We like the sunset from our house. As Dancing Queen says “we get a picture painted for us everyday.”
Here’s a few pics taken by our usually terrible phone camera.
What? Were you expecting more steps?
I could add the following:
Make sure your cow has enough milk. Rosebud was giving about a gallon and a half per day. (She caved in July a year and a half ago) The calves will take anywhere between half a gallon to a gallon a day to start out with. Increasing after that. The calf will start eating grass or hay very soon but will increase in need for milk as well.
I still milk once a day. I put the calf in a pen at night and milk in the morning. The calf takes the rest of the milk. I only get around half a gallon to three quarters of a gallon a day but that’s usually enough for our family. The nice thing is if we need to go anywhere we now have an automatic milker. If you are a simple farm like ours there is no help besides me and Milly and kids. There are not too many people now a days that know how to milk a cow. Having the calf allows us to take off whenever we need to since it’s way easier to say “can you check the chickens?” than “Can you milk my cow?”.
Rosebud was bred in October and will need to be dried up around the end of April which is when we’ll feel comfortable weaning Rocky fully. (he’ll be around 7 months)
At first I kept the calf roped to the cow shed. I led him over to the electric fence quite a few times to shock his nose. Then I got lazy and now he runs all over the place. He’s small and we’ll put him in a real pasture with fences come April.
Rosebud didn’t want anything to do with the calf for about 10 minutes. She kicked the calf a few times and I had to speak sternly to her a few times. But after a few hours with him she started having that momma moo sound (you know, MMMMMMMOOOOOOO, HE’S MINE AND I’M GOING TO KEEP HIM MMMMMMMMOOOOOOOOOOOO) and was really protective of the calf.
It’s nice to see natural instincts take over.
You can see Rosebud starting to lick the calf and stand still while the calf gets accustomed to what to do.
I had to stick my fingers in the calf’s mouth and lead him over to the teat at first but after about 5 minutes he was off to the races.
The next day this was the site I saw out the back door.
I’ve been a bad blogger over the past few months (year really) but I browsed out on my sight and noticed how cool I am:
I’m not sure who or why people are looking at this blog but for some reason there is constant traffic on the site. Whoever you are, thank you for following and sticking with us on this journey.
To be honest we’ve still done a bunch of cool homesteading type stuff but a lot of my time has been focused on www.dynamicscloud.com. If you are a professor or a student that wants to use Microsoft Dynamics products but don’t want to buy servers or do the installation and maintenance yourself you’ve probably run into me. If not I’m not too sure how to tell you what I do so I’ll just say I work from home in my pajamas most of the day.
I still milk a cow every day and Rosebud has been bred to a nice big Gelbvieh bull so we are expecting a calf at the end of July. We got a calf from the local dairy a few months ago and grafted him on Rosebud so we can leave occasionally.
Our grey water is a success for the 3rd winter. We are pretty happy with the system.
It’s cold most of the time but we have our eye looking forward to a great spring ahead in…3 months.
The kids are growing like weeds and Milly is the new cub leader in our area.
I promise to be better with the blogging thing but drop me a line if you see this so I know it’s not just an automated computer response making me feel like I’m cool. I’m ok with not being cool but if I am cool I’d like to know who thinks so.
We start thinking about cold weather this time of year. It’s nice right now but the niceties can change in the course of a few hours. That being said we take every opportunity to collect wood from various sources.
This past weekend Ringo and I went up with some friends to the mountains to gather wood. We all pitched in together and came home with several loads of lodge pole pine firewood.
I have trailer envy. Look at that nice big trailer compared to Grey Beards ski-doo trailer.
Ringo is a good worker. He turned ten years old on this day. I asked him if it could get any better than being in the mountains collecting wood with his dad and he kind of grunted. He reminded me he had a birthday party that afternoon and we needed to work fast to make it in time.
Not quite as big as the big trailer. We had to take off to make it to Ringo’s shin dig but I was told they filled up this trailer another time along with another couple of small trailers.
Ringo wanted to head down to the river and have a hot dog roast for his party. The sun came out and all the kids jumped in the water although they didn’t last that long as it is mid October here and the water is quite cold this time of year.
After about an hour a wind storm came through and all the kids huddled around the fire. We though we may be stuck down there the rest of the winter. But after fifteen minutes the weather turned decent again and we were able to haul everyone back home wrinkled, sandy, but unscathed.
I’m pretty sure Ringo like the river portion of the day better than collecting wood in the mountains but I enjoyed the whole day tremendously. I think we’ll head up for another load soon before the snow flies.
You can’t have too much wood in our part of the world. You never know when you’ll feel like heading down to swim in the river and need a nice big fire to warm everyone up.
Millie and I are quite impressed with our level of preparedness this year. We just finished an indoor cold storage room in our basement and have harvested all our potatoes, carrots, beets, and various other sundry garden wares. We also were on the ball this year and had our garden tilled after depositing all the manure pile into the garden.
We only did one pass through the garden as we didn’t want to make the ground too fluffy or it might blow away with the high winter winds we are bound to experience this off season. I will probably put up a pallet fence half way through the garden to decrease the erosion and hopefully catch more snow for ground protection and water collection.
As I said at the beginning of this post, Millie and I are not usually this on top of things. We still have a ton of things to do this fall to prepare for winter but it’s sure a great feeling to have a full storage room and the garden ready for spring.
It’s that time of year when it can be snowing and cold one day and be 21 degrees Celsius the next. It’s quite discouraging to look out the window in the morning and see this on the porch.
We’ve had a couple of snow storms already, one of which included six inches of snow.I took the above picture in the attempt to make snow seem romantic and nice but in reality it’s just cold and ruined all my garden plants.
The potato harvest was pretty good this year. We planted Russets, Yukon gold and Pontiac reds. Some of the potatoes were fairly large. We were worried they might have hollow heart but not one so far has had that so we are pretty blessed.The kids have been great helpers this year in the harvest. Ringo turns ten years old soon and works like he’s sixteen. I think my kids are the only ones that would wear a coat but still be in shorts and no shoes. We get frequent visitors to our place and I often wonder if we are thought of as hillbillies as we are often barefoot running around the farm. Hopefully we are just thought of as trendy hippies who like to partake in Earthing. We ended up with nine apple boxes of potatoes which is about six hundred pounds of food. We also stored four boxes of carrots which is around 150 lbs of product. We usually store the carrots in sand but are trying sawdust this year. Sand works great but is awfully heavy. I’m getting old and can’t lift things like I used to so we are trying sawdust as it’s lighter. We’ll have to check on the carrots often this winter to make sure the sawdust is working.There is a picture of my dad when I was a kid kneeling down picking potatoes that is almost an exact replica of this photo. I always thought my dad was old and uncool. Thirty years later I realize that he is pretty awesome and hip. He’s still old though.Ringo thinks I’m old now but I keep telling him he better think I’m handsome as he’s going to look just like me in thirty years. Hopefully Molly will look like Millie in thirty year and not like me.Here’s our own Mrs. Potato head. Isn’t she beautiful?
We gave one of these potatoes to Dancing Queen. She wouldn’t take more as she said one potato would feed her and grey beard for two meals.Molly is a great helper as well. It’s fun to work with the kids. I think it’s probably more fun to harvest than it is to weed but that’s to be expected. We even grew cantaloupe this year. Look at these beauties. Juicy and wonderfully tasting.
Well, I should tell the truth here. The cantaloupes were wonderful just really small. We’ll have to start them inside next spring so they get a little bigger.
We are almost ready for snow to come full time. We are going to the mountains to get wood this morning and hopefully be back in time to play down at the river this afternoon.