In the Growing Warmth of Late Winter and Early Spring—Monday, March 18, 2018

We still have spits and spurts of winter’s blasts.  This Sunday was one of those days, it snowed, it rained and we had sleet. Today’s morning was very chill not really burning off —just as if we were still in February.

Still the works goes on…we didn’t receive enough moisture to muddy up the ground.

Since Lady can no longer have the total run of the farm, we also spent a couple of hours fixing her a spring pasture the other afternoon

Thankfully the day was  warm, Red winged Blackbirds sang happily in the old trees as we worked

The hawks and ravens haunted the clouds way above us.

Lady followed us with picked up ears and her face full of interest in the glittering light on this lovely spring day.

Our oldest granddaughter played her last game of the year…

And always, always everything we do [now] revolves around the opening of the land.

Your friend on a western Colorado farm,

Linda

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Our Precious Life — Sunday, March 18, 2018

Terry finished rolling all the plowed fields. (Think of plowed fields the same as double-digging up your garden bed—double digging is deeper than using a rototiller), but then it must be rolled (or raked, if you are in a garden) to smooth out the ground again.

Then after rolling comes leveling (in this case putting a slight grade to the field so the water will run to waste ditch.  Leveling is akin to taking a board and smoothing out your garden or the cement on a sidewalk.

As for me….well, I’ve been cleaning up all the winter trash (corn leaves) blown around all the buildings and into my yard

Spring works also includes…getting my yard and the farm yard ready for spring! 🙂

Ethel and Thomas Davis (recently here for a wee visit) have a marvelous website Called FourWindowPress, where delightful poems and other things are published.

Ethel wrote a wonderful poem about their visit to our farm.  Terry said she captured the truth about why he/we farm—work and joy together!

You have a good day today…spring is in the air.

I saw my first Robin yesterday!

Your friend on a western Colorado farm,

Linda

 

Something Larger Than Yourself—Wednesday, March 22, 2017

The work goes on…first light –until way past last light– arriving back in the yard in a flurry of falling stars in the velvet night.

Yesterday Terry worked in the alfalfa field and I finished up raking the whole yard, all the flower beds, around all the outbuildings, and

(This is an old photo, but it gives you an idea of what I did yesterday)

worked on getting the canal bank ready for the water to come.  A huge job.

The fertilizer truck arrived around 7 this morning.  So now Terry is

rolling the fertilizer on the corn fields.

Water is supposed to be in the canal any day now.  We took a short drive around 5 yesterday afternoon, checking the canals above us to see where the water was…our lives revolve around water.

It’s a busy time of year, but a good time.  It gives me a sense of reaching out to something ever so much larger than myself.  Our farm, a small, vibrant island of life.

Your friend on a western Colorado farm

Linda

 

 

 

 

 

 

HI HO—Tuesday, March 15 (the Ides of March), 2016

Today is the Ides of March…the Ides of March the date on which Julius Caesar was assassinated in 44 BC. Caesar was stabbed to death at a meeting led by Brutus and Cassius.  A seer had warned that hime harm would come to Caesar no later than the Ides of March (See Wikipedia).

For me it also seems to be a date when the weather starts to shift.   Yesterday we had lots of wind! Huge stiff wind gusts.  But today…it’s cold and beautiful.

A update on the farming—

Hay-FieldThe old alfalfa field is ready to mark out and plant.  It will be corn this coming year

LevelingTerry finished leveling that field around four yesterday afternoon. Leveling is the last step of soil preparation…

first is disking

then either plowing or ripping depending on the soil and what was grown in that field last year.

Then leveling.

After leveling will be marking, irrigation and then planting.

Tuesday's-WorkOne field down!

The conversation every evening goes like this:  “I sure am tired.  I don’t know WHY I wanted to farm again.”

“Well, goodness! Anyone would be tired after eight hours on a tractor.”

“I guess.” he replies…”but I don’t think of hours, I think of acres.”

“Okay…anyone would be tired after acres and acres and acres on a tractor.”

“True.”

Then morning comes——

Ripping(Ripping up the old pinto bean field early, early this morning.)

R“Well the sun is poking his head up, ♪♫♫♪ guess I’ll head on out.  Nothing like a fresh day to get some work done. ♪♫❤♪♫❤  The dirt is calling me!”

