RicelandMeadows


Pitching In
August 8, 2017, 11:57 pm
Filed under: August 2017 | Tags: , , , , ,

kmanhelp.jpg

August 8, 2017

Everybody here, family and friend, has pitched in to help me. My grandson makes sure the cows have water and that I am doing okay. There have been so many people helping out that I am humbled by it. I am continuing to heal well, but it sure takes a load off a farmer’s mind, when the chores are all done!

appletime

Tonight, I walked along to an old apple tree that stands in the farm lane. My wife and grandson gathered up some of the dropped apples to feed the pigs. Some were given to the draft horses for a sweet treat too. They gathered up three 5 gallon buckets and didn’t even make a dent in the fallen fruit.

We will gather up as many as we can. The remainder will then be eaten by the cows and sheep. This is just a nice bonus given from a tree that I have mowed around for twenty five years. The apples are tart, but make good pies. These were all knocked off the tree in a recent rain storm. None will be wasted as we will pitch them into pens for the coming weeks.

It is just the beginning of August, but we are ahead of schedule as we race towards autumn. Children are getting back to school supplies, our county fair is in full swing, the blackberries are ripening and the windfall apples litter the ground. These are signs of autumn, next will be the blooming goldenrod and falling leaves.

For now, I will continue to watch from the porch as my knee heals. The pastures are green, the hay has all been made, the corn is making ears and all is well. I am simply amazed at how well the farm is running, thanks to the efforts of a whole lot of folks pitching in. Several folks have written notes and cards wishing me well. I want to take just a moment to say, “Thanks everybody!” I cannot do this without you!



Plotting for Deer

deerplot

August 29, 2016

This little field was an old part of our pasture. When I put up the new fence, I straightened it out. This little place got abandoned. I keep mowing it. I tried a couple of years ago to plant trees here, but the weeds choked them out. We will probably do that again, but for now, we have created a plot for the wild deer.

We worked up the sod and planted oats, turnips, radish and a medley of grasses and forage. My sheep would go nuts for this soon to be lush autumn and winter grazing. We hope the deer like it. I just want to keep them coming to our farm. We harvest a deer or two each year, so it seems only right to offer them a little food.

They do get into my hay fields and eat clover. They munch my corn and other crops too. This plot however is all theirs. It is in the back, next to the woods. There are trees growing on three sides. A stream is just a few hundred feet away and places to hide and sleep abound.

My son was pretty pleased with our efforts today. My grandson was thrilled that we planted food for the deer. He had a great time catching grasshoppers, crickets and even a frog while we worked and planted. My granddaughter made me mud pies and helped her brother in the big grasshopper hunt. It was a good day for us all….I think more than just a few seeds were planted today…I believe a memory was planted too.



Experiment Underway
June 22, 2014, 10:31 pm
Filed under: June 2014 | Tags: , , , , , ,

Newly planted field

Newly planted field


June 22, 2014

I finished the experimental field today. I prepped and planted about four acres. I planted oats, buckwheat and sorghum/Sudan grass, for the purpose of making dry hay for the cows. I have no idea how this will work, but do know that thinking outside of the box now and then is a wonderful thing 😮

I planted the mixture of 1/3 each at a rate of about 60 pounds to the acre, sort of aimed at two bushels per acre because I simply broadcast the seed onto the soil. I didn’t even try to cover the seed or cultipack. I might have cultipacked the seed, but my cultipacker is currently broken. A big roller would work…but I don’t have one.

If this works, my plan is to make a cutting of hay, then apply compost. I will let the whole field regrow until late August or early September. Then the whole thing will be plowed down as a green manure crop for the speltz that will follow in mid to late September.

I have heard of folks getting 1.5 to 2 tons of dry hay per acre using a method such as this. There are many variables and I have not done this before, but I think it will be successful if only due to the weed suppression from the buckwheat and heavy seeding rate. Plus, mowing the whole mess will take some vigor out of any weeds too , I hope!

In any case, it was a long yet good day. No break downs, no rain and everything went well. I finished before sundown and even took a few minutes to sit in a lawn chair and do nothing! Rain is in the forecast for tomorrow. Hopefully, it will set the seed and get it off and growing…the experiment is now underway.