The awesome power of Pork!
September 27, 2013, 7:40 pm
Filed under: September 2013
Fescue all Planted

Fescue all Planted

September 27, 2013

   The sows and boar had rooted up this field from one end to the other. There is a picture of the same field on my blog from a few days ago. This photo shows the results of going over the field one time with a disc and drag. The sows saved me several hours of work and more than a few gallons of fuel 😮

   I broadcasted the fescue seed (pasture and hay grass)into this plot and closed the gate. The soil is ready. Rain is coming by the weekend, so this job is complete. The best thing is, that I was able to get my speltz all planted too, thanks to the time saved by the rooting, happy pigs.

   I was expecting a rough ride over the rooted up, uneven ground. Piles of hay and dirt were piled everywhere. I was amazed by the way it worked down. One pass with the equipment and it looked as if I had spent hours. Those pigs are plowmen who don’t get enough credit.

   I will say that I have seen hog lots full of mud, holes and debris. If they are confined in one place too long, they will make an ugly mark on the landscape. Pigs like to root. The key is to use that fact to your advantage.

   I have had the pigs loosen a three foot deep manure pack with their need to root. I entice them with a little shell corn and they go crazy for it. They are not really hungry, they just like corn! You can remove stumps and rocks with this information too. Poke a hole in the dirt on each end of a big rock. In no time at all they will have that rock out of the ground. You will have to add corn to the hole or make new ones now and then…but they will get it done!


Letting The Light Shine
September 24, 2013, 8:26 pm
Filed under: September 2013 | Tags:
Cupola going in the Machinery Shed

Cupola going in the Machinery Shed

September 24, 2013

   I would like to be planting speltz today, but that is not to be. We got almost three inches of rain last Saturday and any field work is at a standstill for now. My mother died six years ago today. I like to get my speltz in before today, because she fretted about them that last autumn we shared together. I did get them planted that year much to her liking.

   In my long list of projects, adding this cupola to the machinery shed has appeared many times. My sister-in-law gave me two windows. The steel was leftover from other projects as was some of the wood, the flashing, screws and nails. The ridge vent on this building has been leaking, so this project finally made the top of the list.

   I installed the windows to let natural light shine in from above. I installed vents to allow hot air out while letting fresh air in, to the space. It will be a welcomed addition while working on a piece of equipment later this year. It is amazing how much better sunlight is, over any manmade lighting. I especially notice this, the older my eyes get 😮

   The seed for speltz and grass are just waiting for the right time to plant. The sows have the hayfield almost ready. I will finish the speltz field just as soon as I can too. These two projects are the only ones left before I concentrate fully on filling the sugarhouse woodshed. I will let the breeze and sun dry the fields while I toil away on other things.

   The light shines on my farm fields, in the machinery shed, and tonight … in my soul, as I remember mom…. and smile 😮


Unexpected Help
September 18, 2013, 9:44 am
Filed under: September 2013 | Tags: , , ,
The sows have been plowing while I was busy

The sows have been plowing while I was busy

September 18, 2013

Fall is fast approaching and I am still scrambling to get my summer jobs completed. That two month rain delay really set me back 😮 Things are coming together, however, and I may even be ready for winter yet!

It is time to get the soil ready to plant speltz. I will pick up my seed this afternoon. I am hoping the weather continues to cooperate. It looks good for the next week, so my fingers are crossed!

Yesterday, while working on firewood, I noticed that the sows and boar had really worked up their paddock. It is rooted up to beat the band. There are drifts of dirt and straw stubble all over the field. It looks as if I had plowed it. So all this time while I have been fretting how I was going to get my work done … the hogs have been busy helping me to catch up 😮

The field they are in right now, will be planted to a mixture of rye, white clover and tall fescue. The fescue is a new variety. It is soft leafed and endophyte-free. It is formulated for beef, sheep and horses. It makes a tough sod base and holds up well for rotational grazing. It is FSM Brand “HQ-F” available through Fowler Seed Marketing in Rock Creek , Ohio.

I hope to plow this week for speltz too. The fescue field will be disced, leveled and planted by broadcasting. The whole affair should only take the horses and I one day to complete. Much better , thanks to the sows. The speltz will take 3 or 4 days and involve the tractor. The grain drill will be pulled by the horses, it makes me enjoy the fall planting season much more!

Things are shaping up to have a “frolic” here to cut, split and stack wood for the sugarhouse. Once again, unexpected help, will be greatly appreciated and much enjoyed!


Taking care of the wild girls
September 15, 2013, 8:07 pm
Filed under: September 2013 | Tags: , ,
The bee trees situated in a quiet lea for winter

The bee trees situated in a quiet lea for winter

September 15, 2013

Wild honeybees fill the logs in the picture. Bee society is matriarchal. So, this is me taking care of the wild girls! I placed their home in a secluded spot where the mid-day sun will warm their home. I want them to be safe and be home at a decent hour as winter approaches. The late morning and late evening sun, will allow them to sleep in and have them in well before dark 😮

The autumn honey flow is in full swing. Wild aster, goldenrod and clover blossoms are abundant. I don’t want the logs to fill with honey so fast that the bees swarm this late in the year. The ones who would leave the hive would not have time enough to build up stores before winter and would die.

I hope I am doing the right thing. I brought these bee trees home, from tree removals in other places, in the hope that they would not only survive, but thrive! I hoped that they would swarm and I could catch them. I can put them into hives and care for them in exchange for some honey.

The wet weather made it a bit hard on the girls. We did get some honey off of our other hive, but we just let the bee tree girls alone. They have built up and seem to have enough food for the coming cold weather. Time will tell, but I gave them every advantage that I could.

One section of tree got smashed when we took it down. I was pretty sure that it would be okay … I was wrong. The old bees moved out and the rest of the gang robbed their old home … no honey for Ralph! Oh well…in the words of a Cleveland sports fan …there is always next year 😮


The Big Oak Tree
September 6, 2013, 8:46 am
Filed under: September 2013 | Tags: , ,
My boys, standing on an amazing old friend

My boys, standing on an amazing old friend

September 6, 2013

This giant oak tree has been standing for well over 250 years or more. It took five adults to reach around her trunk. The size of her canopy was had to believe, at somewhere between 50 to 70 feet across. We all often considered all of the things the old matron had seen and lived through.

The trunk of the massive tree shows the problem. Rot had taken over all but the last four inches of her trunk. Just like cancer can drop the largest man, rot layed waste to this huge asset to our farm. The deer will miss her abundant sweet acorns, along with the turkeys and squrriels alike.

We nicknamed the old tree “Wy-wonna” after a story my son read in school. The name is supposed to mean, “The old one.” It was a fitting tribute to the aging lady of the forest. She was a landmark on our farm a place with almost as much comfort or identity as the barn.

There was no storm, no wind, nothing that I can say pushed the old girl down. She simply just got tired of living. The sky is open in a big way, where she stood. It is my hope that one of the small saplings from her seed, will one day fill her missing space, after all, isn’t that what we all want? Our seed to one day take our place, make a difference and live long and prosper?

There will be a mountian of firewood from the old tree. She will warm our bodies for a long time, but warm our hearts forever. “Goodbye, my old friend.”