Then with a smile and wave he’s out the door, fueling up the tractor and leaving the farm yard in a little puff of dirt.

From our western Colorado farm •❥*◝◟¸* to you!

Linda ❤(smiles)

 

 

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Terry is leveling the fields.  He will plant only two fields this year.  These two fields with the alfalfa field will be our crops.

Leveling

The Uncompahgre Valley Water Users have cut  the amount from 60% to 50% of your allotment.  (Although, we will still have to pay for the 100% allotted to our farm–as does everyone else who farms.  Doesn’t seem right to me, but that is what it is).

If–-IF — there is more water (which we all doubt) by the end of May, he will plant, possibly, some pinto beans.  We just have to wait and see.

We would like to plant more alfalfa, depending on the water,  maybe we will and maybe we won’t.

I guess, Dear Readers, you are in just as much of a quandary as we are.  As my Mother used to say: “Time will tell.”

And so it shall.

Thank you for all of your magic thoughts and your concern…we are moving forward in faith and hope and with a little luck we will make it to harvest!

Sunset

Linda

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

 

Terry has finished getting the corn fields ready for the fertilizer.  Moving from former bean ground to corn ground doesn’t take as much tractor work.  First he disked the already mellow soil (beans are good for the soil), then he leveled.  Here is is leveling, which means he is filling in any hollows and removing any hills that the wind and water created over the last year.  It needs to have a little fall so the water can start at one end and run to the other end.

Finished!  (Complete with a little dirt devil).  Next we will add fertilizer, then roll in the fertilizer, then mark it out (so the water can run from the top of the field to the bottom) and start water.

I don’t do tractor work, but I do irrigate.  Irrigation should start the first week in April on this field and on the already planted alfalfa fields.

Terry ripped up an old alfalfa field (they have to be torn up every 3-5 years to keep the hay produced full of healthy rich hay, instead of mostly weeds), which will go into corn.  We will put water on that field around the second or third week in April.

The upper end (which burned in the fire) will be worked up and planted to alfalfa.  He will do it sometime in April.  It had corn in it, but since we are losing the largest field he likes to have a certain amount of hay to sell every year.  Usually Terry plants a mother crop with the hay, but this year he is going to ‘thick seed’ it.  Meaning only the very, very expensive alfalfa seed will be planted, a planted very thickly to choke out the weeds.

Old corn ground has to be plowed.  We have lots of clay in our soil so plowing is the best way to go.  Old corn ground is the only ground we plow.  Plowing takes all the old stalks and leaves, turns it under in the soil where it breaks down adding richness to clay-type of soil.  More work with the tractor, but way better results.

This field will become a pinto bean field next year.  We do rotational farming, which helps the soil and the plants the next year.

The nasty high winds have left our area for a spell.  I worked in my yard all day yesterday and came in looking like a fresh dug potato.  Its a wee bit cooler, but HEY no wind.

I take it!

Linda

 

Leveling

The secret to a smooth, slightly sloped (graded) field is the use of the leveler.  It’s important to make sure the water will run down-hill, that there are no flat spots for the water to collect and pool and no giant humps for the water to try to run up over. 

After leveling, Terry marks the field out and starts the water.  We now have water in both alfalfa fields, the soon to be a corn field, and this one which will raise corn.  The bean field is just  ripped, rolled and marked.  It’s nice to not have to work very hard on one crop.  Saves time, fuel, therefore Money!!!

Linda

Fourth Step—-Leveling

leveling

Here is where art meets practicality.  If this part isn’t done right, whoever irrigates will spend the rest of the summer fighting water. 

leveler

But if it is done right, the water will flow to the end of the field, subbing the ground along the way, without nary a hitch.  But if the ground doesn’t have the right fall, if there is a hole or a pocket, or a hill, well—- you have a mess.

leveld-ground

Here you can see what the leveled ground looks like.

It’s a good thing Terry got this done, because this morning we had snow. All farming has come to a stand still until it dries out. Having the ground leveled, will help it dry out faster than if it were a big plowed sponge.

 

 

 

Leveling the Field so the Water Will Flow Downhill

Just about done with the spring tractor work, leveling is getting everything ready for the fertilizer, and then marking out the rows. 

After that we start water, wait for the ground to dry up (some) and plant.  But the spring work is over, once we get to the leveling part.