Tuesday, September 28, 2010

from local farms

I would like to thank Kevin Kossowan for his feature on our little farm on his blog and his series called "From Local Farms". Kevin is an extremely interesting man and I believe deeply in what he is trying to do with his blog. Thanks again Kevin for allowing me to introduce myself via your series!

From Local Farms - Gold Forest

FROM LOCAL FARMS - Gold Forest Grains from Kevin Kossowan on Vimeo.

finally harvesting!

The weather over the past week was pretty good up until today. Last weekend it finally became dry enough for us to be able to do some combining. Starting to harvest on Sept. 26th is one of the latest starts we've ever had. Dad tells the story of not turning a wheel until the first of Oct. one year, but I must have been too young to remember. Here you can see us harvesting our certified organic yellow peas. These peas will be used for human consumption...pea soup! or for animal feed. I will have to spend a little effort trying to market them after harvest is over. These are the peas that Pea Butter is made from.

watering the cattle

For right now, this is how we have been watering our Galloway cattle. We go through about a tank every three days more or less depending on the weather. We have installed a frost-free hydrant, but until the pressure tank is hooked up and the plumbing completed we continue to haul water.

A quick straw-bale house update

We were planning on having a stucco party this coming weekend. People are just so darn busy these days and we were afraid that we were not going to have enough people so we have gone ahead and hired a professional stucco guy. This has greatly alleviated our stress about this particular process. It just never really seemed right to me to ask our friends and family to come help with the stucco. Everybody has their own lives to live and I couldn't help but feel intrusive.

Thanks to those who did offer to help though!! If anyone is still interested in coming for a visit to see how things are done, by all means drop me an e-mail and I can give you directions to the farm. I realize that there are some people who would like to see a straw-bale house being built. If we can accommodate those people without impacting our schedule or adding to our already insane pace then we will!

The stucco wire is currently being installed by our straw bale contractors. Hopefully we will be stuccoing this weekend!

Monday, September 13, 2010

rain and rainwater harvest

We have not had a sunny day yet this September. It has been just a little ridiculous actually. It will stop raining just long enough to get at least a little dry and then it showers again for a few hours. Day after day of gloomy, wet, damp misery. At least that is the way I am looking at things right now while the harvest waits to be started. I ended up buying another swather last week. It is an old Versatile 400 that is in nice shape. So, while we wait for things to dry up, the work on the house continues.

Late last week we installed our cistern behind the house. We purchased a large tank (4100 gallons) and we will use it for our domestic water needs. We will also use this tank as a catchment for rainwater from the steel roofs of the house, the garage and the shop. The rainwater will go through a filter and first-flush system before it enters the tank. From there the water will enter the house and go through our distiller for drinking and cooking. It will go through an ordinary filter element for the other household uses like laundry and bathing. From time to time we will likely need to fill the cistern with city water from the nearby filling station.

As you can see, the hole for the tank was huge! That is an 8' ladder leaning up against the wall of the trench. It was interesting to see the different layers of soil that extends that deep underground. That black patch to the left of the ladder is actually a very small deposit of coal. We also unearthed some big pieces of granite that are quite beautiful. We will use those for some landscaping accents here and there.