Sunday, October 21, 2018

Fall Farm Happenings

During the two weeks since our last post, the weather has run the gamut: rain, snow, cold, warm, cloudy, sunny, windy, calm... you name it.  Just a day or two after the last post our morning chore-time was one of the most miserable yet... just above freezing, driving rain - unpleasant at any time but at 5:30 in the morning just plain nasty.  It sure made that first cup of coffee very welcome I can assure you!

The view from the milking stand has changed quite a bit.  Kevin's combine has been squeezed in - just clearing the rafters.  Due to my complaints at this obstruction, he removed a fence panel and moved the milking stand over.  I will adapt.   

You will notice the hunting blind on the wagon of course - it will soon be moved out to the woods onto a platform.  And beyond that, feasting on field, are some deer.

Getting ready for fall, the lads and the pigs have been moved to the barnyard.  The pigs are on short time these days; just a few more weeks to go.  Ranger will be moving in with Vinca and Echo around Halloween and Periwinkle will be moving in with Forest.

It will be an adjustment for Periwinkle but I think she will be glad not to have to sleep in the crate every night!

The pigs left behind some pretty big craters in the front field!

Six of the turkeys have gone to the freezer, and more are scheduled for that next month.  In the meantime, there are still ten of them roaming around the place - this one is checking out a roosting spot on the combine.

I have been spending quite a bit of my home time working on soap.  With the holidays and fall markets coming up, I need to get my inventory up.  Like my new label?

Last, Kevin is sharing a few shots from one of the trail cams.  It doesn't take the greatest pictures but they are interesting...

So that's enough for this evening.  I'm not sure if we will have a post next Sunday or not but two weeks from now I know Kevin will be posting a deer hunting report.  Until next time, be well folks.

Sunday, October 7, 2018

Grey October Days

Greetings from Ole Lake Farm!

The view from the milking stand changes daily in autumn.  It seems like it's been a while since we've seen the sun for more than five minutes at a time, but at least it's not raining.  If the image seems a little hazy, that's the smoke from the wood stove drifting by.


Kevin's new (to us) combine came home yesterday.  I didn't have time to go along for the ride but when Kevin said there had been some exciting moments getting it on the trailer, I decided it was probably a good thing that I wasn't there!

Rollie says he can't drive it - it's too high -  he might get a nosebleed!
The boy scout troop trailer came home with new signage on it.  Rollie generously donated this trailer to the troop years ago when he retired from his construction business. From then until now, it's been unmarked.  Recently the family of five brothers, all Eagle Scouts from the troop, lost their dad.  The troop had meant a lot to them and they donated memorial money to the troop who then used that money for the signage on the trailer.  It looks so nice and is very meaningful to everyone associated with it.

 Kevin found more mutant vegetables growing out of the composting manure pile.  One of them looks like cross between a Carnival acorn squash and something else - I think I'll cook it up and see what it's like.

The turkeys used to be two little flocks but have lately joined forces and roam around together.  Quite a few of the youngsters are toms so there is a lot of gobbling and strutting going on around here these days.  Some of them will be going to the butcher next week with the young roosters - how many depends on how accessible they are when it is time to catch them.  Some have taken to roosting on the roof of the coop.  I won't mind having a few less of them - while I do enjoy the turkeys they eat a LOT and poop a LOT - and ALL OVER the place (no complaints from the Labrador tribe though - dogs are so disgusting!). 
You can see Dolly in the picture, looking rather unimpressed.  She has given up on her eggs - maybe she figured out that it's just not the right time of year for hatching eggs anyway.

That's about it for the farm update this evening.  Until next time, be well friends.

Sunday, September 30, 2018

The Last of September

My last post was just two weeks ago and I believe that I was whining a bit about the heat and humidity.  The very next day, it was gone.  Since then, it's been cool, sunny, cloudy, frosty, cold, mild, and rainy in turn but the heat and humidity are gone, as are most of the bugs. 

This post is going to mostly be pictures- beginning with an updated View From The Milking Stand:




If you look closely, you will see some additions to the  machinery inventory (more on those some other time) and about six tiny specks out in the green winter wheat field that are deer.  The autumn colors are coming along here but are not so pretty as some other places. 

We traveled to Washburn Wisconsin and back today - a lot of driving but the fall foliage in some areas along the way was stunning.  We picked up this fanning mill - an antique to be sure, but we will be putting it to good use cleaning grain.

Dolly the turkey hen stoically sits on her eggs through all kinds of weather - I did get a chance to candle the eggs and took away all but seven of them that do appear to be developing.  Time will tell.  We also have a chicken hen that wants to set - is something messing up these bird's sense of timing?  Rocky, the American hen is molting away a good portion of her beautiful feathers!

The cockerels will be going to the freezer in less than two weeks.  Some of them are quite handsome but there are just too many of them!

Remember the pumpkin growing through the fence panel in the hayshed?  The thing has gotten very large!  Now that the vine is frosted I think it is done growing. 

Another major sign of the season:

And that is about it for this post - I will close with a picture of our sweet doeling Periwinkle.

