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Friday, August 29, 2008


Yep, that is the amount of rain we have received in the past 2 weeks. Pretty stinkin awesome. All of our irrigated pastures had been holding up well with the whopping 2" we had had since the start of May. It had been dry bones.

Now everything is green and the cracks have come together. Our grasses are thicker than ever with new growth popping up everywhere. Water is life on a farm, and without it, nothing can live. Helps you to understand why Christ is the Living Water for us and apart from Him, we too will perish.

Farming teaches you so much about creation. How smart God truly is and will be even after we are gone. He designed animals perfectly, along with the symbiotic relationship between the animals and land. When left simple, the way it was intended, things just work out better.

We seem to think that we can do things better but all that gets us to is M&M and potato chip beef along with pop tart fed pork. (See my wifes blog)

Just thought I would give some pictures from this week of the pastures and cows.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

New Additions

This week, we added what we hope to be the last of our breeding sows for at least a couple years. Our goal is to produce 120-150 finished pastured hogs a year. To do this, we figure we will need 8 sows to get the job done. We breed Hampshires, Yorkshires, and Blue Butts. We had four sows, 2 Yorkshires, 1 Blue Butt, and 1 Hampshire. We added 1 Yorkshire, and 3 Blue Butts. The Yorkshire will be ready to breed in a month, and the Blue Butts will be ready in about 2-3.

Nothin like pig butts

Dirt under the feet

I buy my breeding stock from a breeder of show pigs. Unfortunately, his pigs are confinement pigs and I hate going there every time. It is so sad looking at the eyes in the poor pigs, beat down, tired, broken. The joy it gives to bring these girls home and allowing them to be on dirt for the first time. To let them root around, using their noses, to waller in the mud, and run around with lots of room. For the next few days, they will be in a pen letting them get use to the other sows through a hog panel and plus they will be very sore from walking in the dirt, using their neck muscles. This gives them a place to lay around and get use to the true happy farm life without the other girls picking on them while they are sore. Then they will move out into the pastures with the other sows.

First time they had ever been allowed to roll in the mud

Lucy our veteran sow laying in the mud

2 of our newly bred sows. We raised these two from piglets and were suppose to butcher them but we decided to keep them for breeding stock.

Getting acquainted through the fence. The older sows are pretty dominant over the new younger ones if introduced into the same pen right off.

Smooch, thanks for the new home out of confinement.

Since we now have so many sows, feeding has been a bit challenging. You can only imagine going inside the pen with these girls, and boys and trying to get bowls on the ground without them clobbering you. Plus for some reason, they will just go back and forth from bowl to bowl running the younger sows off from their food.

So I had to come up with a system for feeding them where we won't have to get in there with them until they are actually eating. In came the stalls. So far, they work great. Each gets to eat their own food without someone else coming over and knocking them away from it.

Could you put some food in here please?

My bud the Dud chillin out of the rain. (If new to the blog, his name is Dudley.)

The egg trailer is done and up and running. Although they aren't laying yet, they are at least starting to get in it and roost. I'm hoping that by the time the cows rotate back around, they will all have found their way into it. Happy hoping I think.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Tropical Storm Edouardud....I mean Edouard

What does it take to get a bit of rain here. You would think that with a hurricane passing south of you 2 weeks ago and a tropical storm passing just to the north of you, one might pick up a couple of inches of rain.

Well, apparently not. Between these two glorious storms, we managed to get a total of 6/10" of rain. Not even an inch.

The cracks in our pasture are still there. Looking like they could blow molten hot lava out of them at any time they are so big.

I use to laugh when I would hear people saying to pray for rain but now that we are farming, you begin to understand their concerns. It is pretty dry here, but in Austin Co, one county to the west of us, it is bone dry. I do think they may have picked up a bit of rain but I'm not sure. They need about 12" to do any good there.

The day was cloudy and cooler though. It only got to about 84 degrees. Two days ago, it was 104. The cows really appreciated the break from the steaming heat. I think the pigs stayed out of the woods most the day and foraged about the pastures doing what they do best....tearing the ground up.

I don't want it to seem like I am complaining, just feeling a little bamboozalled (sp?) at this time.