Monday, December 10, 2012

Last week saw the end to operation chicken 2012. We sold 18 to a nice lady and her daughter and butchered the last 7 on Sunday. Tammy ground up the birds and we have lots of that. Got a good snow this weekend. A few inches on the ground. Not the 6 or so they predicted though. Not much else going on around here, just keeping the cow fed and watered and the house warm.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Winter is closing in. Decided to lay off the wood heat this year. We have some left and will burn through that, but overall we will be using the gas furnace this year.
The wood burner is getting rather decrepit and the pipe in the chimney isn't up to code. The insurance company is making noises about it, so we will be disconnecting it when the wood runs out.
Can't say I'll miss the extra work involved....
Went to the mill yesterday and prebought our seed corn for next year. 10% discount for stuff bought now. We only bought needed one bag, but with the drought last year and tight seed supplies, it's nice to know we will have it.
I forgot to mention that this fall we finally finished a project that has been in the works since 2005.
Before we got all involved with the self sufficiency thing and the farming thing we started running a brick walkway around 2 sides of the house. We got one side done along with a nice little pond and then we started finding all kinds of other things to do. THis fall Tammy finally cracked the whip and we finished running the walkway on the front of the house. Doesn't look too bad either.
This is how it looked in 2005. And here are some pics of the final run

Bout it for this post. Stay warm!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Our little heifer Fireball who has been with us from the day she was born
Has been growing up and hopefully is bred
So we decided to remove the goat pen and install a tie stall and keep her for a family milk cow. Here are some pics of the installation. The last remaining bit of goat pen, the kid cave.
Here we figured out where the stall was going and started knocking out the concrete

Then we formed the curb and set the stall

Mixed and poured new cement

And finally removed the form after a day

Should be a nice place to keep Fireball over the winter and at night during the summer. We hope to pour a 2" slab in the stall to help keep her cleaner but that might have to wait. Looks like winter is fast approaching.
Finished the corn a week ago or so. Got 4 loads total. Here are some pics of the last load being made

And a video
Looks like we should have plenty of corn to feed Tammys pigs next year!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Last time I planted corn my stupid corn picker broke when it was harvest time and I ended up picking a bunch by hand and losing a lot of it to the weather. This year however the picker I am using is working flawlessly and the corn is coming off quite well. Pretty good crop so far this year, not as much as I'd hoped for but more than I expected after the drought hit.
Still enough to make shovelling it all into my makeshift cribs a process I would not care to do every day.
So here are a few pics of the stuff..

SHould be plenty for raising a few pigs next year, and if Fireball has a bull calf we can feed him out on the Tender Leen program and not have to use much hay.
Here's a couple of videos too..

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Well it has been a while since my last post. Chris had a great time this year showing a cow instead of goats at the fair. He even got to enter 2 fairs. A local one at Athens and the Central WI State Fair in Marshfield. One of the 4H leaders let him work with and show a Lineback spring heifer she had. He also took a bunch of other stuff to the Marshfield fair. Our first batch of birds is ready to go. Tammy wants to have some plucked this year so she lined up a chicken plucker to rent yesterday. Got there and couldn't get it to fit in the vehicle. So the birds got a reprieve for now. Had some regrowth on the back pastures and the cattle are out taking care of that. Nice to not have to feed hay for a while. Picked up a little cattle trailer and when the cattle get put in the next pasture we will try to load up the bulls and get them out of here. Corn is almost ready to pick. Here's Chris and Ana at the Athens fair
And a few pics from the Marshfield fair...
And a few more...

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Monday, July 2, 2012

A few pictures
Our first batch of 27 birds. We will get another 25 in a couple of weeks.
Went out to check the corn on Emily's birthday and found it this tall!!!
Bo looks a little small but he's headed out to freezer camp anyway.
been pretty busy since the last post. We currently have no hay to make. Neighbor sold the stuff around us and the other neighbor decided to do something else with the ground we used by him. Had a chance to make some organic hay but passed it up. Not really in a postion to go far to make hay this year.
Got our birds on the 7th of June and they are looking good. Sold the last of the goats yesterday, will have to see how they did at the auction. Got Bo rounded up and tied off for his date with Smith Brothers Meats tomorrow. Just have to get a trailer together and get the other 3 moved around. Chris wants to sell Big Money and I have been asked for the use of Handsome Jack. Fireball will probably either go with him or get tied in the shed to tame up a bit. Corn is looking incredible. We got some rain at an opportune time and good sunny hot days since. I am hoping it will be head high by the 4th of July. Garden is doing OK where the goats didn't eat everything. Looks like lotsa pickles coming on.
Tammy was thinking about doing something at a local farmers market but I don't think we have enough to bother, we'll have to see. This market looks to be one we would be interested in. No crafts and you can only sell produce you raised, no buying at the Amish produce auction or Sam's Club or where ever and reselling. So this year looks like it will be sort of a rebuilding year. The pastures could use a bit of work and I would like to re-do some of the fence and buildings. Now if the heat would back off a bit so we could get something accomplished without sweating to death.....

