RicelandMeadows


Water Water Everywhere
May 13, 2019, 10:48 am
Filed under: May 2019 | Tags: , , , ,

sprinplow2019evener

May 13, 2019

Well, another half inch of rain in the last twenty-four hours. More is forecast for the next several. The mud is everywhere and spring work is stalled. I am sure some guys are getting very stressed. I am taking it in stride. The weather is something we cannot control. Patience is tested, but better to focus on making sure everything is ready to go, once the weather breaks.

We have things ready, I think. The planter is ready. The harrows and drags are ready. The horses and I are ready too. In the meantime we watch the grasses grow, the flowers bloom and the baby lambs being born. Warn dry days will soon be here, we just have to wait.



Watching and Learning
March 5, 2019, 11:41 am
Filed under: March 2019 | Tags: , , , , ,

Samgate

March 5, 2019

Sam, our Border Collie pup, is learning very well. He is having to learn patience. Patience and Border Collies are not always friends! Often times, he wants to be patient, but just wiggles all over from anticipation. Here, he is learning to take the horses to the gate, but then sit watch and wait, until I close the gate. Oh yeah, and no chasing beyond the gate!

I have been hanging out at my Amish buddy’s repair shop. We have been working on another project of mine. That project is almost done too. I, just like Sam, have been having to be patient as the project nears completion. Also , just like Sam, I am almost wiggling with excitement. Photos and a post coming soon about this new project.

In my waiting and watching in the repair shop, I have learned a few new things. I am amazed at how the entire shop runs from a line shaft. This old method of powering machinery is a lost art among us “Yankee” folks, but is alive and well among my Amish friends. A motor turns a series of pulleys. The pulleys, once engaged, turn shafts that operate machinery like lathes, end mills, hacksaws and drill presses.

I watch with my head almost on a swivel, as belts change directions and are slowed or sped up by gear reduction. Small magnetic switches engage small clutches to turn a machine on or off. I am blessed, to not only be able to watch these machines work, but also to be able to ask questions about how they work. My friend will take a few minutes to explain things to me.

Much can be learned by watching, keeping quiet and just observing. I have to keep the “wiggling” down to a minimum as the excitement and questions want to gush forth. Just like Sam in the photo above, I keep my ears perked, my eyes open and patiently wait. Anyone who knows me, will understand just how tough that is for me ­čÖé

Our weather is unseasonably cold. The cold and freezing temperatures have delayed the maple syrup season. I am using the time to complete items on my “bucket list”. The things getting checked off the list, make waiting easier. The recently completed dump wagon was one of these projects. The good thing is that I can learn something new while I wait.



Watching the Prep Work
July 13, 2017, 7:43 pm
Filed under: July 2017 | Tags: , , ,

feedlotprep

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
Filed under: July 2017 | Tags: , , ,

backendfarm

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 ­čś«

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 ­čś«



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┬áthen 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 ­čś«