GET LOST RUMPLESTILTSKIN……

….I want my straw!   We don’t bale our wheat stubble after harvest.  We feel that keeping the organic matter on our soil is more important.  However, various neighbors sometimes bale straw.  I’ve never had all the straw that I wanted, so this year I splurged a little.  Look at that stuff…it makes me feel giddy.

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Score!

Most of my bigger animals live out of doors, with windbreaks.  In fact, the time or two that I’ve tried to put the horses in the barn,  they wanted NONE OF IT!  I do have the smaller critters in shelters and put others in the barn when we have a blizzard.  Then, it’s wonderful to give them good clean straw to lay in.

I love straw for my chicken nests and for the floor.  It makes everything cleaner.  The picture of the Duke is just a bonus for you.

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It’s a golden treasure.

Schmoops loves it too!

WHAT A TREAT

…..For our wheat seed, that is.    The quality of our crop begins with the seed.  We always clean the seed.  This takes out the cracked, small berries and things like joint grass.  (joint grass-how we hate it)  We have our soil tested so that we know if a certain field needs trace minerals or other nutrients which can be added at planting time. This year, our farm purchased a seed treater. Seed treating for fungus, ect. is not a new thing at all, but it’s new for us to do it ourselves.

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A farmer doing some homework!

It’s vital for us to get our wheat plants off to the best start possible.  A strong, healthy  plant with good roots will hold the soil.  In Southwest Kansas, soil erosion from wind is something we put every effort into preventing.  Have you ever been here in the spring?  To say the wind blows is an understatement.  Have you ever seen a bad dirt storm?  It’s a very ugly thing.   We can’t control nature.  We have no control over moisture, early freezes and wind, so we try to do our very best with our farming practices.

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Complicated!

This reminds me of a blood transfusion.   The red is just a colorant.  It’s a law that treated seed is colored.  Yes, farmers have many laws to obey, contrary to popular belief.

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Here is the cleaned seed being augered into the treater.

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It’s  put onto another truck, then it goes back into our grain bins until planting time when it’s taken out and put back onto a truck.  The truck takes the seed to the field where the air seeder is waiting.  Are you thinking that we handle our wheat a lot?  We do!  It’s an important part of farming.   That’s why we take care of it.

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….and now it’s time to plant.   Wish us luck!

BOB WHO?

Have you ever heard a Bobwhite Quail call?   They always sound to me like they are asking a question:  “Bob…White?”  Hearing their call is reason enough to want quail around.   I have considered raising ‘bobs’ for quite awhile.  This spring I took the plunge.

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So small…….

And trust me, it was a plunge.  I have spent my entire life raising and being around poultry—BUT— Bobwhite quail are not poultry.   They are wild, crazy little game birds.  Did I mention wild and crazy?  Due to their size and other circumstances,   I ended up keeping them in my basement, until I felt they were big enough to release into their pen.  (In a brooder, not roaming freely)  I have done this with young chickens many times.  However, I have never had chicks escape and fly around the basement.    Yes, quail can fly quite well at a very young age.  Have I mentioned that there was quite a learning curve for me?   Here is somewhat of a timeline, beginning with that innocent looking baby quail above.

Spring began with my announcement that I had ordered baby quail.  My husband was down with it and began working on the Quail Shack for me, with the help of my Son in Law.  Thank you  boys!

Late spring and the quail are on the way.  No problem!  The Shack is finished and set into place.

I painted the inside for brightness and to help protect it for moisture.  I also had a dead cedar that I had been saving for this occasion, thinking it would make a good roost.  This was one thing that I was right about.

And here they are at last.  They have settled in and seem to enjoy life.

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It seemed like a lot of work to get to this point, but it was worth it.  We enjoy these little birds so much.  Next spring I plan to release a few to join the wild ones that are hanging around our place.

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In the meantime,  I’m  anxiously waiting to hear the first one call…..I’m betting he won’t be sure of his name either.

A Big Thank You to Oregon — Kiss My Tractor

This is one of the most refreshing perspectives on the different methods of farming that I’ve seen. It’s short and concise, quoted by Katy Coba, who is Director of the Oregon Department of Agriculture. And I quote: “Big ag is good, small ag is good, organic ag is good, and conventional ag is good. I […]

via A Big Thank You to Oregon — Kiss My Tractor

Sadly, I feel that many of my fellow farmers need to adopt this attitude.  Otherwise, how can we expect the general public to support agriculture?  Let’s stick together, rather than put each other down for our own agendas.