Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Flurries ...

Today was the first hint of snow in on Crooked Gap Farm. In this case it was just flurries, but as I drove around delivery parts and then doing chores in the evening they were a constant reminder of what is coming. I will say though that I have voted for only a small amount of snow this winter! We have been pretty hard the past couple of years on the farm and I could go for a little less winter trouble .... It would be nice not to get trucks and tractors stuck ... It would be nice to ease up on the cold and wind ... It would be nice to not make huge piles of snow ... It would be nice, but I'm not holding my breath

On my lunch break today I headed to pick up 2 tons of pig feed. It's great that there is a feed store willing to grind and mix the ration that we want without any animal byproducts or antibiotics, but it sure is getting difficult to hand over the money. Todays bill was about $7.21 per bag! That is almost $2 a bag higher than in the early summer and it causes me to pause a bit every time I feed the pigs. Picking up the feed means hooking up the stock trailer and loading in the feed bag by bag ... then back at the farm I have to unload it. Tonight I just backed the trailer into the shed I'll unload it into the bulk feeder when I have more time.

In the evening (in the dark) I had the usual chores. I fed and watered the pigs. I watered and checked on the sheep and cattle, and then after I had the tractor plugged in for a couple hours I took a big round bale of hay in for them. I have to say that the hay is getting eaten up faster than I had hoped. Thankfully I have 44 more bales coming later this week and next. It will be a chore to unload, but it will be great to have!

As I drive around I have a lot of time to think and listen to podcasts. I'm making my way through all the Nature's Harmony Farm podcasts again and looking for other things that interest me (6 hours in minivan can wear on you). And, as I mentioned, I've been thinking. Today it was about trucks (probably because I had to pull the trailer to get feed). I'm getting closer and closer to the point where I think I want to ditch the SUV and get a truck. There are so many times when it would come on handy ... I can't even count them there are so many!

Until next time ...


Anonymous said...

Hi Ethan,

So YOU'RE the one listening to us! :-)

Thanks for tuning in, and great to see how well you're doing with your farm, blog and life.

Best regards,

Nature's Harmony Farm

Anonymous said...

This was a very touching honest post. I admire the work you're doing to take care of your family and farm. You're doing a good job.

Isn't a great feeling to go to bed at night tired but content in the knowledge that you've done everything you could to provide for your livestock's needs and comfort.

God Bless,
Mary Jo

Ethan Book said...

Sure I'm listening ;) Any other tips on podcasts to check out?

Art said...

Ah Winter Time. I have never been 100% ready for winter. But each year gets closer. I like you idea of listening to podcasts. Where we live the radio stations are iffy. Always chores to do -- but I'll bet there will come a time in our life when we wished we still had a few more chores to do! Merry Christmas to you and yours from mid B.C.

Rich said...

Now that you have had sheep for a while, what are your thoughts on adding sheep to the farm?

Yeoman said...

I love winter, but I hate traveling in it. It's one of the great tragedies of modern life that we life so outside of nature that not only are we destroying winter, long term, we've made it part of our everyday life that we must in some ways act contrary to its nature and travel in it.

I listen to a lot of podcasts, but haven't found any good ones on this theme other than the one you mention. Lots of good history, etc., ones, however.

Brian said...

I don't know as much about feeding cows hay as I do about sheep.

How are you feeding them? With sheep, at least, you really need to limit their access to the round bale if the hay is of any quality. Otherwise they will eat two or three times as much as they need. I am feeding by hand off of the round bale. Another option is giving them access for several hours per day only.

Look up online for more specifics about feeding hay to sheep in the winter. I am feeding a good quality hay and giving only 3 to 5lbs per day per head to my ewes.

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