Life of a Farm Blog

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Winter is on the way

If you can put any faith in weather forecasts, it would seem winter is on the way. They are giving lows at night below freezing. It finally got dry enough for the leaves to turn and now they are beginning to fall. When you have the number of trees we do, that can make a mess. We’ve tried bagging, burning, mulching, and everything else you can imagine over the years – and to be honest none of it is very fun. The kids like the piles to play and hide in. This week they pitched in and helped build a fall display for the front yard. They proudly placed all kinds of the mini gourds they have grown all around it.

Today I turn 33 years old. Birthdays have never meant a lot to me, just another year older and I am definitely much too young to feel this dang old. I got a surprise this morning though, a tractor birthday cake. Their mother had taken them and picked me up a new cab tractor. Red, just like I wanted. Too bad I can only eat this one. With it turning cooler, I sure would have liked to have been riding around in that 7010 Cab I’ve been wanting.

We built a run in shelter for the goats – made it out of livestock panels and a tarp, but it is going to be too small to fit all the goats. We’re going to have to double the size of it. I plan to put rolls of hay at the ends to block the wind. I figure the goats will drag enough of the hay inside the shelter to line the bottom and give them some insulation against the cold ground. We’ll take the Mom’s out and into the barn as they show signs of being close to kidding.

The Big South Fork Scenic Railway (www.bsfsry.com) has given us a bunch of cross ties to use as fence posts. I spent the whole day Monday loading ties with the 6000 and hauling them back to the farm. We still have a long way to go. The deal was I had to take all of them, not just some of them. There must be 2,000 of them. Another neighbor has been helping me using his older Deere tractor to unload them here at the place.

On Monday, we meet with a representative of Cobb poultry to further discuss the possibility of becoming a contract grower. The children have mixed feelings about this. They like the idea of raising chickens, but they don’t like not being able to own any other avian species. That means no more farm fresh brown eggs. We have always wanted a pumpkin patch here where kids could come and visit. We want a petting zoo with a milk cow, a bottle calf, ducks, chickens, pigs, alpacas, a donkey, just all kinds of farm animals, horseback rides, corn maze, hay rides, a small bale maze, and of course every size and color of pumpkins. I see these poppping up all across the state. To raise chickens commercially, we most likely would have to drain our ponds – due to the likelihood of mosquitos. That would mean no ducks and no more fishing. At a farm we visited a few falls ago, they had trained ducks to climb a slide to get food and then slide down into the pond. The smile on all the children’s faces was priceless.

Well I guess I’d better go drag out the long johns….until next time……stay warm…


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