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Rain this morning. This has become somewhat a routine. Take the dogs for a walk, take  a few pictures and then ave breakfast. Write my piece on the Icelandic website and then do this one.

Here you see my newest insanity, my stone business. What should I call it: "Stone and more Stone?" My grandfather published pamphlets with these names  in Iceland First one "Stone", The second one "More Stone" and then "Even More Stone", this before the Second World War, have some of them somewhere, maybe I put in pictures.

One problem on a farm, you are constantly sinking into the mud, becomes a nightmare. Buying truck loads of gravel too expensive and then they don't go very far. Got this Australian attachment for the skidsteer and hoping I can put up enough gravel to make dry lots for the pigs and cattle in winter and even sell some. 

http://www.flipscreen.net

Watch out they have nasty music with the video, you might want to turn the speakers off.

 

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So I have been walking the dogs in all different directions from the house in the morning, both to take pictures for you, but also to flush out predators and make them nervous to come too close to the farm and take the chicken.

As a matter of fact the grown up dogs disappeared after something into the woods. Walked to the lake, Spring Lake, the farm has land up to it. Long time ago it was called Robins Pond. Then they put a dam in it and made it bigger and the town of Delhi got their water from it.

Now they have drilled wells and don´t need the lake, but the lake is still here and the dam too. These stonewalls are all over the farm. some of them more elaborate, just imagine the work going into miles and miles of these stonewalls. When they were done, I don´t know, 19th Century, 18th? 

Have to do some work going to be a long day. 

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So I had the ground from the pig I did this morning. Even if I say so my self, about perfect.The right amount of fat, tasted fresh and delicious. Ground about right and I am very pleased. Getting that finer disk for the grinder the right decision.

And then I found out I am somewhat brilliant, getting closer to using every thing from the pig. When I skinned the pig, some fat was left on the hide, guess I will get better at it hopefully. So afterward I put the pelt on a table and cut of the fat left behind, rolling the pelt onto itself like as a carpet as I went along. Then all of a sudden this brilliant idea was born. What if I freeze the whole thing rolled up like this and then cut it into slices, perfect dog food right?! 

Recently a customer on a visit (you know who you are :-)) told me hair is good for dogs digestion and they don´t mind eating it. So here we are, froze the pelt rolled up on a board and it only took me a few minutes to cut  it up in the meat saw. I then cut each slice in half so the skin lengths would not be too long. Maybe this can''t be fed to indoor dogs the hair going all over, but I am sure my Great Pyrenians will love it. It is very important to me I can use everything, not throw anything away. And now I have figured out what to do with the pelt.

I was was going to load a lot of pictures with this, but for some reason the Internet  is messing up, does not want to do it. So after my chores I will try again, So if the pictures are important to you, look in again later today.

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1 hour ago, The Farmer said:

So I had the ground from the pig I did this morning. Even if I say so my self, about perfect.The right amount of fat, tasted fresh and delicious. Ground about right and I am very pleased. Getting that finer disk for the grinder the right decision.

And then I found out I am somewhat brilliant, getting closer to using every thing from the pig. When I skinned the pig, some fat was left on the hide, guess I will get better at it hopefully. So afterward I put the pelt on a table and cut of the fat left behind, rolling the pelt onto itself like as a carpet as I went along. Then all of a sudden this brilliant idea was born. What if I freeze the whole thing rolled up like this and then cut it into slices, perfect dog food right?! 

Recently a customer on a visit (you know who you are :-)) told me hair is good for dogs digestion and they don´t mind eating it. So here we are, froze the pelt rolled up on a board and it only took me a few minutes to cut  it up in the meat saw. I then cut each slice in half so the skin lengths would not be too long. Maybe this can''t be fed to indoor dogs the hair going all over, but I am sure my Great Pyrenians will love it. It is very important to me I can use everything, not throw anything away. And now I have figured out what to do with the pelt.

I was was going to load a lot of pictures with this, but for some reason the Internet  is messing up, does not want to do it. So after my chores I will try again, So if the pictures are important to you, look in again later today.

Turned out one of the router hubs was not connected. And I was ready to blame the phone company or those who host the forum, anybody but myself. The dogs must have disconnected it, their fault not mine.

So here are all the pictures. You can see the pelt cookies, going to let them thaw and feed them in the morning, suspect the dogs will just gulp them down and that that, going going gone. How brilliant am I. 

I do feel very good about the pig I did. Still feel good from the pork I ate this morning, makes all the  difference when every thing is right, taste, everything. Happy I got this extra disk Soon I am getting this link maker and making breakfast sausages. 

These pictures have one virtue above all, taken this morning. No price photos but fresh as they come, you can even smell them.

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So another day on the farm, looks a lot better ones you are full of coffee. Not that I should complain, the weather about perfect, no animals where they were not to be and everything good at 7 AM. Lets see when I go out after finishing this. 

So every morning I walk in a different direction from the farmhouse, something you see in the pictures. The theory being the dogs will mark their territory, the predators get intimated and stay away from the poultry. And if the dogs encounter any predators on this walk of ours, that they will go after them. That what they say about these dogs, stay posted.

Not had any losses this spring due to predators, but the puppies have killed some chicken, not any for more than a week now. I think I can see it on the ducks, they are going further a field and don´t seem to be afraid of anything. 

