RicelandMeadows


Productive Rainy Days
September 12, 2018, 9:43 am
Filed under: September 2018 | Tags: , , , ,

raspfirstset

September 12, 2018

After oppressive heat and humidity, rain ushered in some cooler weather. The rains fell for three days here giving us 2.75 inches of moisture. I used the wet days to complete a couple of projects. The knife and hatchet set, forged from a farrier’s rasp was a fun project and is now complete. I learned a lot during the process. I will continue to put this new skill/hobby to work for me. I must say I really enjoy it.

newrack

We also completed putting a new wagon rack on my horse drawn wagon. This is the second rack on this same running gear. The last rack was 9 years old. It rotted out even though it had been painted. I now have room to keep this one inside during winter weather. It should last a good long time. The boards were wet as we built from rough cut hemlock lumber. Once it dries out, I will seal it from the elements. It will be all ready to gather firewood and pick our field corn.

The cooler weather also makes me get excited about fall plowing. The horses and I can do more in the cool comfortable days of autumn. This summer’s heat was one for the record books. It did make for a great corn crop. Timely rains and hot weather kept the pastures lush and green. Hay making was a challenge as we would get “pop-up” showers that didn’t do much more than wash the drying hay. It makes the hay dusty, okay for cows, but not for horses. Oh well, we can’t control the weather, but we can work with it…like doing something productive on a rainy day!



Misty Morning
August 25, 2018, 9:42 am
Filed under: August 2018 | Tags: , , , ,

miststars1

August 24, 2018

There is a nip in the air this morning. How can it be? I still have hay to make, wood to gather and garden crops to harvest. I guess today was just a teaser. The August heat showed up by late afternoon. I think this is just a warning that soon, autumn will be here. I heard the school bus as I closed the gate. It was almost an exclamation point for my thoughts!

Work here at the farm continues, but so does the “fun”. Baby calves have started to be born. We calve in the fall. It’s backwards for most folks but works well for us. Pastures are in good shape with lots of feed for the animals. Plowing will begin soon for our speltz crop planting in the next few weeks….one more sign that fall is close at hand.

The corp crop is looking very well. It is one of our best crops in a long while. The reconditioned corn planter did an awesome job. The stand of corn is spaced just right. The ears are plentiful and well formed. The timely rain allowed the kernels to fill and made for some nice soon to be “hand picked” ears!…If picking corn by hand doesn’t signal fall… then winter… I don’t know what does.

 



Dressed in Autumn Colors
October 29, 2017, 10:30 am
Filed under: October 2017 | Tags: , , , ,

sugarhouseautmn2017

October 29, 2017

As I was hauling compost the other day, I snapped this photo of our sugarhouse. She is draped with the colors of autumn, framed by the lush pastures left from summer. Winter will follow soon, but spring is only four months away. So, we get to see this color followed by a blanket of white, leading to the “sweet” days of spring!

Winter, if you let it, can be a long season. Sure, it has it’s downside, but focus on the beauty and fun instead. Take a sled ride, go look at Christmas lights, spend time with family and friends drinking hot cocoa and winter becomes much shorter. In just three weeks, the days will start to get longer again! So fear not Spring is just around the corner.

 



Autumn Frolic
September 30, 2017, 8:29 pm
Filed under: September 2017 | Tags: , , , , , , ,

calves2017

September 30, 2017

As the last day of September comes to a close, I am happy to report the calf crop is coming along well. The little black one in the picture was born last night. So far two little bulls (soon to be steers) are running all over the pasture. They will be joined by a couple more babies before foul weather sets in for winter. They are sure having fun!

Last Saturday, we put a new roof on my shop. The shingles were curled up and were in rough shape. They were 18 years old, so rather than wait for a leak, I put on a new roof. My friends helped me. We had a great day. It was an Autumn Frolic too! We finished the day with fellowship and ice cream…Yum!

adminshop

We are working steady to be ready for winter. Projects keep getting marked off the list. The speltz are growing very well. We got a quarter of an inch of rain yesterday and everything seems to have benefited. The speltz especially. They jumped a couple of inches and look real good. The lawn too appears greener. It will have to be cut at least once more. The weatherman says frost for tonight, so, our growing season may end by tomorrow.

The trees are taking on their colorful hues. Some leaves litter the ground, nuts are falling and small animals are gathering for winter. The north wind blew today signaling all of us to take note, turn up your collar and stay busy. A little more wood for the shed and we are good. So, perhaps just one more Autumn frolic and we will be ready to welcome the Winter Wonderland!

