Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Swather

Here is Gold Forest's swather. At least this is one of the swathers we own. The other is a larger Versatile 18' pull-type swather that I pull with either the 766 or the 3788. This one is the 14' MF swather. Actually it is a piece of crap. It was constantly breaking down on me this fall and I finally had to lift it onto the swather mover to get it off the field. I haven't decided whether to spend more time and money fixing it up or to just cut my losses and move on. Still thinking.

video

Buckwheat Harvest

I thought I would post another video. This one from the cab of the Allis Chalmers CII combine. Sorry it is a little dark. It lightens up later when I get into the sun more. This gives an idea of what it is like to run the combine up and down the swaths of buckwheat during the harvest procedure. It is a rather slow process. This video was taken on October 7.

When I swathed the buckwheat in late August, it was 5' tall in places and fully green with tons of vegetation. I used a small 14' MF swather and even then the swaths behind the swather were huge. It took over a month for the buckwheat to dry down enough to be able to send it through the combine. The seeds themselves were dry enough, but the stalks of the plant were green and wet which made plugging the combine a real concern. As it was, I still ended up plugging the combine several times per day. Next year, I will wait a while longer before I swath and I will cut the plants a little higher leaving taller stubble.
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Wednesday, November 19, 2008

A ride in the 503

This will give you an idea of what it's like inside the cab of the 503. I had put in a new governor spring that morning and the rpms were back up to where they should be. I was flying in this relatively light 18' foot swath of wheat. I had to slow down though because it was so rough from the previous years sod.
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Thursday, November 13, 2008

Harvest Action

Here we are hard at work in the middle of harvest, towards the end of September. We had tremendous weather all fall long. However, that doesn't mean that we can take it easy. You never know when the forecast will change and ruin all that beautiful wheat laying in the swaths. In this video I am on the 503 and Dad is off in the distance running the old CII Gleaner combine. This particular field of wheat did not yield very well. I did not get enough of a kill on last year's grass and it competed with the wheat for moisture and nutrients.
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New Customers!

We are very proud to be suppliers of organic grains for Prairie Mill Bread Co. This family run bakery is located in the northwest part of Calgary and is set to open their new location in southwest Edmonton in December 08. Their bread is beyond delicious. Check out the link to their website in the "links" section. It is a special feeling of pride knowing that our grain is being used in Prairie Mill breads.

Gold Forest Farms also supplies Treestone Bakery with our certified organic grains. Treestone is located in the Old Strathcona neighborhood of Edmonton. They are true craftspeople who prodce outstanding quality sourdough breads and other treats. We will be working with Treestone to produce heritage varieties of grains for different tastes and textures in the near future.

I really enjoy our deliveries to these two fine companies because I almost always leave with an armfull of fresh organic bread!

Buckwheat Harvest

As this was our first year of producing buckwheat, we had certain questions throughout the growing season. With a little research and some help from other producers and industry experts we were able to harvest a nice crop of buckwheat. We ended up with a little over 25 bushels per acre and we used the old Allis Chalmers CII combine to get the buckwheat off the field and into the bin. Even with a relatively small 14 foot swath, I had to travel slowly to be able to get it through the combine without plugging it up. All's well that ends well.
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Monday, August 18, 2008

Field of Buckwheat

This is our small field of buckwheat...an experiment for us. I have never grown buckwheat before and there are very few in our region who do. This field is dry this year. The yield won't be as good as if it were in better soil.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

The combine...

My uncle gave me his old 1968 IH 503 combine. It was a good price needless to say. It worked very well for me in it's first fall helping my friend Vince to harvest 200 acres of oats. Last year, I did 70 acres of my own wheat and barley and, as you can see, it worked well again.



First cut of hay 2008



We had a tremendous first cutting of hay this year. I should have raked it into bigger swaths, but it was just always too dry and I didn't want to shatter the leaves off of the alfalfa. So, I just went ahead and baled from the haybine swath.

New equipment...



Here are a couple new additions to my line of equipment. It is a 1981 3788 2+2 and an 18 foot versatile pull-type swather. This combination worked very well last year although the swaths were a little too much for my old IH 503 to handle with any amount of speed.

It's been a long time

I can't believe how long its been since I posted. Much has changed around the farm for us. We now have close to 200 acres of organic grains. This year we seeded both wheat and buckwheat. We have some new equipment too. Too much to write about here, but perhaps I'll get back into the habit of posting about our farm.