A Walk Around the Farm

After supper this evening, Annie and I went for a walk around the family farm to take some pictures to share with you.

We ventured across the street and down the drive and first checked on the neighbor’s cows.

Nice how the cattle camouflage themselves by standing in front of the hay.

We then moved on to see how the soybeans were doing,

Considering we’re in the midst of a drought, the soybeans don’t look too bad.

and checked out the new doors on the fertilizer storage building.

The new doors sure beat having to cover the fertilizer piles with tarps.

Then Annie dog and I took a stroll down the lane between two of the fields.

It’s so sweet that the guys mow the lane so we have a nice place to walk.

I got a picture of the farm from the back…

I love the view from back here.

while Miss Annie plopped her butt down and took a break.

Silly girl.

Though some days I rant and rave and complain about having twice as much work as I have time,

today was good.

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Checking on the Steers: The County Fair Countdown

I was a bit shocked when I looked at the calendar and realized that we’re only a couple of days away from June…and a little more than a month away from our county fair.

And that made me very, very sad, because that means it’s almost time for the boys in the barn to leave us.

There are currently five steers in our barn. The black and white-faced steer, a.k.a. DQ, is the boy’s show steer. Two others will be auctioned off at the fair as carcasses, and the remaining two will fill our family’s freezers.

Feeding the Steers

Nothing better than a nice bale of hay for breakfast.

Our 4-Her has been working with his three almost every day, and I have to say that they (the boy and the steers) look good.

Here is what DQ looked like back in December and the official weights for the 4-H projects. 

Here are what the boys looked like yesterday:

Angus and Angus Mix Cattle

They’re all turned this way (and quite content) because there’s an industrial-sized fan blowing on their butts.

Though some people may not be happy about how this story will end (including me), I can promise you that while we have our animals, we take the best care of them that we can.

Angus Steer

My big baby, 110.

Most farmers will tell you exactly the same thing.


Miniature Horse: Random Photo Friday

Miniature horse at the Sierra Rose Greenhouse.


Wooden Buckets: Random Photo Friday

The vintage wooden buckets that protected my tomato plants from frost a few nights ago.


It’s Planting Time

The 2012 planting season (or #plant12, if you’re on Twitter) has officially started at our family farm…and the minor catastrophes that seem to go with it.

Here the guys are discussing what’s not working right on the field finisher:


Here is the tractor sitting idle while Farmer D tried to find replacements for some broken bolts:

And here’s dirty Farmer D after dealing with whatever today’s breakdown was:

Thank goodness the corn in the garden is looking good:

(And Farmer D’s amazing humble wife planted the garden all by herself.)


Dilapidated Barn: Random Photo Friday

Though they may be mere skeletons of their former selves, old barns have a beauty unmatched by newer structures.


Monday Musings

It’s Monday, and I’m sure making up for taking some time to relax over the weekend.

Are there legs hanging out of one of these?

While the guys are hauling soybeans and fixing a faulty stirring system on one of the grain bins, I’ve been shopping for paint and decor to redo the spare bedroom…just in case the soon-to-be-here grandbaby will be spending any time with us.

Weekends are usually just as crazy busy, or even more so, than the rest of the week, but the past two days, we got lucky.

After work on Saturday, the family headed down to the church for a benefit dinner and Chinese auction. (We won a tote bag and two baskets of assorted foodstuffs). Afterward, Farmer D suggested we air our brains out for a bit.

Translation: Get on the motorcycyle, lady, and ride, ride, ride.

I didn't get my bike in this picture, but you do get to see one of my favorite covered bridges.

After church on Sunday and dinner at the in-laws, D decided to snuggle up in the recliner while Miss Annie and I took a walk.

The guys keep the lane mowed just so we can walk it.

We didn’t have to go far: there’s a lane behind the farm and between two fields that goes all the way back to the woods. It’s perfect for a leisurely stroll.

Except when some idiot tries to walk in rubber shoes.

My red garden clogs. Great for puttering around outside, but certainly NOT meant for walking.

So, since the grass was short and the ground was soggy soft, Annie and I both decided to walk naked.

I shed my shoes…and Annie didn’t wear a thing.

Look Mom, no leash!

She can get away with it because…she’s the dog.

(And I might be just a tiny bit jealous.)

 


The Horse Down the Road: Random Photo Friday

Just a reminder for Ohioans that winter colors can sometimes reach beyond gray, gray, and gray.


The Steers Say, “Moo.”

Actually, they don’t say much of anything, which according to Farmer D is a good thing, unless you’re in the barn around supper time…then you’re serenaded by a bunch of lovely guys with beautiful baritone voices.

The boys in the barn.

Is that too weird for you?

It’s a little weird to me, and I’m the one that just wrote it.

DQ wishes I was carrying the curry comb instead of the camera.

Anyhow, the cattle are doing fine. The oldest of the bunch will be one year old in February; the youngest is a little over six months old.

Since the weather is cold and endlessly wet here, I’ve been spending a lot of time reading about raising beef and about the processing process.

In the food world, the grass-fed vs. grain-fed thing—and which one is best—is a huge (non) issue. Many proclaim that grass-fed beef is the only way to go…but read what Jeff Fowle, a California beef farmer and agvocate, has to say about Grass vs. Grain.

For the record, Farmer D subscribes to the “grass-fed, grain-finished” school of thought.

Milton showing off his good side.

As for the processing part (though I have no desire to do it myself), I’m fascinated with Megan Brown’s article, Brown Ranch: From Pasture to Plate. Ms. Brown is a 6th generation cattle rancher, and a strong voice in the agvocate world, who loves to share what goes on in her family business.

T couldn't be bothered to come over and visit.

If you want to learn more about your favorite meat, and how it gets from the farm to your table, read everything you can from Jennifer Dewey at Chico Locker & Sausage Company, Inc., and follow @KYFarmersMatter (on Twitter.) You’ll find amazing ladies in both places that really know their stuff.

(And by now, you’ve probably noticed that I love to read and love to research.)

I’m sure I’m missing more great info out there, but it’s time to go outside and check on the boys in the barn.

Baby's my fave he loves to snuggle (and there's nothing more attractive on a woman than cow snot in your hair).

What other beef-related  sites do you think I should check out?


Random Photo Friday: Red Barn

This old barn is down the road from us.