The oats are half done.  The guys were clipping along at a feverish pace last week to beat the rain chances.  On Friday is was a different kind of hot…the kind that chokes you just a bit and keeps you from a clean and wholesome breath.  Regardless, we pushed on and had everybody doing tasks.  Dad was raking straw and hay and then jumped to unloading wagons of oats in the neighbor’s bins.  Bruce was baling hay and straw.  Doug was swathing more oats. I was moving round bales with Cole.  Ryan was combining oats, very carefully, and slower than he wanted because we had just as much green grass and weeds to stuff through the machine as we did oats.  He said it plugged up so hard one time it killed the engine.  Luckily, he cleared the mass and moved on.  The one upside, and only upside, about that much grass in our oats is that the straw turns into great feed this winter for the growing livestock.  Some of the oat field was predicted to be too much for the combine so we are baling the oats in with the hay.  This won’t be fed to cows but rather pigs.  They will absolutely go nuts when they figure out the bale we throw in isn’t just for bedding but chock full of seeds to fight over.  They are the most curious of animals and I look forward to writing about their reactions later in summer.

My boys, Graham and Maddock, even got in on the action.  We moved the chicken mobile during the afternoon vs early morning this time…and probably the last time.  Generally, I will lock up the chickens before I go to bed.  The next morning we take down the fences, move their water and feed, and roll the coop into the new section of grass.  If not, the grass where they are at can get a little bit pummeled and won’t recover as quickly.  Well, I forgot to lock up the flock, and I made the call to move them while they were foot loose and fancy free.  I was hoping they would just follow the coop and we could throw a few of the stragglers over the fence.  Not so much.  More of them stayed then moved and Cole was left questioning this upper management strategy.  As I came back from moving a load of bales, I saw that Maddock had jumped in to help.  What 5 year old doesn’t like chasing chickens, catching chickens and throwing chickens over a fence?  You may cringe when I say “throw” but you have to remember that chickens have wings.  Not necessarily to take flight but more to glide to a safe landing.  I think Graham came out to help because he saw his younger brother “out working” him…fat chance he was letting that happen.

We decided to offer a summer sale this week….18% off the whole walk-in freezer.  If everybody else’s schedule is as crazy as mine, it’s hard to meal plan, grill out, and plan an order pick-up.  We hope this might entice everyone to keep the freezer and fridge stocked with WF meats for the next 6 weeks.  The sale is good for both local pick-up and FedEx shipments…so for those of you outside our local net you can still have a box land on your door and save a pretty penny doing it.  The link below will get you to the website and at checkout just use promo SUMMERSALE18.

One more big push this next week and we’ll hopefully be done with oats, hay and straw bales moved for winter (sorry for swearing), and take a little family time in August while the sun, plants and ruminants work on our behalf.  Sounds too good to be true doesn’t it?

The photo this week was taken this morning, Friday the 20th. We had almost 2 inches of much much needed rain.  Yesterday saw some crazy and unexpected storms.  It didn’t feel or look like your typical hot summer damage causing weather pattern.  There was some amazing footage in Bondurant, IA of a tornado ripping apart some houses.  Hopefully everybody made it to safety.  I can’t help but wonder what it was like for the settlers many moons ago.  They didn’t exactly have a basement or shelter to go to…and they surely didn’t have sirens and doppler radar to warn them ahead of time.  I wonder if they had a better 6th sense and if their observation skills or intuition helped keep them safe?  Just a random thought for you to end the week.

Your Farmer,
Nick