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Summer Fun Video Series #4

Our landlord wanted to make bread so he had the neighbors plant a few acres of wheat. We got his old Allis Chalmers All Crop 60 Harvest running but shortly after I shot this video (about a week ago) it broke down. I hope to be back out tonight to finish it up.

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Summer Fun Video Series #3

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Sorry for the wind noise...

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Summer Fun Video Series #2

And here's another:

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This was shot on June 26th. The sheep have been "free-range" ever since. Although the sunflowers, Indian corn and beans fell victim to their freedom. And I don't think it's rained since then either.

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summer fun video series

Since we have completely neglected our blogging duties, I thought I would try to make it up to you with a bunch of videos from the farm. You are forewarned that these were shot using my cell phone, in the midst of doing whatever it was that I was doing at the time. So they can get pretty bouncy and there's some heavy breathing in the background on one or two... I also haven't edited them but most of them are pretty short.

Here's your first installment of the Open Sky Farm Summer Fun Video Series. Enjoy, FJ.

Movin' Cows
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Blessed Rain

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farm update

Farmer Jon here, thought I would update you on some of the farm happenings. 

We finally made the decision to castrate hogs. It ended up being a one man operation but it still worked well. I'd say the average time on each pig was around 1-2 minutes to catch, tag, and castrate.


It's definitely one of my least favorites parts of the job but it's something that needed to be done to ensure that they didn't breed. Being able to choose the best boars and sows to breed allows us to select the ones that are thriving and avoid the ones that aren't doing as well. Which will ultimately make for even happier and healthier pigs. This took place a few weeks ago and they are all doing great!
(I had a call out of the blue looking for a boar to buy as breeding stock. Of course, I had to tell him that I just castrated all my boars except one! I couldn't believe it. I've had these hogs for over a year and I get my first call for breeding stock, a few weeks AFTER I castrate for the first time...)


I finally replaced the batteries in our off-grid system. It was a little intimidating reading and hearing from installers/gurus about how you had to be very careful or you could cause an explosion...



But I followed their guidance: no metal zippers or buttons on clothing, wrap tools in electrical tape, wrap ends of cables, don't set tools on the edge of the battery box. And here is the finished product. FYI, those dang batteries are heavy (100lbs+).


 Do you know what a musk thistle is? It's an awful weed that is on almost every state's noxious weed list. Which means you can get in trouble for having them on your property. Or at least for not actively trying to manage them. We have a BUNCH of them around the farm and since we aren't using chemicals we have to use good ole fashioned manpower to take care of them with a spade. Here's the dam right next to the driveway, covered in thistles. Dam thistles...


It didn't take long to clean up the east half but I quickly lost steam after that but we did finally get the dam taken care of. Although a handful have popped back up again already.


And, of course, Jamie and Clara have been very busy themselves. Here they are weeding in the garden.



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Finally I harvested something!


Yummy...first mixed green salad of the summer from my OWN garden.  I'm pretty pumped to actually be eating something from my garden, especially since my last post was so woe is me.


Combine this with a shredded chicken breast, feta cheese, snap peas, roasted golden beets from Robinette Farms and a little olive oil/balsamic vinegar and I had one tasty meal tonight!  I love summertime meals!

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