Sunday, November 9, 2014

Sunday Walkabout 11-9

One step closer to Winter…

That’s probably what we should call this week’s walkabout post.
We are definitely one step closer to winter. And, we’re going to take a GIANT step deep into winter later this week….but, as usual, I’m getting ahead of myself.

So, what did happen on the hill this week?


ice in the stock tank

We got the last batch of broilers processed this week.  And, just in time, too.  On Sunday we found the first ice of the season on the stock tank!  That can only mean one thing…yep…one step closer to winter. And, it was 34* when we set out to catch the broilers and haul them to the house for processing. 
hauling the last batch of broilers

With the broilers in the freezer, we are stocked up and ready for the “off-season” and we’re done with broilers until March when we start the whole cycle over again. I’m always glad to have that job finished! Particularly that last batch when we take a chance on the weather for processing day.
the very last broiler of the 2014 season

last lambs of '14

I guess it was just a week of lasts…we also hauled the last bunch of lambs off to the processor’s where they will become lambchops and other good stuff.  We always heave a sigh of relief when we complete that trip with no complications.  You never know what you will encounter while travelling on the interstate and hauling livestock doesn’t need to get “interesting”.

Before we headed out with the lambs, we got a message that our new flooring had arrived at the store and needed to be picked up.  Wow! That was quick.  Far quicker than we expected.  But, it’s all good.  We made a detour on our way home, picked up the flooring AND went out to lunch.  We got the absolute BEST barbeque ever at Sooner's over in Draft.  yumyumyum

Now we have a big stack of flooring sitting in the shop, awaiting our attention.  The Boss has researched tools and application methods…he even purchased a new tool (I think he was looking for an excuse)…and we’re good to go…once the Market is done for the season.  Well…not right away.  First we’ll have Thanksgiving with the kids.  Which reminds me, I need to plan my menu!
the floor job awaits

Then, it was time to re-introduce the ewe lambs to the ewe flock. (which means Waylon headed back to his lonely “bachelor pad-dock” out back)
aren't they "purty"?

ewes on a fall morning
There was very little adjustment this year, which was nice.  The ewe flock didn’t have any big fights and Waylon didn’t sing any sad songs out back. Here’s the story of Waylon’s first season as a “bachelor”.  Read this one.
Waylon does not seem thrilled with his solitary life
but at least he's not crying this year!
Right now, everyone is just hanging out waiting for lambing season to start in just about two months. I’m probably the only one who is eagerly anticipating the big event. But, lambing is definitely my favorite farm activity.  Although, it can get stressful…here’s hoping for little stress and lots of lambs!

Our other project for the week was to convince the hens that they really didn’t need/want to camp out under the stars at night time.  For some unknown reason this flock particularly likes to sleep al fresco

Our horse-trailer turned hen house is equipped with an electric door to insure their overnight safety. Did you read this one?  But, it does absolutely NO good when the girls decide to sleep outdoors. Herding chickens in the dark is not a fun job.  It’s not only NOT fun…it was downright impossible at first.  After several nights of nocturnal hen herding, the number of rebels was down considerably.  However, last night the numbers were up again.  Unfortunately, chickens’ brains are very tiny, and our nightly hen roundup will have to continue for a while.  My biggest concern is the upcoming cold weather.  Without nighttime shelter, it is quite possible that they would freeze to death. And, that’s definitely not good for the egg business. So, we’ll keep going on our nightly treks with headlamp and flashlights…
nocturnal hen herding

Let's hope they get with the program soon!

We’re down to the wire with the Market season.  And, can I say once more...JUST IN TIME…? It was 24* when I headed out toward town yesterday morning.  It was beautiful and clear, the moon and contrails through the early morning sky making for an amazing sight. 
the photo doesn't do it justice...

...and it had warmed UP when I took this shot!
But, sub-freezing temperatures at an open air market mean that produce does…well…FREEZE! And as everyone knows, frozen lettuce is not at all delicious and delectable. And, the cold doesn’t do potatoes or other veggies much good, either.

Fortunately, the temperatures did rebound, albeit slightly, and the wind was not a factor until the last hour of the Market.  Want to have some real fun?  Try standing at the Market for five hours in the sub-freezing wind, attempting to have conversations and trying to make change…
when the wind gets to whipping
the farm banner acts as a sail, threatening to blow us off the map!

