PDF FARM SHOTS 6 26 2016


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RANDOM SHOTS FROM AROUND THE HOMESTEAD TODAY

THIS FIRST ONE IS MY FREEZER STEER AND THREE OF COURTS FOUR HEIFERS,  THE FOURTH WAS LYING AT MY FEET

CALVES ESCAPE HEAT AND FLIES

THIS IS THE PATCH OF MOSTLY CHICORY AND CLOVER THAT IS IN THE GARDEN…WELL THE WHOLE GARDEN HAS IT BUT i MOW PATHS BETWEEN THE ROWS.  DECIDED A COUPLE OF WEEKS AGO TO LET THIS PATCH GO AND SEE WHAT A COVER IT MAKES.  WILL BE THE SPOT FOR TOMATOES NEXT YEAR.

CHICORY AND CLOVER COVER CROP

THIS IS COVER CROP BROADCAST ON A SACRIFICE ARE IN THE HORSE SIDE…SOWN ABUT SIX WEEKS AGO AFTER GRAZING.

COVER ON THE SACRIFICE LOT

I AM LIKING MY PLANT TOWERS….PICKED TWO CUCUMBER AFTER TAKING THIS PHOTO

FIRST CUCUMBER

PICKED MY FIRST TOMATOE FORM THE TOWER AS WELL….OKAY IT IS A CHERRY TOMATO BUT ITS MINE.  AND THE WIND HAS BROKEN THIS PLANT OFF TWICE.

FIRST TOMATO OF 2016

GETTING A HANDFULL OF KIOWA BERRYS EVERY DAY FOR A FEW DAYS NOW…

GETTING A FEW BLACKBERRIES

NIMROD LIKES TO LAY IN THIS SPOT TO WORK ON HIS TAN.

HE LIKES IT HERE SUNBATHING

THE SQUASH ARE DOING OKAY BUT THE LETTUCE HAS BOLTED…HAVE SOME MORE ON THE WAY

 

LETTUCE HAS BOLTED

MARIES GUARD DOG….HE WILL ONLY LEAVE HER TO GO OUTSIDE WITH ME.

MARIES GUARD DOG

NEW SEEDLINGS BEHIND THE CHICKEN TRACTOR….I PUT DOWN SOME SEED EVERY TIME i MOVE IT

 

MORE RECENT TRACKS

GUARD DOG ON THE LEFT…..WATCH DOG ON THE RIGHT

MY HELPERS

NELLY IS BACK TO WORK EATING WEEDS

NELLY AT WORK

PEPPERS ARE DOING OKAY EXCEPT THE DEER KEEP EATING THEM…ATE ONE DOWN TO THE STALK THE OTHER NIGHT AND WAS STANDING THERE WATCHING ME WHEN I WENT TO WORK IN THE MORNING.

PEPPERS IN PAILS

i DO LIKE MY PLANT TOWERS…PRETTY AND PRODUCTIVE.  THE COLOR IS FILLING IN WITH THE FOILAGE…THE TOMATO IN THE TOP WAS A BRANCH THAT FROKE OFF OANTHER PLANT AND i STUCK IT IN THE TOP…THRIVING

PLANT TOWER 1

ROCKS AND WATER….THIS IS A TUB OF GRAVEL FROM A FAILED AQUAPONICS EXPERIMENT….i COULD NOT ECONOMICALLY GET THE PUMPING RIGHT….SINCE THEN IT HAS BEEN A COVER CROP EXPERIMENT…HAD RYE AND VETCH IN IT OVER THE WINTER….NOW PEAS AND MILLET

ROCKS AND WATER

THIS MATER IS ABOUT THE SIZE OF A BASEBALL….NOT LONG NOW

SIZE OF A BASEBALL

SPATTER IS HEADING FOR THE SHADE

SPLATTER HEADING FOR THE SHADE

SQUASH AND ZUCHINI ARE DOING WELL IN THE BALE GARDEN ROW.  CUCUMBER ON THE FAR END ON THE TRELLIS

SQUASH AND ZUCHINI IN THE BALE GARDEN

SQUASH ARE BLOOMING AND BOOMING…PICKED THREE TODAY THE SIZE OF FOOTBALLS AND GAVE THEM TO THE CHICKENS.

