RicelandMeadows


Its a Wrap!
July 12, 2015, 9:10 pm
Filed under: July 2015 | Tags: , , , , ,
My progress after the last 3 days

My progress after the last 3 days

July 12, 2015

It has been three full days, but the first hay mowing, baling and wrapping, on my farm is done. We beat the rain and things went quite well for our maiden voyage with our used baler and homemade wrapper. It has been a bit of a learning curve for my friend Ron and I, but we can count more successes than failures, so I say we are doing well!

The rain wants to hang around and make things tough on us farmers wanting to make dry hay. The hay is ripe. The clover is tall and falling over. We really need a window for dry hay making to appear. I am so very grateful to my friend. He and I share equipment now to make our silage bales. This is going to change everything for me. The sheep and cattle will really enjoy the sweet high protein bales we just made. The second cutting can grow and we are no longer “behind the eight ball”, as the saying goes.

We will make some more silage bales this week as I wait for a good sunny day to combine the speltz. Things are busy, but I am staying very happy. The sugarhouse addition is complete, at least on the outside. So, that project can wait a little while. The big tank is ready for pick up this week, but installation will wait for the shorter days of autumn…when the haymaking days of summer are behind us  😮

Bagged and tagged...nice!

Bagged and tagged…nice!



Throwing Stones
June 22, 2015, 9:01 pm
Filed under: June 2015 | Tags: , , , , , ,
Limestone added to get rid of the mud

Limestone added to get rid of the mud

June 22, 2015

Upon removing the old shelves that have held our storage tanks for the last four years, that whole area was soft and muddy. I threw limestone there to make for a much better walkway. Part of our floor is pea gravel that had been added when we built the sugarhouse. It has worked well, but is disappearing into the ground. This new layer of limestone, gives everything a fresh look. It also holds up a portly farmer with small feet 😮

Today was hot and muggy, but a good breeze blew for most of the day. I baled some “wet” bales for a neighbor. These “wet” bales will be wrapped in plastic and turned into silage. A sweet smelling, high protein feed for cattle and sheep, silage is a great crop, especially now when the hay drying days of summer are fleeting. This grass gets mowed one day and left to wilt down. The next day it is raked, baled and wrapped in plastic. Sealed up without the presence of oxygen, the bale ferments.

This process is old, but the balers and wrappers are fairly new. I am helping a neighbor in exchange for using this high priced equipment. I, however, have an idea. I read about silage being made in very poor countries by filling plastic bags with wet grass. The bags are sealed with a knot then tape. They are stored under the beds in mud huts until needed to feed the family cow or water buffalo. This low input method of making silage is right on my radar screen… more to follow 😮

I am sure that when I am out in my barnyard stuffing bales into large plastic bags, a farm neighbor will drive by and snicker at my attempts to make silage. I am sure it will work…so I will laugh all winter long while feeding this awesome forage to my livestock. My friendly “snickerers” should remember folks in glass houses should not throw stones!