RicelandMeadows


The End to a Perfect Day
October 16, 2019, 11:36 am
Filed under: October 2019 | Tags: , , , ,

sunset101519

October 16, 2019

First I should clarify, any day is a good day. Each day we are given the opportunity to reach for our goals, strive for excellence and share our light with the world. It is a choice to be happy, so smile, be kind and give of yourself to others. This positive attitude towards life, will make every day better. Sometimes, you may be the only positive thing others will see that day. You may uplift someone else, by simply smiling, now that my friends, is power!

I have been working on many projects as autumn is making itself known. It’s that last dash of preparation before winter slows down and even stops some outside activities. My biggest push right now, is to get the field corn harvested. The picker is ready to go. The crib needs emptied of the last of last year’s corn. A good clean out, fix a slat or two and the crib will be ready to receive the new crop.

pedicureabby

Abby managed to lose her front shoe. So, yesterday, we ran to get one nailed on. You can’t pick corn with a flat tire on your tractor…or a missing shoe on your draft horse! She was all fixed up in the space of ten minutes. Abby and the geldings are ready and waiting for the corn harvest to begin. The corn is almost dry enough. The last two mornings of hard frost, will help in that effort too.

So, after a day of preparing for winter, equine pedicures and a beautiful sunset, I would say that it is the end to a perfect day.



Living the Good Life
Part of the pig herd enjoying dinner

Part of the pig herd enjoying dinner

November 13, 2015

These hogs have been out on pasture since July 4th. They get supplemented with ear corn, but forage for much of their food. It is no accident that they are in this good condition. I grow red clover and fescue pasture for them. I look after them and nature provides a bounty of nuts and wild apples. I also supplement their feed when needed. The stock is fattened by the eye of the master.

These hogs are, like me, very content. They are not bored. They are not standing in manure or swill. The mud on them is usually because they choose to put it there. They make wallows to cool themselves. They push up leaves and brush to create a warm bed. They snuggle together and slumber. They do root a little, but the damage is usually done to quack grass roots that I want to eradicate anyway!

I think about my livestock often. It is my job to keep them safe and fed. I choose to raise them in a stress free environment. I know that, living with minimal stress is better for all of us. I do many repetitive things. I feed at the same time. I use the same gates. I call the pigs different than the horses. Each specie knows when I am calling them, the rest barely look up. I am resistant to change, much more enjoying the status quo.

In my off farm job, change is constant. On the farm, when an animal leaves, the rest get more room, perhaps a bite more of food. When someone disappears from the workforce, it is unsettling for everyone. The poor person is now looking for work and everyone else gets a bigger share of job duties. They have great names for it like; cost cutting, down sizing, team initiative, lean manufacturing etc….sounds like freezer camp to me…anyway you put it, someone gets axed and the herd goes into disarray. The dynamics change as the next “herd leader” picks out his favorites and beats up the rest 😮

I prefer the order of things. If the axe must fall, it is done humanely. I don’t talk about it for weeks, stir up a rumor mill or threaten the animals with the phrase, “You might be next.”. I do what needs done swiftly. I don’t put on a show and I comfort those left behind. There are many lessons to be learned on a  good farm. I am glad to have learned, listened and watched, but most of all I am glad to have this haven to call home. It truly is what it means to be … Living the good life!



Buffering
November 6, 2015, 9:23 pm
Filed under: November 2015 | Tags: , , , , ,
Protecting a stream bed

Protecting a stream bed

November 6, 2015

In my off farm job, I provide a buffer from upper management to the workforce. I have been in that job for a very long time. It is an important function to be the one who keeps communication flowing up, as well as down. It is a rough spot sometimes when each side gets frustrated with the other. I really feel the squeeze now and then. Lucky for me I have this farm to relieve my stress, heal my mind and settle my soul. In fact, I think it’s good for all of us  😮

When I think about buffering, I think more about how to reduce the impact of farming on the environment. My farming is small compared to some, but my farming practices are just as important. I want to be a good steward to my animals, but also to the land and especially the water. Erosion, even in a small way, is a problem that needs ample consideration…if you don’t think so, read about the dust bowl of the 1930’s.

I also want my dollars to stay on the fields where I put them, instead of running off into a nearby stream. I don’t buy much fertilizer, but I still want it to feed the crop and not the algae in the water! I also don’t want to fill my farm ponds in with mud and silt. I want the woodland streams that traverse my farm to be clean and healthy. I feel it is my job to protect what I have been given to use. Let’s be real, it is only mine for a short time. I will pass, but hopefully, my ideals will live on, in the minds and practices of my children and grandchildren.

If each of us does just a little part to protect the land, the water and each other. Our world will continue to be a pretty darn good place to live. Ask yourself, “What can I do better?” It may be simple like holding a door, picking up some trash or offering a sad person a smile. I guarantee you will feel better. In the end, isn’t that what life is about? Feeling good, doing good and setting an example for those in line behind us, is a way of buffering our impact upon this world….it’s the little things that matter.