June 21, 2006 – Longest Day of the Year

Well, it’s over now – from here on in the days get shorter! Neighbors had a summer solstice gathering with potluck, fire, singing and everybody was invited to share a piece of poetry or other thought.

I’m hoping to save a bunch of time on wood chips this year. Rather than driving to pick up and load and unload by hand – the utility trimming truck came to the farm, I can load them with the tractor loader.


I saw these guys last week and asked them to dump at my place, but they never showed – they came this week and to entice them back they got a carton of freshly-picked strawberries!

June 20, 2006 – Shh, Don’t Tell the Chickens it’s Not Raining!

I found a new way to convince the chickens to go inside the night-time shelter other than shooing by hand or with sticks – virtual thunderstorms!

I just spray the hose into the air and as the “rain” comes down, they scurry into the shelter. No more convincing chickens it’s time to go inside. It works like a champ.

June 19, 2006 – Summer Fencing

Today was a day for some fencing configuration. First we put up the portable electric netting fencing.

Martin is hauling over the “power posts” for the netting. You can see it is all laid out, the path is mowed, and today’s good fortune was that the 164 foot length was about perfect from the side of the chicken coop to the fence next to the pine trees. It was also close enough to the electric fence in the main pasture to hook onto that instead of putting the solar charger out.

Here’s the fence ready for action – works on chickens and goats alike. Love this stuff.

We also took an odd portion of the main pasture and fenced it in with cattle panels to keep the cows out. Thought it was time to put the goats on a different pasture for a while, plus there are some mulberries they’ll mow down first.

What more could a guy want than a tractor to do the heavy lifting and a wife to do the pounding! It was nice to have the tractor to save the back by pulling out and putting in posts.

June 18, 2006 – Cherries are In!

Even though the strawberries are still coming in, the cherries have arrived.

Linda picked them to make her favorite jam – cherry jam. Today to celebrate Father’s Day we went to Ledges State Park – a place we used to hang out when we lived in Ames. I didn’t have my camera so no pics.

We walked down the creek, surrounded by rock cliffs and lots of greenery. Nice place on a hot day. The road that winds through the park, occasionally goes through (instead of over) the creek. Kids line up and urge cars and trucks to drive fast through the water to splash. We also climbed up to a rocky outlook over the Des Moines River and felt nervous with a four year old.

There were lots of people there today picnicing, the most notable, an “absent” father who had a sun shelter set up watching TV! Even the natural wonders and his family around him were not enough to lure him from the TV and watching the cars going around in a circle over and over…

June 17, 2006 – Takin’ Care of My Babies

Today was mowing and trimming day – got the pines and the hardwoods all mowed and trimmed. Also got the two thistle patches in the pasture mowed down.

The pine trees look good do far – all the new ones this year now have a drink.

The hardwoods are looking good as well – many of the trees that were eaten by rabbits have resprouted.

The rain still dances all around us.