RicelandMeadows


2019 Speltz Crop has been Planted
September 23, 2019, 9:21 am
Filed under: September 2019 | Tags: , , , ,

plantedspelt2019

September 23, 2019

Whew, what a week last week was! Tuesday, I helped a friend on a logging job. Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, I worked from early until after dark, getting the speltz planted. The fields had to be plowed, then a seedbed prepared. I used the tractor, due to the tight timeline. The celebration came at 10 pm on Friday night, at the completion of this job.

The field in the photo above is one of three small fields that I planted. I want to ensure that I have horse feed and bedding for next year. This crop is very important for us. Using mixed power, sometimes makes sense. The tractor allows me to “catch up”. I prefer to work horses, but I don’t shun modern technology.

My lack of planning and letting myself get too busy, crowded my speltz planting window into just three days. This forced me to push hard without rest. The tractor can stand being pushed that hard. I wanted to beat the rain. Thankfully, I did just that. The rain came on Saturday, just after lunch. I had just finished cleaning the grain drill and putting all the equipment away. The rain came quick. It dropped about a quarter of an inch in just minutes. I smiled and thanked God.

I rested Sunday. The tractor can take the abuse of many hours of hard work without rest…the horses and I cannot.  I did chores and not much else. The rains came again last night and continues into today. The life giving water will sprout the seeds waiting in the warm ground. Our crop should be off and growing in no time.

My mother always followed the progress of my speltz crop. I’m sure she would be pleased by my efforts. Autumn is a busy time on the farm, as we wrap things up and make ready for winter, The speltz being planted, takes a huge burden off the list. The corn harvest will begin very soon. Right now our cows are calving making it a wonderful time of year to watch, wait and work.



The Autumn Rush
September 19, 2019, 9:23 am
Filed under: September 2019 | Tags: , , ,

blkcowcalf

September 19, 2019

September is flying by. It is a busy time, as I rush and work to get our speltz crop planted. I did manage to get the hay equipment all cleaned and put away. I helped a friend on a logging job for a day too. Now I must focus on getting the crop planted, before the wet days of fall make field work impossible.

The cows are starting to have their calves. This is always a fun time…watching the babies that is. The moms take it all in stride. I try to stay pretty much hands off, mostly checking on everyone from the fence line. I get involved when necessary, but usually just watch to ensure that all is well.

The corn crop is ripening fast. The trees are starting to show color and signs of dropping their leaves. I want to stay “on track” so as not to get caught by the changing weather. Last year, our autumn was very wet. I didn’t get any speltz planted, nor any fall plowing done. My hope, for this year, is to continue to keep up.

The compost has all been spread. The manure storage area is empty and ready for winter. The manure spreader has been power washed, lubed and stored away. The corn harvest is our next big job, but so far so good. The autumn rush is on, but we are keeping up…so far.



Seconds Anyone?
September 6, 2019, 12:35 am
Filed under: September 2019 | Tags: , , ,

secondcut2019

September 6, 2019

The weatherman says a stretch of good weather, without rain is upon us. I cut the last field of second cutting hay. The boys did a great job. They settled into a nice walking pace and pulled the mower effortlessly. The grass and clovers were just right for clipping. I think this will make some real nice hay.

The dew stays on the grass a bit longer on September mornings than in the heat of summer. The sun doesn’t get quite as hot, but I think the hay will cure and dry nicely in spite of this early fall weather. We will be diligent in fluffing and turning it, to aid in the drying process.

This hay will make a yummy treat in the cold, dark days of winter. The sweet, soft grass will provide added protein needs for the livestock. They like the sweet hay and will lick up every morsel. I give it sparingly to all but the horses. It is simply too rich for the draft horses. They will be content and stay in good condition on our first cut timothy hay…and oats of course.

We have a few busy days in front of us, but once its done, we are done with haying for the year. We can clean and lubricate the machinery for winter storage. Its looking like we will be working on hay and plowing for speltz at the same time. I hope that the fall planted speltz, are in the ground and growing by the end of the month. That will just leave the corn harvest to complete before the snow flies….funny to be talking about making hay and snow in the same post, but then again, this is northeast Ohio!



Harvesting in Many Ways
September 9, 2018, 12:09 pm
Filed under: September 2018 | Tags: , , ,

caitlynpep

September 9, 2018

We are started with the fall harvest. Our first order of business was to make and preserve memories as most of our family joined us for a reunion. Our granddaughter Caitlin, made friends with Pepper in the photo above. City relatives enjoyed the farm and its animals, as much as we enjoyed seeing them all again. A water balloon fight, pony rides and a walk in the woods were highlights of the day.

