RicelandMeadows


Accomplishments 2019
December 28, 2019, 12:37 pm
Filed under: December 2019, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , ,

cooler1

December 28, 2019

As our year comes to a close, I think it is good to look back upon the year that was. 2019, was a year filled with challenging times. A very wet spring made for delayed planting, but the hay crop was fantastic. I couldn’t cultivate the corn because of the wet weather at the time, yet we have enough corn to feed the animals for another year.

Pastures were very good, so the animals enjoyed many months of grazing. The sheep, even today are grazing the last pasture. They haven’t eaten any hay yet this season, saving me time, fuel and resources. The speltz crop is in and growing. The manure pit is only a quarter full. So, when bad weather confines the animals, there is plenty of room to hold all the manure.

My sister passed away last spring. A sad day for us all, but her “celebration of life” gathering, brought family in from all over the country. Many of the younger children had not seen the place where their grandmother had grown up. They even got to experience a brief sleety/snow mix! The happy memories made, softened the the blow of losing a loved one a little bit.

After many years of butchering our meat here on the farm, we are finally able to add a walk-in cooler. Our crazy, undependable weather makes the cooler a necessity. My buddy Marvin, helped to build this structure from my crude drawings. A whole article about the build, will appear in an upcoming Rural Heritage magazine.

So, for us here on the farm, 2019 closes with some bittersweet memories. Those memories are all made sweeter by focusing on the positives. In 2020, stay positive, be kind and teach someone a skill. Share of yourself and be the “light” in the world.

Happy New Year everyone!



Dashing Through The Mud

muddash

December 23, 2019

Our weather the last two or three days has been unseasonably warm and sunny. It feels good on the skin, but sure melts snow fast. We have only had one freeze up. That freeze up only lasted two days. We did pick corn on that second day, until the sun once again warmed the soil. We fell through the frozen crust and down into the mud in mere seconds.

A long chain and the tractor had to pull the wagon and then the corn picker out of the mud. We made a few ruts, but stopped before the field became a mess. We managed to pick over half of the field before the frost was gone. One more frosty morning, when the ground is hard enough to hold equipment, is all we need to finish the corn field picking.

The horses have been enjoying too much off time. They like to work and exercise. The mud has made it tough to do much of anything. So, I obtained an old tire. I drilled holes in the tire and installed a chain hook-up. I can now drag the old tire behind my cart or wagon. The tire makes for just enough load to require a steady pull. The exercise done in this way is just right for the horses. I can stay on the drive and simply make several trips around the farmyard.

Yesterday after church, two of my grandchildren and my son, came by to help hitch and drive. The horses, the kids and this old man had a fun day. Christmas will be here in two days. The snowy Christmas’ of my youth are a memory as well the horse drawn sled rides, but I think I am still making memories…even in the mud!

muddash2



Lights and Smiles
December 7, 2019, 4:31 pm
Filed under: December 2019 | Tags: , , , ,

christmas2019

December 7, 2019

Last night, we finished decorating our tree. Our youngest son and his family helped us get the decorations to the living room. They set up our tree and even stated decorating it. The grandkids were smiling from ear to ear.

After they went home, my wife and I continued with the job. We put the ornaments on the tree, often commenting on one that has special meaning. There were several that made us smile. Tis the season!

It’s a little early to be putting up our tree. We usually wait until the middle of the month, closer to my birthday. This year however, we welcomed the help. My wife has been nursing a sore hip and I am limping around after having a disagreement with a bull.

The bull wasn’t mean. He just decided that he wasn’t going to go where I wanted him to go. He and I squared off. I crowded him with a gate. I stretched out and pushed with all of my strength. He simply pushed the gate backwards and me with it, like he was moving air. I stood in disbelief wondering where my strength had evaporated?! The bull weighs in at 1400#. He stood there wondering why I had even tried to “muscle” him. He even shook his head!

The bull is now where I wanted him to be. Patience, along with some tasty grain, paid off. He is with a new group of ladies flexing his muscles and laughing at me over the fence. My new friends are ice and rest, but my heel tendon feels better every day. Christmas is coming. I’m sure I will be all well by then.

The lights on the tree and the smiles on children’s faces light up my life. The animals all in their places getting ready for the cold winter are content. The bull has the biggest smile of all. I’m not sure if it is due to his new girlfriends or his knowledge that he is the king of the farm? One thing I know, is that pepperoni and salami make great holiday treats, along with some cheese. Every time I walk by the bull, I remind him of that!



