Friday, April 26, 2013

Random 5 Friday...

It's Friday!  Of course, you knew that already!  Especially if you have school aged kids, you know just how exciting Fridays are!  They're looking forward to a couple of days sleeping in tomorrow morning...

But oh...that's right...we're farmers, so Fridays don't matter!   :)

Saturday is just another day, with the same schedule.  We'll get our "time off" for a couple of hours on Sunday afternoon.

I'm joining up with Random 5 Friday today.  Here are five random thoughts from around the farm...

1.  I tried a couple of new things in the garden this year.  I made a raised bed out of some old pallets, and tucked an herb garden in the corner of my perennial bed close to the house.  I planted parsley, oregano, chives, cilantro, and basil.  It's too cold for the basil at night, so I've been covering it.  It was getting way too spindly in the house, so I gave it a shot.  The bed is pretty protected, and I'm hoping it won't get too cold...

I also planted my lettuce, cabbage and kale in these pallets (in the garden) to try to keep the weeds down.  For some reason, the weeds just love to take over these plants when I put them directly in the garden soil...

2.  We're down to our last four round bales of balage.  They will last us perhaps two weeks yet, and then we'll be feeding all dry hay to the cows. They'll be grazing as well, but by the time we're ready to bale first cutting of alfalfa, the hay mow will be getting empty...

3.  A few weeks ago, Jim "retired" our old New Idea manure spreader...

This is one of the few...perhaps the only...piece of brand new equipment that we bought.  Back in September of 1996, we purchased this manure spreader for $4850.  We spread manure every day, so Jim figured out the with the daily manure spreading, and cleaning out heifer pens several times a year for 16 1/2 years, that his trusty old spreader has hauled between 6500 - 7000 loads of manure!  The web has been replaced several times, and routine maintenance has been done, but it's now been replaced by a used, and slightly larger one. This old spreader owed us nothing!  It will be a great spreader for someone who has a few steers, or some horses, but it's daily, heavy work is over.

4.  My chickens are laying eggs like crazy again, now that the days are getting longer.  We lost some customers over the winter to our Amish neighbors, because we didn't have light in our chicken shed.  Now we have to build up a customer base again.  Three dozen eggs per day is a few more than we need...

5. My fern leaf peony's blooms are just about to open!  I got this flower from a lady at Church a bunch of years ago, and it's cheery blooms are one of the first to open...

This was fun...I hope you enjoyed it too!


  1. Love the raised beds and your pallet idea! I say every year I am going to make raised beds near the house and never do, but I should. Fresh herbs would be nice.

    Loved hearing about your manure spreader. Old farm equipment is cool! Visiting from Random 5.

  2. curious - where you retire a spreader - do you sell it or does it go for parts?

    gosh, i wish i lived close i would love some fresh eggs. wish you well on that. ( :

    1. Beth...we sat it out along the road with a for sale sign on it, and someone bought it to use for cleaning out their heifer pens. :)

  3. Hi Alica, I love the idea of a raised bed and I'm looking forward to see how the pallet herb garden works out to keep the weeds at bay.

    Wow, the old manure spreader really paid for itself many times over.

    Too bad I didn't live closer, I'd buy some of your fresh your eggs.

    We still have lot of bales of silage and dry hay on the farm even though we sold a lot. With the new equipment, getting the hay done was so much faster and I hope that we get some good haying days with lots of sunshine again this year. You never know from one year to the other what the weather has in store for us.
    This is the first time that I saw a fern leaf peony. Mine have broad leaves and are just peeking out of the cold ground. It will be a while before we see a blossom.

    Have a great weekend on the farm.

    1. Julia, the fern leaf peony is a really old variety, and blooms super early! My "regular" peonies won't be blooming for another 5 or 6 weeks!

  4. I enjoyed your Random 5! Wow, how great to sell the old manure spreader so quickly! I like the look of your lettuce and stuff growing up through the pallets and I can't wait to see your peony blooms! :)

  5. Your plants look great! My husband and I keep talking about putting some raised beds behind the house and raising some veggies, but we haven't done it yet. Maybe next year. :-)

    I would love to buy some of those eggs, too! I grew up on a farm, and I remember my mother gathering eggs and selling them and butter that she made.

  6. Nice little herb garden. I'm so jealous of your warmer weather. We've had the coldest spring ever, I think. That's a tough looking manure spreader. I'm impressed you used it so often. Your cows probably have nice healthy feet. Those eggs look like they're waiting for a chance to pose in a still life painting.

  7. I must let my hubby know about this pallet idea, so cool. Impressive manure spreader, he has worked hard.
    I love cows, your header photo is beautiful..I cannot find white shelled eggs here (south of france) lovely photo of your eggs

  8. I think I need to steal your pallet garden idea because I hate weeding and so does my back. I'm thinking of planting my herbs in pots this year.

    Lovely post Alica -- so happy you joined in with us today. Have a great weekend! xo

  9. Oh nice and I think I would like to try your pallet garden too.
    After all of the weeds last year, I am looking around for something else. I love your little herb garden. It looks nice.
    All of your photos are wonderful.

  10. AHHH... farm life. I like the pallets. I don't have room for that. Wish I had some of that fertilizer. I love your ideas. I hate spending my summer weeding. I think you will like the raised beds. I love mine. Enjoy the spring. Thanks for sharing.

  11. I loved the five random facts, and I always mean to join up with the Rural Journal and then forget it by Friday.

    I noticed our neighbor who keeps cattle is out of his hay now, too, including his two year old hay which he fed. He has way too many cattle on his pasture, so I sure hope hay comes in early here!

  12. Alica, your plants look great. Interesting idea with the pallets. I also liked your intro....dairy farming is indeed 7 days a week!

  13. Oh ALICA I LOVE your Random Five. I dragged the computer over to show My Hero the pallet idea I told him to find me some pallets it is still cool here so he has time:) I showed him the manure spreader we have a International 540 manure spreader in the barn we bought it in the 80's and used it steady for about five years then we started all outdoor housing for the cattle and have not used it too much since it sits in the barn out of the weather not being used waiting for the "Big" auction someday it will be an antque and in almost perfect shape:)
    Good luck it is now the busy season but I am so happy it is warming up. Hug B :)

  14. We only have 20 more days of hay left there is no more to find in our area that we could possibly afford.We are praying it warms up and the pasture grows or we will be shipping which I do not want to see nor do.I am sure we will be fine. Hug B

  15. Love that pallet garden, what a great idea.

  16. I love the Random 5 Friday posts. So much fun. That is certainly a lot of manure hauled! I really keep thinking I need to do some raised beds for part of my gardens, but it seems like such a daunting task to get started. I really do want to get my strawberries into a raised bed this year though.


I enjoy hearing what you have to say! Thanks for your comments!