 



Harvest Time
October 4, 2016, 9:52 am
Filed under: October 2016 | Tags: , , , , ,

harvestload

October 4, 2016

Its that time of year again. We are all scrambling to get the harvest in before winter. I started yesterday opening up the corn field for picking. I go along the edge and pick the corn so that the team and wagon has room between the fence and the row being picked. I was surprised at just how dry the corn had become in just a week. It will now keep in my crib without spoiling.

My time commitments at my off farm job have been almost overwhelming this year. It takes away from my farm time, my blog time and even my life. It is a necessary evil at this time, but someday……… 🙂  Anyway, I did not grow pumpkins this year because I knew that I would not have time to take care of them. I bought this load from a friend. There are plenty here beyond the needs of my grandchildren, so some will be fed to the livestock.

My buddy makes these cute little straw bales for harvest decorations. I couldn’t resist them for the ladies in our family who love to decorate their yards and homes. I also got a bin of pie pumpkins. The kids can paint them, but I will enjoy pie and cookies made from this sweet treat. The kids will too…. sorry “Libby’s” but homemade is best.

I am scrambling to get my speltz planted this week before the next big rain. In between I am hand picking corn. I have a few days off so farm and horse time is just what I need to heal body and soul. The fact that I get to bring in the harvest, spend time with family and friends, just makes this awesome time of year even sweeter!



Little Bobbi
September 15, 2016, 10:19 am
Filed under: September 2016 | Tags: , , , , ,

bobbie

September 15,2016

She was born a few days ago. I couldn’t help but like her little white socks, so I named her Bobbi.

The best part of farming for me is the little ones. I mean all of them. The baby pigs, lambs calves will brighten the most dismal day. Showing these little critters to small humans, will shine light into your soul. The children’s bright smiles and gleeful shouts are the things that make marks upon your heart.

I am watching the cows close. They are about to calve, all of them, before winter. These are exciting times here. We calve at this odd time of year, because we share a bull with another small herd. I still have good, abundant pasture and lots of high protein food for when the weather turns foul. There is plenty of shelter for our bovine group. So, the entire herd will be warm and well all winter long.

Autumn is chasing summer away. We will soon be soaking up the last warm rays as the fall foliage turns color. These are flannel shirt days where a man can work comfortably in the cool breeze. I will work at planting my fall crop and harvesting our field corn. The horses and I will enjoy the cool work days, while mother cows nurse babies in the fading summer sun. I love this farm life!

 



A Walk in the Park
October 14, 2015, 9:05 am
Filed under: October 2015 | Tags: , , , , , , ,
Hens enjoying  their new park

Hens enjoying their new park

October 14, 2015

Recently, we built a new enclosure for our laying hens. These pens are often called chicken parks. I want my hens to have outside room to roam but I want to keep them safe as well. This park is a perfect fit for both me and the hens. They will keep the grass and tall weeds in check around their chicken house and the back side of the wash house as well. Now, they just need to lay a couple hundred dozen eggs to pay for it 😮

Yesterday, I was closing gates and moving cattle. The goal is to put the sheep in the sugarhouse paddock again. The grass in that place is deep, green and lush. The lambs will fatten well on it. The mothers will put on a little extra weight just in time for breeding season. I think the grass is rich enough to “flush” the ewes. Flushing them refers to tricking them to think there is an abundance of feed so they will release more ovaries. They have the confidence that there will be plenty of feed to raise their new babies.

Some guys say that flushing ewes is an old wives tale. I know in nature, if deer have plenty to eat in the fall, the does have more twins in the coming spring. I also believe that flushing has worked for me the past fifteen years, so I am not going to quit doing what works. It’s not like I only wear a favorite jacket or socks during breeding season as my ewes head to the playoffs! This is about balanced nutrition. The ewes have access to all they want to eat and drink, along with minerals free choice. This is good husbandry. It’s the way I do business anyway. I think all those sets of twins next spring is the ewe’s way of saying, “Thank you!”.

As I was closing gates and moving the stock, I realized yet again just how much beauty was surrounding me. The leaves continue to get more colorful each day. The growing speltz are a bright green and the grass looks like a green carpet that stretches “wall-to-wall”, from fence row to woodline. In fact, it’s just like a walk in the park!

The sugarhouse nestled in her little valley

The sugarhouse nestled in her little valley