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farm update

Farm Jon Here. We're still working feverishly to "catch up" with all the spring happenings. Jamie was able to get tomatoes and peppers in the ground before the rain. I finally fixed the tractor and the shredder and was able to prep the area for our trees. Hopefully today I can get the trees in the ground.

I suppose I should explain the trees. I signed up for several NRCS programs this year. One of which was a windbreak/shelterbelt renovation, which entailed planting 350 trees around the farmyard. I was very excited because I worked with them to create an "edible landscape" so we have pecans, walnuts, plums, cranberries, apricots and many more. All of which are edible by animals and/or humans. The time came and I picked up the trees and the tree planter only to come home and be completely overwhelmed. I decided I wasn't sure if their design was going to be too much of a hindrance on farming activities. It wasn't until I was out there trying to get ready that I realized how many things would need to be moved (trailers, piles of junk, piles of tree limbs, etc) and other trees cut down. Plus, that's where I was grazing the sheep and the bulls. Anyway, long story short, I abandoned the project and was going to cut my losses on the 350 trees I had already paid for. Monday rolled around and I told my NRCS guy the situation. He hopped in his truck and came right out. We surveyed the landscape and came up with a new plan that would alleviate most of my concerns, get the trees in the ground and ensure that I didn't lose my money on the trees. So, here I am a week later and hoping to get the trees in the ground today. Hopefully, it's not too wet...

We have decided to get some official help (not just from friends and family). We hope to bring in 1-2 part-time folks to help with various tasks around the farm. We're pretty excited because we've gotten a great response from a bunch of great people. We're still in the process of getting back to everyone but we'll keep you informed of how the process goes and introduce you to them once we have it all sorted out. One of them is hopefully coming out today to help me plant trees, since someone has to drive the tractor and someone has to sit on the tree planter.

If you haven't heard, we will start selling at the Old Cheney Road Farmers' Market on June 3rd and we will be there almost every Sunday through October.

Also, we have wholes and halves of pork available now and will have beef wholes, halves and quarters available later this year (but only a few, so reserve now!). Let us know if you're interested or might know of someone who would be.


spring is in the air

but all I can smell is burnt rubber, as the soles of our shoes (boots) melt from the constant running around.

Farmer Jon here and boy have we been busy. Which has become our new normal since we moved out here but lately we've been even busier than usual. Here are a few examples:

Our dark cornish chicks are a few weeks old and growing a little every day

 Our Pekin ducklings arrived on Saturday and some of them are already HUGE!

The Khaki Campbell ducklings are doing well and can be moved to their permanent home soon.

The broiler chicks are doing really well. We were expecting more issues since they are a commercial breed but they have actually done really well so far.

  And of course, we're still moving the sheep around.

And the bulls...

  And the yearling steers and heifers...

And the cows and calves...

And don't forget ol' 14. She's still hanging in there.

I've had two equipment failures while trying to lift her up twice a day but I hope she will make some good progress this weekend. 

 Jamie's been working hard on the garden.

Here are her strawberries!

Did I mention the turbine was hit by lightning AGAIN! My renewable energy dealer/repairman thought I was joking. He said that has never happened. Luckily, I know how to take it down now. So I lowered it last night but I still have to wait for the part, now that the wind is blowing like crazy today...

See that little white thing. That's what needs replaced...



Farmer Jon here - After the first cow calved, I came out the next morning to find #14 on the ground with a live calf and a dead calf nearby. She had twins! But only the one was still alive by the time I got there. To make matters worse, #14 couldn't stand up. So we called the vet and he gave her various things to help but nothing worked. He left us with a hip clamp to help get her on her feet. We don't have a loader(front scoop) for our tractor so our wonderful neighbors were kind enough to come over to help. 

We got her up but she couldn't support herself. Something was wrong with that right rear leg. Probably a pinched nerve or something. We stayed out there for a couple hours but she still wasn't any better. So they left the tractor for me to use the next day. 

 The next day I got her up again but still no luck. This went on for a couple more days before I finally got her on a trailer and brought her back to the farmyard.

  A certain someone wouldn't stay out of the way of the tractor so I put her somewhere safe.

I put #14in the granary so that I could hoist her up multiple times a day without needing a tractor.

And then...

A couple days later...

She can walk!

 Of course, that meant she walked away from my hoist.

 So I tried to lift her up with the closest things I could find.
Attempt #1

Attempt #2. I actually had her up but then the hip clamp slipped off and she fell down.

I eventually realized that I could put the bale spear on the back of my tractor and it would lift her just high enough that she could stand up.

I'm glad she's doing better but I sure hope she can stand on her own soon. This is going to get old in a hurry!

We sold the calf to a nice family down the road because we didn't have time to bottle feed a calf and the momma needs to conserve all her energy for getting better rather than producing milk. It was fun to have a pet calf for those few days but selling her was the right decision for us.


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