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

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The Farm Waking to Spring—-Sunday, March 12, 2017

I finished cleaning and prepping my gardens by the the corrals, which led me to figure out I had better get the corrals back into order, fences and gates in repair, take down the metal fences and store them until next year (for when the cows come).  Clean out the loafing shed and move some things around.

A little squirrel chattered at me, from one of the corral posts;  the call of a Robin sitting high in the Willow tree made a sweet song as I worked.

Terry finished plowing one field and started rolling it.  The soil is just right for plowing, but drying fast.

so the rolling had to occur as soon as he could hook up the roller or the earth would turn into clods.

In the fresh extra edge, of cool air and rising sunshine Saturday morning we finished the last load of the wood. A slight breeze moved restlessly caressing our work heated skin.

It was a lovely feeling. 

Friday and Saturday we kept a steady pace.

Then as the day came to a close, cool mist of the evening rose up to wrap the world in drifting peace…the Red Winged Blackbirds came to feast; filling up their tummies for the long night of rest.

Their songs high and sweet— and full of joy!

From my world to your heart,

Linda

Plowing—It’s the Only Way to Go—Sunday, March 20, 2016

Plowing-2Terry started plowing the old corn fields

Plowing-1

Burying the old stalks, leaves, left over cobs, and cow manure….oh yes!  And the MILK DUDS…back into the ground to mellow out and decompose.

Plowing-3 I must say I am Tickled to Death about the Milk Duds, Beef Jerky and other assorted ‘chews’  NOT readily available for Boomer.

RichAlthough, he still goes out and tries to find them, they are now in the rich soil doing wonders for the earth worms and not Boomer’s tummy!

YAY!

SmilesHe gained three pounds during this February…now he is on a diet.  One I’ve imposed and one the plowed earth took away.  Three pounds is huge on a 35 pound Beagle!

GoldI finished all but one big spot of work last night in the sunset.  Which, by the way, was stunning.

Have a good one, my friends!

Linda

The Last of the Pinto Beans—Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Pate-of-beansI cooked the last of our pinto beans last night. The aroma of the beans earthy sweetness suffused the kitchen, welcoming us with a comforting embrace.   (Eating beans and corn together supplies all the amino acids necessary for our bodies add in some ham; cook together until the beans are done. Serve with a hot chili pepper —- yum.)

Over supper Terry and I talked about farming this coming year.  The big question: ‘Are you going to farm?’  Flashing loud and constant, like a neon sign.  The second week of March is when the ground will need to be worked, the ditches made, the canal put in order, the seeds bought.

Disking-2010-008

“I don’t know”, Terry shook his head.  ” I really don’t know. But I need to be deciding I have to purchase the seeds (including the pinto beans—he plants Bill Zee pinto beans), the alfalfa field needs plowed up and moved….there are things I want to do to improve the place, a renter just can’t, nor should do.”Plowing-2011“I just don’t know.”  He shook his head again.

Leveling

“Besides I don’t want to be like our friend…he sold the farm, moved to town, grew so depressed because he didn’t have the farm anymore he rushed his move of the rainbow bridge one night.”

“That was terribly sad, for him and his family.  But we are NOT going to sell the farm.”  I pointed out.

Marking-Out“No, but Bob, rented his out and said it was the worst thing he ever did.  No one could farm the place properly.”

irrigation-begins-picasa.jpgI just smiled.

Planting-CornThen all the old farmers who are my age, keep asking me what I plan on doing if I don’t farm….die?!

Opening-the-corn-Ground

“I just don’t know.”  He said as he pushed himself away from the table.  “I just don’t know.”

CornerSo here it is the million dollar question….with the clock ticking.

Your friend on a Western Colorado Farm,

Linda

 

My Eighth Year of Blogging–Tuesday, March 24, 2015

This month I have been blogging for eight years! Over that time I’ve learned much about blogging…the first posts were so dismal…I just posted a photo with the word (for instance) Terry plowing and under the photo I wrote–plowing.

Over time I began to understand how to blog so it was at least a tad more interesting. 🙂

Although, this started out as a farming blog, in reality it really hasn’t changed much.  It still is a farming blog, but it is also a tiny peak into our lives and the lives of the animals that live with us on the farm.

One-downYou get to see the struggles, and the successes. Yesterday we worked  on ONE of the broken gated pipes (we still have two more to go).

DoneDONE!

You’ve met our children, and our grand children and all the dog grandchildren.

FuzzyYou cried along with me over the loss of my Fuzzy.

My-BoomerAnd now you are reading a fictional serial with Boomer as the Star.

MeI have grown older in the eight years

terrys-65th-birthday-018

 

and so has Terry.   Every year he says he is going to stop farming…then comes Spring and he begins again.  This year he said: “I guess I really can’t stop, I think my blood is really made of dirt”.  We had a big laugh at that, but you know something, it just might be true. 🙂

Big-SkyAnyway, thank you, each and everyone of you, those who comment and those who just drop by and visit for a spell.  I appreciate you…it makes blogging extra fun.

Very humbly, your friend on a farm in western Colorado,

Linda

 

 

Another Good Day– March 13, 2014

Late winter, which is really Spring work for us, is going good.

