RicelandMeadows


Up In The Air
June 28, 2022, 5:38 pm
Filed under: June 2022 | Tags: , , , , ,

June 28, 2022

The night before last, as I watered the cows, our dog Sam treed a woodchuck! I had not ever seen that before. The digging rodents usually just run along the ground and dive into their burrows. Sam must have caught this guy in the open, away from his home entrance. I heard loud scratching sounds that made me look for the noise. I stood a while looking at the out of place woodchuck. He in turn stared at me. I don’t think he was comfortable, but there was no way he was coming down anytime soon!

We have been enjoying a few very nice summer days. The heat and humidity will return soon, but wow these last days are perfect. Highs in the 70’s, low’s in the 60’s with very low dew points. I has been very comfortable for man and beast. We missed a needed rain yesterday. It is getting pretty dry after that very wet spring. God knows what we need and He will send it soon.

We moved the first batch of meat chickens to the portable pen. I started leaving them in the pen on the concrete until they are fully feathered out. This lets me string a cord and add a heat lamp if needed. Soon they will be out on grass in the pen. This makes for tasty meat and they have a good life until they go to “freezer camp”.

Second cutting hay, the gardens and field corn are growing well. The rain will help them, but they all look good so far. The horses have enjoyed a few work free days, as I catch up with other stuff. The speltz is ripening fast and will soon get harvested. I am making a piece of a field into a play area for us all. We will use all sorts of equipment to train the young horses. It is an area of about 3/4 of an acre. I am thinking later this year I will plant it to Speltz, but right at this moment those plans, like the woodchuck, are up in the air.



Living on the Edge
November 1, 2015, 8:59 pm
Filed under: November 2015 | Tags: , , , , ,

The edge of the spelt field

The edge of the spelt field

November 1, 2015

Wow, the calendar moves again! I am busily preparing for winter. We butchered our last flock of meat chickens this weekend. They have gone off to freezer camp. We also got over two and a half gallons of rich broth from the backs and necks. The chickens grew fast and will be delicious all winter long 😮

I spent part of the last few days putting equipment away. I like it all stored inside, only the manure spreader needs attended to, but first we will spread the autumn compost. I moved the cows to their last paddock before winter this evening. They will graze there for another two weeks at least. Then its time to start feeding hay. It was a great grass year in spite of the mid-summer drought.

Tonight, I put the ram in with the ewes. They were having a ball getting to know each other. April babies will be bouncing around the pasture next spring, a happy sight after maple sugaring is over. For now, I will keep working on firewood. I have quite a bit to bring out of the east end of the woods. I planted speltz in our far east paddock, but knowing that I had wood to bring out, I left a sod strip along the fence.

That sod strip will hold up to the horse’s foot traffic much better than newly turned soil. It is a method of good stewardship leaving this edge to use. Soil erosion will be at a minimum. I won’t have big ruts to fix and the horses get a good place to walk…everybody wins!

As the woodland creatures and I prepare for winter, I think we are all on the edge a bit. We scamper crazily, knowing that soon the land will be covered in snow, or worse yet, cold rain. I feel better after this weekend of work, but I’m sure that I forgot something. Oh well, I ‘ll cross that bridge when we get to it, in the meantime, I will make plans for skidding logs on that well planned strip of sod with my horses. Horse time is a great stress reliever, keeping them out of the mud keeps me off the edge.