Thursday, July 14, 2011

Busy Week

Like most of the south, midwest and east coast we have been under blistering heat the past couple weeks with no end in sight. The heat is really taking a toll on the crops and animals all over but we have so far managed to reap a good and continuing harvest, the animals are thriving, and we have even sneaked in a few projects here and there. On the work front, the perils of rural farm living were brought home with a couple of first responder calls I have been on. In one a guy was kicked in the face by a horse and may be permanently blinded and in another call today a man was shot in the face (accidentally) with an arrow that lodged in his head and penetrated his skull out the back. If your of a mind prayers or good wishes towards them would I'm sure be appreciated. In both cases we air medevaced them out and I cant say enough for those folks who do that job, its extremely dangerous but they literally can be the difference in a patient living or not because we are so far from a hospital.

We occasionally make a few bucks using our trucks, tractor, and trailers to do jobs for people and now with our stock trailer we have even more opportunities. We do it mainly for the adventure and to meet people but it pays for a few things and we have found that lots of small farmers and homesteaders around here dont have (and cant justify buying) an equipment trailer, stock trailer etc and they just hire out when they need one. So we got our first hire with the stock trailer to haul a 1200lb bull from one farm to another farm about 20 miles away and it involved getting a very angry ticked off bull loaded and then driving on mostly dirt roads and across several pastures to his new home (had to use 4 wheel drive, ford a creek etc). I can confirm that a 1200lb bull moving around and bellowing at his loudest in the stock trailer makes for an interesting ride but it all went well. We also planted a few trees out in front of the farmhouse to replace those we had to cut down, we have been busy harvesting and canning, and we came up with a red neck solution to the heat.

We like pickles and we have had a huge crop of cucumbers so...we make sweet and dill pickles of several varieties. We literally go through about a jar a week in the winter.

I like canning because the whole house smells good and its the culmination of all the hard work in the garden.

Holly and our neighbor Lori at the harvest table....everyone likes our pickles.

Some folks like sweet stuff...we like salty and sour and these pickles fill the bill. The sweet pickles we make are also spicey and though I usually dont like sweet pickles...the ones Holly makes are very good.

And this was one mad bull. It took us a while to get him loaded as he did not want to get in the trailer and he didnt much like the ride either. I stopped at an intersection and you could hear him bellowing and clanging around in the trailer and the people in a small car next to us looked a little freaked out...probably some city folk out for a drive.

This lady was the mother of the man who bought him and she was as nice as could be. We were just letting him out in this picture and she asked in this small voice.."do you think I could pet him?"...umm probably not a good idea right now!

He was hesitant at first as there were a lot of cows in the pasture and he was the only bull...but some of them must have been in estrus as he started slinging snot and snorting and...

The cows cam a running...

and they chased the poor guy all over the place. I think he will be just fine.

And our two bald faced Angus heifers are doing well even in the heat. They stay in the woods most of the day then come out to graze, get a little grain, and water in the early evening.

And we harvested our first crop of potatoes, cured them and put them in the root cellar.

We also planted a couple of maple trees in the front yard to replace the trees we had to take out earlier this year but we planted them far enough away they wont cause any problems with the foundation or be a danger of falling on the house. Digging in the hard packed Ozarks rocky soil was like busting through concrete...glad Chris was around to help.

And we planted this Japanses Maple in front of the french looks pretty good we think.

It was over 100 degrees on this day and we worked for 30 minutes then went in for some water and AC for 15 but we got the job done.

I am often shocked when I see pictures of myself...who is that old guy?  

Its been so darned hot we decided to make a red neck pool out of a stock water trough and it has been great.

Nothing like it to cool off in at the end of the day.

Eve the barn cat is becoming more like the rest of our animals now in that she hangs around when we are doing things. We will often have Rose the farm dog, Bandit, Boo Boo, Whiskers, Eve, Maybelle the calf and the Angus heifers Thelma and Louise all watching our every move.

And finally, we like how the trees turned out, should even provide some good shade in a couple years.

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