september 14

Panama, NY(Zone 5a)

Everybody must be busy with harvest - Farm Forum slipped to the bottom of my Home Page! It's raining here, has been for three days now. It's holding up the corn silage harvest here, and I know some farmers that are getting a bit antsy. Stan doesn't do corn, but he does have some hay he'd like to get in. It starts to look as if that might not happen, the fields are just too wet and we will survive quite nicely without it. Better not to rut up the fields at this point.

I've been digging out one potato plant at a time. Not a big haul, usually enough for a meal and lots of little ones waiting for me to be patient enough to deal with them. I'm thinking a good scrub, boiling water and lots of butter. Maybe I'll just stick them in with a roast.

I've also got tomatoes to pick. I got a couple of Rutgers the other day, One next to these two had been half eaten by either slugs or rodents. I left it, hoping they would finish it rather than start on another. There are lots of little Tip Tops and Thai Pink Egg tomatoes out there, just need some dry weather to get to them. My cucumber plants all died., but there are still pickles in the basement, so I'm not too worried.

We're off to get haircuts and do shopping after breakfast. At least we won't be blowing a good day!

I'm including a picture of Susie, one of the two pups we have left. I'm not sure what we're going to do with FIVE Border Collies, but it looks like Susie and Smudge have made themselves right at home!

Thumbnail by Kathleen
San Antonio, TX(Zone 8b)

Hey Kathleen,

I have to agree with you about the inactivity. It just kind of went to a snails pace. Things are getting very busy. I started my fall crop of tomatoes and cucumbers. they are really fighting to live. I have lost 6 tom plants and the cuc's tanticles are not really grabbing onto the string so they can climb. I geuss they are going to need some other type of encouragement. I am going to try and get some new toms started. I think I have enough time left in our growing season here in Tx.

calvin

Baker City, OR(Zone 5b)

There isn't much harvesting going on in my neighborhood, we only get one cutting of hay from most of the fields in these dry hills, but down in the valleys just a few miles away I still see some haying going on. There is only one operation that makes silage in our whole county I think, a fellow who moved here from the midwest. He grows a big field of corn.

Mostly, now the cattle have been brought to the hayfields to eat the regrowth that wouldn't grow enough to cut it for hay, and some of the early spring calves are being weaned and shipped to feedlots. I helped move cattle from a high pasture back down to my neighbor's ranch about a week ago. He has been marketing his yearlings as organic grass fed beef and is down to just a few. Two of them got out a few days ago and went roaming. Really it was a good thing that it happened when it did because he was leaving later that day and was still here to get them back in and repair the fence. The lambs have all been sold as of about 6 weeks ago.

I am watching the neighbor's place and animals while he and his wife are gone for a little vacation. He has to haul a load of yearlings to the slaughterhouse on Monday and then he will watch our place on Tuesday and Wednesday when we will be gone.

The deer got into my garden and ate most of the grapes, and they are also eating the tops off the carrots and sampling the tomatoes. I have found several tomatoes with teeth marks in them so I think they don't really like them, but I wish they would pass the word and not pick any more of them. So far they have passed up the corn. Yesterday I picked a few clusters of grapes that they missed. My dog who used to be my garden guard has become old and deaf, I think he doesn't even hear them. I'm hoping a better garden fence is in my future.

This is forest fire season and we have several sizeable ones going in our area. They are burning in steep forested country for the most part, and building fire lines around them is an almost impossible job. About 2 weeks ago a fire in a grassy area burned under power lines and crossed the 4 lane freeway between here and Boise, Idaho. We lost power for a while and the freeway was closed for several hours. Yesterday one fire to the east of us which has been burning for several weeks got hot again. I can see the smoke from my house, and when the wind came up it turned from whiteish smoke (cool) to much darker brown (hot) and I know that there was a ski lodge and cabins and a small town that firefighters were trying to protect. I just hope the wind didn't push the fire into buildings. There us a 9000 foot range of mountains between us and that one, but there is another one to the west that I have also been watching. That one is about a week old, was 1000 acres the last I heard. Resources and manpower are stretched very thin and what we need is a good rain for a few days.

