Sunday, January 16, 2011
What's Been Happening
Jim has been working on a new project. This involves turning barley into barley grass. I guess the name for it is fodder.
I'm not sure where Jim first read about fodder, but there were some articles on the Internet from someone down in Australia. After emailing the author they actually talked on the phone, and Jim received some valuable information.
One of our front windows has been turned into a mini greenhouse. Jim has to be careful and not place too much grain in a pan or it spoils and smells terrible.
So far everyone but Sandy the cow enjoys the new source of nutrients. In order for Sandy to be willing to eat it, Peter has to cut the sprout portion away and then she's willing to eat the greens.
If this works we will save a lot of money since not as much grain has to be purchased. We would also have to figure a better place to grow fodder, since our front windows can only produce a limited amount.
We've had lots of snow this winter -- and that's an understatement! The first winter we lived up here we were wondering how we would ever get out of our 1/4 mile driveway once winter hit, since we didn't have anything to use for plowing.
Thankfully the county plows do more than clean off county roads. They also come into our driveways.
It was just before sunrise when the plow came in the day we needed to be out to head for Bismarck.
As you can see, we have quite the piles of snow.
Late last summer our cat named Funny Face had a litter of five kittens. We were so busy we didn't take time to tame them, so they were afraid of us and made quite a show whenever someone caught one of them. We managed to give two away to someone heading back home to Montana and one died in an accident with the car.
One day we noticed one of the remaining two kittens had disappeared. We wondered if something like a coyote had gotten it, since about that time we had trouble with them near the house. The remaining kitten stayed close to Henry, our barn cat.
Just recently Andrew discovered the lost kitten sitting on a board near the entry to our shop. We have no idea where it had gone or why it left, but it's been hanging around ever since. One night last week our dog Samson woke me up in the middle of the night wanting to go outside, and as I looked out the window in the door I saw this kitten walking away from the dog house (which should now be called the cat house) and heading down toward the barn. David feeds the cats in the dog house, so it must have eaten and then headed back to wherever it is staying.
David, Andrew and I are determined that next time we'll make sure the kittens are tamed. They are much easier to give away that way!
Below is a photo of our grain stealer ... One morning Andrew went down to the pigs to give them some hay and heard a noise but didn't see anything out of the ordinary.
Last fall Jonathan decided to construct a hoop structure to be used as a chicken coop. He could have purchased one from Farm Tek, but after finding a source for some type of tool to bend pipe in Farm Show magazine he decided to purchase the materials and build it himself -- with a little help from his family.
There are 2 layers of plastic on the structure, and Jonathan has a fan that continually blows air in between the layers for insulating purposes.
Below is a photo of our milkman -- Peter. I'm thankful the hours of sunlight is lengthening now, because Peter has been milking both mornings and evenings in the dark. One of our future projects is to bring electricity down to the barn.
In the meantime, it's been working well for him to use a head lamp.
Posted by Lynn Bartlett at 8:40 PM