RicelandMeadows


Seconds Anyone?
September 6, 2019, 12:35 am
Filed under: September 2019 | Tags: , , ,

secondcut2019

September 6, 2019

The weatherman says a stretch of good weather, without rain is upon us. I cut the last field of second cutting hay. The boys did a great job. They settled into a nice walking pace and pulled the mower effortlessly. The grass and clovers were just right for clipping. I think this will make some real nice hay.

The dew stays on the grass a bit longer on September mornings than in the heat of summer. The sun doesn’t get quite as hot, but I think the hay will cure and dry nicely in spite of this early fall weather. We will be diligent in fluffing and turning it, to aid in the drying process.

This hay will make a yummy treat in the cold, dark days of winter. The sweet, soft grass will provide added protein needs for the livestock. They like the sweet hay and will lick up every morsel. I give it sparingly to all but the horses. It is simply too rich for the draft horses. They will be content and stay in good condition on our first cut timothy hay…and oats of course.

We have a few busy days in front of us, but once its done, we are done with haying for the year. We can clean and lubricate the machinery for winter storage. Its looking like we will be working on hay and plowing for speltz at the same time. I hope that the fall planted speltz, are in the ground and growing by the end of the month. That will just leave the corn harvest to complete before the snow flies….funny to be talking about making hay and snow in the same post, but then again, this is northeast Ohio!



Leaf Peeping Time?
September 3, 2019, 9:04 am
Filed under: September 2019 | Tags: , ,

corbel1

September 3, 2019

Wow, just like that August is gone! We just celebrated Labor Day, pretty much the end of summer, even though the calendar says we have three more weeks! As I looked around the farm this morning, through the heavy dew, I saw the leaves are starting to change color. The tips of some are turning yellow and even a few reds are starting to show. Soon the landscape will be awash with color. I better get moving and complete a few items on my never-ending list.

I spent the first part of Labor Day in the forge shop. Among other things, I made these corbels. A fancy set of shelf brackets to accent a stove hood. It was a fun project that teased my brain as I free handed them start to finish. The rain fell outside, as I hammered away in the shop. The peace I feel as I make stuff, is a feeling like no other.

corbel2

I will continue to improve my craft and hone my skills. The cool season of autumn will soon be upon us. The cool makes it a good time to be next to the forge and red hot steel. My leaf making ability is getting better, but Mother Nature still gets the top prize!



On The Edge Of Summer

prayingmantis

August 31, 2019

Today is the last day of August. Summer is coming to a close. It feels like summer just started, but alas, she’s gone. The praying mantis in the photo, was sitting on the roof of the meat chicken’s pen. This healthy, beneficial insect and good neighbor, was looking for a meal. I think in preparation for the coming fall and winter days.

morningewes

Our ewe flock grazing in the sunrise. They were recently separated from their lambs. Weaning time is a bit stressful for all involved. We wean in a way where moms and babies can see each other and often even rub noses. The lambs just can’t nurse. Once they realize they don’t need milk anymore, things start to quiet down. Mom’s udder shrinks and dries up too. She can rest up and fatten up some before the upcoming breeding season.

lambcrop2019

The lambs also graze on the lush morning pasture. They are very content now. In a couple weeks, the two groups will be put back together. The weather lambs will be separated from the ewes. The weathers will be fattened for freezer camp. The ewes will all be put together and put on our best fall pastures. They will enjoy full bellies and comfort. The ram will come to visit in early December, starting the whole cycle over again.

The days grow shorter. I am trying to cram a few extra jobs into my schedule, for I know soon we will be wrapping things up for winter, But I will cling to these days on the edge of summer. I will enjoy a few cool mornings and sit on the patio after chores in the evening, as autumn closes in, enjoying the cycle of life on the farm.



Get Away
August 27, 2019, 10:44 pm
Filed under: August 2019 | Tags: , , , ,

conniemule2019

August 27, 2019

My wife and I celebrate 27 years of marriage today. We snuck off last weekend to Cumberland Maryland. We rode an old-fashioned train, visited a few museums, learned some history and enjoyed each other’s company.

We unknowingly wound up there during their “River and Rails” festival. We got to watch two live outdoor concerts, enjoyed a few nice meals and even watched fireworks! The Western Maryland train took us to Frostburg where we saw a very neat buggy and carriage museum. We met some new friends there and enjoyed the pretty sights out the train windows.

