Sunday, August 12, 2018

Harvest

It's safe to say we are on the downhill side of summer.  It's been a warm dry week - too warm at times but all things considered it could be worse, right?

I dug the garlic this week.  I had planted a small amount of four different kinds to see which grew the best and which we like the best.  I'm pretty happy with how these two look:

Kevin and Rollie have been harvesting the grain.  Wheat, oats, and rye are now either  in the bin or in the trailers waiting to be unloaded.

First the grain is cut using the swather - kind of a funny looking machine if you ask me! 
After it drys for a couple of days, then it is combines.  Like Rollie's umbrella?
Forest and Ranger moved house today - first they both got hoof trim - a stinky procedure where Ranger is concerned - Kevin and I both reeked of him when we were through.  

Fun fact - goats like sunflowers!

 Ole'!


So that's what has been going on around here.  Until next time, be well friends.

Sunday, August 5, 2018

Piggy Adventures

The view from the milking stand this morning was beautiful as usual.



There is a lot going on in this photo - the combine partially obstructing the view, then in the distance the harvested rye field; close up the turkey family and in the middle if you look closely, Ranger checking out the morning from his wagon throne. 

At my feet, Spot and Roye waited for their morning dairy treat.


After this, I was in the house straining the milk at the kitchen counter and thinking about what I was going to do next.  That subject was decided when three pigs wandered by the kitchen window! 

It wasn't exactly the kind of wake-up call that Kevin appreciates - the pigs are out again!  They've done their Houdini act a few times over the past few days.  Usually it's pretty easy to get them back in - they just follow the feed buckets.  Not this morning....

We had quite a time with them as they ran from place to place - the spot in the back yard where the fire-pit used to be was fascinating!

And the turkey food delicious!

Finally, we got two of the three back in their paddock with the lone pig that had stayed in. 
 
That last porker proved to be very elusive and while trying to get him in, the other three got out again!  Eventually we got them all rounded up when they went into the temporary chicken fence.  From there they were corralled with fence panels and returned to the front field where they are working on mowing down a strip of buckwheat.

The other two pigs - the little ones - have come up with new sleeping arrangements - bunkbeds!  We had no idea pigs could jump that high!

Of course more happened this week than escaped pigs, but I think that is enough for this evening.  Until next week, be well friends!

Sunday, July 29, 2018

July's End

Seems like summer is just flying, doesn't it? 

I have posted quite a bit about Penelope the turkey hen and her poults but you may remember that we have 10 more poults that were hatched in the incubator.  The silly things have been able to go outside for at least a couple of weeks but have been too afraid to venture out.  Today they made their tentative first foray into the great outdoors.  If the fence looks a little odd, it's because it's a temporary enclosure out the front of the coop while the pigs were in residence in the back.


I always protest when people say turkeys are dumb.  I have no experience with the big white commercial type of course, but my turkeys are not dumb.  Now that I can observe the difference between the two groups of poults, my conclusion is that little turkeys need mamas to teach them about life.  These little ones from the incubator are not dumb, they are just uneducated.

Kevin generally moves the pigs every week or so, and sometimes more often.  Something new with this group is that they are split up now.  The four largest pigs moved out of the coop yard to a portable shelter and pen east of the garden and the two smallest stayed behind.  The one is just so small it hardly seems to have grown at all.  I suppose in a bigger pig operation it would have been culled, but we will see how it does.  These two smaller pigs will be getting most of the extra milk and whey from cheesemaking to give them an extra boost of nutrition for a while.

A happy pig just waking up from a nap. You can see they are almost in the driveway!

The littlest pig - can you see his buddy's nose there?

I will close this farm update with a nice sunflower picture that I took just today.  They are just starting to bloom and are just so pretty! 

Until next time, be well friends!

Sunday, July 22, 2018

Not One Word About Turkeys

Good Things to report from this weekend.

It's time for that annual blood-letting activity - raspberry picking! They have really spread (due to my neglect) and there is a bumper crop coming.  I picked the first few of them on Thursday, didn't have time to get out on Friday, then picked them yesterday, and again today.  I will likely be picking them again tomorrow, and the next day, and the next. Yum!  The mosquitoes are abundant also and the deer flies bad at times but the result is worth it. 
Lots of unripe fruit!
 Also out in the garden, the first of the cherry tomatoes are ripening - yeah!  Happy Dance! 

Sungold - my fave!
Kent and Kellen (Kevin's brother and nephew who live in Wyoming) were here for a brief visit following a soccer tournament in Anoka - a big deal and Kellen's team won the championship game!  It sure was nice to see them. 

The Flowers Men:  Rollie, his two sons, and his two grandsons.
 
Rollie, Kurt, Kent, Kellen, Kevin
Two weeks ago I showed a photo of the buckwheat blooming - it's still blooming and you can see how tall it is now!

