Category Archives: agriculture

Inspiration Day Three-Animal Antics

Day Three of what inspires me about farming: Animal antics!

Cows have personalities too
Turkeys who love to get up on anything
The blood hound who thinks she is a pointer and herder
Young Hen waiting on the porch railing for her "treats"
The "girls" waiting for the tractor to move out of the freshly plowed field
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Inspiration Number Two-Babies

Moving on to my second inspiration, I would have to say that it is when the young one’s come in the spring. Who doesn’t love babies of any shape?

Young one’s make me happy when I get to watch them frolick and then getting love from their Momma or their adoptive Mom.

Inspiration Number One-Frozen Moments

So, I know I said that I would start this a couple of days ago…and then my farm life went crazy. Between work and the farm, I haven’t had much time. Back to my inspirations to start farming. As I explained in my last post, there are many things that I like about farming but the biggest one is probably just sitting back and relaxing around our farm.
Every morning outside of my front door are the most spectaular sun rises. The barn in full view with the sun cresting over the hill hits me like nothing else in the world.

The morning sunrise

The view here is one of the most beautiful for any farm blooded American.

The view from our top field.

There are even those moments when you get off the tractor or four wheeler and just take a break from the motions of the day that are beautiful beyond any words you can think of.

Fields full of Daisies
Nothing like Blue Skies

I love the country and I love nature. Farming just seems like the common sense thing to do for me since I would rather be here on the farm than any where else in the world!

Busy Busy

Things have been hectic to say the least. Spring time is always a busy time. This year is worse than most due to fallen barn roof and weather that can’t make up it’s mind.

We have been working on getting things cleaned up inside the barns from a winter of freezing weather. The bedding pack for the cows needs to be picked out and removed for the compost pile. We also need to clean up the areas where the round bales sat this winter…with no feeder mind you. There are also rocks that need to move out of the lawn/mowed areas because of the snow plow. Fence posts that need to be put back in the ground. A barn wall that needs to be releveled. The list goes on and on.

Of course there is also the unending list of things that need to be done for the biomass business. Right now I am working on setting up meetings for local sustainability within our region, very specifically for the heating industry. I work hard to develop models that have fuel stock flexibility. As long as the product is locally sourced, it makes me happy. It isn’t an easy job and requires a ton of research and then even more time spent on development. In the long run, all of my hard work and dedication will be for the best within my neighborhood and community and will be able to be passed along to other areas.

I never thought that I would take agriculture to this next level, but now that I am working in this sector of the industry, I can’t ever imagine myself doing anything else. And so every one knows, it isn’t about the money. It’s about doing what is right, not only for me, but for everyone. I am excited and glad that I have had the skills given to me through life lessons that have made this an important part of my life. I am excited that I can now use all of this knowledge to assist other people with their energy needs, when crisis always looms on the horizon!

Another day…

Happy St. Patty’s Day everyone! I hope that you began the morning with an excellent breakfast of Green Eggs and Ham! Not that Dr. Suess has anything to do with St. Pat’s Day but, the color is just too cool to pass up!

That is about the extent of how much I celebrate St. Patty’s Day. To me, it is just another day full of things to do and things to get done. I spent about an hour yesterday just assessing the damage and the standing water that is in the pastures and fields. We have a lot of work to get done! Barn roof that collapsed needs to be torn down and removed. The hoop barn needs to be pulled down and reset because of the leaning walls due to extremely high winds (they gusted at over 70 mph). We need to scrap out all the barns, get the compost pile moved to the garden, clean up all the residual build up from feeding round bales and the lawn is littered full of broken pieces of tree branches and stones from the snow plowing.

We have standing water in about 1/2 the pasture and by the way, we still have a ton of snow spots here and there. I can’t wait for the grass to start turning green. Spring is so close…I just can’t wait!

New Reading, Old Book

I have made a decision to read some older books, like Letters of a Woman Homesteader written by Elinor Pruitt Stewart. This book was published in May of 1914 from letters that a widow woman wrote to an old employer about her move with her two year old daughter to Wyoming with a well-to-do Scotch cattleman named Mr. Stewart. I have already read about six chapters, for free through my new kindle app for my phone, by the way.

Some of the things she says remind me a bunch of farm life around here today. Like when the haying needed to be done and she waited until Mr. Stewart went to town to hire help, she took off to the field and worked herself. I have to admit, I feel a kinship to her on some levels.Β  She talks too about being sixty miles from the rail station and the Forest Reserve of Utah (I am going to research and see if that is still a reserve) is about a half mile away. Her first letter is dated April 18, 1909. That letter talks about her trip from Denver to Wyoming…24 hours on the train and two days on the stage!

We take so many things for granted. Here we are just over a hundred years later and trains aren’t used much, other than in subways and stages are long forgotten…our stage now is our cars and trucks. It is still amazing for me to thing of all the changes that have happened over the last hundred or so years. I love reading all about history and the way of life from back then…I will update at some point on the overall result of the entire book.

Happy Farming! God Bless.

Celebrating AgDay 2011

The folks here at Barrows Farm have very good reason to celebrate AgDay 2011. We are located in a state that uses 23% of the state’s land, approximately 7 million acres for farming production! Agriculture is important to New York State as its production returned almost $4.7 billion to the farm economy in 2009.

Milk is New York’s leading agricultural product and is produced all across the state. Milk sales account for one-half of total agricultural receipts. Production in 2009 was 12.4 billion pounds with a preliminary value of $1.7 billion. New York is the nation’s third leading producer and Wyoming County leads the state. New York ranks first in the nation in the production of creamed cottage cheese, low fat cottage cheese and sour cream.

New York livestock producers marketed 228 million pounds of meat animals (cattle, pigs, and sheep) during 2009. Ducks, broilers (chickens) and turkeys are also raised. New York ranks 20th in egg production.

Nationally New York ranked second in apple production, fourth for both tart cherries and pears and ninth for strawberries. We placed third for wine and juice grape production behind California and Washington. Sixty-six percent of the grape production was for juice and 34 percent went into wines in 2009. New Yorkers can also get locally grown peaches, sweet cherries, blueberries and raspberries in season.

The value of all vegetables produced in NY totaled $408.9 million in 2010. NY ranks fifth nationally in fresh market vegetable production. Cabbage, sweet corn and onions lead the way. NY ranks second in the production of pumpkins, third in cauliflower, fourth for snap beans, cucumbers, and squash, and ninth in tomatoes. We also produce many vegetables used for processing such as beets for canning, cabbage for sauerkraut and peas for freezing. Don’t forget about all the great road side stands and farm markets that will be opening soon.

New York produces a variety of field crops largely in support of its dairy industry. Corn, soybeans and wheat are most widely grown. New York ranks third in corn silage, seventh in oat production, 21st for grain corn, 25th for soybeans 27th for hay and 31st in wheat production.

Maple syrup production in New York for 2010 was 312,000 gallons (valued at $17.8 million) ranking us second behind Vermont. In 2009, New York floriculture products were valued at $171 million. Bedding and garden plants top the list of commodities. The wholesale value of New York’s floriculture output ranks seventh nationally at $171 million.

Many people may forget where their food, clothes and alternative fuels come from…but farmers keep doing the thankless job of putting food on your plate and clothes on your back. I know there are others within the change for production but without someone out there tending to the harvest and shipment of your meats, vegetables, cotton for clothing, grains for breads and such…we would be a completely different society. Everyone should be very thankful for each small thing a farmer does to make OUR lives better!