RicelandMeadows


Mom’s Day
May 10, 2013, 8:09 pm
Filed under: May 2013 | Tags: ,
Wait up mom!

Wait up mom!

 

May 10, 2013

 

These little calves will some day go off to freezer camp. They will become delicious, grass feed, ground beef. Now, however, they are little bottle babies that think I am their mother. They make sorting the sheep a challenge as they bound after me.

I can’t help but think about my own mother. It is that time of year. I have to believe that mothers hold a near and dear place in God’s heart, for even his own son had a mother. The bond between mother and child is like no other.

My mom used to say, “Step on my feet when they are little. Step on my heart when they are big.” She was talking about us kids of course. I never thought about stepping on her heart, but I guess I did a time or two. I know she had a hard time giving me up when I married.

I know that leaving home, entering the world all on my own, was much easier done knowing that she was just a phone call away. She healed skinned knees, bumped heads and broken hearts. I will always miss her, but I am so very glad to have had her in my life … she cared when nobody else did …sometimes even more than my own self.

I will never wonder what she thought of me…her love was unconditional … even when I didn’t deserve it. I still find strength and comfort in her words. Now, call your mother… she needs it and so do you 😮

 



Getting it all done!
May 9, 2013, 9:36 am
Filed under: May 2013 | Tags:
Taking a short break

Taking a short break

May 9, 2013

What a week this has been so far! We have been working our butts off as they say 😮 The spring plowing has all been completed. The logging job is nearing completion and several small projects have been finished. It is good to be caught up again.

Last night we got a nice rain. The pasture grasses and newly planted oats all got a welcomed drink of water. Today the air is cool making for a great day to work. I am off to a late start, but started none the less. The rain has slowed the soil prep work , but we are on track again, so it is less worrisome.

Corn planting will dominate the next little while, but first I must get the seed, and make a modification to our corn planter. The seed has been ordered since last fall, but at last check, it was still not in? The modification to my corn planter is for the row markers. I hope to plant better once the row spacing has been set. The horses and powercart will plant this year. I’m looking forward to that!



Your Lambs Are Out!
May 8, 2013, 9:35 am
Filed under: May 2013 | Tags: ,
Me and the herding calves

Me and the herding calves

 

May 8, 2013

My daughter-in-law came in telling me that some of the lambs were out. I went to investigate. Sure enough two wayward youngsters were on the wrong side of the fence. I went to get them back in. It didn’t work too well because the babies run away from me, while the rest of the flock ran towards me.

I went inside the fence trying to convince the sheep to move over by the gate so the lambs would run back to their mothers. This did not work either. We have two bottle fed calves in the pasture with the flock. They think I am their momma. They would not let the sheep come to me…except for our ewe Dolly, a bottle baby herself 😮

I tried for a while, but had no luck what-so-ever. The gates are now tied open enough for the lambs to sneak through. The calves, tired from high speed running all over the pasture, are napping alongside the fence. The escapees are walking back and forth eating grass, but bleating for mom now and then. I am sure they will make their way home soon.

I am working like a busy bee. Plowing is the order of the day. I am working up the old pumpkin patch. I plan to open a couple more fields before the rain comes. The back field we will plow with the horses. The horses are in the midst of a logging job, so I am using the tractor some. I prefer the horses, but the great weather will not hold forever…. so it’s off to work I go!

I can keep my eye on the lambs while they sort out getting home. I told my wife that, “The lambs aren’t really out…they are just not where Iwant them.” She thimks that will be a great line for my headstone … He’s not out, He’s just not where we want him 😮

 



Grazing 2013
May 7, 2013, 7:03 am
Filed under: May 2013 | Tags: , ,
Duke enjoying the fresh grass

Duke enjoying the fresh grass

 

May 7, 2013

 

It’s official, all the animals are on pastures now. Feeding hay is actually over. The warm spring has pushed the new grass and all of the animals are loving it 😮 We make and store nice hay for our animals. They do well on it, but the fresh grass is their favorite. They grow and get fat on it really well too.

