Monday, December 9, 2013

Interesting ....

I just heard on the weather that 67% of the continental US is covered with snow

Included are states like:
TX (stovepipe and to Dallas-Fortworth)
NV (not Vegas, I guess, too warm there)
NM (top half)
AZ (top half)
LA bit of the upper corner)
MS (smidge of the upper corner)
AR (all of it)
TN (most of it)
NC (back edge of it)
CA (top 2/3 of state by the looks of it)
All the way up both coasts 

WOW - that's quite a bit of snow!

Arkansas has MORE snow than we do in MN right now ... At least south of The Lake Superior coastline .... They had like 22 inches in Duluth and nearly 3 foot farther north

It has been below zero ALL DAY where we are and wind chills were in the double digits below zero!

I was lucky to get eggs before they froze ... 8 and only lost one when it cracked as it warmed up to house-temp ... I let them acclaim ate before putting them in cold water to warm up hoping they won't split

Average temp this time of year? 26°F in my area

It's supposed to he 0°F right now and getting warmer, high tomorrow is supposed to be 12F .... We will see.  We are expecting snow as well.

Oh the chicken coop temp?

About 20F where the thermometer is (above 6ft)

My poor birds

We are expected to get back into the teens above on Thursday so maybe I'll let the birds out then to play in the snow ... The poor things

Brrrrrr ..... But It's Gonna Get Worse

Here's what it's like here in MN ...

Bright and sunny ...

Not too windy ...

And at 9:45 am CST the WeatherBug said this:

I guess that wind picked up after I got back in from gathering eggs ...

Brrrrrrrrrrr ....

The ladies want out of the coop ...

But I'm thinking not before it gets out of the single digits ....

We've got TWO heat lamps in the coop right now trying to stay ahead of the cold

I've gotta get the date/time feature fixed on that camera .... I took this last night ... 

We have been getting FROZEN and CRACKED eggs quite a bit lately ... We had hoped that the heat lamps would keep the coop warm enough to prevent the eggs from freezing .... I guess not


Saturday, October 12, 2013

So Rainbow Foods has 5# potatoes, 2# carrots, & bags of onions on sale for 99¢ today ( sale started Thursday, to be fair) so hubby went to get me some ... NO LIMITS!

I texted him that 10 bags of each would be nice .... I'm the crazy canning lady, you know ... 

He came back with only 1/2 as much as I wanted ... Well less than half really since he got me 25# of potatoes, 8# carrots, 4 bags of onions ... 

He said he didn't want to buy as much as I wanted because he'd have to buy more canning jars then .... I told him no:

potatoes get done first they would HAVE to be canned to last ...

Carrots can be frozen if need be, easy enough to do ...

Onions can be set into a dark bin to last the wintertime if they must .... But 30¢ a pound was just too good to give up ...

He rolled his eyes ... So I guess these will have to do for now

Didn't can any of it ... They didn't last long enough

The potatoes lasted about a week or so - my family loves potatoes 

Carrots lasted about 2 weeks, my kids like them a lot too

Those onions? Well I've still got a COUPLE of them ... Not a couple of bags, just a couple of onions .... But that's because I found a big 10# bag that had gotten moved into a spot they didn't belong {kids!}

Oh well ...

It's December and the forecast for food prices is getting awful ....

But we will be okay ... I've stocked up on dehydrated food 



Friday, September 13, 2013

Not in MY State!

Okay NatAG report is out ... Boy are their numbers off for my state ....

13.8 Billion Bushels_______ 3.15 Billion Bushels
((UP 1% from Aug))________((DOWN 3% from Aug))
155 Bu/Acre____________ 41.2 Bu/Acre
((Harvested acres for both were unchanged since Aug))

We grow corn here ... Sweet corn ... We had a LATE planting -- didn't go in until June 15th or so ... We got <b>0</b> corn this year!

