Life of a Farm Blog

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Good and Bad

Well this week has been good and bad. We got part of the garden started. I took the 6000 over and tilled a couple of the spots we used on Wednesday morning. Then Thursday afternoon we set out cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, and lettuce. I’m hoping we can get the potatoes and onions in the ground this week too. Think I’ll plant a row of peas too. It helps to get an early start. The bad part of this week was that I put the $400 piece on my truck that was supposed to fix it, but it didn’t. The thing ran perfect for almost 30 minutes and then I shut it off. While we were setting out the plants on Thursday BJ came to pick up the kids. She was talking about how she missed gardening so I said just jump in here and help. When we were done I said I’d plant potatoes if I had them. She volunteered to go get the potatoes in my truck since I had it fixed or so I thought. She got to the end of the road and it died on her and wouldn’t start back. Somehow it’s running itself out of fuel.

On top of the truck driving me silly, all the kids have had the flu for the past few days. Ended up missing a day of work to get them to doctors appointments. They’ve got this new medicine Tamiflu that I have to fight them to get them to take it. Evidently tastes really bad.

I sure got a good scare the other night. A neighbor called to tell me I needed to make sure the horses were all in. Seems someone’s horse was running the neighborhood. Thank goodness mine were all where they should’ve been. I wasn’t as lucky a couple years ago. The Domino’s pizza guy stopped to ask if I knew anyone with horses. I knew when I saw him it couldn’t be good, because I hadn’t ordered pizza. I told him I had 4, why? His reply was well there are 4 standing in the road down there. Nothing as fun as chasing animals in the middle of the night.

We heard back from Farm Credit on our chickenhouse loan application. They want a substantial down payment plus the lien on the whole farm. I don’t know that we want to do that. I hate the thought of losing everything if something goes bad. It would be different if it wasn’t family land. Another tough decision to make.

The front deck on the double-wide is done. It looks really good! I hope I can afford to get the back one started soon. On the front we went 10×17. On the back we plan on going 16×20. They’ll both have lots of room to sit and go in and out.

Saturday BJ brought the kids down to fly kites. She brought my nephew JT too. We’ve ceratinly got good places to fly kites. We had the whole field full of kids running around with their kites.

In the latest issue of Hobby Farms magazine I noticed that there is reference to the fact that Mahindra will be adding implements to their lineup. It said they are going to have cutters, tillers, box and scraper blades, landscape rakes, boom poles, bale forks and spears, and even a potato plow. I think there is more to come too, like disc harrows. It will be interesting to see how these do. I know I’m going to pick up a disc harrows in a few weeks and I hope Mahindra has one available by then.

Well lots to do, so I better get at it……….Be sure to check back soon for new posts and while you’re here check out the pics I’ve added.


13 Responses to “Good and Bad”

  1. Kevin Says:

    Joel, Family and Friends
    Back when I was selling real estate I found out about the lenders wanting a sizable down and to include all of the property under the mortgage. Most of them are that way, especially when it comes to new ventures. That was why I recommended planning on keeping the off the farm job, when you plan on going full time into farming and do not have a track record in the venture you are planning on, they get real skiddish. Try taking a look at financing your buildings seperate from the equipment. If you can float a consumer credit line for the purchase of the materials for building one or two of the houses and then either pay for the construction out of pocket or do most of the work yourself, you ought to be able to get another consumer credit loan for just the equipment. I know it is more of a hassle to do it this way, but it just might be the way to get your foot in the door. Also, check on those young farmer loans. You might be able to get one, requirements vary form state to state.

  2. Christine Lawson Says:

    I know this sounds odd and just because you have a farm and animals does not mean you will know the answer but I ran acrossed your blog and thought hay, maybe he will know what to do.(women in distress)..I have a stray cat.She has been hanging out for about five months well she had kittens saturday.Seems normal enough but two of the kittens died.One last night one today and the other two seem okay but I am at a loss as to what to do.Dilemia…..One looks and acts fine.Eats okay etc.The other is starting to not eat .Any sugestions???Thanks Christine

  3. joelw Says:

    Christine,
    It’s very possible that the cat/kittens are diseased or that for some reason the kittens did not get colostrum (mothers first milk). I’m not much on cats and dogs. There are so many things that point to what might be the culprit. I recommend checking with the folks on http://www.homesteadingtoday.com I’m sure someone there can help you more than me.

