Thursday, May 21, 2015

Mother Nature is a Fickle Little B ....

Bad Tempered Lady

What did you think I was gonna say??

We are in a light drought ... Which seems funny to say because we have to wait for the fields to dry out so we can plant more of our crops ...

My youngest son .... now 18 yrs old going on 19 in a few weeks, planted some 6000 onion plants --- 3000 yellow, 3000 reds ... but I wrote about that before - even had photos

Last week I was in bed not felling well, oh I was in misery, so hubby got the two youngest kids (boy & girl) and planted the 100 pounds of potatoes without me!

Sounds like he planted them way too close together but we will have to wait and see.  I told him 18inches apart figuring he would plant them 12 inches between which is what they are supposed to. Be at ... But it sounds like he planted them at 6inches instead .... Oh well.

50 pounds of All Blue, 50 pounds of Pontiacs.

I'm hoping they will store very well over winter, but I'm also planning on canning up a LOT of them for quick use.

Hubby wants to plant sweet corn and see if we can get it to grow in the long field where we haven't planted it in nearly 3 years .... Of course last year NOTHING grew since it was soooooo cold & wet until July, by then it was too late to get anything in, even the apples suffered - there wasn't too much rain in July or August but it didn't get really hot until September either.

So we have 2 crops in the ground right now ... Hopefully tomorrow hubby can get the corn in .... aka The Cash Crop ... if there's a lot of corn we will sell some, usually enough to help the kids pay for field trips, course fees, maybe even school lunch - of course the money we use for seed/plants/firltilizer comes out first.  We haven't had anything for several years now :(


My chickens ... 

They have turned suicidal, I swear!

They eat, they poop, but they aren't laying again!

We've given them food, water, and shell for calcium ...  they had started laying then just ... Stopped ...


I know they want to get out into the grass and scratch around, but we have to set up the "paddock" again - check for holes and figure a better way to attach it to the "corral" so they can't get out ...

We don't want the dog to have too much fun .... Although she has found the cockleburs and .... Well she's as bad as Velcro!  Oh man - poodles are not fun to get burrs out of either! She hates it, I hate it, grrrrr

She turns 1 yrs old next week ... Crazy pup!

Wednesday, May 20, 2015


Okay - Avian Flu is just NOT going away .... Unlike Mad Cow, they keep finding more & more strains of the Avian Flu!

Holy Crap!

According to AGDay (my go to source for most agriculture matters) it has effected 35 countries!!!!!!!!!

Although not all of the same strain:

In the US the majority have been of the H5N2 strain but there has been reports of H5N8

H5N8 was reported LAST year in:

H5N1 strain showed up in 2004 and also infected people -- especially in Chona (remember that scare?!)
But it is STILL being found in:
West Africa
Middle East (splatterings)

Losses due to AVian Flu in MN & IA ALONE could cost over $1BILLION!!!!

There have been killed/died/slaughtered over 37million birds so far in 15 states!  Granted the MAJORITY of these deaths were done in hopes of preventing the spread of the disease

You all know what this means?

Higher prices!

More for the food .... More for the products ....


Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Weather we like it or not

No matter what, you can't change the weather.

Even if that means SNOW towards the end of April .... Although we've been known to get that white fluffy stuff all the way into May - in fact I remember having nearly 4" of fresh snow on the docks the night before we put them in at the in-laws!

Last year was horrid - way too much water!  Fields didn't dry out until mid-July so no selling crop went in ... Nothing grew of the greenhouse starter pants put out ... If it wasn't for the chickens, we wouldn't have had any nome from the farm at all!

It's scary .... But this year looks to be about the same ... Only it wont be because we have too much water, but rather, not enough.

Copyright FeMA via

While we will not have the same issues as California, we will have horrid problems with water this year.

We are known as the Land of 10,000 lakes (total under estimate, btw) but little of those lakes are actually located near enough to farms to do any help.

Water is very important if you grow sweet corn .... 

Water helps get those kernels plump
It helps the stalks grow tall before they tassel

Actually when it's dry out, sweet corn has been known to tassel at just 3 ft tall instead of 5 1/2 - 6 ft high which is pretty much what you hope for.

We (farmers in general) hope to get our crop in ASAP so we can start selling early.

We do not like getting a crop in before  Memorial weekend ... The weather is generally dry, the fields are firm enough to hold the tractor but soft enough to work well for the seed.

The other enemy besides water ... Heat!

Too much and you've got swiveled plants, too little and - well - its just as bad.

It seems lately our climate has been warming later in the year ... In fact last year was a VERY cold summer.

Corm loves heat and water .... So a hotter, more humid summer is okay .... Not the greatest but at least we will get something even if it's only good enough for us or the critters ... At least it's something.

Dry & hot -- you get puny produce.  Things tend to tase woody & dry.

Dry & cold -- root crops will grow okay, but things like tomatoes, corn, peas, etc will have real problems ... They all really need the sunshine to ripen and water to plump it up.

Wet & cold -- forget it!  Nothing will grow.  Root crops will rot in the ground .... Topper plants wont grow unless they are Cole/Cold crops (I've seen it written both ways)

Aaaaaaa - CHOO

There is now a NEW strain of Bird Flu out there ...


Has been found in Indiana in a backyard mixed flock ....

It was found in Whitney County, IN which is in the NE portion of the state

My understanding is that they are still waiting on the return of the specific tests but they are pretty sure it's not the H5N2 virus which we've had here in MN and the rest of the way up the Mississippi river way.

I have not heard if symptoms are any different, but I do believe this is the strain that was in China which also hit several wild bird species