Bronwyn-Coming back to re-fill seed broadcaster
Big plans, we are feeling VERY good eating our grass raised meat and eggs. I will own up to the fact that Sol does everything, getting hay, daily feeding, moving, doctoring. I wasn’t even sure I could eat animals that I see daily-well I do feel good about it, I don’t want to eat feed lot raised animals ever again! Food seems more-life seems more-I don’t know-right. I am more thankful for farmers, animals, life since we began this adventure. When we started I was unsure but only sure about Solomon’s level of passion and commitment. As you may of guessed this is Bronwyn speaking-the shy one-not the blogger. I felt the need to add my thoughts. Oh, I do care for the chickens. I love our eggs!
Will have limited beef and lamb,eggs and veggies this summer.On farm by appointment only!Loyalton farmers market,and in the future select small coop’s.Thanks!
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Well the worst part about blogging when you’re a novice like myself is you can hit the wrong key and totally lose all your work,which just happened😦. So i’ll give this one more shot.As i said in my last post attempt,like everyone else in the state we’re coming off of 56 days with no moisture whatsoever,so the other night as i was lying in my bed and the rain drops started i felt a sense of euphoria not felt in a long time. As a fairly new producer(been involved in Agriculture in some way,shape or form for 17 years,but a producer for only 5 or 6 years on my own ),never has the weather played such a major role in my life,primarily in decisions that i make regarding this ranch,from farming to where to place fences,outbuildings,and the list goes on. I now base the success or failure of a whole year on it. Before the start of this rain and flurries we had and still do have winds which i like to sometimes exaggerate as the “100 mile an hour winds”, the kind of winds that tear tin off a roof,and peel tarps off expensive hay piles with no signs of grommets the next day,or deposit deck furniture into heaps against the nearest tree, bush or god forbid car! :-O. I once had my bar-b q blow across the yard and didn’t stop till it came to rest on the squeeze chute way across the barn yard,took me three days to find the lid out in the pasture! True story! But the beauty of it all is it also brought a storm with it,and this evening after feeding the stock i sauntered around the pastures and newly planted fields happily looking at the wet ground and imagining abundant pasture grasses and exceptional yields of hay this spring and summer. At least it felt good to know there’s still some hope in that area,because in true farmer/rancher fashion I’m already looking to next winter and hoping for enough feed as with all years to get through,it’s a continual circle of production.Well that’s enough rant for the evening,hope everyone’s getting some moisture in one form or another! Cheers! Solomon and family.Pray for a good snow pack!
Hello everyone,been some time since our last post and am now hoping to make this blog a regular feature in our social media routine.Well things have slowed down considerably around the ranch,and we are also in the middle of one of the driest winters on record.We went through December with no precipitation whatsoever and now January is following suit,so we have our fingers crossed that winter will show itself in some way,shape or form shortly as we rely on the snowpack and rain to recharge our lakes,ponds,ground aquifers and for us folks dryland farming and ranching germinate our seeds and help the grass to regenerate. It can be somewhat disheartening to walk the newly planted fields and pastures only to see dry dusty ground and try not have a feeling of hopelessness,but that’s part of the gamble of agriculture. The latest forecast indicates a possible chance of rain and snow for next week,so that keeps hope alive for the possibility of next years hay crop,i expect the price of hay to be phenomenal this year as it’s very high now.Without putting up at least some of our hay and having good pasture,it could easily change our plans for growing our cattle herd and sheep flock. Extra mouths to feed with increased hay prices would be prohibitive on our small-scale,or any scale really! But on the other hand this weather has been a bittersweet blessing as well since we’ve been able to be outside getting chores done that would have regularly been done in the spring,so we’re a few steps ahead come april and may.We have a few ewes to lamb soon and a few at the neighbors being bred,and some lambs ready to go down the road. Last summers calves are looking great and the cows should calve again in march,so we look forward to new babies running around the pasture(hopefully on nice green grass).We decided we want to try our hand at some pastured fryers this year,along with our free range egg production,so if you need some excellently raised eggs or chicken call us and order ahead so we know you have an interest!In closing i just will update you that we got our Farmall M going,and it just needs a little fine tuning and she’ll be ready for this season starting with haying so very excited there,and there’s still a chance we may buy my neighbors Farmall 706 which is a 90hp tractor w/a cab.So stay tuned!I’ll keep this blog going more often now that I’m home for the winter from my seasonal job at the county ag dept.Hope everyone is well! Solomon and the Sweeting outfit.
Todays Blog post in Pictures
To all the fellow Farmers and Ranchers we give a big thanks and deepest hope for prosperity.Keep up the good work! #Foodthanks!
So i am awoken this morning at 2 am,to the sounds of serious loud barking and think to myself @&%$#* dogs ,should i really get out of bed and see what’s going on.I mean our dogs are known to go on barking tangents at any given time of the day,and usually at things that aren’t attention worthy.But my need to console my worries gets the best of me(forgot to mention we had four of our neighbors young bulls come over a day ago)so i figured they might be in with the girls by this morning.Anyways back to the story.As i lay in bed i did what any groggy,half asleep,exhausted,butt kicked from previous days chores,annoyed from being woken from a good dream person would do,i slightly pushed the curtains open with my finger to see what was up(as if i could see anything in the pitch black) and to my surprise saw a big dark bovine outline outside my bedroom window,damn i thought this is how my day is gonna’ play out.Well the first thing i did was lay back down,i guess i figured the bulls finally made their way through all the fences so might as well rest up till later this morning as i will need all my energy for the big bull parade,but something inside me said get your butt out of bed and check it out.So with many colorful words racing in my mind i quickly pulled on my pants and other warm clothing (did a last check to see if the wife was awake and wanted to help,yeah right) and went to see my fate.Well imagine my surprise when i came out the door to see my own cows running around kicking their heels up and eating freely from the hay pile!This scenario which isn’t a new one if you’ve read my previous blogs was most annoying because they where in their pasture last night at feeding time and through error of my own had escaped out of a hole (the last in a fence we were fixing) and that i had assured my wife would be fine till we got back to it in a day our two was blasted open,i should have known better since my cows are exceptional escape artist and nothing in a fence goes unnoticed.Well i ended up chasing them back and forth for about 30 minutes in the dark through the west pasture,and into a drainage ditch till i got them lined out on the fence and pushed back into the pasture that they had come from and quickly put a panel over the big gap in the fence till morning light,but now i can’t go back to sleep so here i am.Moral of the story is don’t put off till tomorrow what needs done today, unless you’re a really heavy sleeper!Now where are those bulls?!