SQUASH ARE BOOMING AND BLOOMING

SUMMER COVER CROP BUCKET 1….THE DEER LIKES THIS AS WELL…KEEPS IT MUNCHED.

SUMMER COVER BKT 1 THE DEER LIKE IT

SECOND PLANTING OF SUMMER COVER   PLANTED LATE MAY

SUMMER COVER LATER PLANTING

TWO BUCKETS OF THIRD PLANTING SUMMER COVER…PLANTED EARLY JUNE…THESE BUCKET HAD COOL SEASON CROP…i CUT OFF THE COOL SEASON…SCATTERED THE WARM SEASON SEED AND CHOPPED UP THE COOL SEASON RESIDUE ON TOP OF THE SEED…IT WAS MOUNDED UP SIX INCHES AND THE SUMMER COVER IS COMING THRU IT.

SUMMER COVER PLANTED EARLY JUNE

THIS BUCKET OF SUMMER COVER WAS PLANTED MID JUNE…PREVIOUS COVER WAS FED TO THE GOATS

SUMMER COVER PLANTED MID JUNE

SUMMER COVER POT 1  THE DEEER HAVE NOT BOTHERED THIS ONE

SUMMER COVER POT 1

SUNFLOWER HAS SHOT UP IN THIS ONE

SUNFLOWER POPPED THRU

DID I MENTION THAT I LIKE MY PLANT TOWERS

TOMATO TOPWAS A BROKEN BRANCH

TOMATOS…3 PLANTINGS….3 VARIEIIES

TOMATOS, 3 PLANTINGS 3 VARIETIES

OLDER CHICKEN TRACTOR TRACKS….NOW THE HORSES GRAZED THIS LOT IN EARLY JUNE AND i MOWED IT AFTER THEY CAME OUT SO THIS IS ALL REGROWTH.

TRACKS OF THE CHICKEN TRACTOR

PETE IS ALWAYS CURIOUS AND ASKING ……WATCHA GOT?

