RicelandMeadows


Got Nuts?
October 16, 2017, 10:16 pm
Filed under: October 2017, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , ,

nut2

October 16,2017

Chris Pidcock asked me, “You got any big hickory nuts up by you?” I said, “yes, we have one real nice tree. The nuts are good sized and very sweet.” He told me that he would give me some nuts from a tree that his grandfather had planted, if I wanted any. Then he showed them to me. Holy Crap!!! I don’t have anything like these at home!

I made my way home from Nelsonville, Ohio with a bag of these babies on the floor of my truck. I smiled all the way to Akron! I have just the spot to plant a “Pidcock Hickory orchard” on the farm. I don’t know if I will live to eat from those trees, but hopefully my grandchildren will.

These hickory nuts are almost the size of walnuts. The meat inside is light and sweet. The hull opens easy and the nuts are pretty easy to crack, especially for a hickory nut. My son’s great grandfather on their mother’s side, used to sit and crack hickory nuts much of the winter. His wife would make sweet, yummy, hickory nut cake. I so wish I could have shared some of these awesome nuts with him.

I will be stomping these nuts into the mud over the next few days. I will however, map out a sort of grid pattern, spacing them evenly. They will not all come up. The deer will eat a few I bet. If any squirrels hear about these wonder nuts…they will be hitchhiking in from Pittsburgh just to steal some! So, I will space them carefully, but mother nature will put them how she wants them anyway. That sort of “cracks me up”!

 

 



Woodshed Full :o)

conniewood

October 15, 2017

I engaged some man sized help from my neighbor boys and in just three hours, we finished filling the woodshed. This will boil the 2018 maple sap crop. A full woodshed, filled with drying wood, many months before it will be needed, is an awesome thing!

Using good dry seasoned wood increases the BTU’s when burned, producing a very hot fire. A very hot fire is just what is needed when boiling maple sap… or heating a home. Honestly, firewood should be cut a year ahead of when it will be burned for best results. I pile the logs all winter long for the next years wood. I slowly, yet steadily, start filling the woodshed as soon as the maple season ends.

This year, having had my knee replaced, made work take a bit longer but it did get done. As I look around the farm, with winter looming, I am satisfied that I will have everything done before the snow flies. It took lots of family and friends and I am thankful for each and every one of them!



Cattle Hay Feeder
October 11, 2017, 7:31 pm
Filed under: October 2017 | Tags: , , , , , ,

fedlot1

October 11, 2017

The rain fell the whole time we worked, but the feedlot addition for the new hay feeder is complete. All that remains to do is add some height to the east fence, taking the top rail up even with the gates. The material is ready. I will be repurposing some old pipe. I just need a day to finish that part of the project.

fedlot2

The new gates on the end of the feeder will allow for easy access with the skid loader. I will fill it full of round bales. Once the cattle have eaten all that they want of the bales, I can push the debris out the other end to be used as bedding before composting it.

fedlot3

Here you can see where the fence needs to be extended just a bit taller. This photo also shows the wide aisle where the cattle will feed and move about. I will have plenty of room for manure removal too. The bolts sticking out in the foreground, have been cut off and smoothed over. This will make a safe comfortable place for the bovines to eat.

fedlot4

The place where my dog is watching a couple of fattening pigs, is where the cows will sleep on cold winter nights. They will have access to this feeder, a large cement lot and the dry bedding area under the barn’s overhang. This place is where they will spend the bad days of winter. On better days, when the sunshine and daylight make for a nice day, the cows will be allowed out to a large field. The 4 acre field will be put into crops next spring, but will be an exercise lot for all the farms animals this coming winter.

I also built into this area the “headlocks” pictured above. They will allow for a humane way to catch a cow or steer when needed for ear tagging, vet checks or sorting for freezer camp. A large water trough will sit on the outside of the headlocks and catch rainwater off the roof. I will of course supplement as needed, but on rainy days I can save some. Even the dew will be collected as it runs off the barn roof.

Lastly, I can put the cows in this section of the feedlot when I am working the horses in winter. The cows have the protection of the feeder as they eat. I can leave the barn door and gates open as I wish to get the horses in and out. I won’t have to fuss with the cattle when coming and going to the woods or fields. It will prove to be a very efficient way to save time and stress levels for every single one of us!