Be well friends.

Sunday, September 16, 2018

Soggy September - bits of randomness

The title of this week's post is a weather reference, but not because it's been raining all week.  Those of you who live in this neck of the woods know what I mean - it's been warm, muggy, humid-downright uncomfortably hot at times. 

I would like to share a photo of Aitkin's Patriot Day display - it was very sobering and emotionally moving.
 We had a storm Friday night - hail about marble size.  Not too much damage to the tomatoes, peppers, or pumpkins, but these flowers that were looking so nice were pretty shredded. 

This squash is Speckled Hound.  I think it is so pretty I just wanted to show it off before we eat it - I can only find a couple of them out there in the jungle.

This week we separated most of the  young cockerels from the rest of the young chickens and turkeys - they are a bunch of thugs and are currently in poultry jail until I can get a fence up to partition off the coop-yard.  They will be in the freezer in about a month.  The rest of the  youngsters have been liberated from the pen and are cautiously exploring their expanded world. These are the turkey poults that came out of the incubator just a few months ago - they've grown a bit!

In other turkey news, Dolly has decided to set - she is on 15 eggs and the mystery is where did they come from?  They just appeared yesterday.   They are on a slope downhill from the edge of the woodshed where it is weedy.  We think they could have washed down from that area on Friday night when it was storming.  Anyway, Dolly and the eggs are just out in the open so we put some straw bales around them just to give her a little protection and to keep them from rolling downhill any further.  Not sure if they will hatch or not but we will give her a chance.

Today we had the pleasure of attending a family gathering - we have not done much visiting this summer and it was very nice to take the time to reconnect.  One of our hostesses, Talitha (probably not spelled right) introduced  me to their donkey - his name is Ole!

Come on fall weather!  See you next time, and be well friends!

Sunday, September 9, 2018

September Scenes

One of the hardest parts of blogging is coming up with titles for the posts!

Overall, it was a beautiful week - We did have our first frost on Thursday morning though - it was a light one, not much damage, just a pumpkin vine or two.


Periwinkle is getting to be a big girl.  She needed a hoof trim and is just too big to hold now so she had her first turn on the milking stand - Spot was hoping for a snack I guess!

The view from the milking stand hasn't changed too much but the trees are a little lighter and although it's hard to see, there is a sheen of bright green over the brown field - the wheat is up.


Here is a closer look - this is a sight that makes Kevin very happy!

Last week I had a photo of a pumpkin on a vine growing in the hayshed.  It is really amazing to see how much it has grown - really, in just seven days!  The spaces on that fence panel are 6x8 inches.


Another odd looking pumpkin - this one is growing out of the compost bin.  Not sure it will be edible, but it's interesting.

The pigs are getting all kinds of treats theses day.  Here they are enjoying some acorns brought out  by a co-worker who has an abundance of them in her yard.  Yum!

So that's your update from the farm.  I'll be back next week - until then, enjoy the fine weather and be well friends!

Sunday, September 2, 2018

Signs of Autumn

If you heard that our area got hit pretty hard by a storm Friday night, you might be expecting a damage report.  The high winds and huge hail went north and all we experienced was an impressive light show. Thank goodness for that but we do feel for those who did not get missed.

 At morning milking time there isn't much to see from the milking stand - it's too dark!  This picture was taken around midday; it's still pretty green out there, but the foliage of the forest has dulled down to a more muted hue.   The plowed field is where rye was recently harvested and is now planted to wheat.
Other signs of the season... First home game for our Aitkin Gobblers:
And our own gobbler strutting his stuff!
The Sunflowers are bowing their heads to the end of summer
These pumpkins are all volunteers from the big composting manure pile - there are more in there too!
This vine has climbed into the hayshed.  It will be fun see just how big it will get before frost kills the vine.

Be thankful the internet hasn't figured out how to send aromas in digital format!  Ranger has been splashing on that special cologne of his.
Don't worry about that chain he is wearing; he just gets a little "gangsta" for a short time when he is staked out while Kevin is moving the lad's paddock.

 So that is all for this week.  Happy Labor Day to you all; be safe out there and be well. 

Sunday, August 26, 2018

Last Post of August

I am pleased to announce that even though it is Sunday, no P.I.Gs escaped today! 

Our Sustainable Farming Association held a community event yesterday - made for a very long day for both of us. After the many months of planning we are glad to have it behind us. 

Today's post features the chickens. Today I let the hens out to roam the place.  They were quick to leave the coop and extended pen I had made for them -  I imagine their clucks to mean "freedom! freedom!"
 I caught a good picture of one of my favorites - she's the last of three Dark Cornish that I had and the most senior of my hens.

Over at the winter coop, I set up a temporary fence to get the youngsters out into some vegetation as their yard is picked clean.  The oldest of this year's cockerels are big enough to butcher now and the pullets are looking good.

Some of the cockerels are very handsome fellows!

That's all I have to share for this evening. Thanks for stopping by the Ole Lake Farm blog, and be well friends.