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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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