WATCHA DOING

PDF update 6/19/2016


Sunday, June 12, 2016 BEEN AN interesting couple of weeks.  Marie has had cataract surgery on both eyes since I last took keyboard to hand.  First one went smooth as glass…a week later the second was more difficult and she had pain in her eye for a couple of days….it is rapidly getting better now…she is not even wearing glasses and only needs a 1.50 magnifyer off the shelf store glasses to read.  Definitely cheaper than my auto tint bifocals…….                      Now after the rainest May on record it has gotten hot and dry…….     Hay making is going on at full tilt whereever you look……  My second cousin Lee, came by yesterday and I helped him pull a new wire to the outlet where the freezer is….there was a short somewhere and he had us up and going in no time.  people everywhere having experiencs with copperheads….I wear my judge when ever I am out side…but all I have seen are black snakes until yesterday….I was pulling some weeds from a bed in the garden and apache was following something…all of a sudden a good sized garter sanke appeared in front of me…and right below my hand.  Almost fell over backward.  not having any cows here the grass is taking over.  I decided I needed a few calves to eat some grass and hold the snakes a little farther from the house.  So this morning I put a bridle on Perkins and we did some cow moving…Three of the weaned calves had gotten back with the cows…so first step was to open the gate and gather the cows and sort off those calves….one of them was a steer that I am bringing home to begin feeding for freezer beef….Then I sorted off four of Courts heifers and we brought those five over to my house.  Finished around 10:30 or 11:00.  It was beginning to get hot….  Perkins is still a great old man and is beginning to like cow work…He had one moment where he apparently thought the mineral feeder was a grizzly bear…thought he was going to unseat me for a bit but we worked thru it…Then we rode up on a lame turkey dusting himself in a dust hole….may flies and small black horse flies were both pretty bad…….then after lunch I mowed and reseeded the paddock the horses have been in this week….     Our nanny goat Nellie, finally had her long awaited Kid….A single male goat born on D Day….I named him Ike…got off to a slow start with him being a little dumb and her not wanting to stand to be nursed….I milked her and fed him with a syringe the first evening…next morning he had a full tummy…I check him two or three times a day and he always has a full tummy and she normally has one teat or the other flaccid, but this afternoon was the first time I have actually seen him nurse.  She apparently is a pretty good milker and one side is all he can take at a serving.
Friday, June 17, 2016 I would have slept thru the storm if Dee Dee had not been so scared of the noise.,,,Court just came by to check on us…I said that I did not think the storm was bad here….I watched out the window as the southern sky was continuously lit up with lightening and thought to myself that Richmond must be catching hell….about that time we had a brilliant flash that hit within a mile or two and the whole house reverberated….next one was 12 to 15 miles away…Court said that Hoge Smith lost a hay barn,,,didn’t know yet what from…I just poured out and inch of rain from the gauge but the power did not even blink here…..the rain was hard enough that the direct teevee was out for about 49 minutes…it is still misting rain this morning…..turned on the news and sure enough Richmond got hammered….thousands without power…trees and power lines down ….roads blocked and the schools are closed.
Sunday, June 19, 2016 Well when I went out Friday morning all of the cows were in the ell behind my house…they were not supposed to be there…I had apparently left the electric fence off and they just helped themselves and walked thru and tore down a lot of electric fence…..so I spent Friday morning moving cows and fixing fence….when I got it back up and on it turned em okay….Friday afternoon I managed to sow one of the front paddocks and mow the grass the horses didn’t eat..   Marie had to work Saturday morning and I spent the morning cutting grass and trimming.  In the afternoon she wanted to take me out to eat for Fathers day…I told her I was not her father but she was insistent.     early afternoon I put Nelly and Ike in the garden lot so she could get some grass…she had pretty well mowed where she was….Ike was running and playing…I went to the house to get the camera and when I came back he dashed into the horse round pen and got stepped on….he was dead before I could get to him….I cried like a baby while I was burying him, and Marie is still bummed out and angry over it….when we went to eat we drove across Hewlett road to Jericho Road and saw why Hoge Smith lost a barn….both sides of the north Anna River looked like a war zone…trees down everywhere…..there was a storm cell that went thru there that must have been ferocious….       Sunday morning I took Perkins to Lake Anna and we rode with a small crowd to celebrate the 75th birthday of Jim Leahy….I hope to still be riding if and when I hit that milestone.   we rode 4.77 miles and then had some snacks and birthday cake and came on home….Perkins did well but he is not in the shape he was in….He was ready to quit when we got back to the trailer….we got back home before it got hot.

Log entry 5/29/2016


Sunday, May 29, 2016 This morning I was determined to put the harness on MisS Star Baby and begin her education as a driving horse.  She was not thrilled but she did real well….took me a while to figure out the harness and make all the adjustments…today we just worked on her learning how to wear it and basic commands…whoa, back, gee rournd, gee over, haw round, haw over…about 50 per cent she would gee and haw over on voice command…made good progress…did not drive her but simply walked her and practiced commands.  I reckon we walked about two miles and never left the little lot we were in…we both worked up a good sweat….later at supper she asked me why I done that too her…I told her to reckon back a couple of years when she auditioned as a bucking bronc and put me on the ground and busted my ribs…then looked at me and said what are you doing down there old man?

first day in harness

below  is a shot of a single yellow sweet clover plant.  This is the second year for this plant…it started from seed last year and over wintered….in the second year it grows prodigiously and blooms and sets seed….In the second year it is deep rooted although this specimen is in a bucket.  I find it to be a difficult plant to grow and it certainly does not do well when broadcast…or at least it has not done well for me….   I spent a lot of time mowing grass and trimming this weekend…was trimming under fences today around the yard….Hit something and it stopped the mower…plulled it back to restart and had chopped up a big black snake….never saw him….but the grass is so tall I beeen wearing my judge all the time when I am outside….started raining about 4:00 pm and it is raining pretty hard now…Did get two paddocks seeded this weekend….If I have a couple of afternoons to work Star Baby maybe I can use her to drag the one I do next weekend.  Then to fix a sled for hauling stuff…yellow sweet clover