Tabor, SD(Zone 4b)

What a shame about your fires, MaryE. Earlier this summer, we had range fires that burned very quickly. Nothing but dry grass around for fuel.

We got almost 4 inches of rain over night. The tornado siren went off last evening, so of course, everyone goes out to see if they can catch sight of a tornado. I had flashlights and candles ready to go to the basement. It was over in about 30 seconds, whatever it was. There was dirt getting blown into the windows and things rolling around, but very shortlived. It rained all night long, with some hail here and there. The soybeans were looking really good, but some were flattened this morning. Hopefully, they will stand up somewhat before harvest. There are bad storms moving through the state again, so we will probably have another restless night. I wish we wouldn't get all that other stuff along with the rain.

The pond is half full again, so it made the geese and ducks happy. Harvest is going to be delayed, but silage is done. It's hard to believe that it's the middle of September already.

My tomatoes got blight, so I don't get very many after the grasshoppers have a bite or two and they split after the rains. There are plenty of green ones, so I might get some relish out of them at least. I better go see if I have any cabbages big enough to pick.

Nice dogs, Kathleen!!

Falls Mills, VA

We are still moving hay here in Virginia, I cut about 12 acres today in fact. Might get to bale it Wednesday if the weather stays dry. Otherwise it won't get baled till Friday.

Moved a one ton load of feed for the cows Friday. Its a mixture of cracked corn, gluten, and distillers grains. Looks like corn and bran flakes to me, the cows love it. If they don't get their daily ration at the same time each day then they stand by the feed trough and bawl till they do. I guess cows are easily spoiled.

Am taking the Cub Scouts on their first 'outing' this fall on Thursday evening. My son is a member of this pack. We are going to the local livestock market to see the cattle auctions. (Our livestock auction is on Thursday night, most other livestock auctions are on Saturday in the surrounding towns.)

We have nearly filled our freezer with stuff from the garden; corn, peas, october beans. The pantry shelves are filling with quart jars of green beans and tomatoes. We froze ten bushels of sweet sorn, some on the cob, some cut off the cob and put into family serving size packs. The cows got the stalks and shucks.

Lewisville, MN(Zone 4a)

We finally got some rain early Sat. I checked the gauge at 7 AM, it held ". It rained some more in a downpour around 8 AM.
It has been super dry here, I don't know what things are growing on , but have had mostly a decent crop this summer. Squash didn't fair to well. Matured to early & lots of bugs creating havoc.
We had a sucessful Round Up yesterday here. A group of 10 enjoyed a big pot luck noon meal. Met some nice folks, as most on Dave's are. Big plant swap in afternoon, got some new lillies & irises. A couple of new perennials.
Most people reported back that they returned home safely.
Treating my wife to breakfast uptown this morning.
Have a great day,
Bernie

Fayette, MO(Zone 6a)

I'm back in the United States after my first trip out of the country.. My Youngest Daughter married a Bulgarian so we went to stay with his family for two weeks.. I saw yoke of oxen pulling carts and it seemed every other home mostly traveled with pony carts.. Although since they are no longer under Communist's control the country is changing fast... and really almost too fast for these poor people to know how to handle it.

MaryE, It must be a lot like the Romania you were talking about .. The milk cows, sheep and goats all meet the shepard's in the morning at a specific spot and then are watched while they graze throughout the day. Then they are brought back to the homes in the evening to be milked.. The house across the street had a pig and the family we were staying with hauled all their leftovers over to it everyday. I things are going to come fast there so not sure how it will be in a few years.

In everyone's yards are fruit trees and grape vines and kitchen gardens. Almost everyone has their plots of land outside the town with corn , pumpkins, beans and potatoes growing. People were digging potatoes while we were there. Lots of horse drawn wagons with the corn and pumpkins rolling into town.. people were drying corn and beans in their yards..

Before we went we sold enough sheep and goats here for our spending money and it came in handy..

I'm glad to be home... My brother and Hubbie's cousin watched our livestock and farm closely... But I got a little homesick for everything.

