Sunday, October 24, 2010

Last Week's Activities

 Last Monday Jim, Jonathan and I traveled to Bismarck for an appointment, and also visited with some new friends south of the city.  They did their first year of a CSA, and it went well for them. 

The family just finished putting up a high tunnel, and it was quite the structure.  It was hot in there!  They had just planted carrots, and I can't remember what else they will grow in there over the winter.  Quite impressive.

 It's a good thing the sides roll up from the bottom.  On a warm winter day it could become quite toasty in there for the plants.

 The family also has smaller hoop structures, which will help to stretch the growing season for what was planted this spring.  I think they said there were 50 members involved in their summer CSA, and now they are doing a fall/winter one.  I didn't hear how many members they have so far.

 We believe in making do -- notice the balloons.  They are remnants from Jim's run for state senate!

 I turned 54 on Friday, and the boys make it quite a festive occasion.  I felt very loved.

 Finally each family has a King James Version Bible.  Mine happens to be a large print one!

Jonathan's hoop structure for his laying hens is progressing nicely.  The door frames are also in place, and he's waiting for the company to send the felt needed to cushion the plastic resting on the pipes before installing the 2 layers.  Thankfully it was the company's mistake so Jonathan doesn't have to pay further postage.

 Zoro finally arrived yesterday, via the Stegman family.  He is quite the bruiser.   Hopefully next spring we'll have piglets from 2 of our sows.

As soon as they got him into his pen, he touched the electric fence which is inside the panels.  After being shocked a couple of times they shut off the fence, in favor of allowing him to get used to his surroundings before using electricity to keep him in. 

 It's a bit hard to see, but Zoro made quite a dent in one of the panels.  That was the first order of business -- toughening up the walls.  Hopefully he will enjoy his pen and not make moves to get out.  I'm not sure how we would get him back in!
 Andrew and Jonathan working on the panels.

 Funny Face had 5 kittens over the summer.  We were so busy we really didn't take time to tame the kittens, so they are quite afraid of us.  I took one photo of this kitten, and then it zoomed away into the woods.  Hopefully we can get them fairly tame, since a friend in November wants to take 2 of them back to her home in Montana.


Anonymous said...

If you could see the damaged panels we have from Zorro's big daddy, you would be horrified. Talk about destructive creatures!!! We had T-posts every 3 feet and then wove more posts along the bottom because they would tuck their nose under and lift the entire thing up or bend it. We didn't have electricity at the place they were housed initially or else we would have used that, although we learned the large sows and boars did not stay in electric alone if there was incentive to go elsewhere. And in the winter, we ran electric as well as a ground wire and the snow kept piling higher until Terence (Zorro's dad) realized his back was level with the top of the once 5 foot panel, and he just pushed and pushed til he snapped the wires and went through the last panel to be in with his girls. (sigh - pigs are extremely extremely social creatures, so if you have them by themselves they are unhappy. We had a 9x9 insulated 2x6 tool shed that has no sides anymore from them being housed in it in the winter and eating the entire thing.
Have I mentioned how destructive pigs are? I was thankful we got rid of all of ours this summer so I have no winter pig chores - nothing wood lasts long around them and they can push 5 inch wooden posts until they snap them at the base. I couldn't keep them from destroying homemade feeders, or shoving the regular feeder up against the electric to short it out so they could break free again. The electric net did work well as long as they didn't dig up dirt on top of it.
I am very tickled to have cows and chickens only but next spring will probably wish for a pig. :)

Anonymous said...

Me again. . just a tiny warning. Zorro is too big to be used on young gilts, so you might want to be sure you are only breeding him to sows who won't get injured. Besides being large, Zorro is also extremely obese (or at least was the last time I saw him - I didn't think a pig could be that fat!G*), and so his weight could do some major damage to regular 250lb gilts. We had a broken back from Terence getting out and trying to breed one of his young daughters :(

Marci said...

Wow, sounds like your hands are full with Zoro. Nutmeg is coming into heat today. I am praying she stays in the fence. She always breaks out when she is in heat. Sigh....

Marci said...

By the way, Happy Birthday, Lynn!!!

Kimberly said...

Happy birthday. I'm thinking a large print Bible might be a nice addition to our home, too! The hoop houses look interesting. It would be nice to have fresh home grown vegies all winter!

Kelle said...

Happy belated Birthday Lynn!
The chicken hoophouse looks wonderful!

The info about your friends CSA was great, since we just can't seem to get people interested in our area( not for the lack of trying) we're going back to our original game plan and growing for our own use. Maybe down the road( if things get tougher economically the people in this area will wake up to supporting local, instead of shopping Walmart and Costco*sigh* I'm feeling a bit down about this whole issue, because when I can't even count on the support of my parents( who live right here on our property) how on earth can I expect others to support us*sigh*
You boar looks HUGE! and I think the advice above is in order, although I'll be the first to say I know very little about pigs. We do have friends that raise them and I know the problems they've had. One point I'd like to make, make sure when your sows have their piglets that you have the heat lamps safely secured and out of reach of the sow, the friends I mentioned lost their entire barn, boar and two calves in a barn fire started by the sow pulling down the heatlamp into their bedding.
Hope to see pictures of piglet this coming Spring/Summer :o)
Blessings for your week,

luella2897 said...

Happy Belated Birthday Lynn!! (You have caught up with me! ;) You all have sounded VERY busy on the farm this summer and fall. Adam mentioned they were getting some more chickens from you, they really like your families farm and the good meat you are producing! They also like your whole family and enjoy their visits! Can't wait to see the winter pictures coming up on your blog site! From "down south" in WV, Elly Raper