RicelandMeadows


Oh What a Harvest!
July 9, 2018, 1:15 pm
Filed under: July 2018 | Tags: , , , , , ,

speltz2018

July 9, 2018

The 2018 Speltz harvest is done. It was a good crop. This will meet the grain requirements for my horses for the next year. The straw will be clipped and baled soon as well. The weather was perfect, the combine worked great and the field was in great condition.

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The crop grew well with no lodging. (Lodging is when the crop goes flat to the ground) Wind can sometimes knock the crop over, but lodging usually comes from weak stems.  I am very pleased with the speltz crop, but also with the emerging hay that the speltz “nursed” through the winter. The new seeding hay is robust and doing very well.

I was busy combining the speltz, while my daughter-in-law was busy too. We welcomed a new baby girl to our family. She is sweet as ever…of course she is made from… ” sugar and spice and everything nice”!

Fernbday

 



Under His Watchful Eyes

saoirise6

July 7, 2018

We had this Highland War Chief carved from a dying sycamore tree stump. The man who carved it, Bob Anderson, from Rock Creek, Ohio did an amazing job. We chose the Highlander due to my Scottish heritage. We picked the pose. This war chief now stands to watch over the farm.

There is much more to this story… Bob credits his talent to our Heavenly Father, but also to his Earthly father. You see, Bob was taught as a small boy to whittle small animals and people by his dad. They would whittle faces into walking sticks as they talked about life and all the things that turn small boys into men. Bob has taken a fun hobby to the next level. He is an artist, a true craftsman and a humble man.

He started with this stump

Saoirse1

He painted some crude lines and reference points on the face of the stump

Saoirise2

He would look at a picture of the Highland dress as he chainsawed from time to time

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Our War Chief started to take shape. Bob worked steadily, pausing to look at the wood and ponder his next move.

Saoirise4

The tree grew close to the sugarhouse making it a little difficult for Bob to work on the back side, but you would never know. He carved onward reaching inside himself for skills that were learned many years ago.

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Once he had shaped the sculpture as far as he wanted with the chainsaw, he went to work with small tools, sanders and his vivid set of skills. What was once a dying stump has been turned in to a work of art. We are very pleased. I think my ancestors are pleased as well. I had the vision, but Bob Anderson has the expertise. His wood carving prowess exemplified under the watchful eye of his father, now taken to the next level by his own desires, is an awesome thing to see.

saorise7

saoirise6

I recommend Bob Anderson highly. He creates many wooden sculptures in his studio just north of Rock Creek on state route 45. He will do commissioned pieces as well. Look for his pieces at places like the Medievel Faire  or even on the square in Mesopotamia Ohio. Bob carved Paul Bunyan  in the white oak stump by the “End of the Commons” General Store.



Potential
July 2, 2018, 3:29 pm
Filed under: July 2018 | Tags: , , ,

keagancorn2018

July 2, 2018

I ask myself if I am measuring up? Soon, corn is supposed to be “knee high”. This field was a forlorn space on our farm just a few years ago. It still has a very long way to go. It needs drainage, fertility, pH adjustment and gentleness. I need to continue my efforts, but go slowly on this sensitive part of the farm. The corn here, where the cows fed on round bales last winter, looks real good. The rest of the field is behind, but looks like it will make a crop.

The corn in the picture proves that the field has potential, it just needs more tender loving care. Our grandson, the row monitor, shows much potential too. Like the field, he needs time, gentleness and tender loving care. I hope to see him reach his potential too. We owe it to ourselves, our family and friends to be the best that we can be. Inside of each of us is a light. We must let that light shine!

I am working on a few writing projects. The heat outside makes me want to work in the house. I am working at writing much more now that retirement has afforded me the time. I hope to use the gift I have been given to reach others through my printed words, to share and to teach. I will work hard each day to push myself, like the small field and the little boy, to attain our full purpose!

I think a guy has two birthdays. The first is the day he was born…the second is when he realizes why!

 



Horse Progress Days 2018

wirehorse

July 1, 2018

I spent the last few days in Clare Michigan, attending an annual draft horse event called Horse Progress Days. It is an event that showcases draft horses and draft animal power paired up with modern farm equipment. But wait…there is more! Vendors galore, a whole program for the lady homesteader, pony equipment, saddle horse stuff, blacksmithing and farrier tools, oxen, and great food.

The wire horse in the picture is a creation of an artist named Jeff Best. It was made mostly from barbed wire. Jeff lives in Clare Michigan. This work of art is just one interesting thing to see. Equipment manufactures were on hand demonstrating their equipment and answering all sorts of questions. Many breeds of horses were represented at this amazing event.

