Watching the Prep Work
July 13, 2017, 7:43 pm
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July 13, 2017

This is very strange for me to be watching out the window while other guys do my work! I still get to have my “discussion” hands in the project. It will all be fine. The guy ramrodding the job worked for me when he was in school. Now, he is making his way in the world and just like my project, he is on course and doing a great job.

I can see the corner of the lot from my window seat in the house. I will have to watch from the window of the car I guess. I got permission from my physical therapist that I can watch for a bit while sitting on the car seat. It isn’t quite the same, but at least I can satisfy my nosey self! My knee is improving. The healing process takes awhile, so I must be patient.

The chores are being done by others too. I can see that all is well and that gives me comfort. This weekend guys will turn out to help with a couple of things. I will visit between ice pack rest periods and watch the work getting done. It is very weird to me to be the one watching…unless I’m leaning on a shovel!

A Different Perspective
July 7, 2017, 1:08 pm
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July 7, 2017

As I recover from recent knee replacement surgery, I spend quite a bit of time looking out the windows. I can see too much unfinished work. I can see things that will soon need done and even a few things that should be done. I have decided however, to focus on all the things that have been done, are done and are being done by people other than myself. I will be thankful and positive.

The speltz are turning ripe. Soon they will need combined. I have it pretty well under control. My son Jake and a friend will take care of that job. My horse feed will be harvested along with an ample supply of winter bedding for the livestock. My son Josh is helping with pasture mowing and maple sap road maintaining. Our son Don is coming to hang blinds and few other needed repairs around the house. Our neighbor boy is helping with the daily chores and odds and ends. My wife is somehow holding it all together and feeding me too!

In the picture above, the corn can be seen getting over taken by weeds, but I will get some corn. The hayfields that were harvested are growing and looking good. The pastures are holding up well. The grazing animals have plenty to eat. The ponds are staying full. the baby lambs and calves are growing very well.

I roll from room to room with my walker, perfectly content to watch out the windows for now. This healing process is pretty intense. I have a new appreciation for mobility! I will do my best to be patient…and trust me…that is a different perspective!

Great Year for a Raised Bed
June 27, 2015, 3:34 pm
Filed under: June 2015 | Tags: , , , , ,
Garden beds starting to look good

Garden beds starting to look good

June 27, 2015

As I write this post, rain is hammering down outside. We have gotten over 2 inches since 5am this morning. We are still pretty wet from the last rains we got a few days ago. I am very glad to be gardening in raised beds this year. The plants, though well watered, are still doing great as their roots are above the flood zone 😮

It does take some getting used to. I usually have many more plants to weed and watch over. Our garden needs have become smaller as our family has too. Gardening like this is actually fun. It doesn’t take any time to weed or hoe a bed. The dirt is loose and easy to dig into. The best part is that even when it is wet, my shoes stay clean as I do my “dirt work” standing on the lawn!

The sugarhouse addition is coming along, but the rains have delayed that project a little too. No worries, I am sure it will wait for me! My biggest issue is waiting to make dry hay for the horses. That too will all work out, I along with everybody else in northeast Ohio, just needs to be patient.

So You Want to be a Maple Syrup Maker
Start up

Start up

March 20, 2015

If it’s your plan to make maple syrup, the thing you will need the most of is… PATIENCE!

First you wait on the season to get here. Then you wait for the sap to start running. Then you wait for the bags to fill. Once they are full, you wait for help to empty them all. Then the boiling process starts. You wait for the sap to boil. You then wait for the pans to get concentrated. A process called “getting the pans sweet”. Then you watch the thermometer and hydrometer as you wait for the first syrup.

We finally made some today….and it was worth the wait! The trees are dripping pretty good this afternoon. We should have a good weekend as long as we can wait 😮

Waiting, Watching and Comparing
March 16, 2015, 8:58 pm
Filed under: March 2015 | Tags: , , , ,
March 2014

March 2014

March 16, 2015

Last year we were well on our way by this time. The syrup was flowing fairly well. The snow was gone. The days were warm and the nights were cold. This year, the season is trying to get rolling, but winter still has a firm grip. We thought we would have pretty full bags by tonight, but Sunday was cold and cloudy. Today, though warm, was rainy. We did get a few drips, but no need to gather until tomorrow.

This morning, I went for a few supplies and to check with my friend Marvin. His sugarbush has 3000 taps. He is having the same conditions as us. They gathered this morning, but could have waited. He boiled for just a little while. I watched while we shared conversation. His operation is just a little different than mine. He shared information and I learned much.

The weather is to turn a little nasty by tomorrow afternoon. They are even talking snow! We will gather then and reap the harvest. The season is slow, but progressing. We farmers are always working with the weather, so this crop is no different than the others. I wonder why we fret so much. It will all work out…it always does. Patience is a virtue… I must keep repeating this to myself 😮

Not This Week!
February 22, 2015, 11:21 am
Filed under: February 2015 | Tags: , , , , , ,
Ready, Willing & Waiting

Ready, Willing & Waiting

February 22, 2015

The cold will continue for the next ten days. I have cancelled my vacation for the upcoming week, choosing instead to take it the end of March. Hopefully I won’t have to move it to April 😮

I tried to take a walk through the woods yesterday afternoon. It didn’t take too long to abandon that idea. The snow is deep, mealy and has a crust several inches down that cracks you on the shins with every step. It is very laborious just trying to walk, tapping trees will take extreme effort, when the time comes.

My friend Paul, in New York state, has a sugarbush with 6500 taps. They often tap wearing snowshoes. I talked with him last week. He said the snow is too soft to hold them up this year. They had spent a whole day wading in waist deep snow to make a repair to his vacuum line. At least I don’t have to do that!!

I will say the snow is beautiful. The trees are all painted white this morning as a winter fog has frozen to all the branches. Jack Frost was busy last night, much to my delight. After all, if we are going to be delayed, we might as well enjoy the view!

Behind Closed Doors
October 2, 2014, 11:11 am
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Machinery Shed

Machinery Shed

October 2, 2014

Finally, after several years, I scraped together the money to build doors for the machinery shed. This building was built on a shoe string. It has quite a bit of recycled lumber in it. The siding was made from pine trees grown and milled here on the farm. The steel roof was constructed from “seconds” destined for the scrapyard. I built it so it is facing south and open to that side. Most of our wet and snowy weather stayed out, but every now and then, everything inside got covered in moisture. I wanted doors.

Last year, I managed to dig out the dirt floor and pour concrete inside the building. It made it so much better to move things around and kept the equipment out of the mud. My equipment is old, but in good condition. I want to take care of it. Keeping it inside just makes sense. It took me quite a while to acquire what I have by trading up, being patient and saving before I purchase. It takes longer, but is very much worth the wait to avoid the burden of debt.

I am actually excited to put my stuff away this fall. It takes a whole day to organize everything and it never fails one piece will be in the very back the day you need it most 😮 Oh well, I just love to see it inside, clean, dry, greased and ready to go when needed. I am sure my farming grandparents would be, pleased with my efforts and that pleases me too.

The building measures 24×48 with a 16 foot lean-to. I built it for much under current construction prices. I did pay for some help and materials, but by taking my time, the costs have been greatly reduced. Recycled lumber and home grown siding also knocked the heck out of the bottom line. I will recommend, keeping your tools stored inside when possible and thinking outside of the box when considering a building project…. and most of all…don’t be in a big hurry!