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Archive for the ‘Crops’ Category

farm-girl-friday

No one seems to be doing Farm Girl Friday any more.  Oh well, here’s my post any way.

Spring has sprung!

Colin and Dad are busy planting the spring wheat.  It’s rather dry out there and we could use about 3/4 inch of rain (gentle rain!).  At least with all the sunny, dry weather Colin’s not having to work too hard and actually comes in for supper most nights.

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Not sure why this didn’t post on Friday, but here it is.

farm-girl-friday

Oh look, a Farm Girl Friday post!  Must mean spring is coming.

This is what our neighbourhood looked like on Tuesday (before we were buried in snow).  Colin was over a few side-roads doing a big cleaning job.  He likes cleaning for these guys because it’s a family and neighbours who pool their cleaning.  So Colin has one big job instead of half a dozen smaller/little jobs.  Since it takes about 45 minutes to set up and take down the cleaner, it’s much nicer to make it one big job.

This set up is a bit different than usual.  Often Colin pulls up to grain bin and the seed loads from there.  That wasn’t the case at this farm.  The new bins have unloading augers that are too big for the cleaner and risk breaking the beans (won’t grow if you break them).  So they ran the auger at full capacity into a holding wagon.  The fuller the auger the less damage to the beans.

From the holding wagon (left), Colin was able to use his loading auger to move the beans to the cleaner.  From there the soybeans are then loaded into the ‘weigh-wagon’.  When the right weight was reached for each farmer, the soybeans were loaded into their personal grain wagons.  It was a very long day -almost 12 hours.  Colin cleaned 35 ton of soybeans and 3 ton of oats.

Farm Girly has had some fun this week too.  Figure skating has come to the end for this year (so early compared to at home).  They had a big carnival and Grandpa and Grandma Lorraine came.  Grandma Hattie was there of course too (she drives us every week).  Daddy was even able to come.

The Future Star kids did their competition routine.  Taylor wasn’t there so Ella got put in the centre of the pinwheel since she’s the next biggest (in muscle mass not height).

She made a great cheer leader!

My very happy Farm Girly has finished her CanSkate program in only 2 years!  She got such lovely comments from her coach in her report card too.

I forgot to share this one on Wednesday:

Last Saturday was Cookie Day in Renfrew.  Wow, what a miserable day!  On the way to Renfrew we hit a wall of snow and could barely see the vehicles in front of us.  Luckily we were almost to Renfrew or we should have turned around.  The snow stopped, mostly, after 10.  Then the water started dripping off the roof.  We took the tablecloth off soon and had to use it to mop up puddles.  Then the snowballs/pellets started.  The lovely folks at Metro let us come inside the doors for the rest of the day.

You know the most common comment/question when people hear you homeschool?  “What about socialization?!!”  Well guess what?  If it wasn’t for my ‘poor’ home schooled child we would have sold 0 cases of cookies.  We had a Brownie and Spark member ‘helping’.  Ella was the only one to actually stop people and ask them to buy cookies.   We were there for 4 hours and we sold a whopping 10 cases of cookies (12 boxes in each case).

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farm-girl-friday

I actually didn’t have anything planned to share for Farm Girl Friday this week.  That is until this podcast turned up somehow on the computer this morning.  This song says it all (I’ve even put it on the iPod).  It’s a perfect description of what life is like this time of year here on the farm.  I love the ‘please, bake for me’ and ‘when I get back, I’ll need an O ring’ lines.  That really is my life.

Leaving on the Combine

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farm-girl-friday

 

Last year I used some of my ‘egg money’ to buy a dehydrator and a pressure canner.  Life got so busy I didn’t get a chance to try them.  This year, since we aren’t busy with Market, I finally got a chance.

6 pints of yellow beans ready to go.

The pressure canner wasn’t as scary as people make it seem.  Though I did have a problem keeping the pressure at 11.  Will have to watch that more next time.  I also made some dilly beans for the first time.  Just made a half recipe to see if we (me and mom) like them.

Colin processed a few of our meat birds.  Once he got the water hot enough he was able to do 1 bird in 20 minutes (I won’t tell you how long the first one took).  They were 9-11 lbs each.  I love a big chicken.  If you are going to the trouble/mess of roasting a chicken make it a big one.  Then you have meat for a long time.

