and the crib will be ready to receive the new crop.

pedicureabby

Abby managed to lose her front shoe. So, yesterday, we ran to get one nailed on. You can’t pick corn with a flat tire on your tractor…or a missing shoe on your draft horse! She was all fixed up in the space of ten minutes. Abby and the geldings are ready and waiting for the corn harvest to begin. The corn is almost dry enough. The last two mornings of hard frost, will help in that effort too.

So, after a day of preparing for winter, equine pedicures and a beautiful sunset, I would say that it is the end to a perfect day.



Feeling Good
October 8, 2019, 2:26 pm
Filed under: October 2019, Uncategorized | Tags: , ,

mary20191stbaby

October 8, 2019

Our weather has been nice. My work list is getting completed. Autumn is making itself known. Our last cow had her calf and things are good. We finished filling the sugarhouse woodshed yesterday. I even delivered a load of firewood for a birthday present.

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I am a little sore today from doing unaccustomed work….I haven’t had this in a long time. Oh sure, do too many sit-ups or ride a horse…and I feel that the next few days, but holy cow!  When did a little extra work start to make my old muscles stiff and sore? This aging stuff is for the birds, but all in all…I feel good!

Honestly, how could a guy not feel good. I’m surrounded by family, friends, great draft horses and farm animals. Sure there is work that comes with those things. Work that is well worth the effort! Heck with feeling good… I feel great!



Crop and Animal Rotation
October 1, 2019, 5:27 pm
Filed under: October 2019 | Tags: , , ,

thirdcut12019

October 1, 2019

My small farm is divided up into paddocks consisting of 3 to 5 acres. I like them this way because I farm with horses and used to work an off farm job. The small fields allowed me to “get something done” in the spare time that I had. I could/can see my progress. These small success’ keep me positive, engaged and well pleased.

These small paddocks also work well for managed grazing of multiple species of livestock. This allows me to make the best use of the land and resources. In the picture above, is shown a field of third cutting hay. It will be harvested by my ewes and ewe lambs. They will come into winter and breeding season in great condition, many thanks to the lush grasses.

I also don’t have to spend money or time harvesting this hay crop. The ewes will do it for me. They will clip the grass down to the height I desire before moving to another paddock. This ensures the grass too, will be in good condition when winter hits.

thirdcut2019

The sheep will really enjoy eating this banquet of greens. They are in good shape now, but this will add to their winter stores. It will aid in “flushing” the ewes too. “Flushing” is a term for helping the sheep think feed is plentiful, helping her to release more eggs at breeding time. Some say this is an old wives tale, but it serves me well. We get many sets of twins…so I am not going to shrug it off.



Downtime is Actually UP Time!

 

letchworthpark

September 26, 2019

This week, my wife and I traveled to nearby New York state. We met some friends there and had a great visit. They took us to Letchworth State Park. We had a picnic, walked some trails and visited the nature center. The park is a beautiful, clean place. It was recently voted the “Top State Park” in the nation.

The views are stunning. I can only imagine what it will look like in a few weeks, draped in its autumn splendor. There are three waterfalls in the park, ample parking and quaint picnic spots throughout the park. We went to a museum that explained the life of Mr Letchworth, who donated his property to create the almost 14,500 acre haven.

So, Connie and I, spent a little downtime enjoying nature, history and each other, along with friends, Paul and Margie. We had been going non-stop for the last few weeks due to garden and farm chores and jobs. It felt good to decompress and just relax. The fact that we got to do it in such a beautiful place was wonderful.

The park is rich with history. The First New York Dragoons regiment, assembled and trained here during the civil war era. Their service was well documented, over 400 men were killed in action in battles during that war. A monument stands in remembrance of those men. Detailed diary entries are kept on display in the park’s museum, a touching tribute to the men who lived and died.

I paused at the overlook pictured above, to give thanks for the gifts that we have been given and to say thank you to a man I had never met, Mr. Letchworth, who thought this place was special enough to preserve and protect it for generations…and to share it with everyone.



2019 Speltz Crop has been Planted
September 23, 2019, 9:21 am
Filed under: September 2019 | Tags: , , , ,

plantedspelt2019

September 23, 2019

Whew, what a week last week was! Tuesday, I helped a friend on a logging job. Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, I worked from early until after dark, getting the speltz planted. The fields had to be plowed, then a seedbed prepared. I used the tractor, due to the tight timeline. The celebration came at 10 pm on Friday night, at the completion of this job.

The field in the photo above is one of three small fields that I planted. I want to ensure that I have horse feed and bedding for next year. This crop is very important for us. Using mixed power, sometimes makes sense. The tractor allows me to “catch up”. I prefer to work horses, but I don’t shun modern technology.

My lack of planning and letting myself get too busy, crowded my speltz planting window into just three days. This forced me to push hard without rest. The tractor can stand being pushed that hard. I wanted to beat the rain. Thankfully, I did just that. The rain came on Saturday, just after lunch. I had just finished cleaning the grain drill and putting all the equipment away. The rain came quick. It dropped about a quarter of an inch in just minutes. I smiled and thanked God.

I rested Sunday. The tractor can take the abuse of many hours of hard work without rest…the horses and I cannot.  I did chores and not much else. The rains came again last night and continues into today. The life giving water will sprout the seeds waiting in the warm ground. Our crop should be off and growing in no time.

My mother always followed the progress of my speltz crop. I’m sure she would be pleased by my efforts. Autumn is a busy time on the farm, as we wrap things up and make ready for winter, The speltz being planted, takes a huge burden off the list. The corn harvest will begin very soon. Right now our cows are calving making it a wonderful time of year to watch, wait and work.



The Autumn Rush
September 19, 2019, 9:23 am
Filed under: September 2019 | Tags: , , ,

blkcowcalf

September 19, 2019

September is flying by. It is a busy time, as I rush and work to get our speltz crop planted. I did manage to get the hay equipment all cleaned and put away. I helped a friend on a logging job for a day too. Now I must focus on getting the crop planted, before the wet days of fall make field work impossible.

The cows are starting to have their calves. This is always a fun time…watching the babies that is. The moms take it all in stride. I try to stay pretty much hands off, mostly checking on everyone from the fence line. I get involved when necessary, but usually just watch to ensure that all is well.

The corn crop is ripening fast. The trees are starting to show color and signs of dropping their leaves. I want to stay “on track” so as not to get caught by the changing weather. Last year, our autumn was very wet. I didn’t get any speltz planted, nor any fall plowing done. My hope, for this year, is to continue to keep up.

The compost has all been spread. The manure storage area is empty and ready for winter. The manure spreader has been power washed, lubed and stored away. The corn harvest is our next big job, but so far so good. The autumn rush is on, but we are keeping up…so far.



Working Around the Dew

compost42019

September 9, 2019

The heavy dew stays on the grass and hay until very late morning, almost lunchtime. The horses and I are filling that wet time in with compost spreading. Abby got her first voyage with the power cart a couple days ago. She couldn’t have cared less. The running engine and flinging poop didn’t bother her in the least.

adogslife

We could finally rake the second cutting hay for the first time. It is thin, but will make some very good feed. The cows and sheep will really enjoy the sweet, high protein hay during the cold, windy days of late winter. Sam, the dog, goes with me everywhere. He thinks that he is the inspector of all that I do.

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Knight poses for a photo. He was working with Abby on the hay rake. He keeps her in line. He teaches her much by just being himself, the steady worker. He is my main man. I think I can do almost anything as long as he is there with me.

So, we continue to work on the hay. I believe we will be able to bale it up later this afternoon. The compost pile is getting smaller and a few other things are getting done, as I spend the mornings, working around the dew.