What a Thanksgiving!
November 27, 2019, 8:48 pm
Filed under: November 2019 | Tags: , , ,

KHandJakes

November 27, 2019

Thanksgiving, a day, set aside, for giving thanks. What an awesome time to pause and reflect on the past year. My list is long and filled with memories, people and things. In the photo above, our youngest son drives our horses giving his children a ride. It is things like this that makes my heart soar.

We have family close and far. It is a wonderful thing to think about each of them doing what they love to do. We have a few family members that have gone to the eternal table above. We remember them fondly too.

November comes to a close with family and friends gathering to eat, meet and talk. It is my hope that all of them will give thanks and share a memory of what they are thankful for. I am most thankful for my family. We have quirks, ripples and rifts along with faults and shortcomings, but I love and am thankful for each and every one of them.

Let’s all find the good in every day. Celebrate a little all year long for the little things…like a beautiful sunset 🙂

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November Snowstorm
November 13, 2019, 11:50 am
Filed under: November 2019 | Tags: , ,

snowstorm11122019

November 13, 2019

I snapped this photo about noon yesterday. The snow fell at a rate of  over two inches and hour. The storm total for us was 15 inches. That is a pretty good smack of snow, especially this early in the season!

I am actually fairly pleased with myself. Most of the stuff that needed to be done to prepare for winter had been completed. I knew we would get snow soon, I just didn’t expect this much! I had to rush to get feed to the grazing cattle and sheep, because the grass is buried deep under the now melting snow.

The weather is supposed to be cool but very nice for the next ten days. I hope to continue getting our autumn work completed. The corn harvest is still not complete. That job will take much of my focus in the coming days.

After the storm passed, just before sunset, the sun came out and reflected off the snow covered tree branches and the landscape as well. It was a beautiful sight. Winter is bearing down on us. We are almost ready, but in the meantime I will enjoy the beauty that comes with the snow. It is much better to work with Mother Nature and not get upset with her…you can’t change anything anyway.



Writing for Others or Why I do This

Me book 005

November 12, 2019

It is my hope that the things I write, the stories I share and the tales I tell, will help someone.

I hope that someone looking for release from a busy world and busy life, will find a pause and a peace as they read about me and mine. I hope that I can brighten someone’s day, if only for a few minutes. I hope folks looking for information will also find value in this small farming BLOG.

My book, pictured in the photo above, has been well received by many. In the book are many stories from my life growing up in the country and surrounded by farm animals. The stories will make you laugh, as well as, tug at your heart strings. It is written for all audiences and will warm hearts and stir memories in the reader’s mind.

We make movies here for RFD-TV. Several episodes can be found on YouTube. Just type Riceland Meadows into the search bar. I believe there are now 7 shows there. “Rural Heritage” films, edits and promotes my farm in these videos. Again, it is my hope that I can help someone in their quest for information on small farming, draft horses and a host of other topics.

I write for Rural Heritage magazine. I have been writing for them since 2002. I write some “feel good” stuff, but also many ” how-to” articles. I try my best to detail the subject with enough information, based upon my experience, to encourage someone to try it for themselves.

I trust that folks who follow my BLOG have found information, entertainment, and a feeling of well being as they read my words. I thank all of you for following along. The holidays are coming up. If you would like to gift a copy of my book to someone, I will waive the shipping cost for anyone in the continental United States until December 24, 2019. The cost of the book is 15.00 dollars (US) Email me at RicelandMeadows@roadrunner.Com

For copies of my book, my videos and others like it, you can also contact MischkaPress.com    Joe, Susan and Kelly are great people whom have helped me beyond words.

Thank you for following!



Autumn Curtain Call
November 9, 2019, 9:13 am
Filed under: November 2019 | Tags: , , ,

nov19sunset

November 9, 2019

Winter is pushing hard on us. Next week, they are forecasting overnight lows in the single digits and teens (F). The leaves are mostly off the trees and our growing season is over. I have a couple pastures of stockpiled grass for the sheep, but the cows and horses only have a few days of grazing left. I will be feeding hay very soon.

Our weather has been changeable, to say the least. One highlight is that our sunrises and sunsets have been beautiful. I have a breakdown with my corn picker. Thankfully, the parts are in route, so I may get to pick with it yet. So far, I am picking by hand. I like the job, but would have gotten an earlier start if I had realized that this was my option.

They are also predicting lake effect snow for us in the snowbelt for the coming week. It’s not a big deal, but it seems very early. When I was a boy, this weather was more the norm, but in the last few decades, our fall weather has been more warm and wet. I like winter, but I should have made better use of October!

Alas, it will all work out. The weather will be what it will be. The corn will get picked and the animals will come to the barn. Chores will increase as outside work slows down. In the meantime, I will take a little more time to enjoy the beautiful show each morning and evening, as Autumn bows out.