Farm Journal - Nov 23 thru Nov 29

Lewisville, MN(Zone 4a)

We are going to try & keep this journal deal going on a weekly basis.
Everyone check in as often as you like, but maybe once a week. I will start a new thread every Sunday morning, ( A little late this time).

So, not a whole lot of farming going on here anymore. Sort of froze to a stand still. Our new chickens are doing well.
I got the first electric bill since switching our home to electric heat. Saved about $200.00 for the month compared to the oil we were using. The house is much more comfortable, too.

Installed cabinets in a small kitchen today. House was built in 1914, so some things were a little cock-eyed!

Back later,
Bernie

Panama, NY(Zone 5a)

Thanks for taking on the thread starting, Bernie. I started to several times yesterday, but was called away each time!

The unofficial approximate total for snow last week was around 60 inches. The warm ground kept it settling all the while and we've had rain over night which dimpled the surface some. At least two barns in our neighborhood went down under the weight, none with cattle, thank goodness. There was a barn on the other side of the county that collapsed killing 15 cows. Stan spent time on Saturday shoveling roofs here and yesterday at his brother's. The tool shed there has several cracked rafters. Stan's brother had surgery last week and the docs say all is now well. He's depressed, but we hope he starts to cherk up as he is allowed to do more.

We still have 5 heifers outside. They roam around in the snow, kicking and romping like kids sometimes and other times stand behind the barn and beller. Funny girls. Two will go to a sale of some kind as they are our SIL's. He likes to raise two or three every year to keep him and the grandkids busy in between helping here.

Payneville, KY(Zone 7a)

Good Morning. Last market day and I got up at 4:30 to wash eggs and package them up. Waiting for another batch to soak for a bit so thought I'd mosey in here and see what y'all are doin...

Well, this is our last Tuesday market and then we'll be onto every other Saturday starting Dec. 6th for the winter. I'm looking for the "vacation" but with the economy the way it's been, I'd sure like to keep going with the selling.

We still have awesome veggies in the fields, despite the last 6 days of freezing temps mostly at night, but some days too. The deluge of rain the past few days hasn't helped the harvesting, which has to be done despite the weather.

Our chickens are slowing down some on the egg production, but they are probably pretty doggone confused....one day it's 80, the next it's 30 out. Geez a person could go crazy with this weather.

I'm hoping to be able to get these eggs done and drive to Bardstown (2 hrs from me) to pick up the rest of our pork, lamb, and bacon today so that I can have it to sell this afternoon. Don't know if I'll have time as we leave here around 1:00 to make it to Louisville for 2:30.

We will also be doing our last CSA distribution today and we are doing ALL of our 75 shares today, so the pressure is on.

Our daughter is bringing the 3 kids (Christopher included) to us towards the end of market (they live 3 hrs away) in Nicholasville, and we will bring them home with us until Thanksgiving day. Then we will travel to there house to do dinner. We plan on making a few pies and some cookies tomorrow and having some quality grandbaby/Gammy time. I don't get to see them much because they live so far away :( It is supposed to be in the 30s and perhaps snow flurries later.

We've had to sell off some of our animals as feed has gotten so high, we have a few sheep left and I think 9 pigs left. We have about 160 chickens left, the owls and raccoons and possums have kept quite busy this year and are probably pretty fat!

We had the most amazing cauliflower and turnips this year that we've had a in along time. The turnips are so sweet and the cauliflower heads are huge and beautiful. Our broccoli was starting to form crowns when the cold hit and growth has stopped. I'm hoping to at least get some shoots to freeze. And the Red Russian and Tuscan Kale have been incredible this fall. We lost a lot of our sweet potatoes almost immediately from the cold, which I was surprised at. We will have fresh sw. pot., turnips, butternut squash though for thanksgiving. We have some wonderful apples from a friend's orchard, as well.

And we are selling another friend's honey like crazy. It's the best in my book.

Well, y'all have a nice day and a wonderful Thanksgiving. Back to washin eggs....

Kathleen, I sure wish we were headed that way or closer, we'd take that Jersey/Holstein heifer off your hands for you. Still looking for a milker.

Hugs and blessings,
Kathy & Ralph

Efland, NC(Zone 7a)

Bernie, thanks for starting this thread!
Sounds like you get a little down time from growing/farming. Glad you have the cabinet biz to keep you occupied though. (Great pics on your website!)

Wow, 60 inches of snow, Kathleen! And it is collapsing barns. That must not be a normal snowfall for ya'll.

