Monday, March 31, 2008

All Tapped Out

Sap House Bill pulled his 20 taps over the weekend. It seems that 2008 is going to go down in legend as one of the best maple syrup seasons that anyone living can remember. This comes on the heels of the worst season anyone can remember. The rule of thumb seems to be a quart of finished syrup per tap. Bill ended up with 10 gallons from his 20 taps. And the season isn't officially over yet. I thought he should ride the wave as far as it would take him so when he's a crotchety old man he could thrill his grandchildren, and everyone else who makes eye contact with him, with an even more impressive syrup total in the miraculous year of ought-eight. But he has burned every scrap of wood that wasn't well nailed down, and has people scouring the countryside for old shipping pallets, so maybe it is time to quit.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Automotive Obituary

Dodge (Sally) Power Ram died at home on February 23, after a long illness. She was born in 1987 in Detroit, Michigan. Early in her life she worked as a highway driving truck for a Pennsylvania machine shop. In 1993 she changed careers and worked mainly in the agricultural field. Although her miles were low at the time of her death (only 156,000), many of them were pasture miles. She suffered from few health problems through most of her life, and worked tirelessly without complaint.

She was preceded in death by two sisters, Carolla Station Wagon and Dodge Caravan. She is survived sisters Camry Station Wagon and Sienna Minivan.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Clodhopper Home for Aging Vehicles.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Revolving Door

Two weeks ago my neighbor Dick and I loaded 13 hogs into a borrowed trailer (thanks, Stan), and took them over to a local butcher shop so that they could fulfill their role in the food chain. We sell our pork (as well as beef, chicken, and turkey) directly to the people who are going to eat it. After this pork is cut, wrapped, and frozen our customers pick it up at the slaughterhouse, take it home and put it in their freezers.

But now that last years pork has reached its final destination it is time to start the cycle over again. So on Wednesday I borrowed a truck (thanks Don), loaded the Greater Springville Community Calf Box in the back of it and headed to Brooklyn (PA, not NY) to pick up a dozen feeder pigs. Perhaps you have noticed a sub-theme here involving mostly borrowed equipment. A lot of the stuff I own seems to have organized a strike for better working conditions.

But anyway, the little pigs are settling in pretty well, and the barn is a little less lonely again.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Mooove in Ready (kind of)

Sap House Bill and I finished up the roof on the Cow Shed East a couple of weeks back. I wanted to get it done so that I could separate last years calves from their mothers so that the cows could get a little down time before they started calving again this spring. There is still quite a bit of work to finish it, but with the Cluck Truck strategically placed to block the wind it will work for this winter.

Our neighbor Todd came up to help me sort the cows from the calves. Then he came back again the next day to do it again after I realized that highly motivated calves will jump a 4 foot gate, especially if they are starting out on the uphill side.
Anyhow, the goal was for the Cows to have a couple of months as dry cows before calving, but 3 days after the weaning one of them calved. She had a nice little heifer calf.