Our Summer in Pictures

The kittens are at a very cute stage. Here is Fluffy posing in the flowers on the front porch. Fluffy’s mom is Midnight, the grandma and head matriarch of the other cats. She is a peacemaker. Whenever the male cats get into a fight, Midnight streaks across the yard and breaks up the fight. It is always interesting to watch.

Farm boys don’t need to work out at the gym. They do their weightlifting with slightly larger weights! What you don’t see is that the tractor is hooked up to a trailer with several ton of gravel on it which made the front of the tractor lighter.

We made hay stacks again this summer. In spite of modern technology, hay stacks are one of the best ways of preserving hay and makes a fun family project. Most hay today is crushed when it is cut to speed the drying process. Unfortunately, the crushing process also releases the vitamins in the grass, similar to what happens when grain is cracked or ground into flour or feed. If built properly around a pole, the hay stack sheds rain with only the outer 4 inches or so being affected by the weather. This year we used the conveyor to make the hay stacks which made the work much easier. We were also encouraged with the significant improvement in the soil and the amount of hay. Two years ago, this same pasture made only half as much hay.

Last week our sons Nathan, Daniel, and Joel purchased some more Texel sheep from a farm in Michigan for breeding stock. We left Thursday evening about 7:00 pm, drove through the night and arrived at the farm in Michigan at 8:00 am. With three drivers and beds in our conversion van, we were able to take turns sleeping. We returned home again Friday night about 11:00 pm.

Nathan purchased this Texel ram in Michigan to improve the genetics of his flock of sheep. Note how exceptionally wide the ram’s chest and front legs are. He is wide the whole way back. From the rear he resembles a pig with wool. The Texel breed is a heavily muscled breed that does very well on grass alone. They are also known for their superior meat quality and naturally lean meat. Two years ago in England, a Texel ram lamb set the world record for the highest priced sheep at £231,000 ($324,647). Nathan, 18, owns most of the sheep on our farm. You know a guy likes sheep when he puts all his money into buying sheep rather than buying a car!

Flowers of summer – a Stargazer Lily