Howdy, Kathy! Our mkt is still going each week but with reduced hours. I'm down to nothing to offer but various greens so may just end up going sporadically for the next few months. (Picked the last of my broccoli last Friday but have some nice side shoots coming on though!)

Tilled a small area yesterday for garlic (to be planted later this week) and mowed/tilled under my spent eggplant, pepper, and basil plants (that area is for onions come next Feb/Marc).

The women-folk are going to Maryland this year for Turkey Day so I get some "Shoe Time" while they are gone. I reckon that is my vacation this year since I didn't get to go anywhere. I heard it called a "Stay-cation" so I better make the most of it, eh? (Have a turkey breast in the freezer; my smoker grill is calling me to use it!)

Happy Day to All!
Stay warm!

Shoe

Fayette, MO(Zone 6a)

Saturday morning, Hubby was trying to type on the computer, when it seemed to crash and burn. So , It is like I have been without my right arm. But, instead of the hard drive or anything like that it seems it was the monitor..

Trying to get ready for Thanksgiving. We were going to my Brother's.. across the creek.. but , as luck would have it, all his kids have had strep and My youngest daughter , with her new born and her husband decided not to come, Oldest daugher had minor knee surgery, Middle Daughter has to go to her Sister In Law's..So,, I'm cooking a turkey, packing it and My Granddaughter up and going to St. Louis.. Whew..

It's the time of year that we are negotiating the crop lease. The price of corn and soy beans has gone down., but then fuel prices have gone down, Anhydrous Ammonia has gone down, Seed corn and soy bean seed has gone up.. Complicated stuff.. I like our renters.. don't really want to change.. But, also my Brother and one of my Sister's has adjoining property.. I want them all to be happy.

Kathleen, Can't believe your amount of snow.

My Brother came over today when I wasn't home.. I wanted to borrow My Dad's old plow.. I have a category two tractor and category one plow.. goofy.. My Brother has my Dad's old John Deere and the old two bottom plow, which is a category two.. He brought it over in his truck, but didn't know how to get it out.. He thought I would be home. Nice gesture.. but he went home with it still in the back of his truck. With the economy going to way it is, I am going to be gardening in an even bigger way ...

Wish I had some pigs.. I don't have the fence for them.. someday..

kj

Panama, NY(Zone 5a)

Actually, this snow isn't that unusual. It took 7 days to accumulate. When the Great Lakes are still open and still warm, the Alberta Clippers with their cold air crank the lake snow machine to 'High" and we get it. Today, there's a general snow over the area, we've probably had another 6 inches overnight. The biggest snow that Stan and I can remember happened in 1970 just before Thanksgiving. We were both driving home from college, he from Erie PA and me from Fredonia NY, not great distances, but when they totaled the day's snow for our little area of the state, we had 39 inches in 24 hours. Sherman, the town where we went to school, had more snow than anywhere else in NYS that year.

Today, we are going to Jamestown for a meeting at the Cooperative Extension. Our area has had a population boom in Amish families and the extension agents have been trying to figure out how they can best help those Amish men who are going into farming. They asked Stan to see if he could set up a meeting. We live neighbor to the bishop for our side of the township. Andy M. is a quite forward looking man and is encouraging the younger men in the church to find out as much as they can about farming. He came here from Ohio 30 years ago with the intention to farm, but it never worked out for him (he tried to buy this farm, but Mrs. Brown told him that Stan had first choice on it and he never asked again) and he is hoping it will for the younger men who have been born and raised here. We are going to meet with the Farm Agents and the Coop. Ext. director today to set up an agenda. The biggest problem they are faced with is that both of the educators are women and they are hesitant about how they will be received. They have tried to work with another Amish community that are rather hard core spit in the wind and been rejected out of hand because they were women. I keep telling them that they won't find that here.

We are also going to pick up our new dryer. The one we have came to the end of its rather short warranty and developed a hole in the drum and a KA-THUNK that makes one think they are in a sci-fi movie every time it runs. We've put up with it for a year and decided it was time. Our 'Economic Stimulus' money from earlier in the year paid for most of it. I told the salesman that the economy could pick up now that we'd finally spent the money.

Guess I'd better go get breakfast ready.

Baker City, OR(Zone 5b)

Thank you for starting weekly thread, Bernie. I think weekly will work and it will be nice to catch up with everyone again. Most of the old gang showed up on the first thread.

