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Bearing Down on the Solstice, a Week in Farm Pics

December 20, 2015
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Blogging is a funny thing, like any task, the less you write, the less you feel inclined to.  I do need to write though, as posting to Instagram is making me stupid in the sense that I’m attempting to be a competent typist in real life.  Sort of like switching gears literally in our hay trucks in the summer.  You rattle around the field in granny until the truck is loaded, and then you get in the next truck and granny is in a different place.  Your muscle memory kicks in and you proceed, much like switching from texting on a phone (makes you concise), to typing on a keyboard.  I like to sit at a desktop computer and type, laptops make my neck hurt, a cell phone is even worse.

So if you follow on Instagram, these photos should be all new or at least not posted yet, I think.  Just another week on the farm.

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We’ve moved the cows closer to the house to do a little brushing out in a hayfield.  Nothing like cattle to open up some brushy areas.

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We’re approaching one of the wettest Decembers on record, to date we’ve received 21 inches of rain and there doesn’t appear to be much dry weather in sight.

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Cloudy, rainy days make a sunrise like this one to remember.

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And when the clouds part we have seen a bit of sun here and there.

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Got some decorating done.

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Some milking done.

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Raylan is growing like a weed and learning about electric fence, no more baby pen for him.

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Some of the cabbage got nipped in a cold spell.

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Some cabbage fared just fine.

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The root crops are getting to be standard fare now, for us and for Jane.

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And our kitties are getting along for the most part, but we are down to just our three spring kittens, and hoping they stay safe for the winter.

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Blog posts have been few and far between so I want to take this opportunity to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

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28 Comments leave one →
  1. elaine permalink
    December 20, 2015 6:50 pm

    We just pulled our carrots and beets today in the hoop house – amazing, considering we are at 7500’ & there’s snow on the ground.

    Merry, Merry Christmas to you and yours!

  2. December 20, 2015 7:04 pm

    Love the wire wreath. I have got to do that! If I get time…
    Merry Christmas to you and your family, and all the best for 2016.

  3. Elva permalink
    December 20, 2015 7:32 pm

    Your Jane is looking great!
    I was wondering how your cattle are managing to not damage the fields if you have been having such wet weather. Is your soil very sandy?

    • December 20, 2015 8:20 pm

      Elva, Thanks! She’s doing pretty good for a late fall freshening. Not too much milk, but enough.

      No sand, but very well drained loam, at pinch points where they come to the barn, we’ve got some mud, but the pastures don’t really pug. We’re fortunate in that regard. It helps to live on a ridge. We barely have a puddle after it rains.

  4. December 20, 2015 8:14 pm

    Good catching up and Merry Christmas to you as well. I’m finding it hard to get back into the writing habit as well….feel like I’m in the same old rut I was in when I quit the last time. Oh well, I guess I’ll just keep trying to plunk away. I never got into doing the Instagram thing…so many social media streams…so little time🙃

    • December 20, 2015 8:18 pm

      I hear ya on that! So little time, but the Instagram thing is pretty nice and quick. I am for one enjoying your plunking again 🙂

  5. December 20, 2015 9:17 pm

    Love to see what’s happening at your place again, and hope all that rain is stored in the ground for growing next seasons pastures.

    I’ve got to say of that kitty picture, it’s a cat cuddle – kamikaze style. 😉

  6. Ali permalink
    December 21, 2015 1:20 am

    Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you as well! Thank you for all the lovely photos and wisdom you share all year long:)

  7. December 21, 2015 1:34 am

    I love the wire wreath too. I wish we had holly around here in Latvia, but none to be had, so I may just have to improvise. Anyway lovely to see your posts again and I wish you a very Merry Christmas too. All the best for the New Year

  8. Dee permalink
    December 21, 2015 2:50 am

    I so look forward to your posts. I do not do instagram, so am always happy to find an email article awaiting. One of these years I am gonna figure out how to have rootcrops ready to be overwintered in our garden. We do things on a much smaller scale here in central PA, but I’m sure our milking does (dairy goats) would love the rootcrops same as your beautiful milk cow does.

  9. December 21, 2015 2:51 am

    Love seeing new blog posts as I can view the Instagram but not respond, as I don’t have a cell phone. Here in Western Mass we’ve had unseasonably warm temps (they are saying 63F for Christmas Eve Day!) and have finished all our outside chores.

    The first year we put the cows on the 10 acre piece, they wiped out all the wild Concord grape vines. No more grape jelly. They are very good at brush clearing.

    Love all the photos!

  10. Bee permalink
    December 21, 2015 5:34 am

    Love the cat picture!