log entry 5/1/2016


Sunday, April 24, 2016
Knew that I had gotten pretty trifling but did not know it had been a year since I put anything in the log….fear not…I am not going to try to catch up here…spent the morning fixing fences…30 year old fences need repair frequently…repairing is sometimes more difficult than rebuilding…ceertainly not as pretty. Planted four big bertha peppers and four celebrity tomatoes in buckets yeasterday. cukes and squash are coming up but the crows are picking them off…we had a quarter of an inch of much needed rain Friday night…but still dry…reseeded ell 3c yesterday. plan on splitting wood this afternoon.

Monday, April 25, 2016
Went to Dayton and picked up Star Baby’s harness. Trip was uneventful…when I got back I piddled in the garden till time to do chores. Weeded and resowed the carrots. Had a good crop of lambsquarter in them but not many carrots….cucumbers and squash were trying to come up but birds were picking them off at leaflet stage…found a lot of dead stems….replanted…filled in the peas where the dry weather had gotten them…watered everything.
Tuesday, April 26, 2016
back to work today….Started at 6:00 am setting up for the MWEE…finished by a little after eight..back to the office for a conference call at 9:00. after the conference call tried to catch up on things undone the last two weeks…then the computer internet went out….another digging crew had cut our line for the third or fourth time since the new courthouse project has been underway. Then at noon Marie called and we had a leak on the back porch. home to diagnose and disassemble…back to Ashland for parts and back home to make repairs…was not too tough…at least accessible….finished and fed the stock and now awaiting on supper and then a bath and most likely asleep on the couch.
Saturday, April 30, 2016
been a week…but I made it….Wednesday was the last day of MWEE and it was the day I had to teach Wetlands…Also had to do what I had been doing which was to assist in setup. Then I slipped on a wet hillside and fell in front of the very first class. Biggest injury was to my pride but I was sore for a couple of days. then after teaching we had to break down and haul back to the office. Thursday and Friday were back in the office to try to catch up. This morning my plan is to find a place to hang the harness and then go to the feed store. have not been in a couple of weeks so today will be expensive. supposed to be wet and rainy most of the weekend..been dry for a month and then starting Wednesday evening we have had rain and hard at times…I have measured 9/10 of an inch so far. We really needed the rain as it was really dry. for most of April we had March winds and no rain…all the surface water was just evaporated…grass growth has been way behind.
Sunday, May 01, 2016
Well Saturday was eventful…got the things I wanted to do mostly done…temporary improvisation on hanging the harness…trips to two feed stores..got some more tomatoes planted…four rutgers…already have four celebrities…Found a broken post and drove a steel post in along side it to hold it up… found a broken fence and mended it…tried gripples and it worked great and so easy…two grazing paddocks one the goats have been in for two weeks and one the horses have been in for a week got seed broadcast and then drug a tire over them to get some soil to seed contact….Still have the splitter on the tractor as I have two more piles of wood that need to be spit before I put the bushog on the tractor….the goat lot had a big patch of barley that the goats did not graze and the tire laid it down in a nice mat…picked up my summer mix form Ashland Feed and Seed and a half and half mix of that and some cool season mix is what I broadcast in that paddock…Then at supper we looked out the back window and a turkey hen was in the horse paddock just seeded right behind the house…I sure hope I didn’t disrupt her nest in that barley patch but I walked all through it when broadcasting the seed and saw no sign…at supper Marie asked me what I wanted for Supper Sunday…I told her that I might cook a roast if I could remember to get one out of the freezer. She reminded me and when I got one the meat was not frozen hard…checked and the breaker was tripped. Long story short the freezer is okay but the circuit is bad and the wiring will have to be replaced…cogitating on how to best do that. It is now around nine am and the roast is in the crockpot…started raining last evening again and we had some nice showers to get my new seed and tomatoes off to a good start..aim to plant some more tomatoes next week….have noticed that my solar pump is not working…most likely the battery is dead…been several years since I did anything with it…solar panel charges the battery and a timer runs the pump for an hour a day to keep the tanks full. but that is a sunny day project and I have to get a new battery…never a shortage of work to do and only one old man to do it all…

Farm Update and photos 5/10/2015


As always…to see any picture larger click on it…use your browser back arrow to return to the blog.

