RicelandMeadows


Nite Nite
December 3, 2018, 12:15 pm
Filed under: December 2018 | Tags: , , , ,

niteK&H

December 3, 2018

As a dad, there isn’t any feeling much better than tucking your children into bed at night. It is wonderful knowing that all is well. Everyone is safe and warm in their beds. As a farmer, the same holds true for animals in our care.

I like the barn at night. The animals chew their food and a calm fills the barn and barnyard. The cattle move to the overhang to lie down in a warm dry bed. The calves follow mom. All of them rest and chew their cud.

nitenitecows

I don’t know what they dream about, but I know they are comfortable and at peace.

The hogs too, nestle down in warm beds of straw. Their bellies are full. Their bodies are warm. No stress enters their lives or thoughts. They can slumber along with the other animals, snug, warm and safe.

nitenitepig

I choose to raise animals. I choose to work and be a good steward of the land. I chose this life almost at my birth…in fact, I think God chose this life for me. He knows that I am content, taking care of his animal charges.

Isn’t that what we want for our children? That they find their life’s work, that contentment follows them all the days of their lives and they never forget our love for them?

As a hush falls on the farm and nighttime makes us sleepy, I give thanks for the peace found here on this farm. With a glad heart, I walk to the house filled with gladness, knowing that my animals are tucked into bed. I am reminded of those times, not so very long ago, when sleepy voices whispered, nite, nite daddy…I love you.



Duel Jobs
October 26, 2018, 9:14 am
Filed under: October 2018 | Tags: , , ,

samK&H

October 26, 2018

I am working on two jobs. We are trying to finish filling the woodshed at the sugarhouse. We are also picking our corn for the animals (maize). I pick by hand when the fields are wet. Believe me, this year, my field is very wet. The horses navigate the sloppy ground with ease. They do not get stuck and their impact on the land is light compared to the spinning wheels on a tractor.

I pick two rows at a time. This way the horses and wagon move over to a new place to walk, every trip around the field. Once I have picked all the corn ears off the stalks, the livestock will be turned in to glean the field. The cows will search out any nubbin ears that I missed, as will the hogs. All of the animals will eat the leftover plant called stover or fodder depending upon what part of the country you are from.

I will graze this field all winter once the ground has frozen. The animals will eat much of the spent plants. The field will then plow easy in the spring. I hope to plant oats here in early spring 2019. That is the life of a farmer, plant, weed, harvest and repeat. The little things along the way like making use of corn fodder, just help the farmer out.

Picking corn by hand is a boring job to some. To me, it is a nice quiet time spent with the horses. I can pick along and solve all sorts of problems, plan things out and enjoy some nice autumn days. Winter will soon be here. I must push hard to get the corn harvested and the woodshed filled, but thanks to good horses, good friends and family, I’m sure I will get it all done.



The Next Chapter
May 24, 2018, 11:19 am
Filed under: May 2018 | Tags: , , , ,

cowretire

May 24, 2018

I am stepping into the next chapter of my life. Retirement is upon me. I have been working to adjust. It is nice to sleep at night, all night, every night. Many years of swinging shifts around the clock make my body wonder what the heck is up…but mostly we are liking it a lot!

Rain keeps coming just about the time we can work in the fields again. I’m not worried. I only have a little to do and plenty of time to do it. I no longer have to worry about an off farm work schedule…man this is different! Like the sleep…I am liking it!

I came down with an awful virus, that had me laid low for a day or two. I am back on the mend and almost ready for whatever comes. I have been in the forge shop working a bit, daily chores and getting things all ready for our timber harvest, as we remove the dead and dying ash trees. In any case, I’m moving into the next chapter, of what I hope will be, a very long and happy book!



Farm Wife
August 25, 2017, 10:59 am
Filed under: August 2017 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

farmwife

August 25, 2017

My wife grew up in Mentor Ohio. She was a city girl who had moved out to this rural area where we met. She has learned all sorts of things from this country boy. Over the years she has milked a cow by hand, helped castrate animals, deworm and tend to medical animal emergencies. She gardens and processes our food. She is an almost expert parts runner and flashlight holder. (Where I’m looking, he says!)