It tasseled at 2foot and didn't put out a single ear ... The deer and raccoon are not happy with us at all

Only we have is a bumper crop of WEEDS! (Since they are the oh thing that can survive lack of rain and 90F heat waves in Sept ... although I'm hoping I've got some pie pumpkin & squash hiding amongst them that will show in the next couple of weeks ... I hope I hope I hope

And it's not just MN ... The owner of the cabin next to my in-laws in WI is a Professional farmer (its all he does and he grows for Green Giant) ... He's got a LOT of average {of course to me 5 acres is a lot and he must have at least 50 or 10X that } ... he says the crop is just AWFUL this year!  and it's a good thing he has the dairy too [but his son runs that] ... Holy Cow! He says his soybeans have hardly nothin' in the pods

Most of the corn numbers came from:

But not MN/WI/IA ... Expect our production to be lower with all this whacky weather, I'm telling you

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Good News, Bad News type of thing ...

I was able to catch AgReport this morning on television I\i hame kids going back to schoolover te nex\t coupleof dys and i didn't get any sleep last night at all) ... they had  several GOOD NEWS/BAD NEWS stories ....

In gALLOP poll ranking 25 business sectors, Farming came n 3rd place behind Computer & restaurants

60% positive
18% negative
(poll is out of a 5 point system)
Federal government & oil/gas industry were at the bottom of the list

The majority of the mid-west & west are in drought conditions right now ... We haven't had any significant rain since the beginning of August in MN ... And are now over 2 inches behind ... Kind of ironic since we had one of the wettest springs on record with nearly a foot of extra rain in April alone ... We were about 6inches above in June - the heat in th middle of August just killed us 

The corn tassled at 2 foot high and we had no ears when hubby looked ... Crap ... So yet another year with no corn income :(

But we are not alone as you read ... And we are not as bad as others ... I feel really bad for the farmers in the deep red areas on the drought map (I will try to find a copy to post here)
This the drought map as of Tuesday, 2013Sep03 broadcast ... I actually will have several photos to co,pare the beginning of the week maps to the end of the week maps, but that's a new post ...

1/2 of corn & cattle production are now in DROUGHT

83% of Missouri is in a Type-3 drought ... The rest is in a normal drought
(I think that means they are a bit behind on their rainfall)

Seattle is having mud slides from all the rain they've gotten ... And the rest of us will have little to no significant rain over the next week they say ... I'm betting it will come in October when we get ready to collect the winter squash from the fields ... Wait and see ... 


I'm feeling very Eastern European right now ... When things go well - wait a moment, they will go bad again ... LOL ...

Actually I USED to be an Optimist ... rose cooked glasses ... Glass half full type of person ...

Now all I can think is ...

Rain is a Good Thing!

(I've had no sleep ... I'm taking a bit of a rest now ... Have a nice weekend people's)

What's Wrong With This Photo?




I do however have mother post for this site very soon


Saturday, August 17, 2013

Farm Update August

Well the crop is pretty much dead ... Again.

We couldn't get in until late (June 16th or so, check my earlier posts) and the crows were hungry as heck, at about 1/2 the seed we planted ... It was sad and too late for a second planting.

We did get in the stuff from the green house (squash/Pumpkin, cabbages, and tomatoes ... I kept it small because of the late winter) and they were doing fine - we even got in peas and beans this year!

Of course June and July were incredibly rainy, with over 8inches of rain in July alone, so weeding just did not get done ... But that should have hidden the veggies from the deer right??

WRONG - those giant rodents got out their radar noses and made tracks into the beans & cabbages. Darn them - they walk right down the row like it's a smorgasbord and help themselves to their liking ...

We went on vacation for two weeks this year so I have no idea what's down there now ... I don't know if I will have veggies or just a giant weed patch, or combination thereof ... I'm thinking the last.

The chickens have been putting out about 9 eggs a day our daughter says - she has been checking on the chickens for us at least once a day while we've been gone - she gets to keep the eggs as payment for checking on them and their food/wate ... But now they have decided NOT to lay ...

She told us last night that for the second day she had no eggs - I don't think they are molting yet so they shouldn't be going dormant and there's still plenty of lit hours so they shouldn't be going into winter laying ... I'm thinking they are just starting to miss getting into the grassy area and/or getting food scraps.

I have several ziplock bags worth from our trip for them, so that shouldn't be an issue at all when we get back ...

Bt I am worried that they aren't laying ... I'm hoping I don't have plugged vents - that could kill the whole lot of them in no time at all!

No way to know for sure until we get back - so no reason to worry over it until then.

