RicelandMeadows


Finding Your Way
July 17, 2017, 10:45 am
Filed under: July 2017 | Tags: , , , , , , ,

pinewoods

July 17, 2017

In this photo above, the skid trail from our pine forest is evident. I got this all mowed and ready to harvest a few logs for an addition on our machinery shed. The addition will allow me to store the last two pieces of equipment that I am forced to leave outside all winter. The structure will also make a place to store a quantity of round bales, protected from the elements.

The pine trees were to supply the rafter material, as well as a few boards to close off the north end of the building. The overhang structure, will be open to the east, but closed off from the brutal north winds of winter. It is amazing how much protection a roof gives your equipment. The fact that I can also store some hay there, means I will have less waste from the effects of the weather on bales stored outside.

I got this area of the woods ready for the lumber harvest, just a few days before I got the news that we would be replacing my knee. This project is on hold, until I get healed, but it is still on my “to-do” list. I drew my diagram and figured out the lumber list last winter for this project. A list of projects, helps me to stay on task and find my way. The filtered light on the skid road in the photo, helps me to realize that there is light at the end of the tunnel as I pause to rebuild and heal.

In life, especially on a farm, it is a good idea to have a plan. It gives direction for your energy. It helps to keep your finances on track. It gives opportunity for discussions and research. There are times when the plan serves to show you that you are going in the wrong direction. Defining your goals and working towards them, is great for your mental health. The feeling of accomplishment fills the mind and refreshes your soul.

The logging job is on hold for now, but the speltz crop has been harvested. The last of my first cutting hay has been mowed and is curing in the sun. The speltz straw too, has been mowed and waits for the baler. These projects were all completed with the help of friends. I watched from the porch as my buddies, did my summer work. It is humbling for me as people help me do what I can’t. It will all work out. It won’t be long and I can reciprocate. A good plan, a bunch of good friends….let me tell you, you can’t help but find your way!

 



2016 Spelt Has Been Planted
October 7, 2016, 8:52 pm
Filed under: October 2016 | Tags: , , , , , ,

2016speltzplant

October 7, 2016

Wow, after pushing hard from dark until dark for the last three days, the spelt crop for this year has been planted. I had to use the tractor some, but the horses and I pushed through it. This back field is usually our pig herd pasture. I needed to renovate it. Spelt and hay is planted at the same time. I will frost seed clover into this field in February or March, but in the meantime, the spelt will nurse the fescue hay seedlings.

This is a field of about five acres including a small wooded section and several small groves of trees. I farm around the trees for the benefit of the animals and even for the look of the grassy hamlet. The spelt field is about three acres, so well worth the effort. Next July, the grain and straw from this piece will meet our farm needs for a year.

The straw when mixed with the animals manure, after providing them a warm bed, is the foundation for our compost providing much of the carbon source needed. The grain fuels” the horses for an entire year, providing all goes well with the crop. We have not had to buy commercial horse feed for over eight years. Spelt and salt and mineral are all that is needed to keep working horses in good condition, along with good hay of course.

As I type these words, I am tired from the last three days, but I am very satisfied. Now, I just have to clean up the grain drill, grease and put away the disc and other tools while I wait for the seed to sprout. :o)



Harvest Time
October 4, 2016, 9:52 am
Filed under: October 2016 | Tags: , , , , ,

harvestload

October 4, 2016

Its that time of year again. We are all scrambling to get the harvest in before winter. I started yesterday opening up the corn field for picking. I go along the edge and pick the corn so that the team and wagon has room between the fence and the row being picked. I was surprised at just how dry the corn had become in just a week. It will now keep in my crib without spoiling.

My time commitments at my off farm job have been almost overwhelming this year. It takes away from my farm time, my blog time and even my life. It is a necessary evil at this time, but someday……… 🙂  Anyway, I did not grow pumpkins this year because I knew that I would not have time to take care of them. I bought this load from a friend. There are plenty here beyond the needs of my grandchildren, so some will be fed to the livestock.

My buddy makes these cute little straw bales for harvest decorations. I couldn’t resist them for the ladies in our family who love to decorate their yards and homes. I also got a bin of pie pumpkins. The kids can paint them, but I will enjoy pie and cookies made from this sweet treat. The kids will too…. sorry “Libby’s” but homemade is best.

I am scrambling to get my speltz planted this week before the next big rain. In between I am hand picking corn. I have a few days off so farm and horse time is just what I need to heal body and soul. The fact that I get to bring in the harvest, spend time with family and friends, just makes this awesome time of year even sweeter!