Monday, May 21, 2012

Spent the weekend getting a few things done around the place. Tammy is working on the garden. Trying something different this year. She is planting through paper. We've tried landscaping fabric and black plastic. She's hoping this paper will degrade and it won't be such a battle to clean up at the end of the season. She has a bunch of strawberries going in where the cows where over the winter as well. Sold a bunch of raspberries to a friend, hope they do well for him, they sure did for us. Got some cleanup done around the garage and pulled the haybine up for some servicing. Won't be long and the hay will be ready. Might have a line on a few more acres but it is a few miles away, we'll have to see how things go. Will be sending a few more goats to auction this Saturday if things work out. We hope to be down to 3 does, 2 old hands, Bridgette and Cindy and a new doeling Ginger out of Cindy. Have to dig out the chicken stuff soon, they'll be here in a few weeks.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Well it was quite a weekend. The boy turned 13 on the 13th so we had a golden birthday party for him on Saturday. We used the church basement and invited a bunch of friends and family. It was a great little get together, everybody ate till they were full, the kids had fun and we got caught up with all the news from everybody. Got the urea for the corn fields Sat morning and spread it after the party. Got the corn planted after church Sunday then we made some fence and got the cows out on pasture. They were starting to get a little upset with us for taking so long. Did a little cleanup around the place after that. Busy day for a Sunday. We let the goats out to graze a little as well. I'll have to come up with some more fencing supplies and get them a pasture. So here's some pics of the weekend.
This is Christopher's cake.
Some of the food. Tammy's folks deep fried a turkey and that was wonderful
Getting the corn in.
Big Money (the black one) and Fireball out on the new pasture. Still have the goat pen to clean out if we ever get a weekend with some free time. And hay season will be here soon, might have a couple of acres to make.....

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Had a bit of bad news here. The neighbor sold his farmland so we are out 20 acres of hay. The other neighbor is thinking about plowing down his small hay field that we make.
Lost a bit of land when the sale of the farm went through. We were told that we owned up to the fenceline but the stakes show we own up to about 15' from the fence so we lost a chunk of garden and will have to move more than a few raspberry plants.
We are reducing the number of animals around here and with the hay we have in the shed should have enough hay to keep a couple of goats and a beefer around for a while. But 20 goats and 4 cows might be a stretch.....
Cutting back on chickens this year as well, feed costs are horrible. Our friendly counter person at the feed mill said she can trim a few bucks off the bill by mixing something up so we will try that on a small scale this year.
Got some plowing done but still have to clean out the goat shed before we can get the rest of the plowing done.
Will be planting 3 or so acres of corn this year in the hopes of having pigs next year. Tammy really liked her pigs....
We should have enough pasture for the year if we move a couple of the cows. Chris wants to sell Big Money, and I have someone who might take Jack as a jumper bull for a while.
Garden is ready to plant, Chris and I cleaned the chicken coop out then I disced it in. Tammy has run the tiller over it a couple of times.
Have a lot of fence to make this year. Beat myself over the head with the post pounder last week. I think I might have given myself a slight concussion, still get a little dizzy once in a while   course Tammy says I'm always dizzy ;-)

Bout it for now

Enjoy the field work videos

Monday, March 5, 2012

Well, found a different job that will fit me better. 3rd shift at a local lumber mill. Nice place, been there for a long time. Make trim and mouldings so no really big saw blades to avoid. I do get some nice oak stuff that works well in the wood burner.
Should allow time for me to keep working on things around here.
Not much happening n the homestead front. We started some Alpine strawberries. They are an everbearer and don't run which is totally different from any we've had before. Read about them in a Victory Garden book.
Looking at building a hoop house and trying to get something going in the garden early. Time to start getting stuff in the starter trays and get the grow lights cranked up.
Priced field corn last week, ouch! But paying now is better than buying corn next winter. If the stuff grows well....