Happy Summer

Panama, NY(Zone 5a)

Solstice this morning at 7:38 (or there abouts). I planted some late annual seeds and Stan celebrated by fixing a silo unloader. He has the oats to chop with a little help this afternoon.

Richmond, TX

Was yesterday the longest day or is it today? I spent the last afternoon of spring treating Huisache in the SE pasture. It was 97 degrees and humid and I could have been inside doing bookkeeping, but I was quite happy walking around for miles killing brush. I love my land.

Monroe, WI(Zone 4b)

The Spousal Unit is wanting to start 2nd crop hay..........now, if it would just QUIT raining for a week or so.........won't be able to buy rain in August, I'm thinking. Talking only 1 decent day this week; can't chop 60 acres in that time, short hay or not. And it's most definitely NOT a short 2nd crop, not with all the rain.

Mud is terrible. Cows are a mess, have had 2 with mastitis. One will probably end up a 3-teater. Nice 1st calf heifer with a real nice udder. Pfffttt..............if SU would just keep them in. Foot abcesses are running rampant with them being in the mud; which keeps their feet too soft. Have several with blocks on a toe to keep the bad one off the ground, therefore keeping the pressure off the injury so they can walk.

Waddy, KY

Looks like we just sort of went by the wayside this summer. Things have been busy here. We had the daylily open gardens for six weekends which meant we were scrambling for market help on Saturdays and Sundays. We went through four employees and ended up with one at the end of the season. Somehow I guess meeting the trucks at 6:00 on Saturday morning wasn't their cup of tea.

I bought tomatoes from another grower for $5 a bushel as I really screwed up my tomato crop. How this fellow was making any money at that price was beyond me but that's his business. Why you would want 2 acres of tomatoes and have no sales outlet already set up I don't know. At one point they were selling slicer tomatoes along the side of the road here in town for sixty cents a pound. Everyone at market was charging $1.50. In spite of their prices they didn't sell that many.

We're actually making some progress on getting the house finished. The cabinets should be going in tomorrow. We used a lot of the doors out of my great aunt's old house which pleased me to no end and my second cousin gave the the front door out of my great grandparents house which will be used between my family room and utility room. In spite of the rough life it's had the last 50 years for a while attached to a lake cabin and then spending the last 10 years or so sitting in an old barn, my SIL has stripped it down, reglued it and it's going to look pretty darned good. The door knob and faceplate is copper and it beautiful.

We haven't had hardly any rain since the first of July. I was going to plant fall cabbage and broccoli but wouldn't have had time to move soaker hoses all the time so I aborted that idea. It's so dry that the okra is only about knee high. I used to think it never got too dry for okra but I know better now. I haven't planted any turnips or kale yet either. It wouldn't germinate and even if I'd have watered it the turnips would be strong since it's been so hot.

What's everyone else been doing?

Janet

Panama, NY(Zone 5a)

Janet, where's Hardin County? there was a note in the Lancaster Farming paper that a farmer in Hardin had corn popping in the field because of the heat and lack of rain. what a summer!

Well, Stan is still haying, although he's down to his last empty wagon and when that's full its over! Don't tell him I said that, he'll have to go find a wagon to borrow! We've all just gotten to the head shaking stage with him and hay.

Richmond, TX

Can you ever have too much hay?

Monroe, WI(Zone 4b)

Yes. :>)

Waddy, KY

Haven't seen it happen in the past 5 years though. :-(

Panama, NY(Zone 5a)

Well, the silos are full, the hay mow is full, the lean-to is full, there's 1/2 a load that he's unloading to get a back up wagon because he thinks there's two loads up there and he turned 5 short yearlings out in the orchard 3 weeks ago so he could fill their stalls up with hay out in the heifer barn. I tell you, the man is obsessed.

Richmond, TX

If he next starts selling cows to make room for more hay, then I'd say there is a problem.

Monroe, WI(Zone 4b)

Kathleen, you're lucky you can get weather good enough to even dry hay to bale. Sure can't around here the last few years. Makes me glad we chop everything.

Panama, NY(Zone 5a)

It's been tricky, but Stan has mown in light rain to get it dry over the next two non-rain days a couple of times this summer. It's been odd, we had some really heavy rain weeks and some dry as dust periods of three weeks, or so. Chopping is good - sure makes really wet years easier. The thing is, we don't have any time in the summer anymore - it's all hay all the time. Whine whine whine whine whine

Oh, I really hate whiny people.

He actually got 2 1/2 wagons full. He was really quite pleased as it's 4th cutting clover and he got 72 bales to the acre. I said, 'Now can you quit?" and he said, 'Maybe.' He's got the cows on the lower section of the side hill meadows and will be moving them up to the top of the hill when that's gone. We've got dry cows all over the place here and down at the rented pasture. He was counting up and there's no way we'll get everything in this winter. Crazy man.

Any way, I'm watching rain clouds eat the sunrise right now.

Waddy, KY

We're overcast down here this morning and I'm praying that we'll get anything that looks like moisture. We've had practically nothing since July 4th and the 90 plus temps has just cooked everything. When you come into the parking lot at work you can tell who has gravel roads to travel and who doens't. No reason to use a car wash out where I am.

We seem to be a little overstocked this year. They preg checked the springers the other day and had about 17% open. DD wants to ship them ASAP if nothing else just to cut the amount of hay we're feeding. I'm all for it. The feed truck backed in the other day and belched out a $500 feed bill. Yes, I know that's mere chump change for you dairy folks but it's plenty for us.

My cabinets are supposed to come in today. I may have to run over there at lunch just to satisfy my curiosity.

Richmond, TX

Last year was relentless drought and we were overstocked. This year is wetter than usual and so we're understocked - can't win.

Monroe, WI(Zone 4b)

Well, in 2 weeks we will be "no stocked"; we are selling the entire bovine population, have rented the land to a neighbor and will be custom feeding a slew of his heifers.

Richmond, TX

Sounds like a major change.

Panama, NY(Zone 5a)

Anna!! That's a big move. Just get to the end of the game?

Monroe, WI(Zone 4b)

That and the bottom line no longer in black numbers. SU told his sisters yesterday that 2009 we lost the most money we ever have farming. and it isn't our extravagant lifestyle we're living........

I told him we cannot take another year like that (meaning 2011) or we will be bankrupt.

I plan to look for something part-time.........cannot stand the thought of full time after 40 years of it........LOLOL We'll see what I can find. I would so love to have a garden again.

Panama, NY(Zone 5a)

You've been more than time and a half! I wish you a very part time job that you enjoy.

Stan will be 60 next April, has stated in front of witnesses that he's not milking past 62. It's coming here, eventually.

Shall we throw you a seed shower??? ; )

Monroe, WI(Zone 4b)

Let's not get hasty with the seed shower. LOL

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