Life of a Farm Blog

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Cold and Rainy

The weather can’t seem to decide what season it is here in the bluegrass state. We’ve been bouncing around from highs near 80 on beautiful sunshine filled days to near 30 and drizzly like today. I can handle either I just wish it was one or the other. We’ve finally gotten started on building the second set of poultry houses. Just barely though. The contractor got the footers dug and almost all of one house of footers poured and then just like last time, here came the rain. It has rained atleast part of the day every day for a week. Everything here is a soppy mess. I figure it will take until atleast Wenesday or maybe even later to dry out enough to do anything on the buildings.

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We’ve used the breaks in the rain to do some fence mending and add a transfer tank and toolbox to the new truck. I made the mistake of leaving hay too close to the fence and the horses rode the fence down eating the hay. Initially I put up corrall panels in the place of the now knee high fence, but the horses just rode those down too. I never realized how destructive horses were. They will stand on anything to reach across the fence and eat. Now mind you, they get hay inside the fence and even sweet feed every day, but that same hay on the other side of the fence is what they desire. One good thing came out of the fiasco. I figured out that I can dig post holes much deeper in this sandstone when I use the loader on the 7010 to put down pressure on the post hole digger. Having 2 tractors really comes in handy at times. It will be cleanout time before you know it and I’m kind of bummed about it because as things look now we will either be renting a skid steer or trading the 6000 in on a smaller HST tractor. I know I don’t really have a use for 3 tractors, but I just hate to see the 6000 go. It has been bulletproof and everything is so simple about it. I suppose I could rent a skid steer, but I’m the type who believes in buying tools and using them until you can recoup your investment, not renting.

107_3631 by you.

Madison finally got her little pigs this week. We got a total of eight. I’ll probably have more in them than I could buy them for by the time they get butchering size, but atleast I’ll know what they are fed. I ended up getting them from the RECC lineman who took the logs. It took him a while, but he finally came back around and I just took the pigs instead of money for the logs.

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This past week has been modern gun season for deer here. That’s meant no horseback riding for fear of being mistaken for a deer. Madison is about to crack. Every day I hear “can we go horseback riding yet?” Madison and I have a new favorite song too. Cowgirls don’t cry by Brooks and Dunn. It just plain fits us. The other kids have their own thing, Katie and Garett are bookworms, Kaylee is my cheerleader, but Mattie is my cowgirl! I know I have said it many times before, but I am so proud of my children! All of them! They have what it takes to make it in this world. When you are young you don’t realize the foundation that is being built in you. I still remember my oldest brother Paul’s wedding rehersal dinner. Paul married a girl from a pretty well to do family. All her family showed up in fancy cars and brought fine wine. I commented to my dad that it must be nice to have money. I will never forget his response. He simply said “son when times get rough we’ll make it, but will they”? That’s when I realized money and things don’t make you who you are.

Well I should close, there is tons to do here, literally. I have about 250 tons of rock to spread, trees to trim, fence to fix, christmas shopping to do, and a cleanout plan to configure so I best go for now. Be sure to take a peek at the pics I’ve added and check back soon to follow our progress on the farm! Thanks for reading!


14 Responses to “Cold and Rainy”

  1. Kevin Says:

    Hi Joel,

    Glad to hear that you and the RECC man were able to work things out. Those look like nice York cross shoats. Give them some time and plenty of good food and they will make nice pork sometime after the New Year.

    I know what you are saying about horses being an aggravation at riding down fences. Years ago we had the same problem. Dad resolved it by getting some stand off insulators and running an electric wire on top of and a couple of feet down from the top of the woven wire fence. The one on the top kept the horses from getting too close to the fence and riding the top of it down by reaching over, and the ones on the side of the post kept them from trying to rub. It did a good job. The ones that were in the field for awhile learned to respect the fences, and the new ones quickly did to! I know what you are saying about keeping your stock close to the house during firearms deer season. There was some fool a couple of years ago who tried to check in a small donkey, thinking it was a mule deer!

    The weather here has been seasonal too! Last night it was in the low twenties, and today it will only be in the forties. They are predicting it to be near 60 on Wednesday or Thursday, then another temperature drop, and a chance of precipitation on Saturday. You really have problems planning any kind of construction when the weather is changing so much.

    If you end up having to trade in the 6000 you might want to look at a tractor that is in the mid 30 to low 40 hp range. They aren’t much bigger than the smaller 20 hp tractors, but they are big enough to allow you to do some serious field work with them. (Baling hay, etc.)

    Well, take care of yourselves. I hope you get enough of a break in the weather to get some work done on your new chicken houses. Have a great Thanksgiving!

    Kevin

  2. paintsmh Says:

    My dad only gets 2 pigs each year…And I think that is too many! But then again I am not a fan of pigs.

    Glad everything is going well! It is regular season here for deer too now. We have a lot of trespassers. I’ve been having to keep my Jerseys in the barn. And some guy killed a little girl…I’d really like to know how that happened really…

  3. paintsmh Says:

    Happy Thanksgiving!! I hope you guys had a wonderful holiday!

  4. Jim Says:

    Hi all Happy Thanksgiving! Hope that all is well. Been vary busy had to take down the woven fence I just put up the pigs and cows tore it down faster than I put it
    up!! So now Im putting up all elec. fence we have the fence up in the back of the horse barn that we are going to use as a nersery for the new calvs we will start adding soon we hope to add 25 to 30 head this spring we may get some this winter. I hope the new chicken houses are coming along ok.We hope to start working on the big pasture soon we are going to have to take down all the old barb wire fence its all bad any way so thats no big deal then I can replace all the old posts that are broke and falling down .Well I hope everyones doing well talk to you all later.