The Thanksgiving gang will start arriving today. 9 of them are staying until Sunday, and I am not sure about the other one. We will have wall to wall people. I haven't quite finished with all the little cleaning projects. Someone suggested that I just wait and clean after they all go home.

With only have one bathroom, and a dozen people, it can be a challenge just to get into it for a minute, so hubby rented a plastic throne on a trailer and will haul it home today and return it on Monday. 20 degrees most nights and only up to the low 40's in the daytime, nobody is going to linger long in that one! No mirror, no magazines! Oh yes, and no heat for the seat!

I hope our weather stays dry at least through Monday. The garden was just a little too damp to do a good rototilling job, and I want to go over it once more before the tiller comes up the hill to the shed for the winter. The between the sticky clay soil and the crop residues, I had to stop several times to clean off the tines.

The horses in the big pasture still have grass to eat, so I won't have to feed them hay until there is too much snow to paw through. I don't know what kind of winter we might get this year, somebody I was talking to yesterday said it might be one of those drought winters again. We don't need one of those, but something a bit tamer than last winter would be ok with me.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone. Drive safely and remember Who to thank!

Lewisville, MN(Zone 4a)

Nice & sunny 31 here right now. Weather is supposed to be nice for the holiday weekend.

Daily paper, out of Mankato, came today loaded with bargains for black Friday. I won't be among the shoppers. I won the bidding on some crown molding on an online auction, so I have to travel to Twin Cities to pick it up Friday. A nice auction Friday evening up there, so will stop there & see if I can pick up some goodies for December flea market.
I did that last year & came out nicely.

Not much going on around here. Most field work is done. A couple guys still tilling corn stalks. Soybean stubble is froze to hard to do anything with anymore. I do believe most hog manure got spread before it froze to hard.
A record year for corn yields. Many fields averaged well over 200 bushel to the acre.
August was dry, so soybean yield got hurt. They were down 10% - 20%.

Neighbor man was playing with illegal fireworks on Saturday. He ended up in Mayo at Rochester & lost his left arm at the elbow.
Good reason why they are illegal. He may face charges, too.

I may work on some greenhouse upkeep today. Seems nice enough out. The last couple weeks it's been windy every day. Makes for miserable when temperature is only in 20's & 30's.

Have a Great Day!
Bernie

Payneville, KY(Zone 7a)

Well, our market was a good one last night, although we couldn't get some of the things we had promised, no thanks to the freezing weathers this week...and the rain. It was hard to harvest the kale so not much of that was able to be picked. Cabbage is enormous and beautiful, weighing about 6 lbs on average per head. We had plenty of apples and were able to give everyone 5 lbs for CSA distribution; they were quite happy about that. And the turnips are prolific and exceptional this year, so sweet and not pithy even as big as a softball! The italian (White Milans) are even sweeter. They were able to get butternut or acorn squash last night and we had beautiful cauliflower for sale, along with Napa cabbage. Meat and chicken sales were very good and, of course, sold out on eggs....I had almost 30 dozen.

Ending CSA for the year is a mixed blessing. I'm happy for a bit of a vacation as our summer vacation didn't happen due to the spring weather. We usually take 4 weeks off between our Spring and Fall CSA distribution to regroup, replant, fix the fields, etc. We ended up going right from Spring into Fall this year and went longer than expected because of the unseasonable fall weather. Amazing we still have so much in the fields. We did all of our CSA members yesterday (we usually break it up into 4 days) so we had over 75 shares to pick for. We thought it would be a fiasco, but it turned out well and we had about 15 that didn't show up :(

On Dec. 6th, we start with our "winter market" where we go every other Saturday for 2 hours with meats, eggs, and whatever veggies we may still have to harvest. We are also putting out our feelers for our 2009 CSA season and have had 10 sign up so far. We give a discount if they pay for the year before the end of this year. This gives us our working capital to buy seeds, supplies, etc. and we get the seed discounts as well if we purchase in January....so we pass that on to our subscribers. We have been so fortunate in the 10 years we've had the Misty Meadows Farm CSA in that I can count on one hand, the people we've had trouble with. We started out with 12 members our first year and just keep increasing each year. More and more it's the way to go and if you don't grow your own veggies, I would suggest investing in one's farm and a CSA program is the way to go. You can read more about CSAs by going on the USDA CSA site...www.usda.gov (I think).