Well its been some time since my last post,a little bit of being on the go and lazy writers block.There’s always plenty going on at any one time on the ranch, but it can get hard to discipline one’s self to sit down and write about it.Like most folks we are feeling the changing of the seasons,and as summer comes to and end, the call of winter and all it’s urgency have us running from one project to another,and coming up with an all around plan for this falls grass planting,improved calving and lambing facilities,marketing strategies,future news letter,and all the things that will propel us into the 2012 farm season.Moving our garden is looking like a good possibility since we have come to the conclusion that we placed it in the coldest part of our yard,so the sheep pen may serve as its next destination,as it is already well fertilized and receives quite a bit more sun then the current location which will be used for things that do better in somewhat cooler conditions.As many may have seen on our face book page we have acquired a 1942 Farmall McCormick(International Harvester)model M tractor,which I’m restoring enough to help with the fall planting and some snow removal duties,as well as ground prep and haying along with our other International Industrial tractor which has a backhoe,and three-point and pto,i think we’ll be able to handle our farming duties much more efficiently as two of us will be able to work simeltaneously(lord knows i could use the extra tractor help).After a long period of pondering what to plant I’ve settled on Ryegrass as it grows here in a dryland situation very well and also a dryland pasture mix with brome,fescue,orchard grass,and a few different subclovers,to help fix nitrogen and of course the wheat we bought last spring will also get planted,so that’s the plan.We also hope to fertilize with a water-soluble fish fertilizer this spring as things irrigate up.Its also looking like a few more ewes from my daughters high school may be calling the ranch home soon,as they only keep the very best conformation in the ag program for 4-h and ffa,but in a meat program I’m more concerned with good flesh and mothering ability,so they should work out just fine on our outfit.It’s also the time of year to start thinking about all the reading that’s been piling up around here,can’t wait to have a minute to read all the interesting articles,dream about neat farm and ranch gadgets,enjoy all the canned fruits and veggies and of course our home-grown meats.We did’nt raise a pig,but that may also be on our agenda in the next few weeks ,as there always seems to be goodies that could go toward a hog or two and our old chickens are slowly waning on the egg laying and will go into the freezer in november,we’ll start with fresh hens next season.Well i hope harvest season finds everyone in the middle of bounty and plentifullness,and remember to support local agriculture and community businesses,and share with you family, friends and neihbors.Thanks for visiting!!Sweeting Ranch crew.
Some times when you’re new to a piece of ground,like our selves ,(we’ve been here for going on two years this summer)on top of being somewhat new farmers and ranchers,you spend as much time learning what not to do in your daily routine and ventures.I had been interested in trying a test plot (a couple 3 to 5 acres of spring wheat) so i bought some spring wheat with the thought of getting out early in the season and working the field up and planting the seed before the spring rains started and turned the soil into gumbo,unfit for tractor work.Well so far the spring rains have never really stopped,and the winter snow fall while substantially less has continued to grace us with its presence,so as i sit here and type this,the wind is ripping through the valley blowing in the next wave of weather which is forecasted to bring periodic rain and flurries through this next coming week.The few nice weather days have seem to come on the days i work in town,and leave in the wee hours of the morning,only to get back as the day rapidly turns to night.So my thoughts have now been turned to trying a winter hard or soft wheat to plant this fall,which will allow me to let it germinate and over winter,then cut in spring.Makes much better sence in my situation.Live and learn.This late wet spring season has also been a cold one,with temps in the low 30’s and even a couple of mid 20’s mornings,which has consequentially also altered everyone’s gardening season in the area,season extenders or not.I think us folks in the mountains ,especially being in an alpine valley,can get a little frustrated when it’s june and we’re ready to spend as much time as we can burning day light on outside projects,patience is definitely a virtue amongst us high altitude (5000 feet,high desert) gardeners.My many tomato starts may start to wither with protest if not planted soon and i personally can’t see transplanting 50 tomato plants into 5 or 10 gallon buckets and moving them like some of the ones currently in the house now.I guess that’s why so many of us in this valley are in the livestock business,it’s just not the banana belt around here.But we persevere and wait for our windows of opportunity to run out between storms and keeping our outfits on track as best we can under the circumstances in which we must operate,and love it all the while.On a much more positive note the grass is up pretty good and thus the animals are all on pasture ,which saves us a ton of money,and give us a chance to get facilities ready for the up and coming winter(sigh),it’s also firewood time.I like to think a month from now will find us well on our way to a prosperous farming and ranching season with a bountiful harvest shortly after,seems as though we end our spring just to start preparations for the next winter.Here’s to warmer days! Well better get outside,think i see a break in the weather.😉 Solomon.Cheers!