Virginian, What exactly is distiller's grain?.. We get the corn gluten here as a byproduct of the ethonal plants.. I suppose it is the byproduct of whiskey distilleries?

Ruth, Do you grow your tomatoes in different places? I have had the tomatoe blight here. I thought I had heard that if you get tomatoe blight in the soil it will always be there?

Kathleen, Please don't tempt me with any more of the wonderful border collie pictures.. I want a couple of them so bad.. but I really want to get them when I retire so I will have lots of time to train them. I need them to help with the sheep so badly.

Calvin, Have I missed meeting you? If so... welcome.

I am anxious to start picking up walnuts ... They are starting to fall here... and Hubby needs to start cutting wood for the winter.

Fayette, MO(Zone 6a)

I'm back in the United States after my first trip out of the country.. My Youngest Daughter married a Bulgarian so we went to stay with his family for two weeks.. I saw yoke of oxen pulling carts and it seemed every other home mostly traveled with pony carts.. Although since they are no longer under Communist's control the country is changing fast... and really almost too fast for these poor people to know how to handle it.

MaryE, It must be a lot like the Romania you were talking about .. The milk cows, sheep and goats all meet the shepard's in the morning at a specific spot and then are watched while they graze throughout the day. Then they are brought back to the homes in the evening to be milked.. The house across the street had a pig and the family we were staying with hauled all their leftovers over to it everyday. I things are going to come fast there so not sure how it will be in a few years.

In everyone's yards are fruit trees and grape vines and kitchen gardens. Almost everyone has their plots of land outside the town with corn , pumpkins, beans and potatoes growing. People were digging potatoes while we were there. Lots of horse drawn wagons with the corn and pumpkins rolling into town.. people were drying corn and beans in their yards..

Before we went we sold enough sheep and goats here for our spending money and it came in handy..

I'm glad to be home... My brother and Hubbie's cousin watched our livestock and farm closely... But I got a little homesick for everything.

Virginian, What exactly is distiller's grain?.. We get the corn gluten here as a byproduct of the ethonal plants.. I suppose it is the byproduct of whiskey distilleries?

Ruth, Do you grow your tomatoes in different places? I have had the tomatoe blight here. I thought I had heard that if you get tomatoe blight in the soil it will always be there?

Kathleen, Please don't tempt me with any more of the wonderful border collie pictures.. I want a couple of them so bad.. but I really want to get them when I retire so I will have lots of time to train them. I need them to help with the sheep so badly.

Calvin, Have I missed meeting you? If so... welcome.

I am anxious to start picking up walnuts ... They are starting to fall here... and Hubby needs to start cutting wood for the winter.

Tabor, SD(Zone 4b)

KathyJo, I think I have blight everywhere. I move them to different spots every year. The patch that I grow my garden in was the in-laws garden when they lived here. It's about 3 acres and they always planted at least half of it, then the next year planted in the other half. My bitsy garden is like a spit in the ocean compared to theirs. But then again, they were out there every day, practically on their hands and knees getting those pesky weeds. FIL used to go out there even on days when it was over 100 degrees.

My biggest problem this year was that the garden got neglected for a few weeks while we were getting ready for DS's wedding. The weeds really got out of hand. I think that the blight is always in the ground, it just rears it's ugly head if dirt splashes on the leaves, etc. I even had used the carpet samples that DS took off his walls when he bought his house and had the tomato planted in a hole in the middle. Didn't help. I think next year I will try that red plastic that they show on TV. Of course, start spraying before the blight sets in.

Did you know that there is botulism in the soil too?? I just found that out this year after some of my fowl died. I had to get a poo sample for the vet so he could test it for coccidia, but that test was negative. Other than that, the symptoms that the duck had pointed to botulism. I had been putting water in kiddie pools where I always had ducks, and my young ones all died and also a few of the young Canadians. The vet told me that when the weather is really dry, it can be like anthrax for cattle. I had never heard of that. You learn something every day!! ;)

Fayette, MO(Zone 6a)

I had never heard of botulism in the soil...Nor had I heard that fowl got it and died from it like that.. That's really too bad you lost your fowl.

