Category Archives: winter

Inspiration Number Twelve-Cats and Dogs

In Loving Memory of Whiskey
You can’t have a farm and not have a cat and atleast one dog. I almost think it’s a given for both. People who have cats that want to dump them off, always seem to do it at the nearest farm! Sometimes it drives me crazy but if they didn’t, we wouldn’t have great mouse and bird control! Our cat that came from another farm is perfect. She chases anything that moves and more often than not, exhibits characteristics that would make you think she is a dog!

Midnight, our cat-dog

Then, we have hounds instead of traditional dogs like Collies here on our farm. Rosie, the blood hound, was a rescue who had been extremely abused and was nearly starved to death when she first went to the dog warden. His kennel kept her for almost three months working to rehabilitate her so she would be friendly. She is not aggressive by any means, she is scared of everything including her own shadow. Once I brought her home (something I thought I was going to get grief forever for) it took her nearly three months to warm up to Mr. Farmer. Having her around our animals has been the greatest rehab thing for her. She mother’s each and every one of our animals. When we first got chickens, we kept them in our addition on the back of the house until they were about two weeks old. She would sit at the edge of the box and just watch them for hours. When we moved them into their “hut” outside, she moped around the house for a whole day. When she finally decided to come inside the hut, she discovered her little ones and she went through smelling and licking her one of them.
That is the way she is with all of the animals. From chickens to turkeys, steers to cows and mostly the calves. She is my “mother hen” here on the farm. She is also my constant companion. She rides with me to town (and sits higher than I do on the seat), runs with me when we got out to check fields with the four wheeler, assists with daily chores on the farm and sits with me on the couch.

Playing in the snow

A moment of rest while checking hay fields

Then, we have Raven. She is a Bluetick Coonhound. She was found on Craigslist, free for the taking. She was skinny, had worms really bad and was also abused. We went to look at her and couldn’t leave her there. She is Mr. Farmers baby. She pouts on his side of the bed when he is gone, she follows him all over and plays with him when she won’t with anyone else. She is high strung and really doesn’t like to sit still to have photos taken, no matter how many times I have tried! She doesn’t spend much time at the farm unless there are calves around. The only reason why she does then is so she can lick the remainder of the milk out of the buckets. She does love to go run through the fields!
Raven, our bluetick coonhound, waiting to play while out in the early, early spring fields

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Maniac Monday

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if Monday’s could be the easy day of the week…The day when you slowly transition back into the work week! It never works that way though, does it?
Uggg. Today has just been one of those days. We woke up this morning to more snow! I am starting to wonder just when it is going to stop…June maybe?!?! πŸ™‚
All kidding aside, it has been one hell of a morning. The phone has been ringing off the hook and with each phone call, it breeds two or three more! I am tired and ready for a break!
This morning has been crammed with phone calls, one after another all morning long. I sit here now, taking my lunch break, typing on the computer to relax my brain for just a few minutes. I work on several different levels when it comes to work. Right now the top one is project manager for Broome Biomass. I have devoted my life over the past few years to developing the marketing strategy and the business model for the company. In the course of doing so, I have become a marketing agent for other companies that are looking to sell biomass products. It keeps me very busy and at times can become extremely frustrating.
I think the thing that makes it very difficult is trying to play the balancing act and do so many things at once…It is very much like farming! Very rewarding but it doesn’t pay very well! πŸ™‚ I do love everything that I have done and look forward to everything that I will be able to do in the future to promote agriculture into the renewable energy world in a real world working environment.
I am off again to work on the farm. Time to mix up my own special blend of chicken feed and to muck the barns out. The fun never stops! Have a blessed day!

Out like a lamb

The old saying goes that if March comes in like a lion, it will leave like a lamb. Here we are mid-month and March has already dumped recorded snows. Now today, we have high winds and heavy rain.

The rain is melting the snow away, but it is going to cause flooding. Our barn floor is already under water. Partly because of the broken roof on part of it and partly because the ground has a down hill slope that leads right into the barn. It is a nasty mess every where you try to take a step. Snow build up here, ice over there and mud in all the drives and walk areas. I managed to get drenched through this morning while working on chores too.

