That great mud hole in the sky

20130913-175917.jpg

Wednesday, September 11th Spot and Weasley, our infertile breeding pair of pigs made their last trip to Sims, NC to be processed. Here they are loaded into the trailer awaiting the time to leave. We loaded them by tempting them with food, not shocking, yelling, or anything else mean. After we got them loaded we took an early morning trip to avoid the heat and they were dropped off by 9am.

20130913-180256.jpg

Here they are after unloading. They don’t just look huge because they are closer, they ARE huge. They are estimated at about 500 lbs each compared to about 100-125 lbs for the other pigs in the background.

As you can see from the picture, Weasley is still very much all boy with his figs intact. There is a lot of concern about boar taint with uncut males. I guess we will find out how prevalent it is, or how pungent. Wild boar doesn’t seem to have this issue so hopefully Weasley will make good meat.

I know we originally were going to keep Weasley but he is just so huge compared to Penelope I don’t think he could breed her. So both Spot and Weasley get to make the trip to the freezer.

If you are stopping by for dinner next week and are wondering what’s for dinner, we are having pork. The week after that, pork. If you want some pork products, we should be in stock by next weekend.

Dan Moore on EmailDan Moore on FacebookDan Moore on GoogleDan Moore on Twitter
Dan is a dad, a husband, a business owner, a pilot, a sailor, a scuba diver, a machinist, a gunsmith, a welder, a woodworker, a day laborer, a teacher, a mentor and a writer. The short form of all the previous is he's a farmer.

Something besides cows

20130913-071702.jpg

Besides our morning cow routine, we also collect the eggs every morning. We aren’t getting the eggs we would expect from our chickens. We seem to have a goodly number of chickens who have passed their prime and need to graduate to the stew pot. I have to do some testing to figure out who is laying and who is not before I can select though and that’s a task I haven’t gotten to yet. The good thing about a farm is there is always something to do.

Dan Moore on EmailDan Moore on FacebookDan Moore on GoogleDan Moore on Twitter
Dan is a dad, a husband, a business owner, a pilot, a sailor, a scuba diver, a machinist, a gunsmith, a welder, a woodworker, a day laborer, a teacher, a mentor and a writer. The short form of all the previous is he's a farmer.

Joel Salatin on liberty and farming

http://sustainablefoodtrust.org/articles/joel-salatin/

I don’t post many political items nor do I try to glean links to other peoples stuff just for filler on our website. However, liberty, farming, and Joel Salatin are all topics I’m interested in so I thought I’d pass along this post by Joel.

Dan Moore on EmailDan Moore on FacebookDan Moore on GoogleDan Moore on Twitter
Dan is a dad, a husband, a business owner, a pilot, a sailor, a scuba diver, a machinist, a gunsmith, a welder, a woodworker, a day laborer, a teacher, a mentor and a writer. The short form of all the previous is he's a farmer.

Another misty morning

20130911-070904.jpg

The view this morning. Can you spot the cows?

Cool weather is coming. Although its going to be another 90 degree day today, lows in the 40s are coming this weekend.

The grass looks really good in the pasture where the cows are on the top of the hill. Its very thick with 0 signs of overgrazing. The paddocks are about 25 feet wide and the full length from the old fence line to the golf course.

Dan Moore on EmailDan Moore on FacebookDan Moore on GoogleDan Moore on Twitter
Dan is a dad, a husband, a business owner, a pilot, a sailor, a scuba diver, a machinist, a gunsmith, a welder, a woodworker, a day laborer, a teacher, a mentor and a writer. The short form of all the previous is he's a farmer.

Thistle

20130909-072658.jpg

So last year I was really frustrated by the amount of thistle in my pasture. It was taking over and driving me crazy.

I have been fighting such a battle with dog fennel this year that it didn’t even occur to me that I had way less thistle this year than in previous years. And what thistle I did have didn’t hang around long, it flowered and died pretty quickly whereas before it would be in the pasture right up till fall/winter. I did apply lime this year which raised my soil PH. Looks like there could be something to this PH thing after all.

I don’t want to pay 1000 dollars for lime every year but rotational grazing is supposed to help greatly with soil PH. Since this is our first year there isn’t supposed to be a huge turnaround but within a few years I should see my PH in a good range without the application of lime. By next year we should have double the stocking density and should really be able to start trampling some grass and building carbon. With even more fertility, maybe the thistle will be a thing of the past and even this dog fennel will go away. One can always hope.

Dan Moore on EmailDan Moore on FacebookDan Moore on GoogleDan Moore on Twitter
Dan is a dad, a husband, a business owner, a pilot, a sailor, a scuba diver, a machinist, a gunsmith, a welder, a woodworker, a day laborer, a teacher, a mentor and a writer. The short form of all the previous is he's a farmer.

Grazing update

20130908-071054.jpg

The grass continues to be grazed well. The interns made their own decision to widen the paddocks. They didn’t consult me, the grand poobah, they just did it on their own. I couldn’t be prouder. Yesterdays paddock is on the left, todays on the right. The clover isn’t quite all eaten in yesterday’s paddock indicating the cows didn’t come back for seconds and thirds. That’s a good thing.

Moving the mineral feeder uphill this morning was a chore. It rolls nicely, better than I had hoped originally but boy is it heavy. We added two bags of phosphorous yesterday. One as a refill, and one in the empty salt slot. We did this because salt is already in their salt block on the waterer and it means they now have twice as much phosphorous. The didn’t touch the phosphorous in the new position but have already dove into the refill. Trace mineral C and silica are both getting low now and are ready for a refill. I tested the cows PH when we were without Phosphorous for a couple of weeks. It had rocketed back to 9.0. Phosphorous definitely makes a difference.

Dan Moore on EmailDan Moore on FacebookDan Moore on GoogleDan Moore on Twitter
Dan is a dad, a husband, a business owner, a pilot, a sailor, a scuba diver, a machinist, a gunsmith, a welder, a woodworker, a day laborer, a teacher, a mentor and a writer. The short form of all the previous is he's a farmer.

New, new fence charger

20130907-123352.jpg

So I ordered a new, new fence charger to backup the one that failed. We hooked it up this morning and with miles of fence connected we had 8.5K volts in the cows paddock which is really good. It only took a few minutes to swap out the chargers so except for the sting of the price it wasn’t too bad. Plus they sent some sporty caps in the box for our trouble. Spork was the lucky recipient of the first hat since he was up early and looking to work. The early bird gets the worm.

Dan Moore on EmailDan Moore on FacebookDan Moore on GoogleDan Moore on Twitter
Dan is a dad, a husband, a business owner, a pilot, a sailor, a scuba diver, a machinist, a gunsmith, a welder, a woodworker, a day laborer, a teacher, a mentor and a writer. The short form of all the previous is he's a farmer.