  5. Kevin Says:

    Joel,

    The weather here has turned very seasonal here. Yesterday we had rain mixed with snow in the afternoon and evening. It is snowing lightly right now. The ground isn’t all that cold, so we have a light dusting, but the gravel and concrete are clear.

    I meant to get up early enough to put a ham in the oven this morning, some sweet potatoes in the crock pot, and bake a couple of pies when the ham comes out. Unfortunately I just didn’t have a spatula big enough to get myself flipped off of the sheets! I got up late enough that I will get the ham done, the sweet potatoes are on, and I will have to bake the pies at my sister in laws. (I worked Thanksgiving and my brother and sister in law went to her sister’s for the day, so we will get together, along with thier son, daughter in law and granddaughter today.) My brother and sister in law usually eat around 11:30, so I will just make it in time with the ham.

    Take care and don’t work too hard!
    Kevin

  6. Julie Says:

    Hi, this is the first time I\’ve checked out your blog. I just wanted to say I have a lot of respect for families who live on/work on farms. I can barely keep up with my housework and the yard, and you\’ve got all that and tons more!
    Your kids are so fortunate to have that kind of experience. There are too many spoiled kids these days who don\’t know the value of hard work. Plus, you live in a beautiful area!
    God Bless you and your family.

    Julie Kirby

  7. TasteOdyssey Says:

    Terrific site! We were introduced to Joel Salatin\’s ideas recently and began blogging about grass farmers, and \”small\” independent farming. Although it isn\’t the central purpose of our site, we found more and more that our exploration of Big Organic vs. the farmer\’s who are working with their own families, with their own methods are a growing trend. Look forward to exploring your content further. Best of luck to you.

  8. anne tonks Says:

    I like you blog from two points of view

    1. I am thinking of buying a farm (i grew up on a little farm and thought I would never go back–but now I am having second thoughts.

    2. What services powers your blog? I like the look and feel of it from a technical point of view.

    Good luck–lookslike a lot of work– lol

  9. Kevin Says:

    Joel,

    The weather here has been playing games once again. We had some rain and snow on Tuesday, and it got steadily warmer towards the end of the week. Today we were supposed to have a high of near 50 (looks like it might make 60!) with wind and a chance of rain. Tomorrow is supposed to be windy, chance of evening rain, and dropping temps! A possible low in the teens Sunday night/Monday morning!

    Well, the county is trying to get an issue on the ballot for the 2009 April election for Planning and Zoning. While it appears to be farm friendly, it is not very friendly for small business, industry or residential developers. They call for “conditional use permits” rather than spot zoning or variances to allow activities other than what an area is designated. This would mean that if you are non-compliant when the Planning & Zoning takes effect you can not make any additions to your business, residence or industry without approval by the P&Z commission, which can be overridden by the County Commissioners. Also if you stop using the property for the non-compliant activity for a period of twelve months, then you would have to reapply for a “non-conditional use permit”, which could be denied. In the end it would mean that small business owners who either go out of business due to health or death, and then either they or their families would want to go back into business or sell the property as a business would have to go back through the process of getting a new “non-compliant use permit” and risk being denied! One other thing they did was list almost half of all of the property in the county as being a flood plain! In the over 40 years I have lived here we have had at least one or two floods per year, but never one which has flooded half of the county! The entire issue started because of a rumor that was circulated in the western part of the county about a 400 bed sex offender treatment center going in. (Our county hospital only has a 100 bed capacity!) Couple with that the distaste for the “Juice Bars” (Strip Clubs) that have popped up, and problems with on site sewage disposal the ball just got rolling. Hopefully the initiative can be taken down before this ever goes to the ballot.

    Well, I hope you have a good week, and are getting ready for Christmas! It will be here very shortly.
    Kevin

  10. K.S. Finke Says:

    Hello Kevin;
    I know very well how it goes with the county. I was sold 40acs. and told I could sell 1 ac lots. It turns out i only could sell 5acs and only 2 sells? And if I wanted to sell one acs I would have to go to the P&Z commission, sumit a plan but, I also need a 60\’ road going into the property and then 60\’ roads within the property. Pay x amount of $$$ and then the commission would vote? So much for doing that down the road. There is no work in this town unless u were born and raised here. I work on a neighbors farm for free untill his guy went to the hospital and then for 4 months i was paid $10 per day 7 days per wk. I fed the calves, bulls, and horses. Cleaned the stall and the barn. they never cleaned the stall except for one, his roping horse. The others were loaded and no sawdust. I have to have a clean barn!!! Sounds like you live in N.Fl. by the weather. My Farm only has 2 search dogs and 5 cats to many. hahha Have A Merry X-mas
    Mattie, I miss riding, tooo!
    Karen

  11. Valerie Says:

    Hi,

    It really means a lot to me to read your blog. I have always been a suburb person – I only spent this summer on a farm in Minnesota – but I just ache to be back on a tractor. I never knew what an excellent experience farming was, before a little while ago. Thanks so much for the next best thing.

    Valerie

  12. julie willis Says:

    I admire you! you are such a hard worker and it shows!

  13. son projeler Says:

    The weather here has been playing games once again. We had some rain and snow on Tuesday, and it got steadily warmer towards the end of the week. Today we were supposed to have a high of near 50 (looks like it might make 60!) with wind and a chance of rain. Tomorrow is supposed to be windy, chance of evening rain, and dropping temps! A possible low in the teens Sunday night/Monday morning!

  14. nakliyat Says:

    I like you blog from two points of view

    1. I am thinking of buying a farm (i grew up on a little farm and thought I would never go back–but now I am having second thoughts.

    2. What services powers your blog? I like the look and feel of it from a technical point of view.

    Good luck–lookslike a lot of work

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