RicelandMeadows


November Snowstorm
November 13, 2019, 11:50 am
Filed under: November 2019 | Tags: , ,

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November 13, 2019

I snapped this photo about noon yesterday. The snow fell at a rate of  over two inches and hour. The storm total for us was 15 inches. That is a pretty good smack of snow, especially this early in the season!

I am actually fairly pleased with myself. Most of the stuff that needed to be done to prepare for winter had been completed. I knew we would get snow soon, I just didn’t expect this much! I had to rush to get feed to the grazing cattle and sheep, because the grass is buried deep under the now melting snow.

The weather is supposed to be cool but very nice for the next ten days. I hope to continue getting our autumn work completed. The corn harvest is still not complete. That job will take much of my focus in the coming days.

After the storm passed, just before sunset, the sun came out and reflected off the snow covered tree branches and the landscape as well. It was a beautiful sight. Winter is bearing down on us. We are almost ready, but in the meantime I will enjoy the beauty that comes with the snow. It is much better to work with Mother Nature and not get upset with her…you can’t change anything anyway.



Got Nuts?
October 16, 2017, 10:16 pm
Filed under: October 2017, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , ,

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October 16,2017

Chris Pidcock asked me, “You got any big hickory nuts up by you?” I said, “yes, we have one real nice tree. The nuts are good sized and very sweet.” He told me that he would give me some nuts from a tree that his grandfather had planted, if I wanted any. Then he showed them to me. Holy Crap!!! I don’t have anything like these at home!

I made my way home from Nelsonville, Ohio with a bag of these babies on the floor of my truck. I smiled all the way to Akron! I have just the spot to plant a “Pidcock Hickory orchard” on the farm. I don’t know if I will live to eat from those trees, but hopefully my grandchildren will.

These hickory nuts are almost the size of walnuts. The meat inside is light and sweet. The hull opens easy and the nuts are pretty easy to crack, especially for a hickory nut. My son’s great grandfather on their mother’s side, used to sit and crack hickory nuts much of the winter. His wife would make sweet, yummy, hickory nut cake. I so wish I could have shared some of these awesome nuts with him.

I will be stomping these nuts into the mud over the next few days. I will however, map out a sort of grid pattern, spacing them evenly. They will not all come up. The deer will eat a few I bet. If any squirrels hear about these wonder nuts…they will be hitchhiking in from Pittsburgh just to steal some! So, I will space them carefully, but mother nature will put them how she wants them anyway. That sort of “cracks me up”!

 

 



Nature’s Bounty

casperapple

August 31, 2017

Where did summer go? This last day of August, I am pleased to have plenty of grass left in our pastures. The cattle and all of the farm’s livestock are looking great. Now, we are getting another nice bonus as we share in Nature’s Bounty. Wild apple trees are dropping their fruit. The cattle love the sweet treats. Our dairy steer in the picture above seems to delight in eating them.

When I was a boy, the old farmer that I worked for thought apples would make his cows choke. So, we cut every wild apple tree we saw. It has been my experience that the livestock, as well as, the wild animals benefit from this wild fruit. I think there are enough nice apples to make applesauce or cider for us. The trees could be trimmed to enhance the fruit, making them grow bigger and easier to peel. Sounds like a great idea, especially by selecting the trees with the best tasting fruit.

The hickory nuts are dropping in the woods as well. I have one wooded pasture where the hickory trees are plentiful. There are apple trees there as well. My sow herd really enjoys spending a couple of weeks in that pasture. They munch on clover, nuts and apples, barely eating the corn I give them for those two weeks. There is much to be said about farming “with” nature instead of trying to fight “against” her. She is the boss and when you respect her, the bounty abounds.



Snuggle Time!
February 9, 2015, 11:23 pm
Filed under: February 2015 | Tags: , , , , , ,
The babies get ready for bed

The babies get ready for bed

February 9, 2011

After a very nice weekend, the temperature has plummeted again. We saw 40 Saturday and again on Sunday. It felt very warm. The snow in the fields got settled some, but it is still plenty deep. The driveway is frozen and all of us are ready to snuggle up once again.

I guess this is the week for that stuff. I’m thinking that is why St Valentine has his day in February. Snuggling up in August is fine, but snuggling now is wonderful! I will say the animals even seem to like it. Sure, part of it is necessary, but they play and frolic, then settle down and even cover up with the bedding.

I am not going to fight Mother Nature. She has it all worked out. The weather breaks enough to allow the wildlife to get food and water. Some of the wildlife know where to go no matter what the weather does. My buddy in Pennsylvania went to pick a remote five acre field of ear corn. When he got there, the corn was gone. The stalks were all there, but the ears had been eaten by the deer.

As we talked about the wildlife on his mountain farm, he also told me how the bears paw open his plastic wrapped bales of silage. They ruin a few every year he told me. Man, to think about a bear ripping open a big round bale, then rolling it halfway down a hill, makes me shake my head….and glad to live on the flat land.

We try to live in harmony with nature. I am an environmental steward. I manage my woodlot in ways that enhance wildlife habitat. We farm this farm in ways that keep water quality protected. I look out for my animals and the ones who call our farm their home. So, for tonight, we will snuggle up, make plans and stay warm!