Oh well that's it for updates - photos from vacation coming up

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Summertime Blues

The rain has been horrid ... For all of June we had nothing but rain on the weekends ... Not those cute little showers where you can dodge the drops - I'm talking rain that falls 2 or 3 inches at a time ... This weekend was the first car ride anywhere where we weren't blinded by rain on the freeway!

The last time was horrible.- we had rain curtains, lightening in front of us, near zero visibility, and then HAIL!!

No farmer wants hail ... not by any measure during growing season!

Now we have a massive heat bubble that will be taking its time to clear out ... I mean 85F in the morning and +95F during the day (heat index in the 100F)

So we have a lovely patch of WEEDS growing in the fields ... While corn loves water weeds love it more ... The ground is too soft to walk on - we had standing water when I was down there Sunday ... It's been too hot to go out except to let the chickens out or take them some ice cubes & fresh, cold fruit bits

The birds have been spending most of their time in the coop this week though because it only gets up to 80F at the most, although I did see the thermometer raise nearly to 90 today for a little bit just before the sun went behind the house ... 

They are only using the south side of the kennel these days - I don't know why.

We let one lady out on Sunday to see what she'd do and if we could get her to go back in by herself ... 

We had to wrangle her but I'm guessing that that has a bit to do with it because when you stand by one of the kennel gates they all rush to get there ... LOL ... Or it's the fruit they want

I've got some photos ... (ignore the  tmes & dates - I have to get hubby to reset them again)
Hubby put lines on the doors and had to move the roost - I'm worried about where he has it, but he says it's only temporary ... Yes - that is a bird sitting on the rope, how she is hanging on is beyond me - my son tried to reason with her
He won the discussion ... Yup that's my 17 year old ... And the pulley system hubby is working out for the chickens above his head (it's suppose to run via Internet connection so we can let them out while we are gone)

Oh and that bird?

She learned her lesson!

She did it AGAIN tonight before my son went out to close the doors ...

this time she flapped him with her wings win protest but she gave up the rope ... Until the lights went out and my son left

Silly chicken!

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Summertime Blues

Well the last I looked at the garden ... Last weekend really ... we had STANDING WATER in amongst the peas & beans, the grass nests surrounding the cabbages were washed away, and the pumpkins were loving it all.

We had 3 inches of rain from Friday morning to Sunday afternoon ... And major ruts in our driveway because of it ... 

Hubby said that on Thursday that he noticed the corn, beans and peas were up about 2-3 inches because of the rain!  I thought for sure they had drowned from all that rain!  

Now if only the deer and geese will leave them alone, I'll be happy :-)

Here's hoping for lots of canning opportunities this summer/fall

Friday, June 14, 2013

Greenhouse update

'Here is a photo of the green house plants Monday 10 June ... 
Top is cabbage, green
Then cabbage, red
 Then pumpkin, sweet pie
Bottom, tomato, cherry red

We got the green cabbage in the ground today ... Boy were they root bound and tangled but we got four good crooked rows out of them.

I put DS#2 in charge of digging the holes with a porthole digger and he got a bit windy ... He says it comes from only having one eye (which he does) we decided to stop after the greens were in because it was getting too hot in the sun fir old-lady me and the kids needed to get going on raking the grass clippings to put around the Greens to keep the weeds From growing.

Of course my daughters favorite part was walking barefoot in the mud that still sits along the south edge of the field.

Oh the photo:

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Welcome To MN

Hope you didn't think it was actually summer yet ... Official or non-officially .... 

There are FROST WARNINGS in our state for TONIGHT!

Yeah I know -- "but its end of May!!"

But wait - its getting back into the 80s next week again ...

 See its going to be another on of <i>those</i> summers ...

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Holy crap

The body of the second child was recovered today.

2 boys, ages 9 & 10 died

This is soooooooooooooo sad

§§§ §§§ §§§ §§§ §§§

There's nothing else to say ...

Two sets of parents are pleased .... Two sets are broken ....

Today tragedy struck our area ....

The big city (st Paul) school district had a field trip to a park at an adjoining city ... We've been there but only on the trails ... The point of the trip was to look for fossils ... The place has quite a bit so it's a prime location ...

