Archive for the ‘Farm’ Category


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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Weekend Fun

Saturday was the Renfrew County Plowing Match.  Colin assured me it wasn’t going to rain.  And if it did it would only be sprinkles because they were only calling for 1-4mm.  Guess what?!  Halfway through the skies opened and it poured!!!  Twice!  Luckily we were able to get under shelter both times so only ended up a little damp.

plowing competitions of course

Riding on the fancy wagon (luckily with a roof) that belongs to Daddy’s cousin.

Still not too big for the bouncy house!

This one is for all the other farm wives.  This is the best shirt ever!!

An old haybinder, I’ve actually got an old picture (glass negative) of my German family using one of these.  I should dig it out one of these days.

Look who we found on our wagon ride -Grandpa and Grandma Lorraine.

Daddy checking out the old threshing machine.  He was impressed with the job it was doing.  It’s the precursor to this:

If anyone has a spare million dollars, Colin would love one of these.  He’d only need to use it about 8 days a year so it would last him a long time.

Speaking of expensive things on Christmas lists:

Ella would really love to find this under the Christmas tree!

She looks so at home on the big machinery.  I wouldn’t mind.  She can make great money running heavy equipment (especially if she learns the specialty stuff) AND she’d find work around here and not have to go to the city.

We had a good time.  Daddy did visiting with the neighbours -the plowing match or a fair is about the only time farmers see each other.

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For Farm Girl Friday this week I have a puzzle for you:

What does a farmer do when the ‘professional’ barn salvagers half tear down a barn and steal all the good stuff?  And then all the people on Facebook who promised to come and take the rest don’t show up or take just the remaining good stuff??

You take care of it yourself – farmer style!!

Keep shoving stuff into the fire to try and keep it ‘under control’.

Lunch with the pyromaniac Colin.  He wonders why Ella gives us goofy faces!?  I had to move the truck, it was getting a little too warm.

Colin kept the fire good and hot so there was minimal smoke.  I was lucky.  Even though it was blowing towards the house, it headed more toward the barns.  I couldn’t even smell the smoke in the house.

Most of it was gone by 3:30.  Colin could finally come in to warm up and dry out.

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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 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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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 excitement this week!  The Farmer and the Farm Girly headed into town to M&R Feeds to pick up our new chicks.  I had to stay home because Daddy decided to leave in the middle of the bread baking.  I wish I had gone.  Ella jumped right into the pen with the layers and started grabbing them for Daddy to put into the boxes!  This from the girl who didn’t want anything to do with chickens until a couple of weeks ago.

2 different kinds of meat birds, 1-2 days old.  And…

5 turkeys!  We’ve never raised turkeys before so this will be fun.  All the chicks are so soft, you almost can’t feel them.

Also picked up 40 new ready to lay hens (excuse the mess, pick-up day sort of snuck up on Colin and he had to just stick them in where there was room).   They are just ‘regular’ chickens.  My Harco Blacks don’t come in the ready to lay size.  Hopefully, now that we have some new hens and that spring is finally coming, my egg production will improve.

Want to know how to annoy the Grandpa Farmer?  Say ‘there is a chicken and rooster’!  It drove Grandpa crazy when Ella was little and most of her books said ‘chicken and rooster’.  You know why, of course??  Because roosters are chickens!  All roosters are chickens but not all chickens are rooster.  The books should say ‘hen and rooster’.  Sure can tell how far removed everyone is from their food production.

Remember the beautiful portraits of Ella from last fall?  Well Courtney saw the chicks on my FB page and wanted to use them for her Easter advertising.  She came up yesterday (got to be quick before they feather out and don’t look cute).

I brought up (from the cellar) 3 of the chicks.  They were so calm and well-behaved (no one pooped on anything/one).  Ella loved posing with them, but it took quite a while to convince her to bring the chick to her face.  She was afraid she’d be pecked.

And as you can see, mud season has started.  It’s not too bad yet because we’re still quite cold.  But it’s coming!

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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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Plough Monday

Today is a good example of how some British traditions don’t translate well to the New World.  Today is Plough Monday, the traditional start of the British agricultural season.  Hop over to Under an English Sky and see what England looks like right now.  Look out MY window and we see this:

Not much ploughing going on these days.  In fact, we’ve still got 80 acres of corn out in the field drying and waiting to be combined (probably in March while the ground is still frozen).

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Well, we certainly got our first big snow of 2014!  I’m not sure how much we got last night (including freezing rain).  Must be about 8 inches, maybe more.

It’s hard to get a picture to show you all how much snow is piling up around here.

Colin has spent the entire day shoveling roofs.

This is the shortest roof Colin has to clear.

I forgot to share Colin’s finished sweater.  It fits him great.  The sleeves are a little long, but I can just tack up the cuff part and they are perfect.  Now I have to sew in all the ends.

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