RicelandMeadows


Great Day for Three

abby3

January 17, 2019

Yesterday, I hitched my young filly “Abby” in a three abreast hitch, for the first time. She has been learning very well. Her training has been going very well. This is just part of the training program. She will soon learn to work single too. She is doing well and I am very pleased.

She is the middle horse in the photo above. She is paying attention and learning from me and from her teammates. The nice thing about having Knight and Hoss to teach her, is they can become two very big anchors if needed. She must go where they go, when they go. When I want them to stop and stand, she must do that too. Sometimes, she thinks she’d rather do something else, but good teamwork prevents her from getting into trouble.

I worked earlier this week butchering a steer for my Amish buddy. We had a good day of socializing, and coffee drinking. The steer will be worked up into cuts and burger in the coming days. I traded work with my buddy’s son, for my pat of the butchering. He in turn helped me finish filling the sugarhouse woodshed, yesterday afternoon, just before dark. What a great day!

marvsteer

Our weather is about to turn very cold, close to 0 degrees F. It will be nice to have a good day, inside cutting the meat and visiting. There isn’t much work to that job when many hands help. Good food and conversation is enjoyed by all.

Maple syrup season is under a month away. Abby will help this year. Three on a sap sled is a bit overkill, but having plenty of horsepower is much like cutting meat…many hands make light work. The sled can pull hard at times, but with three horses, leaning into the work together, it’s no job at all.



Hanging Out
December 17, 2015, 10:19 am
Filed under: December 2015 | Tags: , , , , , , ,

002

December 17, 2015

Many teenagers “Hang Out”, which means goofing off, sitting around and visiting with friends. Around here it means fall butchering! I am in full swing. We are working our way through the family’s pork right now, but beef processing is on the horizon.

It is a wonderful thing to have our washhouse. Cutting meat is easy when you are in out of the weather. Clean up is a snap with running hot water and a big sink. All of our equipment is in one place and laid out for easy use. Yes, I am very fond of our little “slaughterhouse”. We call it the washhouse, because it doubles for a canning kitchen, a maple syrup filter washing and clean up stop and the home of our on farm smokehouse.

I made this seasons first bologna yesterday. I made enough to freeze for lunches later, as well as, plenty to eat now and share with friends. I enjoy the art of sausage making almost as much as the job of sausage eating :o)

I will say that I lose a little sleep, because I take this job serious. Once the sausages start to cook, I babysit the smokehouse until the job is complete. Sometimes into the wee hours of the morning, I can be found red eyed and waiting for a few more degrees on the thermometer. It’s worth it though, when I pull slab bacons, bolognas and cottage hams out of the hot smokehouse. It smells wonderful and tastes just as good.

bologna 011

Yum



Making a Mark
November 2, 2013, 8:43 pm
Filed under: November 2013 | Tags: , ,
A portion of the Bounty

A portion of the Bounty

November 2, 2013

   A couple of years ago, I met a man named Mark. He is a young family man trying to do things right. He lives in a country hamlet of a place surrounded by apple trees, a woodlot and a nice pond. He and his family are reconnecting with the land. He and his wife chose to live in the country, grow part of their food and homestead to a degree.

   They took a very old house in need of great repairs, and by lots of work from two people working together, they have built a home. That home includes children, animals and some grateful grandparents just up the road. They are learning country skills, one lesson at a time and are still hungry for more.

   I guess that’s where I came in. I am a guy who knows about a whole lot of stuff. I have been beat down, kicked in the teeth and dirt poor. I learned to be humble. My grandparents were a wealth of information who shared with me freely…of course I asked a LOT of questions 😮 Lastly, I have been in and around farming my whole life…my heart is happy there.

   I like to help folks who want to learn things about the country, specifically farming and gardening…of course there is animal husbandry, butchering and meat cutting, maple syrup making, logging and woodland preservation, farm building and all things draft horse!

   Mark asked me about backyard pig raising. He wanted to know about processing that pork too. He and his family have cut their own deer for a few years, so he did have some idea of what he was getting into. I helped him get started, guided him gently along the way and helped process the animals over the last couple of days. He is a quick study and learned quickly.

   I was happiest seeing his whole family involved. His wife and he are teaching their children where their food comes from, how to tend and care for it and how to preserve it. The kids don’t know it yet, but they are getting information more valuable than a college degree.

   I am pleased to have made a difference in Mark’s life, but I won’t take credit for it. Instead, I will give thanks for people who knew me and were kind enough to show me the way. I am simply paying it forward 😮 If I made a mark in someone’s life … then I say … Awesome!