  4. joelw Says:

    Kevin,
    I wouldn’t be able to keep the off farm job if I do the chickenhouses. Each will take approximately 12 to 13 man hours a day. No way I’m going to go in debt that much money and hire someone else to run it. I’d be scared to death they’d ruin me. As for financing each seperate (houses/equipment)that could put me in a real pickle if for someone reason I couldn’t get the money for the equipment. That’s a ton of money either way. About $500k for grade, gravel, and construction and another $250k for equipment. I’m spread so thin now I don’t know how I’d find time to do any of the work. We bring a lot to the table as far as borrowers go and I’m sure we can get the loan if we want to play by all their rules. I’m just not sure I’m willing to do that. I’m taking a huge risk by quitting a good job and losing all those fringe benefits. For quite a while I’d be taking a cut in pay anyway. I figure it will all work out like it’s supposed to. I doubt the young farmer loans would fit because I’m going to partner with my dad.

  5. Kevin Says:

    Joel, Family & Friends
    I hear what you are saying about worrys about a hired hand putting you into the poor house. But still, the lenders are very reluctant to give loans out to borrowers without a track record in the venture they are wanting to finance. Otherwise they want more than enough collateral to offset any risk they are taking. One thought that might help is check into setting up an LLC. You, your dad and mom will be the officers for a Limited Liability Corp. which leases the ground for the chicken operation from your family. This away, if there are financial problems that arise out of the chicken op, part of the family farm can be shielded from foreclosure. Some lenders will allow you to at least set aside a portion of the property from the leveraged property, due to state homestead laws.

    Christine, the kittens might be having a problem with a viral respiratory infection. This problem comes on quickly and kills the young animals very quickly. My only suggestion is either take them to a shelter or vet, along with momma cat. The vet might be able to set you up with some antibiotics for the kittens and the mother that could keep the rest of them from dieing, but don’t count on it. My experience is once the infection has set in on the litter, they are all pretty much going to get it. Sorry to sound negative, but that is pretty much how these things go.

  6. Candy Says:

    I noticed that you show pics of your boer goats, do you use them for land clearing or for meat?

    I certainly understand the farming blues you have been through, as our kitch floor is in need of replacement and our barn floor still is mushy from all the rain.

    Your blog is definitely a format I may consider since this is my first time to do any of this.

  7. stefanie Says:

    I think your postings are absolutly wonderful. I really enjoy reading them. I bought 4 1/2 acres in 05 and have two kids 2 horses, some chickens, rabitts, dogs, cats and a bunch of pecan and fruit trees and am trying to substitute my income from my job as much as possible with things from my little farm. It is very encouraging and helpful to read what you experience.
    Thank’s for taking the time to share with us

  8. joelw Says:

    Candy,
    I use the gotas for both meat and land clearing. I just love goat burger. Thanks for reading and keep checking back.

    Stefanie,
    Thanks for reading, I’m glad you enjoy the posts.

  9. pj williams Says:

    I love this blog, i read it and and look forward to it at least weekly. I was wondering can a small farmer make money on meat goats? by small I mean 100 head annually I look forward to your reply.

  10. Dan Says:

    Almost time to get those peas in up here … I’m hoping that spring will get as soon as this new snow melts and I can fire up the tiller.

  11. joelw Says:

    PJ,
    Can you make money on a small herd of goats? Sure, just don’t expect to get rich. The best thing you can have for goats is brush and bramble. I use a saying to describe goats, Goats will starve to death in good pasture. By that I mean they don’t like to graze like cattle or horses. They would rather have briars and trees. The most important thing about goats is to keep them wormed. They get parasites very easily. I remember when you used to get laughed at for being a goat farmer. Now lots of folks make a good living with large herds. A cow can only have one calf a year, but goats will have four or five kids lots of times if the breedings are scheduled right.
    Glad you like the blog. Keep checking back!

  12. joelw Says:

    Dan,
    Thanks for reading. Spring will be there before you know it.

  13. Charley Farley Says:

    I live on 20 acres in Iowa. You must live in Kentucky.
    I’m goingto check into the Mahindra tractors. By the way who is BJ

    Later Charley

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