Seminars were given on many subjects for the farmer, grower, horse lover and even aspiring beekeepers! Produce, even ripened tomatoes in a hoop house, were to be marveled by this attendee. I do these types of things daily, yet I was amazed at the innovation, simplicity and complexity of many items demonstrated.

24mower

In this photo, a hay mower capable of mowing 24 feet in one pass, was a big hit with us farmers. A 20 horsepower motor ran a hydraulic pump that powered the machine. The horses only supplied the traction power to make the mower go forward or backward. This machine is much too big for me, but man can it lay hay down!

This was the twenty-fifth year for Horse Progress Days. I hope it will still be growing strong in another twenty -five years. Judging from what I saw and the young people in attendance, I’d say the future is very bright.

Next year HPD will be held in Arcola, Illinois…. then here in Mount Hope, Ohio in 2020



What Happened?
June 27, 2018, 7:57 am
Filed under: June 2018 | Tags: , ,

monkeybeaver

June 27, 2018

This rough looking dog toy, we call the monkey-beaver. It looks like a sock monkey, but has a beaver’s tail. Tilly played with it for hours. She would fetch it and bring it back every time that you threw it. I say would…because this morning when I went to let Tilly out of her crate, only her stiff little body remained. What the heck happened?

After chores, the last thing we do is close up the chicken house for the night. Tilly usually waits by the gate for me and then we go to her crate. Last night, I closed the chicken door, but Tilly didn’t wait by the gate. I went to her crate to look for her and she was inside laying down. I reached inside petted her and told her goodnight. I latched the crate door….for what would be the last time.

I dug her grave near the garden, not far from where my old Lucy dog is buried. Digging went slow because the tears blurred my vision. I went and got Tilly’s lifeless body and carried her to the grave. My dog Cinch, Tilly’s pal and gracious host, followed me to the grave site. I placed Tilly in the ground and started to cover her. I looked over at Cinch and broke down crying like a child.

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Cinch waited and watched as I buried his little charge. I struggled to get the job done. Afterwards, I petted Cinch for a long time. He dropped the monkey-beaver and walked away. I guess, like me, he is wondering …. what happened?



Sunrise Weeding

garden2018

June 26 2018

This morning, I was weeding the garden as the sun rose. The garden is behind a bit due to delayed planting from our rainy weather. It is easy to see that we should get a crop. It may come a little late, but it will taste good just the same.

Weeding is a great quiet time for me. The small weeds succumb to the sharp bladed hoe easily. I am alone with my thoughts. The animals have been fed. The horses are back in the barn after a night of grazing. The biting flies don’t like the dark cool barn, but the horses sure do.

The sheep and cattle are still laying peacefully in the grass. Their bellies are full and the cool morning refreshes them all. I hilled the potato rows. I was going slowly, tucking dirt around the small tender plants. The dirt wasn’t quite ready for this job, but rain is forecast for tomorrow, so I pushed to complete the job. Soon, in the soft hilled up dirt, potatoes will form and grow in the dark, warm ground. A tasty treat, boiled, fried or baked, makes my efforts worthwhile.

Today, I have to use the skidsteer to move the big, plastic-wrapped, round bales of haylage. It is a noisy job that must be done. The horses will rest in the barn as I stack the bales for winter feeding. I need to get them off the field before they kill the grass underneath. I pondered that up coming job as my hoe slid into the Earth, barely making a sound. This sunrise weeding is good for my well being. I sort my day, kill weeds and grow some of my food…all under a beautiful sky, in the cool of morning, surrounded by birdsong.



Creatures From The Black Lagoon
June 25, 2018, 7:45 am
Filed under: June 2018 | Tags: , , , , ,

mudface

June 25, 2018

The other evening our son and his family came for a visit. Two of the grandkids went swimming in our farm pond. Being the crazy kids that they are, they took mud from the pond bottom and covered their faces. It was “yucky” to watch, but they had a great time.

A childhood memory flashed through my mind as I watched them. My father and a group of family members were swimming in grandpa’s pond. My dad went deep to swim under someone. When he surfaced, his chest and belly were as black as my granddaughter’s face. I remember everyone laughing, just as I was laughing at my grandchildren. Making memories is what life is all about!

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They even found “seaweed” to make long green locks of hair. The kids had a ball. My dog Cinch waited fairly patiently to play catch. I watched and laughed while reflecting upon the past too. A farm pond with its muddy bottom, just struck a chord in my memory. I am blessed to have had a simple childhood….it is good to see these children are too!