A New Late Addition

The three heifers and the more senior cow, Topanga, have been effectively keeping the neighbors grass trimmed during the summer. On a typical year, the grass would have all dried up by now and we would have moved the traveling herd home. But with these series of small storms, we have had enough moisture to keep the grass growing so the four critters are quite content to continue with their work. Continue reading

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Elk And Deer And Bear

The daily rides up the hill and into the forest have us watching the trails for signs of elk and deer around our baby trees. With most of the trails turning to dust, I find that I have to be off the Gator and walking slowly to recognize forest creatures from the dogs that like to bound along ahead of us. Mike is better and quicker at spotting the signs, he is able to distinguish what it was made from, how many there are, which direction they going, and what area we should head to in order to spook them off. I’m surprised he isn’t able to tell what they had for breakfast and where they are going to bed down for the night (he is pretty good at understanding animal behavior but there are limits). Continue reading

Shipping It Out As Fast As I Can

A box full of fresh and dried produceVisitors to the farm are asked to the garden. We love to show off the variety that is being produced from a small plot of land. But the ultimate goal of enticing folks into the area is to get rid of as much produce as possible so the plants will continue to produce. I box, bag, dry and cook and send off loads each day.

The transparent apples have already turned soft and so any stragglers that finally fall from the tree become munchies for the cows in the show barn or the bulls in the bullpen.

The strawberry patch has been tilled under since the season for them is done. The ground will sit for a couple weeks, then tilled again with several more repeats. I’m trying to kill off all the buttercup roots that turn up with each tilling. The roots are so dense that they like to wind up around the tiller tines and I spend more time unraveling the bound-up mess than actual tilling, but each time should get easier.

The earliest of the plums are just starting to ripen. They have a wonderfully sweet taste even at this stage with a bit of crunch to them.

The cabbages are out of control and I have a hard time giving them away fast enough before they split wide open. I have lost three heads so far to this process but the cows are not complaining about the addition to their meals.

Quiet On The Set

Man inserting nose clip into calf in barnIt’s that time of year when the farm takes on the look of a movie production. It makes me think of Hannibal Lecter in his face-mask during the movie Silence of the Lambs.

Four of the oldest calves are ready to begin the weaning process. It takes only moments for the temporary clip to be inserted without pain or undue hardship. The new face guard is a simple green plastic clip that fits into their nostrils. The guard swings easily to allow for the calf to drink water and eat grass while getting in the way enough so the calf cannot attach to a mother cow for milk. The calves go back to grazing moments after the clip is inserted. Continue reading

Black Bean

Something was amiss in the old shop. We were working around the house, mowing grass and weeding spots in the garden when we noticed mewing sounds, rather frantic mewing sounds coming from the area where we store tack and supplies for the cattle.

The day before we happened to find the carcass of one of the barn cats. Having the road bi-sect the farm leads for dangers for our hunting felines. This carcass was found on the opposite side of the road from the barn and although we do not know what caused the death we do know that it may have been one of the momma cats but scavengers had already begun the work of cleanup so even that was unknown at the time. Continue reading

Note To Self

Many of you wonder why I write daily stories on the blog site. There are many, many reasons why with the big one being, why not? I have always loved stories, loved to share stories, I am forgetful and like to be able to look back and see what happened when, and I am practicing to be a grownup, to name just a few. Writing things seems to make information stick in my brain longer than if I were to just say I needed to remember something (it is a tactile spacial acuity thing), if I can type or write out directions or problems, they hang around longer than when I am running the tractor without pen or paper available. Continue reading

Plausible Answers

A few days ago on August 9th, the story of the unusual growth in the forest was the topic for the day. My deductions led me to believe it was some kind of fungal growth from cursory smell, touch and observations.

close up of fungusReaders queried possible answers ranging from Sasquatch poop,  or alien invasions, to the tree weeping. I turned to Oregon Extension Agent specifically our local woman about the forest related issues, Amy Grotta, with the question and  this is what she suggested. Continue reading