RicelandMeadows


The Stars Are Out Again!

Hosknisap2018

March 22, 2018

My horses are stars again! They just had the role in a video showcasing our farm’s maple syrup operation. The footage was shot by Rural Heritage magazine and will appear in the future on RFD-TV. The CD will also be available for purchase from Rural Heritage magazine. You can look for this and other episodes made here at the farm by going to their website Ruralheritage.com 

It was an amazing day. We gathered maple sap. We tapped a tree and we boiled the sap and made some syrup all while being filmed. The horses gave me a little “push back” at first , but soon settled into their routine and worked perfectly…. as expected.

Maple season has been hit and miss, but these last few days we have been very busy. We boiled for the 7th time yesterday. The next few days look pretty good too. We will be in a rush as the season will soon be at its end, but for now we will work hard, even into the night….working at times, when the stars are shining!

Special thanks to Susan Blocker for the amazing photo of Hoss and Knight pulling the sap sled!



It’s One of Those Days
January 30, 2018, 8:10 pm
Filed under: January 2018 | Tags: , , ,

101_1319

January 30, 2018

Yep, yesterday our landscape was brown and green. Today, 10 to 12 inches of new fallen snow covers everything! I plowed us out, did chores at both ends of the day and sat and read the newest Rural Heritage magazine. I almost felt guilty….but all I had to do was look outside!



Abby Gets Her Bells

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October 23, 2017

Abby, our Percheron filly, continues to embrace her training. She “won her spurs” so to speak, this week as she starred in an upcoming episode filmed for RFD-TV, by Rural Heritage. The shows they filmed will begin airing early next year. Abby pulled a sled with Duke as we drove around the pasture. She stood while being groomed and hammed it up for the camera in her stall.

She has been exposed to harness and sleigh bells as part of her training. She pays them no mind. I decided to add these two to her harness , as she has now become one of the gang! She is a great addition to the power needs of our farm. I look forward to many years of working with her.

Abby made me look good as I talked about her training. She lowered her head as I talked about her old ways and the displeasure she had over having her ears touched. Now, she gets regular haircuts between her ears. She actually enjoys me brushing and petting her ears. Just one more “boogyman” eliminated from her memory. The new bells will chime as she walks, adding a musical component to our work day. This pleases me as much as she does.



Crazy Busy and Recess!

pigrecess17

January 31, 2017

My piggies were playing outside. As I snapped this picture, one of them fell on his side and slid about ten feet. They love playing in the snow. This part of their daily recess. They get to play twice a day. They drink all they want, then bark, run and play. They race and chase like children playing tag. It is a “hoot” to watch. Things like this brighten my day, make me laugh and drive stress out of my body.

It has been a crazy, busy month. We have been going almost non-stop getting work done and things ready for the upcoming maple season. My off farm job has been demanding extra time too. We have repaired an electrical problem, added a needed light and outlet on a necessary project. I have been training the new filly, getting her ready to hitch with the boys. Her maiden voyage will occur this week.

Hoss, Knight and I are on the cover of the current issue of Rural Heritage magazine. I have a couple of articles inside as well. We were also featured in last week’s Farm and Dairy newspaper. I have a book signing this coming Thursday night from 5 to 7 pm at the Kingsville Library. We have another book signing on February 18th, at the White House Fruit Farm in Salem, Ohio from noon until closing.

We have corporate approval to do book signings at our local Tractor Supply Stores, more info coming soon. Rural Heritage will be coming this spring to film more farming episodes for RFD-TV, so as I said, It’s been crazy busy! I guess I need some recess time like the pigs!

Really, I am about to do just that. The maple season will be upon us very soon. It is my most favorite time of year. I managed to get almost the whole month of March off for vacation. I will be making maple syrup, plowing for next years crops and working in the woods too. These things are some of my favorite things. It simply doesn’t get much better than that!

Hey, Check us out at WWW.RuralHeritage.com Take a look!



What a Week
May 23, 2016, 12:00 pm
Filed under: May 2016 | Tags: , , , , ,

RHFmenboys

May 23,2016

I have had a tough schedule these last several days. It is time now to catch up on farm work. The weather is about to dump rain on us, so I will be pushing hard to get things done. These are the times when I, sadly, must put the horses aside and use a tractor for farm work. It is still farm work…but it is simply not the same as I push into the night, stopping only for fuel.

It is so much better when the horses and I work these fields. Working and sweating together, but resting and sipping water that way too. I will do what I have to do to keep the farm running, but I don’t have to like it! I will use the horses for a few jobs and if the weather holds we will plant corn before the rain soaks us all.

The above photo is a snapshot taken during the filming of our documentaries. It is now the current cover page on Facebook for Rural Heritage magazine.  The second episode aired last week. The boys sure made me look good. I hope to get a pic or two this week as they help me catch up, but for the next day or so the tractor will have to drown out my grumbling as I watch the horses over the fence.



Making a Difference

rooto copy

May 20, 2016

My son sent me this link yesterday. It is from Facebook. A guy who goes by Small Farms, Big Horses has made a “root-o-tiller” I use mine for our boar in the off season. I was pleased to see that someone has used my idea and even better, gave me credit! I guess I make a difference after all.

My second video made here on the farm last March aired this week on RFD-TV. I got calls from all over the country from folks telling me that they enjoyed the program. I am humbled by their nice comments and want to publicly thank those who called.

Rural Heritage has posted the two videos on Vimeo. You can go online and watch the programs in a format much like “Youtube” I am amazed at how small our world has become.

In this world of internet, cell phones and space travel, I still say it is a wonderful thing to be behind a pair of horses doing farm work…in fact, I prefer it there!



On Top of the Heap

compost 2016

May 10, 2016

Yesterday, I finished applying the compost to my corn ground. This stuff was straw, manure, wood chips, manure, sawdust, manure, old hay and of course manure! It has been composting in my bunker since last October. It is awesome stuff with only an earthy smell of dirt…. well, okay, perhaps a hint of manure, but mostly dirt. It was in no way offensive to anyone’s nose.

This past fall we used wood chips for bedding. It proved to be a good addition. The small chips kept the pile open and airy longer. I didn’t see any “fire fang” or clumps of uncomposted hay from the absence of air. I also didn’t see many areas of compacted wet anaerobic places either. I was afraid the larger pieces wouldn’t compost well, but they did great and helped the whole pile to boot! I am sure the abundance of manure along with the diversity from several types of animals helps too.

No doubt, I will continue to use the wood chips in part of our bedding strategy along with traditional carbons sources like straw, sawdust, leaves and wasted hay. The wood chips are free. They are not real absorbent, but do work okay when used with one of the other products mentioned, especially straw. We add to the pile daily and I sort of turn it once a week with the skid steer when I push up the daily wheelbarrow loads.

Today, at 4:30 eastern standard time, our documentary from Rural Heritage magazine, airs on RFD-TV. It is weird to see your name in the TV guide! The show will replay on Saturday at 3:00 pm. Then next week , in the same time slots they will run a second episode. So, I guess like the wood chips… I am on top of the heap!