Life of a Farm Blog

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Finally some relief

Fall can only be just around the corner. The nights are beginning to cool and our streak of consecutive days above 90 degrees has finally been broken. I for one am ready. Fall is my favorite time of year. The leaves turning, cool nights, and finally the smell of wood smoke in the air. I can hardly wait. Again this year I find myself with so many things to do to prepare for winter and no time to do them. The hay must be finished, wood needs cut, potatoes are still in the ground, everything on the farm needs some sort of maintenance, and fencing would help relieve some dependence on hay. That’s just off the top of my head too. I’m sure there is tons more.

On a high note I finally got the remnants of the old trailer cleaned up and hauled away. Thanks to Dave Rose and his dump truck and the loader on the 6000 about 8 hours is all it took. Unfortunately the renter is not keeping his end of the bargain. I gave the folks 3 months free rent to clean up the small stuff and they have not done that. Seems terribly unfair that you try to help people and get taken advantage of. We made the mistake of putting the utilities in our names and now the bills are overdue. Such is life I guess.

I took a trip to my local Mahindra dealer and finally got the parts to fix my mowing machine and brush hog wheel. It’s nice to go look at all the pretty red tractors and dream that if I had one of each model what I could do. I was disappointed that they did not have a 7010 Cab on the lot. I’m ready to make a deal on one, but know the best deal is on what is on a dealers lot. I did see Mahindra implements on the lot though. I must say they seem to be very well made. I’m not sure about the prices, but the quality seems to be good.

After all we have been through with the poultry houses it seems as though the universe is talking to us about them. First off we have already spent quite a bit of money preparing a site and beginning on the pad only to find out definitively we would not be in compliance on that site. I’m disappointed to say that Cobb led us astray in that aspect. They still say there would be no problem, but who in their right mind would take such a risk. We will either change the site or eat the loss. Either way I have lots more productive land now. To me it seems that it’s not meant to be, but maybe I am just too easy to give up. I have always held tight to the notion that the old folks here speak to us. Maybe not in words, but through their past. I can’t tell you how many times I have asked myself what would papaw do, or what would uncle Pete do?

Kingsford will be unveiling a new product soon. We will begin making Kingsford charcoal with real Hickory. Hickory has long been a favored grilling wood and now we are going to put it in and on charcoal briquets. Our first scheduled run is in November, but I believe it is already being made and sold in test markets.

Well lots to do so until next time stay safe and as we say at Kingsford………………………Slow Down and Grill!

17 Responses to “Finally some relief”

  1. Brooke Says:


    HI!! I am in Chino, So. CA. We USE to be the Dairy capital of the US, until the “Preserve” ended around 1990 or so, when it allowed the Dairy’s to sell their land to “progress”. With the hay here so expensive, most of them have either gone north, or into other states…..selling their land to housing or industrial complexes. I HATE it!! When we moved here in 1984, we couldn’t even get a PIZZA delivered to our house!! OK, I’m sure you can’t either….but for a city girl that was really WEIRD!!! I grew to enjoy the “country”, no traffic and having to wait for the hen and her chicks to cross the street in the early morning going to work!!

    Anyway, my Husbands family in PA, had a reunion. Talk about THE LIFE!! I totally fell in love!! Aunt Kay has a BIG house that once had a LOT of acreage for the cattle they raised. When her husband died, Kay sold off most of the land for a (UGH) golf course!! But, she still has a lot of woods and land out back. Cousin Gary took my boys on their riding lawnmower into the woods to get the hickory for the BBQ he was making!!! OH, WOW!!! What flavor!!! Sounds like you will be making something I KNOW either myself or my husband will be buying!! Here in CA we grill 365 days a year!! Rain or shine!!

    So, everytime I pick up a bag of brickettes, I will think of you and your family! We usually buy Kingsford brand. About the only quality brand out here.

    Take Care, Brooke

    P.S. Something I found about the “thoughts of Chino”!!
    “Reminders of Chino’s agricultural history are still evident in the 15,000 acre Dairy Preserve on our eastern boundary. The Preserve is currently undergoing land use planning, preparatory to development that is expected to bring more than 100,000 new residents to the area over the next twenty years. Several thousand acres will be planned for industrial development, ensuring the area’s continued economic growth for many years.” All I have to say to that is GEE, THANKS! :(

  2. Kevin Says:

    Hi Joel!

    All I can say is that you’ve got to do what is right about the poultry houses, even though Cobb is telling you to go ahead. A site you ought to look at that sort of is relevent to your situation is farmbureaulies. It details one couples problems with an insurance company and county government gone crazy. (He had a number of differing opinions and has been in a battle ever since. Probably will never get satisfaction.)

    Hope you don’t have too much more down time on the farm. Right now is getting into “crunch time”, when everything has to be done. Don’t work too hard, and try to enjoy life.