The area is also known for the “Cumberland & Ohio” canal system. The bronze mule and boy in the picture above were replicas from that era. The trip was fun. The company was awesome. A needed escape to get away from our hectic life was a nice change….but as much fun as it was to go…There’s no place like home!



Idle Time…What’s that?
August 22, 2019, 10:28 am
Filed under: August 2019 | Tags: , , , ,

moonrise819

August 22, 2019

Summer is fading fast. The month of June was fleeting due to all the rainfall. The work of June got pushed into July. We worked steady in July and did a pretty good job of catching things back up. We even worked into the dark on occasion. The rising August full moon a few days ago, was beautiful. It made for a good time for reflecting on work that had been done, fun that we squeezed in and pointed towards the work to come.

The first parts of August were muggy and hot, even steamy. The rains started their pattern of coming about every two days. When it fell, it came hard with winds and fury. The grasses are growing, so more hay will hopefully get made. The field corn looks good and most things are staying green. I have been staying busy in the forge shop and around the farm.

ironwork2019

Shelf brackets and twisted steel bracing, that I made for our daughter’s house. Fun project so far.

skidseat

I put a new seat in the skid steer after sitting on a cat food bag for over a year! My wife and her little fingers helped with this project. Evidently, the workers at the “Daewoo” factory have much smaller hands than these old mitts of mine! In any case, we got it done. It makes me wonder why I waited so long. The cracked and worn seat gave me a wet butt for a year before it became so tattered that cat food bag was necessary, which got me another year. I can say that I used the old seat up! This one is much better.

The weather will break. Our early autumn and late summer days will be filled with plenty to do. I am mostly ready. The last piece of equipment needing attention is the corn picker. I will get it ready for the harvest soon.  First I need to finish the job of haying. Then clean and store the hay equipment. Following that job, I will move on to plowing and preparing the soil for our fall planted speltz crop. Then the corn harvest will commence. If the weather won’t allow for machine harvest, I will pick the 3 acres by hand…more on this job later.

Like the ant in the old fable, we are busy preparing for the coming winter. I suggest in the world of grasshoppers and ants…be the ant!



Passing Summer Days
August 11, 2019, 3:35 pm
Filed under: August 2019 | Tags: , , , ,

augustsky

August 11, 2019

What a summer it has been so far. The crazy wet June, the hot July with it’s flash floods and now the passing of August. Our county fair ends today. It is another one of the benchmarks of summer. Next is the buying of school clothes and the starting of school after the summer break. Geese are starting to gather in the fields and autumn is knocking on the door.

We had some wonderful weather in these last two weeks. Our first cutting hay was all made and stored for winter. I completed cleaning up a log landing area and even managed to attend a farm machinery consignment auction. We still have some summer left and I hope to use up those days with fun, family and farm stuff!

rake2019

The horses and I will begin spreading the summer compost next week. We will spread on ground that will be plowed and readied for our fall planted speltz crop. Rain is in the forecast for next week, so as always we will work around the weather. Nothing new for farmers, especially this year!

Last evening, I sat and watched the farm from the back porch. The animals were all grazing. The evening was cool, with a slight breeze. The flies and bugs were not biting. The barn swallows flitted about, diving after unseen insects and zipping at the surface of the pond drinking water. There was stillness in the air and a hush on the farm. It was as if everything had paused to enjoy the summer evening. I was glad to have been part of that scene, as the fleeting days of summer passed.



What a Rainstorm!
July 22, 2019, 1:31 pm
Filed under: July 2019 | Tags: , ,

pondflood2019

July 22, 2019

Wow! We got some rain last weekend. Our ground was saturated already, so the three inch downpour, mostly ran off. This is our back pond. The surface area almost twice its normal size. The overflow pipe has a diameter of two feet, but it was overwhelmed.

pondflood20192

It was a couple of tense hours that we watched the pond overflow the dam. In the end, all was well. Today, everything is back to normal, well except for the fields are still quite damp!

Our wet weather has caused issue, but the grass is green in the pastures. All the animals have plenty to eat. This is good news for mid-summer. The corn crop looks good, but the weeds in the rows are really thick, cultivating did not happen. The dirt was too wet, then the corn plants were too tall.

It will all be fine, like water over the dam.

Tomorrow is coming ready or not, no sense to fret about yesterday! I’ll just stay focused on today and make the most of it.