Our whole farm is in bloom. The winter hung on until it was over. The last couple of years, we’d get a taste of spring causing all the trees and flowers to bud. Then the frost or hard freeze would kill the tender shoots. Orchards and vineyards were absent of fruit. The spring blooms of apple, pear and ornamental plants were non-existant or sporadic at best… this year it is a colorful wonderland.

Dandelions fill the lawn and fields. The bees fly from bloom to bloom pollinating the plants and gathering the ingredients for honey. They even enjoy the lowly dandelion. The yellow flowers, that many homeowners try savagely to kill, make me smile. They are resiliant. They are colorful and they are everywhere!

My sheep eat the dandelions, flowers, greenery and all. I too have eaten boiled dandelion greens and found them to be delicious. My grandfather was known to make dandelion wine. I’m thinking the best way to get rid of them may be to feed the hungry. It would be a much better option than dumping gallons of poision all over America’s backyards.

 



The Gangs All Here
May 6, 2013, 6:44 am
Filed under: May 2013
Ten babies and Mommy too

Ten babies and Mommy too

May 6, 2013

 

This is the reason I say let nature be in charge. This little sow has had three litters of piglets. She is a good momma. This litter has ten babies and each one is doing very well. The mother knew enough to make a big nest. She grunts to the little ones at feeding time, while she slowly lowers herself to the floor making her teats accessible to the babies.

Her mother too was a great mom. I select my replacement sows from our best moms. It has worked very well for me for these past several years. We do have accidents now and then, where we will lose a youngster, but it is not often. The moms and I are ever watchful of the little ones.

The weather is wonderful. Spring is here to stay. The sun is out, the grass is growing and all of us farmers are busy. It is times like these that make a guy grateful for mothers who watch over their babies while we focus our attention elsewhere …. like chasing a few wayward sheep who are in the newly planted oat field … this gang may be all here … but that gang is roaming all over the farm!

 



A Day of Rest
May 5, 2013, 3:00 pm
Filed under: May 2013 | Tags: , ,
The little ones asleep on Sunday afternoon

The little ones asleep on Sunday afternoon

May 5, 2013

 

The little pigs were all piled in a heap fast asleep. When the camera clicked, they awoke with a start. It didn’t tale long, however, until they were once again resting peacefully in the straw. Many of us could take a lesson from them.

I have spent all week rushing and chasing my tail it seems. I had to rest a bit to reflect upon what we completed this week. The list is long and satisfying. I just needed a bit of time to clear my mind. The satisfaction is due in part to my family and friends. Meals and clean clothes were always ready, chore help was steady and a whole support network of friends turned out to help.

Our oats and new hay seed are all planted. The small logging job is almost half done. Four lambs were seperated, weaned, wormed and vaccinated. They will be going to the county fair with two happy children. Another sow had her babies and of course,  the never ending list of feeding and animal care.

The grass is growing wonderfully and two new pastures were created last week. The fencing and gates look real good. The horses are eating the grass with great appreciation 😮 They are soaking up the sun and resting too, after a long week of work.

Our work list is still full. The corn ground must be readied, the logging job finished and a mountain of firewood waits to be cut and split. All in good time … today is a day for rest!

 

 



Low Impact Logging
May 3, 2013, 6:28 am
Filed under: May 2013
Barely a track can be seen

Barely a track can be seen

May 3, 2013

Last Monday we got over an inch of rain. The forest floor is just getting over the snow and cold from winter. We started logging this section yesterday. Just a team of horses and our log cart. The impact to the forest floor is minimal at best. This is low impact logging at its finest.

Machinery has its place in logging, construction and farming. I can say that it is much faster using big equipment. I will also say that I am sold on real horsepower and the proof in the picture says it all.

We will use this same road for the entire job. When the task is complete, the road will be more pronounced. The leaves will have been stirred and perhaps even a tire track will show in a wet place. There will not, however, be ruts deep enough to fall into, Trees along the road will not be all scraped up. Our stream crossing will be hardly noticable and just the freezing and thawing from one winter will erase almost all of our footprint.

This is forest sustainability. This is good woodland stewardship, and in my opinion … this is the only way to harvest timber 😮