Wednesday, October 27, 2010

First snowstorm


Winter started with about an inch of rain and then about six inches of snow. It started snowing yesterday morning and didn't quit until this afternoon, and the wind must have been about 50 mph or so. We now have four foot drifts of snow across the driveway so I think were stuck here until the plow comes. We will try to see if we can get out tomorrow morning because Jonathan needs to deliver to Bottineau in the morning and I should go to the church to vacuum in the morning too.

I would have liked it to stay dry for another week so that we could finish outside work. We still have 80 bales in the field to get to the barnyard somehow. The hoop house needs to have the plastic put on without wind and I was hoping to get the barn fixed up before the animals were put in. I'm sure we can get it all done, but it isn't as nice to work in the wet!

I have a refrigerator full of milk that someone from Minot is going to pick up tomorrow for their group. Dad and Jonathan might meet them half way and give them the milk at the republican meeting in Newburg tomorrow night.

We are all toasty warm in here with the wood stove running. That new triple wall insulated chimney works really well.

This morning I calculated how much area the cows covered this summer and figured I used about ten and a half acres of the farm total. Also, the three acre pasture in the big field produced about 46 cow-days per acre over the season. You'll understand what that means if you've read the book "$alad Bar Beef". I will be able to record how many days it is grazed next year and do the same math and see how the production increases. Hopefully with the hundreds of chickens, turkeys and the goats roaming that area, we will see a definite jump in the productivity next year.

I just ordered a few books in the mail; "Grass-fed Beef", and "The Untold Story of Milk" so I want to check out the winter grazing section of the first book and see how it might work here. I've got frozen alfalfa/grass about eight inches tall out there under the snow, but I didn't want to leave the cows out there to dig for it in this blizzard! I guess I have some reading to do this winter.

Until next time,


Monday, October 04, 2010

Driver's licence

Hi again,
This morning Dad and I went to town so I could do the road test for my driver's licence. It was at 11:20 so we headed out early so I could drive around for a bit before the test. We had checked the lights and horn but only tested the emergency brake when we were on the road a couple of miles from home, and found out that it didn't work. That is one of the requirements (says the book) for a safe vehicle. We turned around and went home to tighten it up. Dad screwed the adjuster until we thought it must have been pretty good, and then found out we turned it the wrong way. We got it cranked back the other way, a quarter of a turn at a time, and then it started to work properly. We arrived in town a few minutes early for the test and the instructor didn't even ask about that brake.
I know what you're thinking. The answer is .... Yes! I got my licence.

I drove myself over to the church to vacuum this afternoon and it was pretty quiet in the car.
This summer/fall we spent a day and a half tearing the usable lumber and metal roofing off this cattle shelter at the neighbor's farm. Some of the foundation was from the old barn that was built in the 1800s.

Andrew shot these pictures with his new Canon.

This is the end result of the work. We got about 75 good pieces of twelve foot long ripple tin (or whatever you call it), and a whole bunch of ten foot 2x6s and twenty foot 2x6s.