It was a pretty weekend and I got a lot done and managed to take a few photos around the farm.

My garden is doing fair…looks like I once again am having some herbicide carryover issues with well composted manure on my tomatoes…three or four of them are showing the knurling that is the first symptom…. The promise of composting killing weed seed is false….I think it is a development zone for lambsquarter…fortunately lambsquarter is easily pulled and dealt with….I have it everywhere I put compost on my garden….

But the cover crop which was broadcast on my garden last fall is really pretty now on the part that has not yet been mown. Photo below.

unmowed part of my garden plot

Sunday I spent a few hours cleaning up where I fed the horses hay in a round bale feeder during the hard weather….I did not realize how much was there until I started hauling…the bin on the left is old stuff that has composted…the bin on the right and the pile are new.

spring cleaning

Part of the chickens are in a chicken tractor and I generally move it every two days or so and then broadcast some seed behind it and lately have taken to covering the seed with something…hay..manure…mulch just something to cover the seed. I did this all winter as well. this first shot is of seeds sown during the early winter…There is no pattern or plan to what is sown…I go grab a cup full of seed and broadcast it behind the tractor…

sown behind the chicken tractor

This is my cover crop on the old bull lot…this is a lot that has had continuous cover crop for two and a half years now…this cover has not been grazed since fall when the goats were on it…now it is shoulder high on me…

shoulder high on me

The below shot is the chicken tractor coming back for a second pass…the chickens are getting the benefit of their labors and harvesting the forage they helped grow….

chicken tractor harvesting

Star Baby and Pete saw me out and thought they would encourage me to open a gate into a new paddock…but they will not go inot that one for at least another month….

how bout moving this fence

My Kiowa Blackberries are beginning to bloom…I love those berries…

kiowa berries blooming

Several folks have inquired lately about Pete, the rescue we took in a while back..he is doing well..his feet have grown out nicely and he is sound all around and has gotten so stout that we had to cut his groceries back a good bit…He is a people type horse and loves attention.

Pete Update

Below is another shot of my bull lot cover crop…Easily seen are rye, barley, vetch, crimson clover, winter peas and rape.

rye barleyvetch crimson and peas

And to close things out…Pete says, “If you don’t have any treats, I’m going to the stable.”

Well if you don't have a treat....

Normal goings on…


Tuesday, April 14, 2015 been a while since I made an entry in the log…Marie had double hernia surgery today….she came thru in well and they sent her home the same day…we were home by 5:30. got her settled and did the chores and then made a run to the pharmacy to get he prescriptions filled. got home and she was prowling around in the kitchen.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015 I had a dr appointment today so I slept in and had time to get Marie set up the way she wanted and then went to the doctor and on to work…called mid day and Marie said she was fine…when I got home she had my supper ready. Dr. was a little bitchy…I had gained eight pounds and he fussed at me like I was a pregnant woman…I told him that I could lose five lbs in a good days work….

Friday, April 17, 2015 I went back to the chripractor today…this was the third visit….I am going for a pain in the neck but her treatment is making my hands so much better that I keep going back…the pain in my hands from the rheumatoid is not half of what it was before I went to the chiropractor…she loaned me a little portable electro theraphy unit to try for the weekend and I will try it tonight….picked up prescriptions for both Marie and I and stopped by the Ashland feed store…got some more peppers and two more tomatoes…one big boy and one mortgage lifter….already have a dozen tomatos planted and eight peppers…came home and planted the new stuff and alos planted cucumber, squash and zuchini…cranked the push mower and mowed the front up along the road…set up the horses to graze the yard around the barn…got up to near 80 degrees today…Court weaned calves this morning…they were working them when I got back from Ashland.

