Tuesday, May 25, 2010


A big bag of seed arrived today that we will plant in our "quail habitat demonstration plot". We hope to plant a small portion of our pasture to a unique set of plants which can be grazed by our sheep and cattle and promote quail habitat at the same time. The bag lists 26 different plants in the mixture including June Grass, Black-eyed Susan, Tall Bellflower, Partridge Pea, Illinois Bundleflower, Sneezeweed and several others I've never heard of. I just wonder what the heck Sneezeweed is and where are people growing something like this commercially to be sold as seed.

I've missed a few blogs and I said I wouldn't do that. I've got a nasty back injury and have been in a poor mood lately. Hopefully I'll whip this thing and get back with the program. The farm continues on with the help of Mary and Jeff.

Good grazing to you, Bill

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Chicken and Noodles and Fresh Apple Pie

We eat a lot of good meals around here but some are just plain "special". Because I'm my mother in law's favorite son-in-law(hey, it's my blog, I can say anything I want)she sent some long, golden home-made noodles back with Mary last time she visited. My wife put those together with some of our home raised chicken which are plump, tender and just plain delicious. Not to be confused with the chicken you buy at the store that looks like they filled it up with water to add weight then drove over it with a truck to smash it down for packaging. The meal Mary made reminded me of those big meals we had as kids when all the neighbors came over to help shell corn. I can still see those fresh apple pies lined up on the table in the back room, waiting to cool for a desert for all the sweat soaked farmers in bib-overalls, taking a break from the strenuous task of scooping ear corn. Unfortunately, there was no apple pie and ice cream for desert with this particular meal because "you know who" thinks someone around here has a weight problem. It's true I do, I just can't "wait" for chicken and noodles and fresh apple pie.

I feel like complaining about the rain, it's really delaying the completion of planting but it does make the grass grow and I remember years when it didn't rain. Be careful what you ask for!

Good grazing to you, Bill

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

A Lot Going On

It's a busy spring day here at Grazier Farm. The ewes with their new lambs have been turned out to graze grass inside their new electronet. This is a portable fence that is easily set up and which has electrified fibers running all around it that keep the sheep in and predators out. The end result is sheep out and eating grass instead of cooped up in the barn eating hay and we all are happier.

Jeff will load out corn after he get's home from work tonight. It will be some of the last organic grain we produce on this farm.

I had an appointment this morning to have an MRI for a nasty back problem that's been bothering me the past month. The neat thing is the whole process is done in the back of a semi-truck that comes out to Corning from Omaha. It was a painless but noisy procedure. You are slid into something that looks kind of like a metal coffin and have to lay there for around a half an hour and listen to bizarre noises. Contrary to claims by one of my daughters, it was a very high tech system and no, I did not have to walk up a cattle loading chute to get into it and no, nobody prodded me along with a livestock buzzer!

The grass is growing hard, the livestock are getting fat. Good grazing to you, Bill

Thursday, May 6, 2010

They're Off!

Each year, my wife Mary, takes her 6th grade class on an overnight field trip to the nature study center at Springbrook Park. This morning, the group along with additional parents as chaperons traveled by bus to the park near Guthrie Center. There the kids get a real "hands-on" education about such things as nature identification, fishing(you'd be surprised at the number of kids who've never even been fishing) and boating, soil erosion, tracking animals, using GPS systems for locating points of interest and they also learn other skills too numerous to mention. The kids are challenged from the time they get there till the time they leave and will arrive back in Lenox exhausted late tomorrow. I think it may be one of the high-lights of their sixth grade year and leave them with memories forever. Mary even went out in our yard a couple of nights ago and gathered a fresh supply of night crawlers so that the kids would be sure to have good bait. Ever have a teacher do that for you?

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Appreciate It!

There were times last winter when I drove through snow up to the axles on the tractor trying to get to the cattle to feed them. As the cattle and sheep rapidly depleted our stockpile of harvested hay I wondered if we'd ever see spring again. I longed to see green grass, grazed by fat, content cattle and sheep. Well, it's here. The rains have been timely, the weather warm and while we don't know what the rest of the summer has in store for us, today is grand!

I'm trying to get out our farm newsletter yet today, we're about ready to start planting soybeans, the cattle and sheep all need to be moved to fresh pastures, bills need to be paid, you name it. It would be easy to get stressed out. I'm going to resist the temptation to get worked up. Instead, I'm going to walk out into the pasture, watch the animals grazing and appreciate the day! Good advice for anybody, anywhere. Good grazing to you, Bill