Monday, November 29, 2010

Where Did November Go?

Well it has been some month. I really never intended to go so long between blog posts, but life gets very busy in Novemebr and we can end up doing about 1/2 of our annual business in the space of about 5 weeks. We are past all of that frenzy now and are working on final preparations for winter and are beginning to look a head at the 2011 production season.

During the blur of deliveries before Thanksgiving, we sold over 150 turkeys, about two lambs, and most of our remaining chicken supply. We had eight freezers running full to the brim of product before deliveries started. You can never have too many freezers, but we are beginning to run out of space for them. Needless to say, we are down to one freezer running these days. We will continue to have product available at the Iowa Food Cooperative and on farm until we run out of supply.

Sheep & Cattle Grazing Stockpiled Forage

On the livestock front, we are still grazing cattle and sheep, but our grass supply is running out. I have just been moving the fences further and further out each day. Unless a blizzard stops us sooner, I will be grazing until the middle of December before we will be completely reliant on hay until mid April. I wish we could stockpile more forage, but our grass grows slowly and rarely exceeds 6 to 8 inches at its maximum height. Someday, we might be able to improve the soil so this is not such a limiting factor.

I am renting a bull to breed our cows right now

We do have an extra mouth to feed for a few months. I have rented a bull from farmer in the area to see to it that we have calves next summer. He is unfortunately, not a belted galloway, but is a BueLingo. BueLingo is a more modern breed created in North Dakota. The BueLingo and Belted Galloway look similar, and share the Dutch Belted Cattle ancestry, but BueLingo also contain Shorthorn and Angus genetics. When it came down to it, I could not get the bull I wanted and I do not have the facilities to artificially inseminate my cattle. Besides the straws of semen alone we going to cost more then just renting this bull close to home. Needless to say, I compromised.

The Last of the Waterway Fence Wire is Strung

The fencing is now in and pretty much done. We ran the last wires over a week ago. I am still working on connecting all the wires at the posts so they can care power with short jumper lines. A few shut off switches are also going to be part of the end design. Other then that, I have some gates to craft to cover a few access points we hardwired into the system.

Hazel pushing the cash box across the floor of the living room

With fewer chores and the reversion to normal time, I am inside a lot more at night and am able to spend more time with Janice and Hazel. I rather enjoy singing Hazel's Lullaby in duet with Janice, even if I have terrible pitch. Hazel is now on solid foods at least once a day, can craw, pull her self up to a standing position, and has cut her first two teeth. She is still a very happy baby and is a great deal of fun to be around. She will likely be walking in the next month or so. I do wonder how I will farm next year with a little helper. I really don't know how it will go, all I do know is that I will find a way.

Well that was most of November. I am looking forward to a quieter December and hopefully some mild weather to allow me to push a few projects that have yet to receive the attention they deserve.

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