Saturday, April 18, 2015 Saturday morning and Marie wanted to go out to breakfast…so we went to Dennys and swung by Walmart to pick up a couple of things she wanted….one city girl trait that Marie has never abandoned is the desire to go to a store every day. Stopped at three places looking for a single cayene pepper and a single cherry tomato….no one had them…I could buy a six pack but who needs six of those two plants…. She handled the travel pretty well and actually ate some of her breakfast…Marie is not a big eater and always marvels at what I eat….even after all these years and my reduce intake. let the horses into the yard around the barn again while I cut more grass….the portable electro therapy unit….Doc said it was not as powerful as the office model….but I found it to be much sharper and it would make my ears wiggle at half power….had some trouble keeping the sticky electrodes on my neck…that is my only complaint about it…Doc said I could use it doing normal activity…I have trouble getting the ones on my neck to stay on just sitting on the sofa….tonight I am going to try to put those lower on my neck nearer the shoulder….between the electro theraphy and my new compression gloves the hand are not throbbing as badly.

Sunday, April 19, 2015 Sunday evening now…this morning I set up the grazing lots for the horses for at least the next ten days…moved the goats back up to ell1…cut down, cut up and piled the brush from a good sized hickory….put the spear on the loader and fed a round bale to the calves that Court has weaned……they were songful Friday night and Saturday but they are pretty quiet today…..did the chores and had supper and then put together a pot of ground beef and beans in the slow cooker for tomorrow…Sprinkling this late afternoon…I can hear rain on the roof right now.,,,,,,guess I will go hook up the charger and recharge my batteries…wonder if it will work on my legs,,,,I am so tired that my thighs are claiming that my feet weight a hundred lbs a piece… Marie…she is doing laundry right now…..

Spring Seeding 2015


We finally made it to spring….for a while I wondered if I had the fortitude to make it…but here on the first full day of spring I find that I am still alive….

We are down to burning just one wood stove and we are not burning it hot as we have been all winter…but when I got home on Thursday afternoon Marie did have the temperature up to 85 degrees in the house….she is still cold mentally…. And justifiably as the photo below was taken just two weeks ago of Dee Dee cooling it in the snow….

1 cooling it

Just to show how rough they have it the photo below shows a pile of puppies after a hard day playing in the snow….they were piled up on top of me on the sofa….Dee Dee has the good grace to lay along side my legs but Apache wants to pile up on me so I can scratch his belly til he dozes off.  Right now they are trying to convince me to quit typing and go outside with them to play in the mud…

.2 puppy pile

We did that yesterday and they got good and dirty and wet….they were supervising me as I engaged in spring cover crop seeding and temporary fence building.

I have seeded various mixes on 7 paddocks in the last two weeks…five of them were used as sacrifice areas over the winter and two are new cutover land where I have harvested firewood.

Below is a shot of what I refer to as a temporary fence kit.  Some polywire on a spool with a gate handle.  I have small paddocks so I take a 660 foot roll of wire and cut it into three lengths of 220 feet each…. A few step in posts….as you can see I have several types….My favorite is the Obrien Plastic but they are getting hard to find….they will last forever because they are made with a better resin and don’t break when you look at them hard….for this fence the corner is a steel tee post driven into the ground and a five foot length of 2 inch PVC pipe slipped over it…a piece of baler twine for a convenient carrying case……..Took about five minutes to put up the fence…..actually took longer to assemble the materials than to build the fence.  One strand will turn the horses and cattle…the goats are not on this side….takes at least two strands to turn the goats and three works more reliably…

3 temp fence kit

The next photo is during the reseeding of a sacrifice area….The supervisors are checking to see if we have good seed distribution….this is an area where when the weather was decent I threw hay over the fence for the horses….this year I just broadcast early spring seed shut the gate….and walked away….will see what happens…..seeded  spring oats, yellow sweet clover, chicory, ryegrass, red clover and a few pounds of left over fall cover crop mix….the plan was to run a drag over it after seeding….but it is getting late in the season and the fields are too wet for a tractor so I just seeded in the rain and hoped the rain would assist in getting the seed to the ground….there is plenty of mulch and plenty of horse manure….what germinates will do well….