Terry and I worked on the big canal right by our yard…we are terrified the ditch company will come along and burn our whole house down…they haven’t been very good about controlling the fires they start these last four or five years.  So now we take care of everything even remotely close to our house, barns, corrals and haystack yards.

I don’t really understand the work ethic of many people anymore…my maternal grandfather always told my brother and I: work hard, do a good job, respect the other person, and never take away a man’s (or woman’s)  dignity.    My Daddy always said that the customer is always right, if you want to have a good business you take care of the people who purchase from you.

Somehow, somewhere those things have slid far, far away, from how people think of others and to be truthful–customer, member/users have no respect for the store, company or business anymore either.

It’s all a shame really.

But enough of that—-as we were working away we saw the little grandchildren get off the bus and start hiking home.  Our grandson ran by our lane as fast as his twelve-year-old legs could carry him—the I pad was calling I’m sure.  But the two little girls trudged down our lane to hang out with us as we worked.   They even helped by spraying Grandpa with water.  Of course, he had to spray them back…it was a jolly good time!

Gradually, we got done with that project.   In the house we went to get snacks then Terry and I loaded the girls up on the four-wheelers and took them home—THE LONG WAY!  They had huge smiles when they got off.

On-the-land

Back home Grandpa headed out to start plowing (yes we plow–our land requires the deep plowing to bury the shredding corn stalks so the earth worms can start to work on them.  We do have some acreage we don’t plow, just rip and plant.)

Plowing-1

I’m still working on my trash woodpile.  I hope to get it thoroughly sorted today so chain saw can be applied.  This summer we have to do a better job of not just dumping everything into one heap and actually sorting as we go.  (I hope.  One can dream, I suppose. 🙂 )

Your farm friend,

Linda

 

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Today I go to the museum.  I have found that I am guarding my time jealously for my ‘volunteer job’ at the museum.  It is something I enjoy that much.  I should finish up the journals of Mr. Ash today and get to start on some other absorbing project.

Work-3

Terry is now plowing.  All spring work is right on time…we always start the second week in March.  This year is normal.

work-1

We still don’t know the water situation, but everyone is getting ready anyway.  Although, only 60% of the ground every farmer farms is only what is getting ready. (Did that make sense?)

If the water situation improves then everyone can plant more…we have until the middle of May to plant… until then we move forward with just the 60%.

Work-2

The soil is turning good, just the right amount of moisture.

Old corn ground must be either burned off-then disked, then plowed,  or grazed down/disked up/ and then plowed.  We are NOT fans of burning….we believe in turning the plants over to improve the soil…manure is another great way improve soil  (We are still of the old school 🙂  )

This weekend Mr. Davis will remove the cows.  Then I will be cow-less again for another year.

So another day begins…our night got down to about 22* but today we are predicted to head up into the 60s.

Spring is finally here!

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

 

Spring Work Has Begun

The first thing (after moving the cows off ) is to start disking

The corn stalks and leaves must be shredded

Terry disks both ways

After that comes plowing

Terry only plows the corn fields.  The bean field is ripped and the alfalfa is marked out

The soil is just perfect right now.  It has just the right amount of moisture so we actually have loam.  Our soil (in this area) has some clay mixed into it, so getting the ground worked up when it is in the loam stage is really nice. 

It doesn’t always happen that way.

Misty is helping farm this year.  Although, I didn’t get her in the tractor she has been there. She spells Terry giving him a break.  She wants to take over the farm when we decide the work load is just too much. 

But back to the loam — Once the soil is plowed it is good to have freezing temperatures at night to help finish drying out the dirt.  Then (which is happening as I write this) Terry (and/or Misty) will go back in with the roller flatting out the plowed clods.

What we do NOT want to happen right now is for it to either rain or snow.  Plowed ground is like a sponge.  If it collects too much water then the farmer has to wait for it to dry out and because of the clay we then get clods.  Not good.  Those nasty lumps of soil stay that way for the rest of the season.

So far the weather is holding, the equipment is staying together, and having more people doing the physical work makes the work load a lot lighter.

Linda

The Weather Holds so Plowing Can Begin

Our fuel was delivered for the season.  Now THAT is a jolt to your pocketbook, believe me. 

And the weather held long enough to get the plow on and head to the corn and hay fields.

  As you can tell we are small farmers and our equipment is older.  We use a four-bottom plow any larger and we would have to enlarge everything else.  Four plow shears go down, then the plow is turned over and the other side of the four shears do the work.

 Here Terry is setting the plow into the ground

The primary purpose of plowing is to turn over the upper layer of the soil, bringing fresh nutrients to the surface, while burying weeds and the remains of previous crops, allowing them to break down. It also aerates the soil, and allows it to hold moisture better.  If the weather is nice (meaning not storming or dropping down moisture) most farmers, in our area, leave the ground to warm up and freeze (that is what you really want) for a week.  The repeated warming and freezing makes for a very soft and friable soil.  

It  is now down.

And off he goes.  We are having lots of wind so this soil will be dry faster than a week.  Every day the soil needs to be checked, if it dries out too much the soil will turn to clods.  Clods are a pain, a real pain. 

We should be able to roll this weekend. (and yes I know how to roll).

  All of this seems like lots of work, but to us it’s a real labor of love.  When you enjoy what you are doing, work is never part of the equation

 Linda