I wanted to get an updated photo of Periwinkle - kids grow so fast.  Vinca and Echo were playing like they were kids themselves today, racing laps and butting heads!
 Thank you for stopping by the blog today.  Until next week, be well friends!


Sunday, July 15, 2018

A Brief Bit

I am writing this blog while standing  at the kitchen counter.  I traveled down to Owatonna today with my sister and a cousin for the Nix family reunion.  The reunion was great but the many hours spent sitting in the car were tough for someone who normally stands up most of the day!  So, I am standing.  This is also going to be a very short post as I have quite a few things to get done yet this evening.  So, just a few new photos.

Pumpkin blossom - so prettty!

The pigs are in the winter coop yard for the week while Kevin is off to scout camp. They are supposed to knock down the giant weeds growing in there for me.  The chicks have a temporary pasture out the front of the coop.  Here are some of the oldest ones - they hardly look like chicks any more.

And the pigs seem to be enjoying the accommodations!

And last, another view from the  milking stand.  The lads have moved up closer to the house for the week, and their play wagon came along.  Kevin is even in there providing some bedding in it as both the guys spend quite a bit of time in there.

Until next week, be well friends!

Sunday, July 8, 2018

Joys of July

Sometimes when I sit down on Sunday evening I have a blog post all but written in my head.  This is not one of those evenings - it's pretty much "seat of the pants" writing here tonight.

I hope that you all had a nice Independence Day.  Ours started out in a soggy way.

Kori, Rollie, and I had all signed up for the Glen 5K which takes place just 4 miles down the road from where we live.  Kori and Rollie were walkers and I did it as a run, although much slower than in past years I must admit.  Anyway, the rain started shortly after we all got started and it was pretty heavy at times.  By the time we were done we were all like drowned rats.  Makes for a good story to tell in the future though... "remember that year we did the Glen 5K and it poured?"

There is a new little farmer's market in Glen on Fridays that we sometimes vend at, and we were there on Wednesday too for the holiday.  One of the other vendor's daughters brought along her new pet piglet, which Kevin really seemed to bond with...

 

In the background you can see Ardis and Rollie - Ardis has a flea market type of stand at that market too.

Back here at home, Penelope has begun to stay closer to the house as I had hoped.  A favorite spot is in the backyard, sitting on the picnic table.

The buckwheat is in full bloom this week.  I had no idea it would be so tall, it's higher than my waist. 

The pollinators are loving it.  Although we have no resident honeybees, I found this one gathering up pollen.  I wish I knew where it came from.

Last week I had a picture of Ranger peeking out of the wagon - now Forest has gotten in on that as well.  They enjoyed hopping into and out of the wagon so much than when Kevin moved their paddock today, he moved the wagon too.

I will close with an updated View From the Milking Stand.  As you can see, the hay between the blooming buckwheat and the ripening rye has been cut and baled up and yeah - no break downs!  It was nice of Penelope and her family to wander into the photo.

So that's it for tonight.  Next weekend will be busy with the farmer's market and a family reunion, but I should be back with a new post. Until then, be well friends.

Sunday, July 1, 2018

Mid Summer Highs and Lows

What a week we have had - weather-wise I mean.

I try not to talk too much about the weather in my blog posts, but really have to sometimes - it's what is happening around us and influences our lives like nothing else.  The weather is the first thing we want to know about in the morning, and the last thing we look at before bed.

This week we had one day that didn't even make it to 70 degrees (Tuesday) followed up by some oppressive heat and humidity -Friday was the worst.  Kevin vended on Friday at a new market that is just down the road from us in Glen - and it was pretty uncomfortable.  I had better weather yesterday at the Aitkin Farmer's Market.

In the continuing chronicle of Penelope and the poults, the latest thing is that she is bringing the kids up to the house for a bite to eat pretty much daily.  I'd be happier if she would just hang out in the yard area but have to be content with that.

Turkey behavior is still mostly a mystery to me.  Tom has been sulking - he has made himself a nest of sorts and just sits around most of the day.  He did gobble today - he hadn't done that for a while that I have heard.  I also noticed that he has lost pretty much all of his tail feathers - so I am sort of concluding that he is molting and maybe that is why he is sulking. 

Dolly and Polly are not usually seen together - they used to be inseparable.  One of them (Polly?) I rarely see, mainly just first thing in the morning so I am speculating that she might be setting although that could be wishful thinking.  The other (Dolly?) has taken to flying to the coop roof now and then... enjoying the view maybe?

As he has the past few summers Kevin moves the lads' shelter and portable fencing to fresh ground about once a week.  Currently, a flow-box wagon is included in their little paddock so Ranger did not miss the chance to jump in for a  little peek-a-boo (there is no tailgate). 


I will conclude by wishing you all a safe and happy Independence Day.  Be careful out there on the highway and lakes, and be well.