  3. Kevin Says:

    I forgot to tell you that unfortunately that is the way tenants do you. Give ‘em an inch and they’ll take a mile. You may have to do two things; 1) serve them notice by return reciept requested (delivery confirmation) mail that they are to complete all clean up by a certain date or vacate the property {in most states you will need to give them at least one full months notice: served to them before Sept. 30, with a date of Oct. 31 to vacate by, if that is what you want or need to threaten}, and 2) notify them in the same letter that they must change all utilities into thier names by a given date, as you will have them disconnected due to non-payment, and that they must pay you all amounts owed before the last day of October. Make sure to keep a copy of the correspondence, and the reciept from the Post Office. Then if you have to seek an eviction order you can use your demand letter, the reciepts for all of the utilities you paid for them, the copy of the lease/rental agreement and pictures of the condition of property as proof of failure to comply, legal notice and cause for eviction. The proceedures vary from state to state, but almost all of them require notification in writing by a certifiable source (the delivery confirmation reciept will accomplish this). Hopefully your written lease details that the tenants had to either change the utilities into thier name or that they had to pay you for them by a specific date. In some areas your shutting off the utilities might be considered “effective eviction” which could mean that they could come back for damages suffered from the lack of utilities (they give deadbeats too many breaks). I used to be in real estate, and am a landlord too, so I am familiar with all of the headaches and hassles of leasing out property.

  4. grace davenport Says:

    9/18-i am a 73 year old senior and i don’t know how in the world i came across a “blog”, as i was searching for a flowering shrub–but i’m glad to have found this as i grew up in 40′s/50′s in remote rural area in western kentucky and remember many of the things that you write about. i will look forward to reading this “blog”. best wishes to you and your dear children. grace

  5. jim Says:

    love the blog we are just getting our farm started in eastern ohio we have five kids a 47 farmall h and 50 acres trying to bild a house and get the farm going hay is about all we have going now and the dry year did not do us alot of good. Also we drive a truck for a living with all thats going on im gonna have a melt down before were through. ha ha well keep looking up when your at the bottom the only way to go is up. good luck and have fun. p.s. we hope to get a blog page on our web site soon,if i find the time that is. hmm can we add a few hrs to the day 24 is not enough. lol

  6. Brooke Says:

    Mrs. Davenport….I think that is how we ALL “found” this blog. Like you, I think we all (from what I have read) have something in common here. I also was looking for something else, don’t remember what, but this is what I found! I enjoy hearing about Joel and his children. He is doing such a hard job raising those kids……AND farming! Anyway, I’m sure you will be back…….like all of us!!

  7. gabalotgal Says:

    I love fall. The leaves turning. The cooler weather. But i dont get to spend much time at our farm right now. We went Labor day weekend for a couple of days. I cried when we left. Now the hardest part of all. I need to find buyers for all my tractors. And who wants tractors that need lots and lots of work? Ah well maybe I can put it off one more year!

  8. Carla Barnhart Says:

    Good Evening Joel!

    I’m a girl with three children, a bill for a truck, and 0 acres!

    But I love to read about farmers. I have even been to the Ohio Farmlands Preservation Summit.

    It seems that you have your hands full, but doing what you love. That’s great! I’ll continue to read.

    I am just like the rest of your comment ors, I just happened to look up, and there was your blog right before my eyes!

    Take Care,


  9. Kevin Says:

    Too bad you’re thinking selling off your equipment. There are lots of buyers out there for “aged iron”, unfortunately many of the more common tractors only needing minor repairs are going the way of the dinosaur. They are converting them into scrap metal rather than repairing them and either keeping them in service or enjoyed as an antique or collector’s item. A magazine I came across awhile back carried a large classified ads section of people looking to buy/sell older tractors and equipment, the title of it is Antique Power and Farm Machinery, if my memory serves me correctly. They might be a good way for you to advertise them nationally (possibly internationally) and keep them in the loop as restored classics or parts for tractors in better shape.

  10. joelw Says:

    Progress means many things to many people. To me it seems a shame it doesn’t preserve anything. We only recently got a Domino’s pizza chain in a neighboring town. The only good thing I can see from that is the delivery guy did let me know my horses were out one time.
    Thanks for reading and keep using that Kingsford charcoal. Here’s to hoping we can find a way to deal with all the progress life brings.

    You’re right on all counts. I feel the right decision was made with regards to the poultry houses. Just follow the regulations and maintain the attitude that this is an agricultural facility with all the sights, sounds, and smells of a working farm. Complain if you like, but we are following the law.
    With the renters, I should evict them, but right now I’m trying to keep the attitude that they deserve a chance to make things right. Although up til now they have made no effort.I’ll give it a few more weeks and then do what needs to be done to deal with the situation. On a positive note they did pay the utilities. I talked to the county attorney and they say that if the utilities are in my name I can do as I please with them. Geuss I’m just not that mean.

