Sunday, November 13, 2011

I've been enjoying the weather and light this Fall. Then I remembered that last Fall, we were consumed with the stress and pressure of dealing with different contractors for getting our hoop barn put up. Sometimes it was a real battle, not fun at all, but when we finally got things sorted out and got the right team on board, things finally went much better. Those obstacles and hitches meant my barn wasn't completed until until January when I had originally anticipated October. So no wonder it seems like this is the first Fall I've been able to look out and notice things like the colors and the light. It really is beautiful.
Having our own field of corn has really added to my sense of time and seasons and color, and made me appreciate Fall even more I think. Like canning tomatoes in late Summer or stacking wood in Fall, it just feels right to see the golden grains get harvested, to participate inthe big annual event going on all around us. In many real ways, it is a community-based enterprise. We are all in this boat together, and our collective fortunes rise and fall together.
In addition to a part of our pigs' feed, a years' supply of bedding was also produced.
Couple weeks ago the neighbor Dave chopped some of our corn stalks and baled them into large round bales. He is a real blessing to us. He's got all the equipment to get the field work done, lots of knowledge,and a really nice guy to boot.

Then I go out on the field with my tractor and bring each bale, weighing around 8-900 lbs. back into the barnyard area. We got 27 bales, which I felt was adequate for our needs, and left the remainder of the chopped stalks on the field to build organic matter in the soil.

Next episode: Something Not So Good

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Hey Punkin

Last Spring we decided it would be a great idea to plant a large field with pumpkins to supply the pigs with something fresh and yummy during the winter months. I spent quite a few hours manually hoeing, planting, and hoeing. And hoeing. But the weeds got the best of my punkin patch and after they disappeared under a jungle of grass and weeds, we just let the stocker cows in and they finished them off. We did manage to harvest a couple dozen from other spots like the garden and other random spots they sprouted up as volunteers.
Still wanting to get a pile of pumpkins, I put out the word to local farmers who had raised fields of them for halloween. I got a call back, and a few days later we had a truck load of huge pumpkins!