A group of 4th graders ... Aged about 10 years old ... Maybe 9 years old ... We're having fun looking on this semi-rainy day - just light sprinkles, nothing huge like we've had over the weekend ...

They say the earth just gave way .... They say there was a gravel slide ... They say there was no way to know it was going to happen ....

4 kids were caught in it ...

Two were rescued ... One has already gone home from a hospital ...

One was "recovered" ... That is, they were too late or the child was killed on impact ....

One is still missing ... They were going to stop looking around 11pm tonight because the area was getting dangerous for rescuers - they had been digging all afternoon and even had fire hoses down there to try to wash away the sand/gravel to find the children ...

Facebook posts from the local news say they were going to keep looking ... I'm betting they've closed down for the night now ...

They've dubbed it a "recovery" now ... So they think this child is gone as well ...

This is every parents nightmare!

Hug your kids tonight ... And every time you are near them ... Every time you get in a bickering with them end it with "I really do love you" ... Because you never know ...

So sad ...

I will follow up as news comes in

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Green House Update

Well a few things got planted about a week ago ... The day before Mothers Day, while hubby was working on the chicken coop ... My daughter and I decided to get going on the seedlings for the long field - or at least part of it.

We only planted three types of plants -

Pumpkin - Sugar Pie
Tomato - Red Cherry
Cabbage- 2 varieties
________Red Acre
________Green Acre

I still have carrots to do too ... As well as turnips, rutabagas, parsnips, beets but those would do best going straight into the fields ... Then there is the strawberry-spinach and onions ... There is so much more to get going on.

Here's how they have grown so far ... Wait ... It's been 10 days since planting ... They've grown pretty fast

Monday, May 20, 2013

Mother Nature's Cramping Up

It has to be PMS on a massive scale - tornadoes down south ... Flooding out west ... Wild fires even farther west & south ... Ice on the lake at the cabin just went out about a week ago and we got over 100F!

Mother Nature is being crabby ... I'm telling you ...

Last week we were 2 inches or so below our water level ... We had some pretty big storms go through this weekend, and it's been pretty wet today (on & off) so now we are ...

2 - 2 1/2 inches ABOVE where we should be

The high today was 71F (low 63F) which is pretty close to average (71/50)
But the records are 94F (2009) and 31F (1935)

Wow - what a spread in temp and time! Of course the place where the temp was taken in 1935 is different than now, and the equipment these days are a bit more actuate ... And there has been some questions raised about where it's located on site ... But that's neither here nor there for this post ...

The fields are so wet right now that I'm not sure we will be able to get into them before June! We only have until mid-June if we get three more days of rain as they say we should ... The corn we use need 80+ days to ripen/harvest which would still put the grow time in the warmth of the summer (and hopefully rainfall) and still be ready for selling just before the schools open up ... We usually try for the week before the state fair opens, but during is good to.

This year any "left over" corn can be dried, husked, and ground into chicken feed ... And corn meal I suppose ... We will see.

I'm hoping to can quite a bit this year too

Friday, April 5, 2013

A Long Time Ago, In A Galaxy Far Far Away ....

Some sick God decided that chicks need to grow really fast ...

We got these "ladies" one week ago .... On Good Friday

8 Red Sex-Links
4 White Leghorns

The Leghorns were bigger, they looked older - that's why we only got 4, we didn't want the sex-links to get "beaten up" on

Well, that Godly sense of humor has hit ...

The Sex-links are pretty big now ... definitely bigger than those Leghorns!

I will try to get a photo of my daughter holding one of the birds tonight to compare with the ones I have of her holding them the day we got them and on Easter Sunday (3 days later) ... They barely fit in the palm of her hand now!

Here's a comparative photo for the post before this one ...

Monday, April 1, 2013

New season

Wow it has been a LONG time since I've updated this blog ... Just not a lot happening

The drought killed the garden last year ... No tomatoes, no cabbage, very little broccoli, but plenty of squash ... Go figure that one.

This year we are going to not plant corn, but try to keep the land tilled and clovered to allow a build up of nitrogen ... I may plant some small crops though - we will see ...

But we have decided to do a bit of "self sufficiency" but making our own manure-compost! Well we will try it at least.

To do this we got some new additions to the farm (more on the breeds later)