Monday, June 25, 2012

My Handsome Shearer

Firstly, I have noticed that lately, some spamming has been going on in my blog with links that lead to ads, so I will do my best to not include hyperlinks anymore to save you the curiosity of wondering whether it's legit or not.  For those less-technologically savvy, it just means, don't click on anything within the blog, it's not a virus, but an annoying advertisement.  It is just yet one more reason I'm considering switching over to a different host.

Secondly, farm life is, as you might expect, busy and great.  Now that we've gotten a touch of rain, things can begin growing again and we can stop talking about how dry it is for a few days at least.

In the quiet times between waiting for things to grow and getting ready for harvest, Mark tackled the job of shearing my sheep.  He really does love me. :)
Anyway, he did a wonderful job and I'm so glad to have it done.  Doesn't it look like the ewe is actually smiling a little bit in that picture?
It was nearly completely without incident until tonight when after a long days work, on the hottest day thus far, Mark decided to shear our ram, Duncan, as a last minute job before supper.  I received a call at 4:45 asking if I had ever stitched up a cut before.  I assumed it was the ram, and when I got to the farm, first aid kit in hand, I was right.  It took a loooong time, clumps of cobwebs, bundles of cotton swabs and bandages, and finally handfuls of flour, but we managed to get the bleeding stopped and Duncan was happily eating away when we said goodnight to everyone.  It was in a rather...precarious area, so he may not be hitting the pasture for his annual romp as soon as I had hoped, but God willing, he WILL play with the ewes at some point this summer.

We've all been hard at work (well, mostly Mark) in our winter wheat field cutting the heads off of some fall rye that crept into the seed box last autumn.  I think it's just about all gone, but was a real chore that will pay off big time, come harvest.  The field looks fantastic besides that is the wheat is looking like some of the best we've grown.
The spring wheat is all coming along nicely as well, as is the barley.  We seem to have what looks like could become a bit of a mustard problem in a few places, but we'll have to see what comes of that.  The soybeans are all up and growing and we're waiting on a new cultivator that should arrive any time now.

I've got so many topics I want to tackle in the blog these days, but time continues to creep away from me and it gets neglected, like the cobwebs in my house and the weeds in my garden. ha!  Anyway, sometime soon I will tell you the tale of glyphosate. 

Hope this finds you tired and dirty and looking forward to another day of summer tomorrow.


Sunday, June 17, 2012

Father's Day Movie

I was lucky enough to spend yesterday with MY Dad and Mom in Truro at the All Canada Sheep Classic 2012 where I bought a new ewe to add to the flock.  She's a beauty from Ont. which I thought looked shorter than the rest of the Ontario giants, but now I'm worried when I get her home that everything will just seem relative and she'll still stand out above the crowd.  Anyway, she'll be a welcome addition either way.  I was proud of the sheep that my parents had at the event and inspired by all of the animals there to continue breeding quality livestock and raising good food. 
It was a real D.I.Y. Father's Day around here and I've been talking about doing a video of the farm for a while now, so I finally got it put together and posted on YouTube as a surprise for Mark today.
Check it out and enjoy!  (There's a music, although it starts out quiet).

Now get out and enjoy the beautiful day!


Friday, June 8, 2012

Farm Update Early June 2012

Well, I have a to-do list ranging from Sunday School, to derby, to accounting, to home, to miscellaneous that stretches past my knees, but what better time to do a blog update!  Too bad 'procrastinating' is not one of the items on the list.

I just wanted to do a quick update on farm life.  We had significant improvements in our ongoing hatching experiement this time around.  Round two had 14 chicks hatch out!  They took over 48 hours from the first one to the last one which I thought was strange, but they are all doing well.  I was ready to turn the incubator off and dump 'er all out, but just didn't get around to it.  When I got home from derby last night there were three little fuzz balls in there!  They have varying markings and one little guy has brown stripes down his head and back.   We've been checking out a few videos on how to sex a chick, but I am not at all confident in my abilities, so we'll probably just end up going with the tried and true method of having them grow up and figure it out then. haha

The sheep seem to have found their groove on the pasture.  I was pretty devastated to discover one of my youngest lambs seemed to have suffocated or choked to death under my watch.  My mom actually noticed it first, having laboured breathing and panting, during one Sunday visit.  I kept an eye on it and both Mark and I checked it out carefully over the next couple days.  I thought I could feel something lodged in it's throat, but then when I felt a healthy one, for reference sake, it seemed the same.  I kept a close eye on it and it was still breathing funny, but had stopped panting, so I thought was maybe getting better (naive and lazy of me in retrospect).  One night was shutting everyone in, the ewes were particularly stubborn about going to the barn, which is when I found the poor thing laid out in the pathway.  Once again, felt so angry at myself and frustrated and dissapointed that I had not been more proactive on this.  I think these lamb losses are a real lesson for me in that I cannot expect to do all the things I'm doing and still be able to dedicate sufficient time to my farm projects, like the sheep. I need to prioritize, and observing my flock (and subsequently dealing with potential problems) needs to climb a little higher on that list.

On the plus side of the sheep, I shipped my first four lambs and they were so beautiful and conform that I was very happy with them.  I am going to pick up and deliver them today, so that is one more job to cross off the list.

The pigs are growing like crazy.

The crop is all in and Mark is busy finger-weeding the soybeans today. They are out of the ground and looking good.Our winter wheat field is growing really nicely, although there are a number of winter-kill spots that will haunt Mark throughout the growing season. 
We had a long cold week, so today's sunshine is more than welcome!

I have more laundry to do, kids to play with, cheese to make, butter to wash, supper to figure out, garden to weed, Sunday School closing to organize and on and on and on, so I'd best shut down this computer and get at it.

Hope this finds you enjoying all the smells of various blooming plants and trees this time of year!  Our linden is blooming right now and I think it might be the nicest smell of all!