We picked up 3 munchkins last night after the market and they are home with us until tomorrow (including Christopher who is doing sooooo much better). They are outside "helping Gampy clean out the barn" I'm glad I'm in here. ;) I think at least one of them wants to go grocery shopping with me in a little while. I have the rest of this week off and I don't know what to do with myself. In the 3 years of working at church, I've never had a paid vacation. We are heading to our daughters near Lexington tomorrow; she is making dinner this year and that's a new thing for me as well. This is the first time in over 30 years that I have not made Thanksgiving dinner! I bought my daughter a Thanksgiving platter for her "first" thanksgiving dinner; I hope she has many more. It's a peaceful feeling knowing that someone else is doing all the work and I might relinquish more duties as time goes on. GEtting old DOES have it's advantages. ha, ha.

Kathleen, I remember those snows when I lived in Massachusetts. There are times when I'm sitting home here in KY that I wish it would just snow like crazy, but I want everyone safe and sound at home. Most people don't know how to drive in the snow here in KY :( I want to make a big snowman with the kids and I would love for my grandchildren to experience one heck of a snowstorm....something really comforting about it if one is home. It's the time I like to bake and clean out the closets and read good books and watch great movies.

Oh yes, I'm looking forward to my time of not working. (my last day at my job at church is Dec. 19th....I've been replaced with a custodial service) I was upset to begin with, but the more I think about it, the more I think that we can do this....and enjoy life again.

I might start working on some crafts this winter to sell at the farmers markets next year; people ask all the time and, by God, we don't need a permit to sell homemade crafts if they aren't going to be eaten....at least not yet!!!!

Well, I wish you all the most wonderful Thanksgiving this year. I have so much to be thankful for this year. I have a new grandson, a new son-in-law, a miracle grandson, we survived a hurricane, we survived a tornado, an earthquake this year... my mother is still with us (she turned 80 in February) and has had some health issues. I was again able to make a trip to Honduras, even if I did get real sick....my daughter got married and my son proposed to his longtime girlfriend. My other daughter got a wonderful job and has recently gotten a great promotion. So much to be thankful for.....I hope you all do too.

Many blessings and much love,
Kathy

Panama, NY(Zone 5a)

Happy Thanksgiving Day, everyone. It's a grey, cloudy morning here, the temps are supposed to hover in the 30s and there's a chance of snow later.

Stan has gone down to his brother's to see how badly damaged the tractor and spreader are from the manure shed falling on them. It's going to be one of those days. We were supposed to go to Mom and Dad's for a quiet little dinner, but I'm going to put it off a couple of days. I don't think there is an easy fix for this little catastrophe.

Hempstead, TX(Zone 8a)

Good Morning - My name is Melissa, and a long time ago, I joined DG and chimed in a few times on the Farm Life Forum. I saw this thread, and I thought I would like to be a part.

As I read these first few entries, I realize the difference in the farming I do and the farming everyone else here does. Large vegetable gardens, eggs, produce, and meat to sell - then there is the weather and life with which you must contend. I am humbled as I read.

I am what some might call an urban rancher. My DH and I moved to Tx four years ago, bought 35 acres and he resumed his work as an engineer in the states rather than the Middle East.

I was a college teacher living a very urban life in NYC and the metro area, and there was all this land around me. I truly felt like a fish out of water.

To make this first entry a bit more brief - I am learning. I raise my own hay and sell it locally; I raise a small herd of beef cattle that are grass fed and have plenty of room to roam; I am learning how to use our new tractor; my DH and I have learned how to repair our fences. . .while these lessons pale in comparison to to day to day life of "living a farm", and I know that I will never farm as you guys do, I want to learn, I want to contribute, and I want to hear your stories.

Bernie, my thanks for introducing this thread, and my thanks to all those whom I have met so far for your entries.

I have attached a pic of myself and a friend's dog "Ace." I have a small kennel business and very small training business - Ace was my first client.

Thumbnail by MelissahL
Efland, NC(Zone 7a)

Howdy, Melissa!

Sounds to me like you are living the life, and enjoying it! What a pretty piece of land ya'll have! Beautiful!

Will be looking forward to your posts and input!

Happy Day to you and yours!
Shoe

Panama, NY(Zone 5a)

Hi Melissa, I remember you. If you're doing hay and raising cattle, you're farming! It sounds like you've been very busy.

Just a quick update, it turned out when they got the tractor and spreader out from under the snow and roof that the damage was minimal. The tractor runs, but will probably need to be rewired - no lights, but then you don't need them during the day. The spreader needed some minor repair, after which Stan took the load that they put on after fixing the barn cleaner out and spread with it. We had a very pleasant Thanksgiving dinner with Stan's brother and his wife and their oldest daughter and her family. I'll take dinner over to my parents tomorrow. The joys of farm life.