Where she excels the most is nurturing all creatures, two-legged and four-legged. She closes and opens gates. She hand feeds, bottle feeds and forks hay. She has shoveled more than her share of manure and turned the water off to overflowing water troughs way too many times!

The remarkable part to me is that she does all of those things while keeping a clean house, washing a mountain of clothes, cooking, dish washing and nest building, making our house a home. She keeps her finger on the pulse of our family. She keeps tabs on Facebook, remembers birthdays and such and keeps all of us covered in her homemade quilts.

On Sunday August 27, we will celebrate twenty-five years of marriage. I am not an easy guy to love. I come with baggage, strange smells and a menagerie of farm animals. I can be abrupt to a fault and very bossy. She takes it in stride choosing to look past my faults and into parts of me that I can’t see.

So, today, I will use this public forum to say thank you for not only choosing me, but for staying with me after learning all my faults and shortcomings. Thank you for loving me and my whole brood. Thank you for helping me blend our crazy group even when it seems the wheels have fallen off. You are my hope, my love and my best friend. I ask that you continue to hold my hand as we walk through life. Wherever and however far our journey takes us, together forever no matter what…I will love you.



The Pages of My Life
Cultivating Memories...Hot off the Press

Cultivating Memories…Hot off the Press

November 15, 2015

It’s here! My book is finally done. This project of putting together a collection of short stories, to warm the heart and soul, Is done. I have been putting my memories and life experiences down on paper for over twenty years. This past January, I began to select┬ástories and get them in order for this book. I write a column for Rural Heritage magazine and a few of these articles have been printed, but most of these 63 stories are original to this book.

My friend and mentor, Gene Logsdon, was kind enough to write the forward for this Reflection of my life. Bethany Caskey, from Iowa, illustrated the pages and cover. This work of mine is 235 pages of easy reading that will make you laugh and make you cry, as I tug at your heart strings. There are stories about love and life, farming, logging, horses and children. They are assembled from the pages of my life.

This book is available through the Rural Heritage website WWW.ruralheritage.com , here at the farm, or in Jefferson Ohio at The Jefferson Milling Company, J.R.Hoffestter Jeweler and the 4-H Extension Office….for the bargain price of $14.95 I invite you to come along, share a story, a laugh or a tear.

It is the simple things in life that matter. I will take you away from the stresses in your life, as you relax and take a mental vacation to my farm. I am not responsible for coffee or tea sprayed on your favorite chair as you bust out laughing, but I will take credit for the warm feelings that will be stirred in your heart.



Eggs Actly
August 27, 2014, 9:54 pm
Filed under: August 2014 | Tags: , , , , , , ,

Pullet Egg

Pullet Egg


August 27, 2014

This little egg is from one of our pullets. These little girls are just starting to lay. They take their job seriously. They give all they have and I am thankful. After all, who could ask for more than that?

The little ladies are getting used to their coop. They seem to be happy. Today we got ten eggs from ten hens. I ask you is that 100% or 1000% ? All I know is that it is a grand slam! A hen lays one egg a day when everything is perfect…. so, I’d say they like it here ­čś«

We have been almost six weeks without hens. This is one of the longest stretches in my life, for buying grocery store eggs. I hope it is a very long time before I have to do it again. In my opinion, there is nothing better than farm fresh, free-range eggs… and brown ones to boot!

Some will say that I am crazy, white or brown makes no difference. Perhaps they are correct, but for me, brown are best. The freshness is only a problem when you boil them. The shell sticks to the egg white, because a “gas layer” has not had time to form inside the shell. I’m okay with that… I’ll eat mine fresh , thank you very much.

Eggs bought in the local store, have been around awhile. Sure they are safe to eat, have a “sell by date” and are pretty good to most folks. I say however, if those same folks tried fresh eggs from happy, free range hens…they might want a change too.

If beer is best when “brewed from a mountain stream”, perhaps that is why eggs taste so good from hens who drink fresh water, eat grass and bugs along with choice grains, in a life free from stress. Agree or not its up to you, but I say , “That is “eggs actly” why they taste so good!