One thing though….I don’t regret or wish things were any different. Some people go spend a hundred bucks on shower heads so when they take showers it’s like standing in a rain storm. Me…I just step outside! Conservation at it’s finest. πŸ™‚ All kidding aside, the one thing I really wish different is that someone could turn up the heat on the water falling from the heavens just a little. Then again, there is nothing like a cold shower to wake you right up in the morning!

I will be posting another blog later today. Since yesterday was my step-daughter’s birthday and the only thing she wanted was an old-school cheesecake. I have decided to share an old fashioned recipe that I have made in the past.

One thing I do want to make known, I use old school recipes that are loaded full of fats and whole milks. You remember…the recipes your Grandma used back when she made goodies. I am sorry but there is nothing like a good ol’ homemade pie crust made with lard instead of the processed junk we buy in a can to use (shortening). If I ever do use shortening, especially for pie crusts, I use the butter flavor Crisco. And…Paula from Paula’s Home Cooking Show is my fav! I love to listen to her talk and ohhhh does she savor the taste of the foods she cooks. Now you know what I act like when I fix something really good to eat…I just don’t have that southern drawl! I do love food!

Since I will be posting recipes, I will make sure to note variations that can be used to reduce the fat content. And I will also note for those people who are lactose intolerant or just can’t have milk like me some alternatives that I have tried and seemed to work well.

I am off to get some paperwork accomplished and work on securing a contract for the biomass right now. Hope that you are all sitting in the sun, soaking up the sunshine and thinking of sending some our way soon! God Bless.

Mother Nature is very mad!

It seems that Mother Nature is very upset with the United States lately. Especially the east coast! Just what did we do wrong to make her send all this snow our way?

The snow totals were some where around two feet within our area. We have no way of knowing here on the farm due to the winds that blow the snow completely away in one area to dump it in another. Most of which I think landed in front of the front door.

At 11 pm two nights ago, it was already difficult to push the screen door open on the front of the house. About a total of 10 inches had fallen at that point. By 5 am, there was about three feet stacked in front of that same door. You couldn’t even budge the door more than a few inches. By 7 am, the drift in front of the garage door was approximately chest height and about 4 feet high. I had to dig a path through the drift to get out into the driveway to get to the furnace and the front porch! After shoveling about 100 feet of packed, heavy wet snow and an hour of my time…I could open the front door and atleast get to the wood pile to fill the furnace.

At about 8 am, the dairy farmer from up the hill came down with his loader and cleared out the driveway! Glad he did and very thankful for atleast clearing the way just in case we needed to get out. About 9, we finally made it to the barn and got the tractor out to do some more snow moving. Mr. Farmer cleared out the area in front of the barn doors and room enough to manuveur the four wheeler around. By 11 am, I was so exhausted I think I could have slept for the remainder of the day….but, guess what! No chance of that. There was still paperwork and emails that had to be taken care of.

After spending much of the day shoveling and a few hours working on computer stuff, it was time to do chores all over again. Mr. Farmer took the tractor back out and plowed a path to get to the chicken barn. It wasn’t fully cleared out, but definately easier to walk in than snow up to your knees! All of the animals faired alright but none of them wanted to spend anytime out in the snow. The poor chickens stood in the barn door looking at the expanse of white and decided that being in the barn under the lamp was better than freezing their feet off.

They did come out today…to hop over the snow banks to play and scratch around on the areas that are bare ground! You should have seen the group of them that had gotten over a snow drift and couldn’t figure out how to get back across without stepping in the snow. Anyone looking for a new business…chicken shoes for winter is a recommendation! πŸ™‚

The cows loved the sun and mild temperatures today. They really seemed to enjoy sucking up all that vitamin D from the sunshine…Now just if we can get rid of all this snow! The turkey hens are still setting on their eggs…which will hopefully hatch out a couple of poults by the end of this week! I am so excited. Spring is around the corner and that means new calves, chicks and poults! The things I love the best about farming!!!!!

Send some warm thoughts to all of us up here in NY buried under a mountain of snow! God Bless you all and have a fantastic day!