    Yeah, if I could put time in a bottle… trouble is, there’s no bottle big enough! I’m kind of hoping the oldest granddaughter chooses the local community college for a couple of years rather than going away. She’s my right hand ranch hand, and with hubby’s back problems I really don’t want to be doing everything by myself. The younger ones can help with gates and such, but they aren’t big enough to buck bales yet.

    We’ve had more rain since December 1st than we had in four months last year. Not that I’m not delighted with the water, but our clay soil turns to gumbo real fast. We were fighting with the sheep last night because they didn’t want to go in the night-time pen and I put a foot wrong. Down on my butt in the mud and gashed a finger on the barbed wire; cut a big slash in my new gloves, too. Oh well, as Gilda Radner used to say, it’s always something.

    You all have a great Christmas!

  11. December 21, 2015 5:46 am

    Happy Solstice!

  12. December 21, 2015 6:53 am

    Its always a nice surprise to find you in my in box. Happy Holidays and a happy new year. Hug Jane for me, I do love seeing pictures of her, actually of all the things you share. Thank you for that.

  13. Karen permalink
    December 21, 2015 7:58 am

    Beautiful photos.. Evidence of the time and care you invest in your land and animals. May your kittens stay safe. Feel sad for the tabby missing a tail. 😦

    • December 21, 2015 9:09 am

      Karen, he was born that way, and his sister who didn’t want to participate in the play/fight has a short 2″ tail. I’m hoping since their big brother is missing, that they will seek us out more and stay closer to the barn for winter. The dogs protect them at night from outside predators but owls can come and go in the barn so the cats should burrow in the haystack.

  14. Carrie permalink
    December 21, 2015 8:09 am

    Happy Solstice for tomorrow. I see my day’s length on 23rd will be 0:05 seconds longer… I’m counting. Probably best not to wish winter away too quickly; however, like lots of other people, I could live happily for a few weeks without gales and rain. After a while, daily near-gale wind sends my brain fuzzy! And my temper shortens horribly. :-)) So here’s to a spell of crisp, dry frosty weather (preferably sans snow).

    Have a Happy Christmas too – maybe enjoy at least half a day off?

    • December 21, 2015 9:10 am

      Carrie, every second counts right 😉 It’s pouring again today with 50 mph winds predicted. Fingers crossed the weather man is wrong!

  15. mtnmedx permalink
    December 21, 2015 11:53 am

    Beautiful cow! I have a molasses question: I seem to remember sometime back, that you were having difficulty finding quality molasses and the type you used to get was either not available or was not the same. What type of molasses did you decide to use and where did you find it?

  16. December 21, 2015 6:42 pm

    Gorgeous photos from another gorgeous season on your farm! Looking forward to another year of amazing farm and garden education and your beautiful photos!
    Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you and your family Nita! 🎄🎄

  17. December 22, 2015 11:18 am

    love the pics! It took me a second look to see that the wreath was made of barbed wire – quite clever and so “shabby chic” – I bet you could sell a bunch of those o Etsy for a tidy little sum.
    Wishing you and yours the happiest of holidays

  18. December 24, 2015 3:59 am

    Nice looking cabbage and other veggies. I feel a pang of envy every time I see pictures of homegrown carrots, as we’ve never had any luck with them here.

    Seems it’s our turn for the rain now. Poured all day yesterday and a couple of more inches are forecast for today. Temps in the 70’s and thunderstorms. On Christmas Eve.

    Wishing you and yours a joyous merry Christmas!

    • December 26, 2015 4:19 pm

      Bill, oh my gosh, carrots are a staple here, but they do like cooler weather. We grow storage carrots, and some of the short season ones too. It’ might be worth your while to try some of the short season carrots started in August, varieties like Napoli, Nelson and Mokum, they don’t seem to be so fussy and if you have drip and some floating row cover to cover them while they are germinating you just might get a crop for fall. I know the row cover sounds odd in the summer, but it actually provides a little shade and keeps the soil moist while you agonizing wait for the little buggers to germinate. It works here in dry Oregon, we normally don’t get any rain for the summer months, and that’s the only way to get fall crops started in the summer if they need direct seeding.

      We actually had a white Christmas, which is sort of odd for here. 70’s would be a little strange!

  19. December 24, 2015 7:01 am

    I just realized that Raylon has the same white blaze as Jane. He so should have been a heifer! Merry Christmas to you and your family, both two and four legged. May 2016 be kind to all.

  20. December 24, 2015 2:04 pm

    Merry Christmas, dear! I wish you good health and some extra time in the New Year to manage all the great work and post in your special way. We all enjoy reading and learning.

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