Season 3, Episode #14~ Spring Chores

A dawn redwood on the farm? Creep feeder for the goat kids? Sounds like Blind Hog and Acorn are having too much fun!

First rhubarb of the season has been picked, Ethel has 10 eggs in her nest. How many more will she lay before she decides to settle down on them?

Here is the link for the NOVA episode on PBS: The Cannabis Question

Season 3, Episode #13~ Acorn Returns

Yes, Acorn was called away again due to family needs and Blind Hog held the conn with Sam.

Meanwhile the livestock scale worked, then didn’t, then got fixed. Plans made for geese, cows, garden, goats.

A delicious loaf of Icelandic rye bread, baked for 12 hrs is sampled. Perfect during the crazy weather when Mother Nature can’t decide between low 20’s with flurries and 70’s and sun… Here is the brown bread recipe.

Season 3, Episode #12~ Ball Joints…

While Acorn was able to replace the tie rod ends, little did she and Blind Hog realize the ball joints all needed to be replaced as well.  That little issue was discovered at the shop when the front end alignment was started.  It is what it is… Have a farm?  You must have a working truck.

Goats are being milked and then there is yogurt for the freezer. Load feet installed on the goat tilt table and the weigh unit calibrated!  Working goat scale!  No more picking up kids!

Fields are greening up, calves will be born in about another 7-8 weeks. The future of cattle here on the farm is discussed.

Hooray for the last of the barn cats to be neutered!  Boots and Ink went in together.  Of the 5 remaining barn cats we got from Judy, these two are right tame!

Do we even need to discuss “Sock it to Satan??”

Season 3, Episode #11~ Farm Mechanics and Pasture Management

A productive week on the farm~ Blind Hog and Acorn repaired the F350’s tie rod ends. Was the picture perfect set up of a 20 yr old truck up on jack stands in the front yard. Once the pair of farmers got started, it was “just that easy.”

Road Commissioner has promised to send a road grader, but the county is so big and the tax base so small, they are not expecting much.

Blind Hog got the three paddocks of the west field clipped, broom sedge is now mowed and the field all leveled out. Grass is already much greener where the livestock are not grazing so yes- the grass is greener on the other side of the fence!

Goat kids are bouncing around, 43 “tighty whities” running here and there. Still have a few more goats to kid. Now for the cows- this may be Lulu and Calpurnia’s last calving. At 16, their arthritis is really slowing them both down.

Ethel is is in “egg mode,” laying an egg every other day. 4 in the nest. Acorn will wait for a few more more eggs and then will steal four for the incubator. Will see if the pair can raise any goslings. Last year none of her eggs hatched and the attrition from black snakes eating her eggs was high.

Gas line parts have been acquired, the camp stove used for sap reduction is now a “fixture” under the carport, next to the grill. A flanged “tee” in the line allows for a separate line to the camp stove- now both units are hooked up to the main propane tank. Of course, there is a cut off valve just before the tee. Cannot trust the valves on the grill or camp stove to be super tight and “off” totally. Sweet!

Season 3, Episode #10~ Kids-a-Poppin’

34 commercial kids born Monday through Friday. Sired by the same buck, they are all white- quick eartagging and notes help tell kids apart when things get confusing in the barn!

Snow storm pretty much missed the farm- just had some flurries yesterday but not “inches of accumulation.” Works for Acorn.

The tie rod on the F350 broke- the connector sleeve wallowed out the threads and so the rods pulled apart. New tie rods are already delivered, will be installed next week. Acorn texted the road commissioner to voice her angst over the condition of the road. Barking out the door and no one to hear…

New recipe for you to try… Lemon muffins! https://steelmeadowfarm.com/steelmeadow-recipes/

Ethel laid her first egg, it has the “bullseye so YAY! The geese are “doing it!” Will try a few in the incubator once she gets more laid.

Season 3, Episode #9~ Borescope, Anyone?

Ho boy– did Blind Hog and Acorn ever have a domestic scare this week!  The dreaded “warping of hardwood floor boards!”

Luckily, it was not “zebras” but a much simpler, less exotic cause of the issue.  A bit of cosmetic repair and all will be right with the world.

Hissy Kitty was the first cat taken to the vet- Acorn did in fact trap BOTH Nessie and Lil’ Pumpkin who live in the hay barn.  Each however escaped while being transferred from the live trap to the pet carrier.  This issue has been resolved, Acorn and Blind Hog have this figured out now…

Sap collecting and syrup making is over, now is time to begin milking the dairy goats.  Only 8 quarts of skyr remain in the freezer!

Pregnant goats are sharing the paddock with the cattle. If the cows are having a rest, they have had enough to eat… or so I think…

Road is getting work done by the county, just in time for the next rains. Above are “before” pictures… Not holding breath at the farm for massive improvements. Creek bed or road? Sometimes it is hard to tell! Fun fun!

Season 3, Episode #8~ Sleety Sleet Sleet

Sleet covers the ground, but it is beginning to thaw.  Thank goodness for ice cleats!

Commercial goats have held off kidding (so far) during these single digit wind chills and icy weather. Dairy goats, kids and Irish Dexters are all managing well enough.

Time to begin trapping the barn kitties and get them spayed/neutered.  Actually, Acorn had one in the trap already but it escaped when lifting the trap door to unload into the cat carrier. That was “Little Pumpkin,” and “Nessie” was spotted when the “Special Kitty Tuna Pate” was reloaded in the trap…

A batch of beer has been fermented and now bottled. Now to wait 2 weeks! Actually only bottled 42 bottles from the 6 gallons, was not sure how many would be used.

County road is in dire need of attention, will see if communication with state reps will do any good.  The local road commissioner says there are no funds… 8 loads of gravel is all they can afford over here?

Season 3, Episode #7~ Previews of Coming Attractions

Getting ready for more goat kids  and goose eggs! Fun on the farm!

Blind Hog and Acorn missed the worst of the last winter storm that went through, almost 3″ of rain though.  They are not complaining.  Well, they are complaining about the county road and lack of maintenance…  But what else is new?

A few nice days to get chores done in preparation of yet more goat kids. Garden too could use some attention.

After the podcast, Acorn took Sam and the pregnant goats for that walk up in the east field- goats stayed up there a few hours before coming back to the barn. Dairy kids are growing like weeds, will be able to start milking the moms here in a bit.

All in all, a nice, uneventful week on the farm.  Nothing more strenuous to do that walk to the mailbox and throw a log in the woodstove!  That, and making ice cream but make SURE you know what you are grabbing out of the fridge! Ha!

Season 3, Episode #6~ Acorn Leaves for a Week

Blind Hog got to do all the chores by himself for a whole week, timed perfectly with The Big Snow  while Acorn was down in Florida!  Florida??!! Not exactly a vacation but a “rescue” of sorts- getting her dad out of ICU and into hospice where he was able to have a peaceful end.

It was go go go for all concerned; crazy schedules, lack of sleep, emotional rollercoasters.  The PSA take home message is that it is never to late to write up your medical Living Will, DNR wishes, even a legal will:  https://www.freewill.com  (You are welcome).

Acorn slept after lunch today, burned up a pot that was boiling down sap.  It happens.  That is one 8 ounce jar of syrup that was lost, plus the 3 gallon pot.

Onwards!