Saturday, May 28, 2016

May 28, 2016

What a great life it is here on the farm, and a busy one.  We have been doing so much to prepare for our cows.  We looked at mineral holders, and they cost $179.99, so instead we followed the instructions on this youtube video, and made our own.  We spent $20 on a pickle barrel.  The tire company was happy to give us an old tire, and we had some old wood and hardware. We also needed some shade for them as we had all open pasture, so we designed a shade structure with bent chain link fence and shade screen.  We put it on PVC pipe skids so we could move it around the pasture.  We shall soon see if the cows will use it. As we already had a pipe bender and a jig set up from building our greenhouse in this way, it wasn't much trouble.  It cost a little over $200 to build.  The structure is moveable so we can negotiate where the fertilizer is added to the field.

Another project we work on this time of the year is our anniversary gazebo.  It started last year with six cedar poles posted in the ground and a grain bin roof that we bought at a local scrap metal yard.  This year we decided we were going to put down the cement floor.  Since it is out in the woods and we knew we couldn't get the tractor down the narrow trail, we bought a 1,000 lb. capacity garden cart from Tractor Supply to bring the bags of cement from the truck to the gazebo.  It took 26 eighty pound bags of cement that we carted to the gazebo and mixed there and poured into the floor framework that we had put up and pre-filled with rocks that we had piled up from our yard..  We had brought in our hose from the house with a brass end ( that worked great to control the water flow and turn it on and off) that we added water to the wheelbarrow with to mix the cement one bag at a time. We were pleased with our results.

It has gotten hot here and to cool off, our dogs have started taking a dip in the frog pond several times a day.  My husband captured one of them on film. There dirty, wet coats every day inspired this song.
 We were so excited today to get some new calves from our good friends Kenny and Carolyn Clark.  As first time cow owners, we thought it would be a good idea to get our first calves from somewhere that we knew they were taken great care of in early life.  They also spend a great deal of time around their cows, so they are used to people. We also know their health history and have bugged them to death for cow advice and followed them around several times for "cow school."  By the time the cows got here, they probably questioned themselves many times over whether selling us some calves was a good idea.  Yes, we have already named them, but taking the advice of some good friends, we named them food names, as they are meant to be beef.  Their names are Meatloaf and Licorice.  They are Black Angus and together they weighed 1240 lbs. 
This will be a great adventure for us full of future learning opportunities.  Once we learn with these two, we are hoping to get some more cows, perhaps even a male and a couple females to produce our own.

Finally, readers will probably get tired of hearing how much we love our farm, but this picture of a double rainbow over our farm will tell you that we do indeed feel like we got the pot(s) of gold at the end of the rainbow. 

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