    Glad to have you reading regardless of how you got here! Keep coming back! What part of W Ky did you grow up in? Thank you so much for the comment! I remember so plainly the stories my grandpa would tell of his childhood in this area.

    I pray that you’ll find deserving buyers for all your equipment you sell. Although none of us are any more deserving than you.

  11. Holly-Go-Lightly Says:

    Hi Joel~
    all I can say is WOW! What a great blog. I especially liked “Hay & Babies”. I am a writer, and would just like to say how your wonderful descriptions bring back so many sweet memories of growing up on a farm.

    I helped birth calves, garden, take care of the chickens (a most heartily disliked chore of mine at the time), and all the animals. Talking about getting the bottle calves for your kids reminded me of feeding an occasional orphaned lamb out of the bottle just like a baby, in the kitchen of my house no less!!

    I’m now a mountain girl, but will enjoy reading about
    your farm & family, now that I’ve found your blog!

    Happy Days~

  12. Brooke Says:

    Holly, or anyone that has the answer for me. Where I board my horse, she just got some chicks for some eggs. What I was told by the friend I use to board at (he passed away suddenly) was to have lots of water and food in a feeder AND food on the ground for them to “scratch” at. He was really nice to me, I would supply the food in exchange for most of the eggs. But, where I am at now, she has no knowledge of chickens or chicks. She was told NOT to feed chicks on the ground that they needed the water to drink WITH the food. That just doesnt sound right to me. Cindi said she would like some help with the chickens…..she has 5 hens and 2 roosters, but on this one I just dont know the answer.
    Thanks!! Brooke
    P.S. Joel and everyone……I really enjoy this blog….I check it everyday. Everyone’s memories and stories really make me wish I was in the country!! :)

  13. Kevin Says:

    What you do with chicks is feed them a little bit of chick starter (since hers will be hatched at home she can use the medicated type, if she had bought them from a hatchery they would have been vaccinated, and medicated feed would disable the innoculations) on a piece of cardboard on the ground in the area where you are keeping them right after they hatch. (Right after they hatch you will want to keep them in space where they will be free of drafts and keep a light bulb/heat lamp suspended above them to keep them warm. I am assuming that she is trying to hatch the eggs in an incubator, as her hens probably won’t hatch them unless they are broody.) Then as they grow you introduce a small feeding tray to them with feed in it. You put water out for the chicks in a self waterer. You might, and probably will, have to introduce them to drinking. (Dip thier beaks into the water a few times everyday until you see them drinking on thier own.) Tell your friend to check out the either one of the mail order hatcheries websites or the Gardenweb’s Farm Life Forum. Both places will give you detailed instructions on the proper temp to keep the chicks from hatch, until they will no longer need supplemental warmth.

    Sorry Joel for butting in and giving Brooke the info.

  14. Brooke Says:

    Thank you Kevin for the info! I did put in the blog I posted that it was for anyone to answer. I kinda hate to bug Joel with “silly city-girl” questions!! I know everyone is busy, so thanks for your time!! I will print this and give it to Cindi! I can help her once they get bigger, but I just don’t know much about the babies!
    Looking forward to the eggs!!!

  15. grace davenport Says:

    Hello Joel, this is the old woman from Muhlenberg County, western Kentucky. It is good that you knew your grandfather and learned of the great hardships we faced in Kentucky. As you know, we were a strong and enduring people, bonded by our common suffering. I have been reading the archives, as I can. I am now understanding what a “blog” is — it is somewhat like what “we” had, a diary. I live in Los Angeles, but my heart yearns for the soil of my home, Kentucky. Your children look healthy and happy. Always remember the spirit of our forebearers.

  16. Brooke Says:

    Mrs. Davenport,
    WOW, how in the world did you end up in Los Angeles?? I also am not all that informed about “blogs” you I think I was also looking up a plant or something like that.
    Anyway, I miss my Mother in law….and her stories of growing up. She was at least 10 yrs older than you….as sharp as a tack and very quick whitted. She passed a year ago. At 89 yrs of age, still driving, so well that I trusted her with my son’s.

  17. joelw Says:

    Sorry about the delay responding, just been terribly busy. Glad Kevin jumped in to help. We alway raised our babies on a wire floor (1/4 inch mesh hardware cloth). We used chick starter, always medicated. All that’s ever been available to me. The first few days we put newspaper down on the wire with food scattered on it as well as in a feeder. A few times on the first day we would catch them and dip their beak in water to make sure thay understand where the water is. It helps to add a lil sugar to the water or karo syrup for energy. Try to keep chicks around 90 degrees for the first week or so and then you ca back off on the temp about a degree a day. There are instructions on Murray McMurray website if either of us left anything out! Feel free to ask those “city girl” anytime you want!

    Thanks for the help!

    Thanks for the comment! You’re right, one of my most treasured things in life is memories of my grandfather. I don’t think there are any stronger people out there than Kentuckians. One other thing that bonded most people in that era was religion. Glad to have you reading!

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