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Thursday, September 23, 2010

And so harvest begins again...

Well Harvest 2010 has begun for the farm. Finally. I honestly didn't think we'd ever see this day. It's been a cold & wet year, the last time we had normal temperatures was back in April. And just today the weatherman is predicting a week of sun and normal (?) temperatures. Maybe, just maybe, the farmers can get back into the fields to finish up haying and get started on the crop harvest.

The past few days have seen us hauling bales, for ourselves and for the neighbor. It never fails, this time of year has the cattle wanting to come home. Never mind they have PLENTY of green grass in their pasture. Never mind it's not snowing and blowing. Never mind they don't NEED to come home just yet. They just want to. Simple as that. And fences be damned, they're persistent. Just tonight as I was headed out to attempt some moon photography Dave had to hop in the truck and chase 'em back to their side of the fence. Ugh. (btw, the moon photos did not turn out....much to my disappointment, and the long distance call to my brother Rod for camera tech advice)

Here is a great shot, of Dave in his tractor, and a CP Rail train headed east towards town. It was your typical freight train. We live just a short distance from the CPR mainline, so trains are a very common sight here.

I love these shots, focusing on the foreground with the background blurry. Besides, they're easy to do on the camera ;). It's the more difficult night shots (see moon photography, above) that get me stumped. Perhaps I should dig out the manual. Perhaps I should enroll in a digital camera course. Perhaps I should spend more time on Google, searching for practical camera tips instead of recipes. LOL

These are oat swaths, btw. They'll be combined in a couple days, if Dave can repair the swather knife and get the rest of the field cut. With the weather forecasting sun & warm temperatures (well, 18-25C IS warm for this year!) we can just pray the combine holds together long enough to get this year's crop into the bin. And if the cattle stay on their side of the fence long enough to get the bales moved home.

Only time will tell.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Sunday Morning Chores

It's been a few days since I last posted, life has gotten busy around these parts. I had a week off and it zoomed right by. We spent an afternoon at Douglas Park, on Diefenbaker Lake and visited with some relatives at Mistusinne (a small resort community on the Lake). I booked the week off to go camp somewhere, but time ran out on us. Maybe we'll get away for a couple nights in September, the parks should be a lot less crowded now.

A couple from the Main Center Hutterite Colony was in Chaplin on Friday, selling frozen chickens and garden produce (corn, beets, carrots, potatoes, tomatoes). I purchased 3 dozen peaches & cream corn, 2 dozen super sweet corn and a small bag of beets. I cooked the beets yesterday and today I sliced them and got them into the canner. It's my first attempt pickling beets and so far so good. I have corn in my garden but it's not ripening very quickly. So with the corn I bought I cut the kernels off the cob and then bagged them for the freezer. The corn husks went to Nanny, our goat. She loved them!! I don't blanch the corn as some recipe books suggest, I just straight freeze them (I do the same for garden peas).

Speaking of peas, my garden peas are done for the season. We didn't get too many pickings this year, way down from last year. I blame their dismal production on the wet spring and the sporadic heat and moisture during the summer. But that's the chance you take when you farm!

Our egg production is down too this past week. We had picked up 18 Leghorn Hens from a farmer near Rosetown a couple weeks ago. They did well the first week here, I didn't think they were stressed from their relocation. However, this past week our egg numbers are hovering around 15 (we had 13 laying hens before the newbies arrived). So the new gals have slowed way down in their production. I have plenty of customers wanting fresh farm eggs, so they better get used to us soon!! We're feeding them plenty of layer diet (from our local feed supply store) and mixed grains. Dave thinks it's their time to molt....gee great timing!

Dave is finally done cutting the hay crop, he just has a day of baling to finish up, then it's onto the grain harvest. However, weather has a way of putting a kink in the harvest schedule. We had a bit of rain last night, so no baling to be done today. And our weather forecast has 10-20mm coming tonight with an additional 25-30mm for Monday. The rest of the week's forecast has showers on a daily basis. Guess Dave will be around home for the week. Time to get started on his honey-do list ;o)

While Dave has been in the field, I've been homeschooling the boys every morning. My work schedule has me gone in the afternoon/evening hours, so I've taken on the responsibility this fall to do what we can in the mornings. The boys are doing well so far, but it's only been 2 weeks since we started.
The Moose Jaw Homeschool group has organized swimming lessons again, and have booked lessons for 5 weeks starting in October. And gymnastics should be starting up again soon, through the Morse Gymnastics Club.

My beets should be just about done in the canner. I'll let you know how they taste!