Humansville, MO(Zone 6a)

Kathleen your right on the lights in the daytime put those flashlights don't work good at night. Don't asked how I know. lol Elle's chicken is still laying and has been joined by another as of this morning . I've spent all my spare time this week putting up more fence to be able to get the goats on some new grass might get it finish to day but doubt it Spent all morning in the rabbit barn hadn't done much there the last two days so the chores were piling up

Payneville, KY(Zone 7a)

Melissa,
Kathleen is right. Whether you're doing 5 acres of 500 acres, you're farming. We all just have our own ways to do things. SHoe that is a beautiful spread isn't it.... Melissa, many welcomes and we are always here if you need anything........

Hugs and best wishes,
Kathy

Fayette, MO(Zone 6a)

It's a damp cool day here.. our bit of rain may turn to snow later this evening.. Hubby is going to meet an old friend for supper.. I think I will stay home and enjoy the quiet after a couple days of craziness..

I checked the cattle this morning.. They all look bored.

I bought a skid loader this year to help me clear out thorn trees.. I can't seem to ever get the little sticks , so spent a bit of the morning picking up small sticks and throwing them in a brush pile. Hopefully all of this will give me not only more pasture, but also more area to plant fruit and nut trees.. Whatever thorn trees are too big to push down with this loader will get a brush pile of smaller trees pushed around the base and burned. Getting the "trash trees" pushed down around the walnuts, pecans and hickory is a little tricky.. But, fun to watch the good trees start to grow so much faster when they don't have so much competition.. and the cows and horses don't seem to mind keeping the grass down around the base of the trunks and refertilizing.

Melissa, What kind of cows do you have?

Have a good one.
kj

Panama, NY(Zone 5a)

Hey Dave, you need one of those big spot lights that the hunters use. Of course, I wouldn't know anyone who has any experience with something like that. . .

Hempstead, TX(Zone 8a)

Hi KathyJo -I have 5 angus and/or angus crossed cows and one charolais cross, and one brangus heifer. I just bought a 100% angus bull (Maxi-Moo) to help things along. I am also raising an angus/maine anjous cross bull. I will lease both bulls as they are quite docile and eager to please. Their breeding suggests that they will throw very small and healthy babies. My herd is tiny by most standards - but I am producing some nice healthy babies and my mommas and my bull are in good shape.

I truly love my cows. The attached is "Spinner" my little Maine Anjou - x



This message was edited Nov 29, 2008 4:39 PM

This message was edited Nov 29, 2008 4:41 PM

Thumbnail by MelissahL
Fayette, MO(Zone 6a)

Great looking calf.. I have a small commercial herd.. My Hereford Bull is over visiting the girls at my brother's house.. He wants crossbred cattle next year as he is planning on selling all his calves.. He is overwintering two cows in exchange for using my bull.

Kathleen and Dave.. I keep looking for thread where your spot light conversation started. I have had a couple of those hand held spotlights with a rechargeable battery.. Great light, but the one I had was a bit cumbersome. I finally dropped it and broke something in it..

Waddy, KY

This week has been a little hectic. We put my MIL back in the hospital. They can't decide if she has a pneumonia that she can't get rid of or some type of lung infection that the antibiotics aren't getting rid of. Been staying each night at the hospital. These bones don't think it's as funny sleeping on those little pull out beds as it was 25 years ago.

Thanksgiving at my parents was nice. I took the kids out and let them ride one of the horses that DB's girlfriend keeps there. It hadn't been riden since the middle of summer and was a little on the spunky side. After I rode him for about 15 minutes to make sure he remembered some of his lessons I put him on a lunge line and let the girls ride.

The kids were all home from college. Made the house seem rather small again. Got a bunch of wood cut and split and on the porch for the bad weather that they say is coming soon. DH and second DD went to the hill farm to fix a water pipe today. Seems it wasn't any problem finding the leak. It was shooting water like Old Faithful.

Some of the calves have started getting sick from coccidiosis so we've been catching them and doctoring them. Lots of trouble to rope them in the field or grab them by the leg and wallow them down. Still it has to be done.

Hope everyone is doing well and has had a good week.

Janet

Lewisville, MN(Zone 4a)

Thanks to all that kept this thread alive this week.
It's fun to see what is going on with everyone.

Continue on here, http://davesgarden.com/community/forums/t/928887/

Bernie

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