Bye Bye July
July 30, 2016, 8:12 pm
Filed under: July 2016 | Tags: , , , , ,

wyoniaslice

July 30,2016

July 2016, will come to a close tomorrow. Summer is fading fast and what a summer it has been! The project list is getting short and that is a very good feeling. The big tree has been all sliced into rounds, all ready to be split. She will look like firewood in just a few more days. Like July, the tree will soon be just a memory.

The speltz harvest is complete. The grain has been stored and the straw has been baled and put away. The grain provides fuel to power our draft horses, who power our farm. The straw will make great beds for our farms animals, but beyond that…the straw will provide the carbon source for our compost. The animal manures, shavings and this awesome straw are responsible for most of this farms fertility. I am thankful for the harvest.

combinestraw

Amber waves of grain…. it is a beautiful sight.



Speltz Harvest 2016
July 19, 2016, 11:05 pm
Filed under: July 2016 | Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

combine2016

July 19, 2016

Today, I completed harvesting our speltz crop for this year. I got enough to feed our four horses for another year. Its like growing your own tractor fuel! The crop was a little light, but we still have enough and that is a very good thing. There is a large amount of straw to be baled. It has been mowed ans is drying in the sun.

Today was a great day. Everything went well. My youngest grandson got to get a view from the driver’s seat.

keagancombine

He likes “Pa-pa’s” big tractors, but also likes the horses and other farm animals. Someday he will be a helper for me too. I love this life and passing it on, thrills me to no end.

calfkeajak

The end to a perfect day. Equipment stored, harvest put away and chores almost done. Tonight, I drink from the saucer… because my cup runneth over!



What a Great Day!
July 15, 2016, 9:16 am
Filed under: July 2016 | Tags: , , , , , ,

Belgianspeltz

July 15, 2016

Yesterday, we spent the day thrashing speltz with my Amish buddy and his family. It is an annual event, that for me, never gets old. I have a great time. The work is hot, dirty, dusty, and wonderful all at the same time. Water tastes awesome as it cools and wets a dry throat, believe me, we drank gallons yesterday!

Today, we are back at work here on the farm. The recent teaser rains we got, have made the clover and corn grow a little bit. I’m sure some second cutting hay is in our near future. Our speltz are almost ready. We will combine in a day or two. Its not as much fun as thrashing, but it’s quicker.

The horses and I will skid some firewood today. It will be a good day to be in the cool shade of the woods. It’s hard to believe that summer is half over. The fields could use some water. The pastures are holding out for now, but a cool refreshing drink would do wonders. It’s just like the hot job of yesterday….water refreshes all….just one reason why I protect it every way that I can.



Comfort Food
May 15, 2016, 8:20 am
Filed under: May 2016 | Tags: , , , , ,

picnic

May 15, 2016

This morning’s temperature is in the lower thirties. I put the summer annual flowers inside last night. The horses spent the cold rainy night in the barn. The sow herd was all snug in deep bedding. The cattle and sheep were tucked into quiet groves of pine trees. I was dressed in flannel and all of us were wondering where the heck spring went?

When the temperature drops, even after a couple of days of almost 80 degrees F, food seems to make us all feel warmer. The animals all get a little bit more grain. I eat a few more potatoes…in any style, but love mashed best! The comfort of warm food and a warm bed on a cold night, has got to be one of life’s greatest pleasures.

The horses continue to shed their winter coats. I have been working steady helping them rid themselves of it. My clothes smell of horse dander, mud and perhaps a little manure. I laugh because when I am working on them, I just smell the nice smell of “horse”, but when I grab them to dress in the morning all I smell is the manure part coming through! So, I take “clothes” off the horses and change mine daily too!

Our new to us filly “Abby” continues to fit in. She has a ways to go, but we are making great progress. She too gets a daily brushing as we work to shine her up. She loves the attention as I use the time to introduce her to clippers, harness and all things new. She is kept safe as I introduce these things to her slowly, yet steadily. I want her to know, that as long as I am there, she is fine. The “boogyman” won’t hurt her…even if he does sound loud or buzz like a bee.

Abbyshine

Abby is cleaning up good. She will match up to my boys very well. She has to finish growing and learn all sorts of stuff, but she is doing well. Last night, in a warm dry stall, dining on a scoop of farm raised speltz and a manger full of hay, she found the same comfort on this farm that I enjoy. The kind that makes you want to be here, more than any other place on Earth.