4 front yard A reseeding

The next shot is the other side of the same field….this side did not benefit from the mulch hay…I could reliably throw hay about half way across the field without having to turn off the electric fence…..it was actually shut off and reseeded last week ….again in the rain….seed used was a barley mix with several clovers and rye grass and chicory.

5 front yard be reseeded last week

Then it was on to the new area….this is a section where I cut the firewood we have been burning this winter…..the stumps are still there….in fact with the foul weather I have been unable to burn brush and now there is a burn ban so I had to just move the major brush out of the way and hope to be able to burn it later….now this is true experimentation…..I am not doing anything to this land but putting down a variety of seed and hoping that something will take hold….it is cutover forest so the pH is low and so is the fertility…my agronomist friends tell me that I am crazy…wasting my money on seed without amendment….I do not expect miracles…but I do expect it to start….and once I get the biology going all I have to do is keep a green and growing cover on it and it will come along…..I proved that to myself two years ago with the poor land that I put Rye and vetch on and the land has been transformed into a productive paddock that this year will become part of the grazing rotation….

6 seeding and fence new area

But I digress…these are two small paddocks….the cleared strip is about 30 0r 35 feet wide and maybe 200 feet long….I decided to make two paddocks out of it and seeded it with two slightly different seed mixes.  Both were a spring oats based mix…one had perennial rye grass and the other has annual ryegrass…different mixes of clovers in each….different chicory in each and both has a few pounds of left over fall cover crop mix.  Originally I was going to broadcast and rake in the seed with a hand rake….wet condition and lateness of season altered that plan….the seed was broadcast in the rain….much of it into standing water….chicory, ryegrass and yellow sweet clover were chosen for root mass and penetration to improve permeability.  If it does not do anything I will try again with a summer mix in May…7 seeded and fenced 2

My aim is to try to document my progress with photographs and to report results over the summer…currently there is now sunshine streaming in my window and I am taking the supervisors outside to see what other trouble we can get into….

8 seeded during the rain

Overdue log entry


Friday, March 13, 2015

It has been a while since I recorded any activity….several reasons….since the arrival of the woodsplitter, it and I have bonded….We have split a lot of wood….we have burned a lot of wood…but for the most part we have been warm this winter….second reason…it has been a winter…worst February in years that I can recall…weekly significant snows…cold nights below zero…the fluid in my tractor tires froze….I didn’t want to be a whiner so I just shut up and tried to endure…..But spring finally approaches…it has been warm this week and the snows are finally gone….frogs have been peeping for a couple of days…there is a tint of green to the landscape as early plants begin to break dormancy…This morning I saw a sight I have never seen before….I could hear geese…scanned the sky and finally found a vee of snow geese way high in the sky heading north….must have been forty or so all solid white and way high in a classic vee….now we see geese all the time and we have resident Canada geese that raise young on the pond behind the house annually…some times there are a few white geese mixed in….but this entire flight was white geese…I watched em until they disappeared in the distance….Spent the morning planting some plants I ordered in January….day lillie and sedum….I had almost forgotten about them until they showed up in the mail…mostly went around the dog graves…when I got up there the jonquils are out of the ground and budding and looks like we will have a good crop by each grave….then this afternoon began mixing seed and sowing cover crops on the pastures that have been sacrificed this winter….got three paddocks done……got to relate the excitement last night….the dogs woke me up ….something outside…..I grabbed the judge and stepped out….Perkins was running and neighing frantically….got the best flashlight and soon figured out that the mini donks were with him but he was distraught because Pete and Star Baby were absent…..went in and pulled some jeans and a sweat shirt over my night clothes got in the truck with my spotlight to try to find them….no sign of them anywhere….but it was so wet that there were places I could not get the truck to in order to shine the light….so I parked the truck and grabbed the flashlight again and set out on foot to find them….I walked the place over and checked the perimeter fences…All fences ok…no sign of trauma…but could not find them….was beginning to get worried when finally the light hit something white….It was Star Baby and Pete was right behind her….Since we don’t have a bull here any more, I had let the horses graze the bull lots in the fall and even around the pond and those gates were still open….but they had not been back there since the first snow opting instead for hay welfare…..last night they realized the snow was gone and grass was greening and apparently walked off while Perkins was dozing….I got em back and shut the gate and Perkins was satisfied, but then I had to watch tee vee for an hour before I got sleepy again….then I slept til 7:30 this morning……. I am usually starting to think about lunch at 7:30