Falls Mills, VA

Kathy Jo:
The guy at the feed store said distillers grains were the leftovers from the breweries.....I'm not sure if he meant the beer breweries or the whiskey distileries. It is supposed to have more proteins in it (28%) so it is better for the pregnant cows. They mixed it like this:

900 lb of cracked corn
900 lb of gluten
200 lb of distillers grains

2000 lb = one ton of feed

I think by adding the distillers grains it raises the protein level of the whole blend to around 13%.

Keith

southeast, NE

Good morning everyone! Kathy Jo - your trip sounds so fascinating. Kathleen, your puppy is so cute. Kathy Jo - when you are ready to get border collies, I could put you in touch with a local breeder (unless of course, you plan to get some of Kathleen's puppies). Abby, our bc, is almost 12 yeras old. It's almost like she has been reverting back to her childhood and has been chasing chickens again and getting in trouble. She used to just herd them but we've caught he mauling them. She is still a great working dog. We had the ewes out in sudex stocks and we bring them in at night to feed. She goes into the stocks and brings in the ewes for us.

Ruth, I wonder if that bad weather front was part of the same front that went through here. On Friday and Saturday, we only got a little rain and some strong winds but about 30 miles north of here in the Wahoo/Fremont area, they received upwards of 5 inches and had flash flooding, etc. Temp reached 94 on Saturday with high humidity. Yesterday it only got up to 70 and tonight they are talking about possiblity of frost in low areas.

We had our small field of corn silage chopped on Saturday. We have it blown into a plastic tube. We're always down the list as we have such a small field and we understand that.

Well better get back to work - you all take care!

Baker City, OR(Zone 5b)

We finally got some rain, snow in the higher mountains, and some help for the firefighters. I'm sure the storm we got was the same one Ruth and Jewel got. We even had a light frost, nothing shows it except some of the cucumbers that didn't get covered. I need more old bedspreads and blankets for garden covers and will have to remember to look for them at thrift stores.

KathyJo, your description of Bulgaria is the same as what I have heard about Romania. My hubby is there now but will be home soon. He says for the most part it is about 100 years behind. They have to learn so much.

Prophetstown, IL(Zone 5a)

we got our first cold *snap* of the year last night but, luckily, no frost. My orchard is still full and the pears and apples aren't quite ripe...must have been the strange summer weather. I'm thinking to put an ad in our local freecycle for all the surplus fruit.

KathyJo - what a wonderful trip! Everyone sounds very busy with harvest and haying. I'm searching around for some bedding straw - seems to be hard to find. My hens are molting so egg production is very low - hasn't affected their feed consumption though. The goats are finally getting along better but their area of the barn needs serious *remodeling* before winter comes. Our big girl 'Betty' continues to butt and bully our little runt Barney. The dog pen we put up is now a bashed up tangle of metal...thinking that maybe one of those Igloo dog houses might offer Barney an escape when Betty is particularly nasty.

The vet called yesterday to "just let me know" that someone brought in a 10 week old puppy they'd found in the road....I don't need yet another dog but the vet will only keep the poor baby until end of business today and then it's off to animal control ...*sigh*

Everyone take care

Catherine

Panama, NY(Zone 5a)

It's rainy and chilly here, again. Lake effect rain, better than snow, but I sure am glad we don't have to worry about putting up corn silage. A friend who is putting up corn sent me an email yesterday and said that working with your spouse is not always a good thing. Why is it husbands never use the same hand signals twice? They are having a lot of trouble with getting stuck - a word my MIL used to say was the dirtiest word in the English language, next to "tow." Stan still mumbles about the hay that NEEDS to be put up - not that we need it, but, darn it, that grass is out there growing!

KathyJo, that sounded like a wonderful trip. Sorry about the puppy pic, but she is just so cute!

Falls Mills, VA

We mowed hay last Saturday but it is still to wet to bale. It rained here Tuesday and then turned cloudy and cool. Ran the tedder through it again this evening, hoping for a day of sun tomorrow and then to bale Friday.

The garden is finished and in the freezer. Cool enough here tonight that we turned the heat on for the first time this Fall.

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