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Fred and Ethel are at their new home north of Springfield and Blind Hog and Acorn drove to Kansas to pick up six Cotton Patch geese/goslings.  Much excitement, cannot wait to see how these goslings grow!On top of that gardening, milking, blood moons, and pasture maintenance have pretty much been the routine for the week.Bee hive split has been made. Fingers crossed as timing seemed perfect!  Three queen cells located and transported to the new hive.  Will let the girls battle it out.Footnote:  Blind Hog drove to town to get gas and came back in the house waving a $20...  "Guess what I found" he said but alas, he was just JOKING... Had Acorn about floored!
Has been an interesting few weeks to say the least.  Blind Hog and Acorn have been doing all the things, and with Acorn seemingly taking off (literally) every 5 -7 days, no wonder the garden is behind!Good news is that the tomatoes and eggplants are out, cabbage, onions, broccoli etc all doing well.  Even saw some green strawberries!The dawn redwood has transplanted just fine, and even the two ginkgo trees have leafed a bit.Was storming up a treat during recording, hard to complain when May rain brings on great summer pastures...And most important dear listeners, please get a fire extinguisher to keep in your car- you could save a life!
Acorn has had four trips to Florida since February, and with only two nights at home between trips #3 and 4, she is more than a bit unsure of the calendar. But alas, farm life is definitely a routine that provides muscle memory, and back into the usual tasks she went.Apple trees are loaded with blossoms, Asian pear also looked really good.  Garden and yard were both mowed.  Time to plant some veggies in the dirt!Pi's bull calf is doing well.the other three cows will begin calving in another week and a half. Blind Hog set out the humming bird feeders and plopped some grape jelly in the special dish for the orioles.  He even hoisted Acorn up in the sky to hang the martin gourds and the purple martins are most appreciative.Acorn needs to bake up some things for Blind Hog- a Bundt cake, brownies, cookie dough and a loaf of bread before she leaves again, like in 5 days.
A dawn redwood on the farm?  Creep feeder for the goat kids? Sounds like Blind Hog and Acorn are having too much fun!First rhubarb of the season has been picked, Ethel has 10 eggs in her nest. How many more will she lay before she decides to settle down on them?Here is the link for the Nova episode "The Cannabis Question".
Yes, Acorn was called away again due to family needs and Blind Hog held the conn with Sam.Meanwhile the livestock scale worked, then didn't, then got fixed. Plans made for geese, cows, garden, goats.A delicious loaf of Icelandic rye bread, baked for 12 hrs is sampled. Perfect during the crazy weather when Mother Nature can't decide between low 20's with flurries and 70's and sun...
While Acorn was able to replace the tie rod ends, little did she and Blind Hog realize the ball joints all needed to be replaced as well.  That little issue was discovered at the shop when the front end alignment was started.  It is what it is... Have a farm?  You must have a working truck.Goats are being milked and from it yogurt for the freezer. Load feet installed on the goat tilt table and the weigh unit calibrated!  Working goat scale!  No more picking up kids! Fields are greening up, calves will be born in about another 7-8 weeks. The future of cattle here on the farm is discussed.Hooray for the last of the barn cats to be neutered!  Boots and Ink went in together.  Of the 5 remaining barn cats we got from Judy, these two are right tame!
A productive week on the farm~ Blind Hog and Acorn repaired the F350's tie rod ends! Was the picture perfect set up of a 20 yr old truck up on jack stands in the front yard. Once the pair of farmers got started, it was "just that easy."Road Commissioner has promised to send a road grader, but the county is so big and the tax base so small, they are not expecting much.Blind Hog got the three paddocks of the west field clipped, broom sedge is now mowed and the field all leveled out. Grass is already much greener where the livestock are not grazing so yes- the grass is greener on the other side of the fence!Goat kids are bouncing around, 43 "tighty whities" running here and there. Still have a few more goats to kid. Now for the cows- this may be Lulu and Calpurnia's last calving. At 16, their arthritis is really slowing them both down.Ethel is is in "egg mode," laying an egg every other day. 4 in the nest. Acorn will wait for a few more more eggs and then will steal four for the incubator. Will see if the pair can raise any goslings. Last year none of her eggs hatched and the attrition from black snakes eating her eggs was high.
34 commercial kids born Monday through  Friday.  Sired by the same buck, they are all white- quick eartagging and notes help tell  kids apart when things get confusing in the barn!Snow storm pretty much missed us- just had some flurries yesterday but not "inches of accumulation."  Works for Acorn.The tie rod on the F350 broke- the connector sleeve wallowed out the threads and so the rods pulled apart.  New tie rods are already delivered, will be installed next week.  Acorn texted the road commissioner to voice her angst over the condition of the road. Barking out the door and no one to hear...New recipe for you to try...  Lemon muffins!  https://steelmeadowfarm.com/steelmeadow-recipes/Ethel laid her first egg, it has the "bullseye so YAY!  The geese are "doing it!"  Will try a few in the incubator once she gets more laid.
Ho boy- did Blind Hog and Acorn ever have a domestic scare this week!  The dreaded "warping of hardwood floor boards!"Luckily, it was not "zebras" but a much simpler, less exotic cause of the issue.  A bit of cosmetic repair and all will be right with the world.Hissy Kitty was the first cat taken to the vet- Acorn did in fact trap BOTH Nessie and Lil' Pumpkin who live in the hay barn.  Each however escaped while being transferred from the live trap to the pet carrier.  This issue has been resolved.Sap collecting and syrup making is over, now is time to begin milking the dairy goats.  Only 8 quarts of skyr remain in the freezer!Road is getting work done by the county, just in time for the next rains.  Fun fun!