Saturday, March 14, 2015

As predicted it began to rain last night….good for my broadcast seedings…Marie was off so we went out for breakfast this morning…went to Shoneys just for a change of pace…not the variety of Golden Corral but I still managed to consume three plates worth and it was good…stopped by Walmart and got groceries and then home…cleaned out the wood stove and then mixed some seed and in a break in the rain managed to broad cast some seed on the maternity lot…started raining again just as I finished…

Pretty weekend makes for a sore Monday


A pretty weekend in February….My goal was to ride a horse for a while….

But in my advanced age I often find myself carrying goals over…just too much work to do to take time to ride…And Perkins kept reminding me of things that needed doing…

I finally managed to assemble my economy compost bin and take photos and post them.

link to facebook posting with complete photos and information….

https://www.facebook.com/pdfangus

The bin is a welded wire livestock panel…to the panel I attached chicken wire using some hog rings….then I pulled the panel into a circle with the chicken wire on the inside and tied the two ends together with a piece of baler twine. I place it where I wanted it….filled it about a third full and placed a perforated pipe in it to provide air flow….then I finished filling it…this one was filled by turning my old pile that had stopped working…I need another one already for the rest of the pile…

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Then back to the land clearing and wood splitting…Liking my new wood splitter…the pile is Sunday afternoons work and the wood all came form the pictured cleared area….this is the north end of a strip that is about 30 feet wide by 150 feet long that I have cleared and aim to plant to cover crops in March. I have one more big pine to take down and it has been saved because I have to take a ladder to get a cable up the tree to control the fall to keep it off of fences…No branches to get a cable over…

the photo shows some of the pine snags I have been dealing with….the upright one is nearly rotten and the log on the ground is nearly rotten as well….I will not waste time cutting them up and splitting…

Sunday Afternoons work

north end of the new clearing area

Transition to Fall


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Yvette and Utah....cow and her yearling daughter

Yvette and Utah….cow and her yearling daughter

IMG_0608The past week has been a dramatic transition from the heat of summer to the pleasantness of Fall….the week after Labor day was pretty much the hottest week of the summer….but when it got cool ……it got cool….

Yvette and Utah....cow and her yearling daughter

Yvette and Utah….cow and her yearling daughter

Friday, September 12, 2014 five paddocks bush hogged and broadcast….back yard 1, along drive 3, new area 1, ell 4c, and bull lot 2….three different mixes but all had some of the new vetch……then started cutting grass…got the left front done….feed store run and mixed feed and seed.
Saturday, September 13, 2014 thought it was a PPRC ride day but it is next week…When I went out I saw that Xena had found her calf over night…nice little bull calf….we had breakfast at Cracker barrel, got flu shots at Martins, sheetz for gas…Roses and Walmart and dollar tree and bought some $1.00 books.  misting rain in the afternoon….tried to assemble my new weather station which was my consolation prize for 15 years of service at the district but I need 7 lithium ion AA batteries.
Sunday, September 14, 2014 made  the bacon wrapped chicken that I found a recipe for this week….put it together in the morning and Marie baked it in the afternoon….qualifies for a do over…..cool day so I started cutting firewood….had a heck of a time felling a big pine that when it hit the ground just disintegrated…then found a dead maple and it made nice firewood….hung my right foot on a branch and fell over a log and barked both shins….hurt like the devil but nothing busted and I did not fall on the double bit axe I was carrying….well I did but I made sure it was out in front of me when I hit the ground which meant I could not catch myself…..cut grass in the afternoon…..need to go to work so I can get some rest….beautiful fall day and I would liked to have ridden a bit but just to much to do….still have not finished cutting grass and will need to start over in a few days….