RicelandMeadows


June 2020 What a Month!

Breebackrub

June 27, 2020

What a crazy, wonderful month! Our baby Bree just turned 2 months old. She is learning very fast. She loves a good back rub. She knows her stall. She accompanies mom sometimes when we work and she brings joy wherever she goes.

The covid virus still has us doing things differently. The unrest around the country has us saddened for all involved. We pray for peace and resolution, along with understanding from all sides. It is nice to be able to get lost in the farm happenings if only for a little while.

We shot another episode for RFD-TV, that will air in August, about our new Suffolk Punch horses. Our son Jake introduced his to the world too. We also wrapped up the finishing touches on an episode regarding our recent timber harvest. It was a good day of filming. Little Bree did great too.

We purchased a horse drawn sprayer. We will use it once a year to spray weeds if needed, but mostly to spray liquid fertilizer, like fish emulsion, on our crop and pasture fields. Shout out to Boontown Sprayer in Mount Hope, Ohio

sprayer2020

This simple, well built machine, works wonderfully. It is powered by a 5 horsepower Honda engine. The manufacturers have it well designed. It sprays, pulled by horses, at a rate of 20 gallons per acre. Our first outing found this rate to be spot on, as we did our animal corn field.

sprayingweeds2020

I managed to get half of the field cultivated, but the weeds were starting to take over. Ragweed and especially a nasty grass called barnyard grass had gotten a real head start. You can even see the corn beginning to suffer from the weeds stealing all the nourishment.

spraygrass2020

After last nights rain, the gardens, pastures and the field corn all look refreshed. We will be feeding the fields liquid fertilizer in the coming days. The options are many, so research must be done. It has been a long journey making this farm productive and fruitful, but it has been fun!



Change is Good
July 11, 2019, 9:09 am
Filed under: July 2019 | Tags: , , , , ,

raking2019

July 11, 2019

Everyone tells us that change is good. I continue to believe that change is bullsh*t! I do adapt, but I hate it. It takes me out of my comfort zone. I don’t want to “try something new”, I like the old stuff and the old ways…but change does help us grow in knowledge and experience. I grumble, but I do it.

This is Abby’s second time raking hay. She is learning many new things. Her world is full of change. The first day that I hooked her to the hay rake, she was a nervous wreck. It rattled and banged behind her. The dry hay made a swishing sound that she couldn’t see. I kept a firm hand on the lines reassuring her, that everything was okay. Knight, her teammate, walked along paying no attention to the “rattling, swishing monster” coming right behind them. This soon gave Abby confidence.

rakingabbysweat

This photo shows the horses making their first round. By the time we got to the other end of the field, Abby couldn’t have cared less about the hay rake or the job at hand. Her frothy sweat dried by the second round and she settled in for the day. The next day there was no fear in her eye. She exhibited nothing but confidence. She knew her job and seemed to enjoy doing it. I guess she trusted me not to put her in harm’s way. She did trust me, but I think she verified that trust, by keeping one eye on Knight.

In life, I too get concerned about new things. I think I have actually broken out in a frothy sweat a time or two! I wanted to resist, but settled in and made the best of it. Pretty soon, the new became the old and change became the norm. I don’t have to like it, but I can control how I react to it. I just think about God on the lines, my “teammates” walking beside me, adapting as we go…and the quiet, confident voice of my wife, telling me that everything will be okay…. And you know…it usually is.



Harvest Time

bindershock

July 27, 2017

I got to take a ride in my truck yesterday. My buddy drove, as I am still not allowed. I got to see a lot from the passenger seat. We drove through northeast Ohio and wound up at my Amish buddy’s house. They are getting the oats all ready to harvest. The binder in the photo has been cleaned and is ready to be stored for the year. Looking through the binder, you can see the neat rows of oat shocks, drying in the sun.

My friend told me that he had just finished binding the oats when a gang of boys and young men showed up. The group consisted of his sons and sons-in-law, a few nephews and a few of their friends. The boys made short work of shocking the grain. They went around the field picking up bundles and building the little shocks in an almost competition style. In a little over two hours, the whole field was done.

I have built shocks before. It is a fun job when you have enough help. Each shock contains 7 bundles. If four men are available, it works perfect. The first three guys pick up a bundle in each hand. The first guy sets his bundles on the ground, oat heads up in teepee fashion. The second guy puts his bundles right in line with the first two bundles. The third guy does the same thing. So now you have two parallel rows of three bundles leaning against each other. The fourth guy takes one bundle, flares out both ends of the bundle and pulls it against his belly making a cap. This cap sits on top of the teepee shedding water and allowing the wind to dry the ripening shock.

The above process is continued until all the bundles have been picked up. The more people you have to help, the quicker the job goes. It is actually fun. Cold drinks or ice cream shared by all adds a nice finishing touch to the job of shocking. Soon the shocks will be loaded onto wagons and taken to the threshing machine. The grain is separated from the straw. This is a big job requiring many hands, but it is a busy, dirty, hot, sweaty wonderful job!

Belgianspeltz