Sleet covers the ground, but it is beginning to thaw.  Thank goodness for ice cleats!Commercial goats have held off kidding (so far) during these single digit wind chills and icy weather.Time to begin trapping the barn kitties and get them spayed/neutered.  Actually, Acorn had one in the trap already but it escaped when lifting the trap door to unload into the cat carrier. That was "Little Pumpkin," and "Nessie" was spotted when the "Special Kitty Tuna Pate" was reloaded in the trap...County road is in dire need of attention, will see if communication with state reps will do any good.  The local road commissioner says there are no funds... 8 loads of gravel is all they can afford over here? 
Getting ready for more goat kids  and goose eggs! Fun on the farm!Blind Hog and Acorn missed the worst of the last winter storm that went through, almost 3" of rain though.  They are not complaining.  Well, they are complaining about the county road and lack of maintenance...  But what else is new?A few nice days to get chores done in preparation of yet more goat kids. Garden too could use some attention.After the podcast, Acorn took Sam and the pregnant goats for that walk up in the east field- goats stayed up there a few hours before coming back to the barn. Dairy kids are growing like weeds, will be able to start milking the moms here in a bit.All in all, a nice, uneventful week on the farm.  Nothing more strenuous to do that walk to the mailbox and throw a log in the woodstove!  That, and making ice cream but make SURE you know what you are grabbing out of the fridge! Ha!
Blind Hog got to do all the chores by himself for a whole week, timed perfectly with The Big Snow  while Acorn was down in Florida!  Florida??!! Not exactly a vacation but a"rescue" of sorts- getting her dad out of ICU and into hospice where he was able to have a peaceful end.It was go go go for all concerned; crazy schedules, lack of sleep, emotional rollercoasters.  The PSA take home message is that it is never to late to write up your medical Living Will, DNR wishes, even a legal will:  https://www.freewill.com  You are welcome.Acorn slept after lunch today, burned up a pot that was boiling down sap.  It happens.  That is one 8 ounce jar of syrup that was lost, plus the 3 gallon pot.Onwards!
Four dairy does with a set of twins each- lovely!  Other than the first set of twins born during single digits, the others did very well, save for the last kid who had a front leg pointed the wrong way- Call the Midwife!Grazing changes made, hay is moving out of the barn very slowly (for once!). Nice to have the grazing to carry the feed burden.Blind Hog got two thumbs up from his cardiologist- good to go for another year. Acorn reports that "the sponsor" has their website up and working... All the small miracles!
Slow week on the farm- cold weather blew in and our farmers spent most of the time indoors.Verdandi did kick off the kidding season with a set of twins- born at dawn when the temps were 0°F. Oy!  One kid was chilled so much that it would not stand, but an hour inside with some Lyle's Golden Syrup on her tongue and soon she was ready for milk and after that, her momma!Calli, another dairy goat, has been doing a bunch of talking lately- she may go next. Acorn got all the dairy goats on the milling stand to give their hindquarters a trim- helps with kidding and milking.  Just in time for Verdandi's delivery!A dozen 8 ounce jars of black syrup in the pantry- expect a bumper week coming up next week for sap. Temperatures will be perfect!
After another unusually warm week, Blind Hog and Acorn were not only able to work the goats and get them vaccinated, but also tap in 25 sap spiles into the black walnut trees, plus a sycamore.  Acorn collected 19 gallons before the sap flow stopped- due to warm weather, but after the next 10 days the sap should flow again because it is going to get cold...  19 gallons boiled down to five 8-oz jars...  60:1 ratio...Hay has been fed, woodpile loaded up.  Snow continues to fall...
Blind Hog and Acorn have to report that Winter is Back...  Fed out the first round bale of the season.  Cows and goats all tucked in for inclement weather, dairy barn prepped for upcoming kids. Of course- "Let's kid goats in January..."Minor fence repair here, alleyway addition there.  Baking up goodies to keep the hungry farmers going.Abbreviated history lesson from our sponsor to wrap up the show.
Just when you hoped 2021 would be the end of the Dumpster Fire that was 2020, we get to recycle that New Year wish for 2022!Blind Hog and Acorn spent the past week finishing up farm projects and chores in the unusually warm weather.  Buck shelter has a floor AND bedding, goats have hay to nibble on, and the bunk feeders for goat grain treats are officially done. Phew!Blind Hog and Acorn also have a sponsor this year!  Woo hoo!  Ok ok, so the sponsor is technically "in-house" but hey...  it is a start...Black-eyed peas await!  Happy New Year!
 Blind Hog and Acorn are STILL taking advantage of the record warm temperatures- they built six new goat feeders from old ones.  Muy bueno!Other than that, and rearranging a round pen that was inside the alleyway, that has kept our intrepid farmers out of trouble.Time to sit back with something decadent and enjoy some Christmas Cheer!  Talk to you next year!XXOO Blind Hog and Acorn 
Phew!  A busy and fun week for the intrepid farmers.  Blind Hog and Acorn completed a few more projects and even managed a day in KC!  The Kemper Museum! The Nelson Atkins! IKEA too!Weather was sunny and nice for the trip and the next day? Almost 3" of glorious rain. The pastures (and livestock) are loving it.
Blind Hog and Acorn finally FINALLY got the goat barns mucked out, clean and ready for winter/January kidding.  Phew!Only took one front tire repair on the Mahindra and removal of up-teen front end loaders of piled up "residue" raked up from the barns to get the job done.  Much better now, even though the pictures might not look that nice.Cows are enjoying their new grazing paddock since we moved them over last Sunday.  Goats have a paddock all to themselves. Ruminant Heaven!
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