RicelandMeadows


Writing for Others or Why I do This

Me book 005

November 12, 2019

It is my hope that the things I write, the stories I share and the tales I tell, will help someone.

I hope that someone looking for release from a busy world and busy life, will find a pause and a peace as they read about me and mine. I hope that I can brighten someone’s day, if only for a few minutes. I hope folks looking for information will also find value in this small farming BLOG.

My book, pictured in the photo above, has been well received by many. In the book are many stories from my life growing up in the country and surrounded by farm animals. The stories will make you laugh, as well as, tug at your heart strings. It is written for all audiences and will warm hearts and stir memories in the reader’s mind.

We make movies here for RFD-TV. Several episodes can be found on YouTube. Just type Riceland Meadows into the search bar. I believe there are now 7 shows there. “Rural Heritage” films, edits and promotes my farm in these videos. Again, it is my hope that I can help someone in their quest for information on small farming, draft horses and a host of other topics.

I write for Rural Heritage magazine. I have been writing for them since 2002. I write some “feel good” stuff, but also many ” how-to” articles. I try my best to detail the subject with enough information, based upon my experience, to encourage someone to try it for themselves.

I trust that folks who follow my BLOG have found information, entertainment, and a feeling of well being as they read my words. I thank all of you for following along. The holidays are coming up. If you would like to gift a copy of my book to someone, I will waive the shipping cost for anyone in the continental United States until December 24, 2019. The cost of the book is 15.00 dollars (US) Email me at RicelandMeadows@roadrunner.Com

For copies of my book, my videos and others like it, you can also contact MischkaPress.com    Joe, Susan and Kelly are great people whom have helped me beyond words.

Thank you for following!



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

bell2

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!



It’s The Simple Things

spring 2016

March 25, 2016

In life, it is the simple things that matter. We all get too busy, caught up in the world and all the drama that goes with it. We need to slow down, take a minute to rest our brains, and let our hearts and souls talk to us. This is where true peace comes from. The kind of peace that restores us.

Last night we got a good amount of rain. The grasses and this field of spelt greened up over night. They know that spring is here. I was a little miffed because I had a different plan, but looking around the farm, I can see that the rain was needed. It is also forcing me to change gears, slow down and enjoy a rainy day….and I am doing just that!

Once I settled into the fact that my plans changed, I am making strides in a different direction. I am making progress in a couple of areas that were very needed and all because I had to slow down to think about them. I am sure that I will be better off and enabled to make even more progress once the rain stops, all because I slowed down.

Yesterday, I got to spend a little time with family. I worked on an old firewood tree and completed a list of errands. As I walked among the trees listening to the spring birdsong, I was refreshed almost by accident. Who would think that singing birds and the feeling that comes from completing a job, could make a man feel so good?

The documentary that we filmed here the last few days will air on RFD TV in May. It is two episodes shown on four different dates. It is my hope that folks will watch my horses work and understand why I choose to farm in this manner. I do tell our farm’s story, but the show belongs to the horses. They are the stars.

It is the simple things like harness bells and birdsong that keeps me going…not to mention a good morning kiss or an I love you spoken from a grandchild. The flame of a fire in the dark or the taste of a home canned peach on my tongue fills me with emotion and restores my soul.



Movie Stars

moviestars

March 24, 2016

Yesterday, the folks from Rural Heritage magazine were here to make a movie about my farm and draft horses. We spent the entire day filming. The horses pulled my sled, hauled the manure spreader with the power cart and skidded logs with our log cart. They performed beautifully, as expected…but you just never know…they are animals after all.

We will finish up this morning with the film crew. The movies will appear during the month of May on RFD TV. The videos will also be available from the Rural Heritage website. If you check out the Rural Heritage Facebook page, you can see some teaser photos taken during the filming.

They will be making two segments one geared toward our environmental and woodland stewardship. The other video will be about using draft horses for power on a mixed powered farm. The videos showcase our work horses Knight, Hoss and Duke. (each horse was played by himself) I am there too, but the real stars were the horses.

These are exciting and busy times here at Riceland Meadows. I’m sure glad you folks are along for the ride!