RicelandMeadows


I Made It!
May 17, 2018, 10:13 pm
Filed under: May 2018 | Tags: , , , , ,

retirecake

May 17, 2018

After 27 years working an off farm job, I have made it to retirement! I can now spend my time working draft horses and this farm. Of course, I will now have more time for family and friends, as well as, other passions of mine. All those years of swing shift and missing out on things are over…it was worth it!

Three years after I hired in, I took a job in salary. I had a few people give me great advice, but I took the job anyway. You see, I thought that I could make a difference. After all those years and countless ups and downs, I was reflecting upon my career and thought that I hadn’t made much of a difference at all…that was until these last few days.

People at work sought me out to say good-bye. I shook hands with lots of folks, shared a hug or two as well. I got to have some one-on-one time with several guys and each time, I felt humbled. The comments made me choke up at times. Guys thanked me for my leadership, my candor, my honesty and for keeping them safe. It was a team effort people, we did those things together. I thank every one of you from the bottom of my heart for your help, your kindness and the respect that you showed me over these past years.

I thank you for the laughs, the memories and even those moments that made me grow! I missed some of you due to our crazy schedules, but fear not, I wish you all well and I know that you too send good feelings my way.

It is still a big place with lots of opportunities, but  this afternoon, as I walked out the gate for the last time…I realized that I had indeed made a difference…thanks to all of you!

 



Making Ready
May 15, 2018, 9:12 am
Filed under: May 2018 | Tags: , , , , ,

sawmillphil

May 15, 2018

The rain has stopped all field work for now. I will be switching gears from spring field work to woods work. Our ash trees have all been killed by the emerald ash borer. An insect brought to us from Asia/China. It has decimated the ash trees in several states. There is no predator for them. The woodpeckers go after the larva, but by then, it’s too late for the tree.

It is my hope to harvest the dead and dying ash trees before they rot away. I went in search of a market for the logs. I have found a sawmill willing to take the logs and pay a fair price for the wood. I will have to get busy before I lose my market. I have a few nice logs. The rest of the tree will become firewood for the sugarhouse. It will be used for boiling maple sap next spring.

So, while the rain keeps us out of the fields, we will continue to work. The horses impact in our woodlot is minimal…even in the muddy conditions from the recent rains. We just have a small plot (3 acres) to plant to animal corn and our gardens to get ready for planting. I will switch back and forth between jobs as the weather dictates. It will all go smooth. I just have to make sure everything is ready to go. So far…So good!



Spring Chores
May 8, 2018, 2:04 pm
Filed under: May 2018 | Tags: , , , , , ,

hammeringJohn

May 8, 2018

Our spring continued to be evasive. Long hours and too many days at my off farm job has caused delays in getting into the fields. It’s no big deal. The soil is just starting to warm and dry enough to work it anyway. I am spending time with family, especially the little ones.

My grandson continues to like blacksmithing. He is coming along very well. He started banging and bending horseshoe nails. He has now moved up to steel stock. He likes the coal forge and turning the blower crank, but hammering hot iron is his favorite!

Two of our grandchildren live here on the farm with us. They live next door, but seek out Pa-pa and Grammy often. They like feeding the chickens ear corn. They would shell corn until the chickens burst, but understand why we don’t.

sissychick

So spring is here…finally. The horses and I will soon be in the fields. The animals are grazing spring pastures, but are still munching a little hay. The leaves on the trees are starting to pop. Most of the shedding winter coats is a memory and garden planting looms on the horizon. I can’t say that I have wasted one minute…but it is sure time for Spring Chores.