Porches and Additions

tankporch

October 9, 2017

In the hustle and bustle from out of state family visiting, my step-sons, son in law, grandson and I (in a supervisory role of course) built this addition onto the sugarhouse for this new storage tank. This tank will provide enough room for 4000 gallons of sap. It will allow me to gather the sap from our entire woods before boiling. Up until now, I had to boil to make enough room, to hold all of the tree’s bounty.

tankfoundationporch

We had to excavate a portion of the hillside to accommodate the new porch addition. This task was completed by our, new to us, excavator and our son Matt. It was much easier than using a shovel! Treated posts and lumber provided the foundation for the new structure.

rooftankfrolic

Leftover steel roofing from our new house roof, provided the roofing material for the new porch. The new tank has its own lid coming soon, but the roof will offer weather protection, as well as, keeping it somewhat safe from falling tree limbs and such. I am very grateful for the new building and the workmanship volunteered to make it happen. Maple syrup time 2018 is looking real good!

backbarnadd

While we labored at the sugarhouse, my friends Justin and Gary, worked their tails off building this addition to the back barn. This new structure will provide a place forĀ  winter storage of the last remaining equipment currently sitting outside in the weather. It was a busy day for sure. I am one happy farmer, thanks once again to great friends and a wonderful family!



Party Time
October 9, 2017, 12:45 pm
Filed under: October 2017 | Tags: , ,

octoberfest2017

October 7, 2017

What an awesome day we had Saturday. All of our children, many of our grandchildren and even great grandchildren gathered at the farm for a wonderful day in the country. Our family has grown to a very large group. Saturday over 60 could join us. Like all families, we have our petty problems, but this day, those were set aside for the benefit of my wife and I. We had a wonderful day full to the brim…so full in fact, I little love is rolling down my cheek as I type.

Many of our “city” kids got to touch the animals and this wonderful farm life that we get to live. All of our kids, no matter where they live, got to share in the bounty this farm provides. We, Connie and I, will treasure this day forever. We are a loud, busy crazy group and I wouldn’t want it any other way!

I don’t care where you live, what you do or how far you go…Family is what matters. Also keep in mind…Mom and Dad love you, forever and ever no matter what! This applies to any person, anywhere, any family and any specie……you don’t think so? Try sneaking up on a momma cow to mess with her baby! and if you are a dog…don’t even try to have a conversation with a donkey!



Party Bugs

Cootie

October 4, 2017

A harvest party will be held here soon. I got the bright idea to make a spider out of a round bale. I kept the old tile pieces just to make this crazy bug. The only problem is, I didn’t keep 8 pieces for the spider’s legs! No big deal. I just fell back on to an old memory instead.

As a child, we played games and grandma’s house. We played Chinese Checkers often, but we also played a game called “Cootie”. The cootie bug only had 6 legs, so I was in luck with our decoration! Our holiday bug would become a Cootie! I also remember that having “cooties” would keep girls away…or at least that is what they told me!

This crazy bug is now calling our lawn home. He is a friendly looking creature, even with his fangs! Hopefully the young ones won’t be scared. I am going to pause often to remember my grandparents and some laughs shared playing a game building bugs. As for having “cooties” ….I must have shed them at some point…thanks goodness!



What and Awesome Deal
October 1, 2017, 12:57 pm
Filed under: October 2017 | Tags: , , , , ,

drillshop

October 1, 2017

After a very frosty morning, I found myself in my old “stomping grounds”. I went to see a man about some old antique equipment. He was pretty sure he had want I needed for my forge shop. I am outfitting the shop with old refurbished equipment from the last century. I like that old stuff and giving it a new life for the purpose it was designed, pleases me.

I took a similar drill to trade. Mine worked, but a broken gear prevented it from being 100% accurate. This one that I traded for will work perfect once I give it some tender loving care. I negotiated with the treasure man for this awesome piece of our history. He looked over the old pieces of steel, but he looked deeper into my soul. He could see that I was genuine. He knew that I would care for the old drills for the rest of my life. He too likes the old stuff.

We talked a bit about this equipment and a couple of other pieces as well. Our discussion wandered over the space of time and events, as we talked of days gone by. It was a great visit. It was fun to see him again. The negotiation went well thankfully, because this man taught me how to negotiate. I didn’t have to match skills, he simply took care of me. I am grateful for my new treasure. They will make a good addition to my forge room. The visit…well, that was priceless.