The pantry is filling up as the garden is producing in high gear. It looks like we will soon be pulling up the plants and preparing for a fall cover crop, putting the garden to bed for winter. I’ll be glad to click that off the list. The field corn for cows is ripening fast and will take up my attention soon. The first order of business however,  is to prepare and plant the speltz grain for our horses.

sweetcornshock

Sweet corn shocks, cut and tied for decoration. Our son Josh and his family grew pumpkins, squash, gourds and such for a fall roadside stand. They are getting all set up and open for business. Our granddaughter Rachel is selling bouquets of wild and cut flowers. She too is harvesting and gleaning not only plants, but memories as well.

I am inside today as rain falls steadily, the remnants of hurricane Gordon. The rest is good on this sleepy Sunday, as we all prepare to hit high gear very soon!



Hay What a Busy Week
July 16, 2018, 9:04 am
Filed under: July 2018 | Tags: , , , , , , , ,

haymow1

July 16, 2018

The last week has been a whirlwind! Hay dried very nice in the sun. We raked and baled, hauled and stacked until we got it all in off the fields without any of it getting wet.

haymow2

I modified the the hay loft door and am able to set the hay bales up into the loft with the skidsteer. I can set 5 bales up before I have to go up and roll them out of the way. This makes haying much easier for me. Most importantly, I don’t need help. Hay help is getting harder and harder to find, having overcome this fact is awesome! I can store the equivalent of 400 small square bales by doing it this new way. I will unroll the bale at feeding time and fork the hay down chutes to the horse mangers below.

The speltz straw also had to be mowed and made ready to bale

hayted2018

The horses and I fluffed the straw with our hay tedder. There was a lot of nice, new seeded grasses in the straw. I treated this bounty as hay. The animals will get to eat anything they want, then sleep on the rest. It gives new meaning to “bed and breakfast”. It was a hot week. The temperatures were 90F and above for many of them. The horses and I both sweated together, but we made 42 nice bales. Those bales have all been hauled in and stacked near where they will be used.

We are now ready for some needed rain. We are thankful that it held off while we scrambled to get the last of the first cutting hay harvested, the speltz combined and the straw gleaned as well. Today, it’s hot and sticky, but all of us will rest and wait for the rain…while I make a new list of work for us all.



Oh What a Harvest!
July 9, 2018, 1:15 pm
Filed under: July 2018 | Tags: , , , , , ,

speltz2018

July 9, 2018

The 2018 Speltz harvest is done. It was a good crop. This will meet the grain requirements for my horses for the next year. The straw will be clipped and baled soon as well. The weather was perfect, the combine worked great and the field was in great condition.

2018harvest

The crop grew well with no lodging. (Lodging is when the crop goes flat to the ground) Wind can sometimes knock the crop over, but lodging usually comes from weak stems.  I am very pleased with the speltz crop, but also with the emerging hay that the speltz “nursed” through the winter. The new seeding hay is robust and doing very well.

I was busy combining the speltz, while my daughter-in-law was busy too. We welcomed a new baby girl to our family. She is sweet as ever…of course she is made from… ” sugar and spice and everything nice”!

Fernbday

 



Autumn Frolic
September 30, 2017, 8:29 pm
Filed under: September 2017 | Tags: , , , , , , ,

calves2017

September 30, 2017

As the last day of September comes to a close, I am happy to report the calf crop is coming along well. The little black one in the picture was born last night. So far two little bulls (soon to be steers) are running all over the pasture. They will be joined by a couple more babies before foul weather sets in for winter. They are sure having fun!

Last Saturday, we put a new roof on my shop. The shingles were curled up and were in rough shape. They were 18 years old, so rather than wait for a leak, I put on a new roof. My friends helped me. We had a great day. It was an Autumn Frolic too! We finished the day with fellowship and ice cream…Yum!

adminshop

We are working steady to be ready for winter. Projects keep getting marked off the list. The speltz are growing very well. We got a quarter of an inch of rain yesterday and everything seems to have benefited. The speltz especially. They jumped a couple of inches and look real good. The lawn too appears greener. It will have to be cut at least once more. The weatherman says frost for tonight, so, our growing season may end by tomorrow.

The trees are taking on their colorful hues. Some leaves litter the ground, nuts are falling and small animals are gathering for winter. The north wind blew today signaling all of us to take note, turn up your collar and stay busy. A little more wood for the shed and we are good. So, perhaps just one more Autumn frolic and we will be ready to welcome the Winter Wonderland!