And a final first for Farm Girl Friday this week – TOMATOES!!!   I made these into toasted tomato sandwiches and they were so yummy!

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farm-girl-friday

 

Farm Girl Friday and what’s going on here at the Farm?  Not much!  Still getting too much rain.  Unlike some parts of the country (and the States) we’ve been lucky and don’t have giant ponds or flooding in our fields.  But we can’t work in then either.  We’ve been getting ‘just enough’ rain that we can’t take any of the equipment out without making a mess/destroying soil/getting stuck.  The non-rainy days aren’t warm enough or windy enough to dry up the ground.  I think food will be getting expensive next year.

About 2 weeks ago Colin found an afternoon where he could do a bit of planting.

Can you see those little rows of green coming up?  That’s the wheat.  Colin has nearly all the wheat in now, but that only counts for about 20% of our crops.  Time is really starting to tick to get the corn and soy beans in the ground.  The corn needs a long season because it is grain corn and can’t be harvested until it has dried.  Soy beans are really time sensitive because they develop with hours of sun.  Once we get to a point in the fall where the hours of sun goes down too much, the plants stop developing -whether the beans are ready or not.

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farm-girl-friday

 

For Farm Girl Friday I thought I’d share some signs of spring from the upper Ottawa Valley.

Monday Colin and Dad were hard at work getting the corn combined on the ‘Killman Farm’ a.k.a. our front field.  There was a bit of frost in the ground and the corn is perfectly dry now, so it was good going.

Why the hurry?  Because this is the spring creek in the morning when they started.  It was 5 rows into the corn by the end of the day.

This is the other side of the road.  Luckily this field was dry enough in the fall, so it’s OK to be wet.  Ella calls this Lake Ella.  That’s Dad’s house in the background.

It’s a fair bit of water that runs through our front fields every spring.  And we didn’t really have that much snow this year, you should see it on wet winters.

And then there is the problem caused by the groundhog that likes to live in the culvert at the driveway…

This is Lake Snugglebug.  As you can see it’s heading over the driveway and is well past our raised beds (another good reason to use the steel rings instead of wood).

I get a little nervous each year when the lake is back.  Between the ditch and the mushy ground, that water is close to 4 ft deep in places.  Ella’s only just now 4 ft.  But luckily…

the lake didn’t stay long this year.  Since the ground didn’t really freeze this winter the culvert let go drained it all away.  Good thing too, because I don’t think Colin’s new apple trees really wanted to swim.

The guys headed over to the corn on the back-end of the ‘Poff Farm’ and had a much harder time.  The top of the hill has a spring in it and the ground was so mushy.  They actually buried the entire combine tire (nearly as tall as me) in the mud.  Unfortunately Colin didn’t have the camera.  What a mess!  Now we’ll have to wait for the ground to dry before trying any more corn.

What is it with farmers calling farms by the family that owned them 50-100 years ago?

Saw the first flock of geese for the spring.  It’s nice to see them, but we hope they just keep moving.  Geese do so much damage on these wet fields.  Their big, flat feet compact the soil and turn it to cement if it dries before it gets worked.

And for a final sign of spring…

Sprouts poking up (now to keep Daisy off them)!  From their location they should be tulips, but it’s so very early for tulips.  Usually my snowdrops make the first appearance.  Maybe they spread?

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farm-girl-friday

When one is a Farm Girl on a real, full-time working farm, you get used to the fact that ‘real’ vacations are few and far between.  Extra work for the Farmer usually means he’s ‘out’ for long hours and if you are lucky he comes home in time for supper.

But not last weekend…

Friends of ours have a B&B (well, more log cabins they rent out) and Carol wants to start grinding her own flour.  Joe grew her wheat last summer but wasn’t happy with the job the combine did.   They know all about Colin’s cleaner so they invited us out for a night if we’d bring the cleaner.  Can’t beat a deal like that!  It was a rather cold day for Colin out there cleaning, but Carol, her friend Judy and I had a great visit in the house with the cook stove going.  Joe had a friend and a son-in-law over for the day too so Colin had more help than ever.

Not the best picture, the first one was better but my eyes were closed  🙂  It was nice to just lazy around the cabin all afternoon (cleaning was done by lunch).  The wood stove had the cabin so nice and cozy.

So nice when extra work equals a romantic night away too.

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