RicelandMeadows


A day for good Stewardship
One of our woodland sap roads

One of our woodland sap roads

May 4, 2015

Last year we fixed a couple of road sections in the woods. Today we fixed a few more. The trouble spots we worked on today were stream crossings. I was able to get a culvert pipe installed. The trouble spot has been a thorn in my side for twenty years. It felt very good to cross it off the list! I would have taken a picture, but it was close to dark when we finished and I was too tired to walk back there šŸ™‚

Sap roads hold up pretty well because of using the horses for gathering the maple sap.I am going to build a road repairer from an old disc my friend Bill gave me. I have narrowed it down so it fits the roads better. I am adding a piece of railroad rail to drag behind the disc. My hope is that the disc will cut the ruts and the dragging rail with levelĀ them all off. I has to make a difference!

In maple syrup season, we are using the roads when the soil is unstable…in fact muddy is a better word. Once in a while we have snow, but more often it is mud. As we slog through a stream, we drag mud with us, but worse than that we make small ditches. The sled runners cut grooves in the dirt where water makes a fast exit to the stream. The silt soon fills the stream with soft mud. It is not good for the stream or any water down stream of it either. I is my goal to have all my problem areas fixed by this time next year…I only have two more places to go.

When water can trickle or even run onto a place littered with leaves before making it to the stream, the dirt settles out and only clean water enters the stream bed. By building bridges and installing culverts at stream crossings, I am improving water quality here on my farm and even more importantly, downstream from my farm!

The job of environmental steward is one I don’t take lightly. I want to be a good neighbor, it’s the right thing to do and I believe it is my responsibility. I also like the way it looks. I can see that it will be a life’s work. It is noble and it pleases me. I am teaching others as I go along and setting an example for my heirs to boot. If my heirs don’t get it…they will get the boot! I am a true believer in sustainability for a farm and for a woodland. Here at Riceland, it’s the way we do business.



May Flowers
May 1, 2015, 3:58 pm
Filed under: May 2015 | Tags: , , , , , ,
Transplanted Blooms

Transplanted Blooms

May 1, 2015

After a long winter and a late spring, the flowers are blooming. It is such a wonderful thing to see. The flowers in the photo are blooming at Mom’s place. I transplanted them two years ago. They are starting to thrive. As many of you know, my mother’s ashes rest on the hill behind my sugarhouse. I keep moving flowers there. It pleases me and I am sure it pleases her too.

All around the garden and yard, blooms are peeking out. The plants are waking up and leafing out. The pasture grasses are emerald green. My fall planted speltz are lush and a vibrant green. They move with the breeze and look like a sea on land. It is good to pause and notice things such as these. It gives a man’s mind and body peace.

The weather is looking good for us farmers too. We have been wet. Tillage is at a slow crawl. The state says only ten percent of crops have been planted. That is about twenty percent behind normal years. Here at Riceland we are right on track. The fall plantedĀ speltz are growing and looking good. The pastures are growing and my oats have been planted. A small fieldĀ for open pollenated corn will be plowed and made ready for planting in the next few days.

The draft horses are shedding their winter hair quickly. Birds are flittering about building nests, many lined with black horse hair. I am getting the itch to plant the early garden vegetables. Some onions are peeking out of the new beds. Some cole crops and greens will be added soon. Spring has sprung and it feels great!