Thursday, April 22, 2010

Spring means farming

It's been a while since I updated the farm part of my life. I guess it's been since the whole fiasco when the cows were loose for two weeks. You're probably thinking not much goes on in the winter and that would be true I guess.

Last fall, well, last November my mom was coming to pick up Stella the cow, Fuzz Butt the bull and Bud the horse to bring them to her house for the winter. I don't have a barn yet (oh I dream and count my pennies nightly) so Stella and Bud needed a place to stay comfy cozy. Fuzz Butt was going straight to the butcher.

That was the plan anyway.

We tried to get these elusive cows into the trailer but they wouldn't have it. Everyone was uncooperative that morning (including the humans) and Fuzz Butt hid in the woods and the horse was being a dink and not listening. He is usually a great cattle horse, but not that day. Have you ever packed to go on a trip and watched the dog's reaction? Ours dances around like a fool, forgets how to listen along with her manners, as soon as she sees the first packed bag. She races back and forth from the house to the car, trying to hide away under the dash any time the car door opens. There is only one thing on her mind and that is making darn sure we do not leave her behind. Well, Bud was kind of acting like that. A dink. Except I was on his back and needed him to preform an important task. The only good thing was the animals were still in the pasture. A huge bonus from the drama that played out a few months earlier. Poor husband was left to build a corral in November, when the sun sets at 4:30. So I would cook supper and see him out the window, pounding away at fence posts by the headlights of our truck. That really was all he wanted to do after work for a week anyway I'm sure.

The following week the corral was ready and we arranged another trucker going to Yarmouth to come pick up the cattle. Fuzz Butt was butchered and yielded 630 lbs of the tastiest meat I've ever eaten. (That is a really good weight by the way, over 50% yield from live weight) Then it snowed and winter happened and here we are.

Stella calved this January and had a heifer (that would be a girl). Because the cattle we have are purebred Limousin, they are registered. When registering cattle, they need a tattoo. Our tattoo numbers are determined by order born in the year. The tattoo also has a letter and the letter is determined by the year. This year is X. Why? Because last year was W. So people can quickly know the year the calf was born by looking at the tattoo. We like to name the animals according to the letter year they were born too. So Stella has a baby girl named Xena. Xena the sirloin princess. I'd like to congratulate my brother in law for winning the name the calf contest.

Stella and Xena will be here soon. The grass is growing and the weather has been warm (ish). We are about 3 weeks ahead of where we were last year at this time. Bud will join them and I can't wait until he gets here. I want to going riding so bad it's darn near killing me. We may also have another little cow, who calved last summer joining us with her calf. Her calf will have the same fate as Fuzz Butt and possibly Xena this fall as well. We may trade Xena to our neighbours as payment for housing our animals at their farm next winter. Then she'll get to live to a ripe old age, having babies of her own just like her mama. It will be great having the animals next door. The horse will be here all winter! So I can ride all winter!

Fixing the fencing is in progress right now. We want to fence in the back pasture so we'll have 3 pastures to rotationally graze all summer long. Everyone will be happy and fat from the fresh grass. Our garden is tilled and ready for rows. We've added peat moss, compost (home made) sheep manure, cattle manure, rabbit manure (thanks Bunny Bunny, I'll never say you've never given us anything) I'm hoping to plant the onions and garlic (from started cloves) this weekend. But I say I, when I really mean Martin. I need him to handle the rig that is our tiller.

Martin made really good salsa last year, so I'm hoping to grow all the ingredients for it organically this year in our garden. I've never grown garlic or coriander before, so that should be interesting. I'd like to harvest broccoli this year rather than watch the green worms eat it all. If the potatoes are bigger than the size of a golf ball that would be a bonus too. Can you tell I'm better at raising animals than vegetables? Big bull, little potatoes.

I also want to raise a few turkeys plus there are a gazillion other things I'd like to do. At this Martin shakes his head and calls me a dreamer. But that's ok. That's what makes it fun.


Words Words said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Words Words said...

Fantastic. Especially the part where you call your horse a dink.

thordora said...

Need any oregano? COme to my house. I can't kill it for trying... :P

I need to find out if Moncton will let me have a goat....

Misty said...

Thanks. Yup, the horse is "special".

Oregano. Sure! I'll try anything.
Not sure about the goat in Moncton though... :P