But, all in all it was a good week. Both at the Market and here on the hill. Much of our week passed like weeks always do around here…picking, packing, clearing spent crops and planting new ones.  I do love the regularity and rhythm of life here on the hill.  

And, while this may not have a real effect on your life…did you know that today is the last day of “Farmer Wave” week? (I know, there’s a special day or week for absolutely everything!) There is a guy out in Iowa who would like everyone to know and understand the “farmer wave”. Don’t know what I’m talking about?  Watch this.

 I’m sharing this so that you’ll know and understand why you are being greeted as you drive through the countryside. (and that you should indeed return the greeting)  Personally, I had no idea just what a wave could mean until I had a life-changing encounter on Mbrk Road a couple of years ago. Read this! And, while the little old man in the story no longer lives at the edge of town, I think of him often as I drive along and wave at those I pass. Because, well…you just never know what effect that small act may have.

And, that my friends was another week on the hill.
did you happen to see the Badger moon?

I do hope you’re having a Happy Sunday!

Thanks for stopping by!   Come on back and visit us again real soon.

Oh, yeah…a lesson for the week…

Lesson Learned: 

If you ever find yourself thinking you’ve seen it all…you’ve got it all figured out…I can assure you…you have NOT!
As evidence, I present this...
Yes, it is an egg above the door to the henhouse.
egg in the henhouse
can you guess how it got there?

No, the Boss didn’t put it there. (honest)
Just another odd happening on the hill to keep us guessing, I reckon. I mean, how did the hen get up there…and WHY? (I did solve the mystery...sort of)
Crazy chickens!

I hope you’re following along with the Ag Blogging Challenge.  Here’s the link if you’re looking for some interesting reading for your Sunday afternoon.
Agriculturalists Who Influence: The Series
·         Day 1: Introduction
·         Day 2: Jim Evans
·         Day 3: Becky Doyle
·         Day 4: David and Nancy Erickson
·         Day 5: Katie Pinke
·         Day 6: Joe Hampton
30 Days Bloggers
·         The Pinke Post: 30 Days of Women in Agriculture
·         Standing out in the Field: 30 Days of Faces Behind Your Food
·         Prairie Californian: 30 Days of Food
·         Becoming Texan: 30 Days of Texas Panhandle Agriculture
·         AgTechTalk: 30 Days of Ag Tech           
·         Sowing Bountifully: 30 Days with a Small Town Girl on a Big 10 Campus
·         Mackinson Dairy Farm: 30 Days of Dairy
·         Cows, Corn and Communications: 30 Days of Dairy Farm Life Blessings
·         Morning Joy Farm: 30 Days of Agriculture – The Agriculture Book List
·         Holbrook Honey and Hop Yard: 30 Days of Preparation for the Future                
·         Minnesota Farm Living: 30 Days of All Things Minnesota Agriculture
·         Beyond the Pasture: 30 Days of Lessons I Learned on the Farm
·         Kellie for Ag: 30 Songs about Raising Cattle
·         Homestead Hill Farm: 30 Days of Lessons from the Farm
·         Montana Stockgrowers Association Blog: 10 Things to Know About Beef Cattle
·         Country Girl Creations: 30 Things I Want My Farm Girl to Know   
·         Life of a Future Farmer: 30 Days of Thoughts of a Future Farmer           
·         Farver Farms: 30 Days of Dirt Roads
·         Carolyn CAREs Blog: 30 Things I Love
·         Confessions of a Suburbanite Agvocate: 30 Days in the Life of an Ag Comm Student
·         The Velvet Farmer: 30 Days from the View of a Agriculture Student
·         Agriculture: A Way of Life: Series Name
·         Cox Farm: 30 Things That Farming Has Taught Me
·         Walking the Off-Beaten Path: 30 Days of Farming: It's a Balancing Act   
·         The Magic Farmhouse: 30 Days of Illinois Farms and Food
·         The Farmer's Wifee: 30 Days of Farm Thanks
·         Pannill's Gate Farm: 30 Shades of Grey

·         AgChat: 30 Days of Advocacy and Social Media


  1. A wave, a smiole - any kind of acknowledgement Barbara, always makes everyone feel a bit happier - I am all for it. Only a few more markets to go for you - and hopefully those bird brains will soon learn to go in before dark.

  2. Love the farmer wave! In the town where I grew up we always waved, until the town boomed and then, sadly, the farmer wave died out.
    I enjoy your blog and photos so much. The colors on that leafy branch is just beautiful
    And what is up with that egg??? I have to know :)