Frosty Mornings

Three days of pretty heavy frost has wiped out much of the garden.

The potatoes, squash, cucumbers, beans and tomatoes were hit pretty hard and now is the time to start fall clean-up around the orchard and garden.

Oh it was great while it lasted and we reaped so much produce out of the area. You will be seeing posts about the steps we take to get the spot ready for winter.

May Update

We have 21 calves so far this season. The count is 9 heifers and 12 bulls. I’ve got the hardest part done, that is naming all those babies.

Our best bulls will be raised to be herd sires for other farms. Our best heifers will be raised to be mother cows for the next generation; some will stay here on the farm while others will be sold to be mother cows at other farms.

The bookkeeping part of a Registered Angus Herd is ongoing. The American Angus Association requires more than just the pedigree of the parents to register an animal. Birth weight, weaning weights, yearling weights, along with matching dates for all the measurements are meticulously kept and checked for accuracy.


Also continuing this month, is the demolition of the crooked barn. We are currently gutting out the inside and tearing apart the old manger. Since this barn was used to accommodate bulls from 900 lbs. to 2500 lbs., the manger was built to withstand the pressures of big animals as they pushed their big heads between the frame openings to eat hay. Posts made from power poles cut into 8 ft. lengths were sunk into the ground to secure 85 lb. railroad ties, in an effort to keep the bulls on the correct side of the manger. When tearing it apart we found several railroad spikes had been used to hold the corners together.

The manger in the picture is half-way demolished. Still a lot of work to do before it can be pulled out of the barn with a tractor. We are salvaging and re-using as much as we can from this structure. More posts about that process will be coming to this blog soon.

Spring Cleanup

After a winter in the Pacific Northwest, cleanup begins in earnest. Some of the alder trees located along the riparian zone of the Nehalem River are beyond their prime years. We have been noticing the increasing decline as we clean up rotting limbs and upturned root balls. These trees are important to the waterway by keeping the water cool enough for the native salmon, trout, and other amphibians that live in the river. We are in the process of replanting areas along the river with diverse trees and shrubs natural to the area to replace the dead and dying alders.

In an effort to keep the pasture areas free of debris, the larger pieces of wood are cut and hauled up to the house. The wood is not good enough to sell. But it is nice to burn in the wood boiler to take the chill off on the cool spring mornings. Any limbs and smaller pieces are picked up from the pasture and put around the vegetation in the riparian zone where it will naturally decompose and compost to feed the vegetation.