This site is about my life as a farmgirl, wife, mother and grandmother. We have a beautiful granddaughter and the cutest grandson. We own two farms in Craig County Virginia, leasing one and raising beef cattle on the other.
The pandemic that we are witnessing is a very real reason to stay home. We stay home most all the time anyway so it hasn’t hindered our life much at all. You see, there is ALWAYS something to do on the farm that keeps us busy during the day and at night we’re usually too tired to much anyway!!
Wintertime keeps us busy with feeding and caring for the cattle and small animals on the farm. Everyday finds us hauling firewood out of the woodhouse into the house or to the front porch when there’s pending bad weather. It’s also a time for restocking the wood stores for the next winter and checking the fencing for downed trees that have broken the fences that keep the cattle where they belong.
This winter we are dealing with a lot of ice and over the last two months we’ve had a total of about 12 inches of snow. We’ve expected to lose power but only had one outage early that was fixed and back on within about five hours, we were asleep during most of that.
Our next big issue is calving time which begins again on March 18th through May. We’re hoping that the bad winds, ice, below freezing temps and snow are over for the most part then or we could end up with a couple orphans like these to take care of.
A few more work projects coming up are fruit tree pruning, making maple syrup and opening the greenhouse (unheated), building new fence and repairing old, restocking chicks, introducing more ducks and maybe turkeys to the farm, and fixing roads that have developed deep ruts and gulleys wherever the tractor tires dig in. This is all before we start the garden!!! There are no lazy days or boredom when you’re a farmer!!!
Hubby and I have been working everyday on the pen when the weather permitted. We were delayed in the beginning due to problems finding the lumber we needed. One of our neighbors, Mr. All, has a portable sawmill and sold us 20 of the 1 x 6 x 16 boards to get us started. We then finally found a sawmill that took private orders and we bought 100 of the boards. Most sawmills that we contacted don’t take private orders anymore and only sell to commercial builders such as mining operations.
This all I have for now but will continue the saga when the pen is completely finished and we can send a load of fall calves that we’ve weaned and been holding for the completion of the pen and hopefully a price increase. I’m hopeful it will be completed this week!!!
Last week we had a visitor during the night that tore down some fence along the main road and left the scene. The field where the fencing was damaged held 30+ weanling calves and Miracle. Our neighboring farm manager came to visit to let us know about it on a very foggy cold morning and luckily the calves were on the opposite side of the field. The driver did the damage and ran leaving what could have been a very dangerous situation especially for people going to work that morning and the bus full of kids going to school if the calves had got in the road. It was so foggy that morning that we could not see more than 10 yards in front of us but thankfully it only took about 30 minutes to repair.
We had just paid a fencing company to build this stretch of fencing in January due to the urgency of getting the calves in a secure field away from their mama’s while we waited for the right time to sale. The mama’s needed a couple months of recuperating before their new babies arrived this month.
We were upset the fence was torn down but more upset thinking about what could have been a more disastrous situation. I would hope that if it ever happens again that the driver would have the common courtesy of letting us know as soon as it happens!!
Hubby just completed this years batch of fencing and it looks so good. Our daughter got to help one day while she was off and they make a really good team. She’s almost got to the point that she knows what he needs before he does. This batch started at the south entrance of the bull lot and down to the end of the pond. It also included replacing some more locust post that had probably been in the ground for thirty years because they were rotted off at the top of the ground and top of the post was still in good shape. We’ll use the good part for firewood next winter. Here’s the first section he completed:
New fence at the bull lot
This fencing is in front of the bull lot. You have to have good strong fence when you’re dealing with bulls. When this was completed we had four bulls in the lot. He used four strands of high tinsel wire and the posts are about 10-12 feet apart.
The next section was built about two weeks ago. Hubby tore out all of the fence on the backside of the hay lot and our garden. He did most of it by himself but our daughter was able to help one or two days. It looks really good and it helped getting our wild asparagus cleaned off. Here’s that work as it progressed:
Of course, Gyp goes wherever hubby goes and inspects every hole, every fence and was fascinated with the chainsaw. This will be the last fence we replace or repair this spring as there is so much other stuff to complete before hay season starts. And, this all depends on the weather and hopefully no more duratios like we had last June.
A new year of fencing has begun. Hubby pulled out the old fence over a month ago and then the weather got bad and then hunting season got in full swing. This area of fencing is at the bull lot and had originally been made of chestnut railing. Over fifty years ago it was used a lot and was a very useful tool for short spances of fencing. Weather and bulls being bulls had worn it down and it’s just one more area completed. The bulls seem to know that they won’t be pushing this fence around. Boards were essential at both ends of this stretch due to the bracing of the heavy gate and at the other end was a short wet area where the mountain spring fed the pond. We thought sitting the end post with quickrete would fix the problem but it was never dry enough to set up so good oak boards stretched across a couple lenths worked fine and made for a sturdy fence. Four strands of high tinsel electric wiring is between the boarded sections.
This will be just a small section of the fencing to be done this year but it’s a good start. Dad and daughter did a fine days work and enjoyed each others company while I was at work.
This is the blog for our little farm in Skagit county. Here we have Shetland sheep and Nigerian Dwarf goats. In addition we have donkeys, cattle, pigs, chickens, geese, and peafowl. The blog describes the weekly activities here.