As I said earlier, did this pig and put the weights into the auction, you can see it here. https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1JvevwXSQzm1sMbq8s_hJuY-szbOeYTwAy5nytRFOAhc/edit#gid=0 The x as you know means I have accepted your bids. Some of the bids are mine, never sold the whole pig and I will be eating it for breakfast for the next weeks. Far superior to any pork from the farm I have eaten so far. Many different reasons I think and here they are:

First. This was a prime young pig, should not really have gone for ground, but because I messed up with that boar, something wrong with it, I did this one.

Second. Now I have this bolt gun stunner. Feed the pigs by the fence, and put the stunner to the head of the chosen one and it goes down without ever knowing what happened, have to wash the feed out its mouth when butchering. When I bring them to Steiner, I first have to catch them, get them on the trailer and then drive to the butcher about 40 minutes. Lot of stress involved. They get there in the afternoon and stay in a pen till the day after,. Stress, stress, stress, must affect the meat.

Third. I try to do the pig, cut it up, grind, package and freeze as soon as I can, at the butcher they hang at least for a few days, sometimes you can taste they have hung too long . 

Fourth. Got this third disk for the grinder and the ground just about right. I live on my pork, especially the fat and credit my good health to it, no kidding.

But the economy of this does not really add up, three days of hard work with other chores. Started Friday,  deboned Saturday, ground Sunday and finished everything Monday., takes awhile cleaning up the slaughterhouse (abattoir) afterwards.  

 

 

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So Yesterday I did some screening, dry enough to start. Had the biggest mesh screen on the screener. First I had used a rock bucket to get all the big stones out. Arock bucket is a bucket on the skidsteer with about 3" by 6" holes in it.

Got these two piles, these rocks should be good underlayment in the winter dry lots for the cattle and the pigs I am planing. Next I will put smaller mesh screens on, one after the other and get gravel in different sizes.

Three different screens and the topsoil then the end product hopefully. The hard pan underneath the topsoil will not become topsoil, when screened, but just maybe if I mix it with old hay and manure, it will ones everything brakes down, rots or composts. The important part of soil is the humus, the humus that holds the moisture and prevents the soil  from becoming hard when it dries out.

Well one has to keep on trying, either that or quit. Quiting what the family wants me to do. But without farming I feel I will not have a purpose. I could spend all my time writing on the web, but about what, the farming I did ones??

This is the puppy Pez, the funny or strange thing, reminds me of a dog I knew about 50 plus years ago, starting to believe in reincarnation. That dogs name was Snati, Icelandic for running errands. Looks like a brainy dog to me. Not known at this point if his ears will become erect.

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Colder this morning, walked up to the top and noticeable colder there if only maybe 100 feet higher. Maybe we can see these pictures as actual proof my cattle is on grass, not like the beef you buy in the store, enough that cattle dreams about green pastures eating their not grass-feed in the feedlot.

I  promised no bile here, that I would keep it in an other discussion. So I never wrote what I wrote and you didn't read it, only positive thoughts here and all the pictures taken in sun and nice weather.

Maybe you don't know this but the weather in Iceland is quite nasty lot of the time. Has to do with its location, the Golf stream an such. Some of the same factors as in the Aleutian Islands in the Pacific, both places between two climate zones. The hurricanes that form in the south Atlantic drift north and most of them never make it on shore in the Americas, meander north and end up as gales in the North Atlantic about where Iceland is.

So as a kid I would see all these sunny pictures from foreign countries, always sun and warm weather, while my reality was rain coming down horizontally if not as snow in the middle of summer. Here it quite often feels like Heaven on Earth in the summer at least (much colder here than in Iceland in winter). If I meet Peter one morning on his walk, I would not be all that surprised.

As you see, the grass is coming in, but much shorter where the cattle is, still giving them some hay. Will be moving them the next few days.

 

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Colder this morning and drizzle. Every morning I try to take the dogs to a different place on the farm. So if a predator has been there, the dogs will find the smell and mark. Or better, see it and chase, the predator decided my farm is not a place to be. This time we went down to the lake and the pictures from that walk, a proof my pigs are actually pasture raised, been in this field all winter. 

Saw a news story on the Icelandic State Radio site this morning. Yes saw it because they have them in writing too. About native Canadian children been used in medical research, a law suit going in Saskatchewan about native Canadian children having been used in nutritional group studies by depriving some of them specific nutrients.

The connection then to Iceland that about 1/4 of the Icelandic population emigrated to Canada in the late 19th and the early 20th century, mostly to Winnipeg Saskatchewan, quite a story. They got land given to them by the Canadian government and the natives there already thought of as in the way, still an issue today. Many of my relatives went and supposedly the guy who made the computer language Java from that part of my family. 

According to the story, the results from these studies dramatic and part of the lawsuit. Or as I say "we are what we eat" and thats where you and me come in, you my experimental subjects. In about 20 years I will release the results by inviting you all to a picnic and take some pictures. You all so good looking everybody will be convinced. Out to do the chores weekend or not.

 

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Gotten colder again and wet as you can see. I planted six apple trees by the pond Yesterday, 3 "Cortland" and 3 "Liberty". Planted them by the north shore of the pond I have been working on for soon decades.

The theory, the sunshine will bounce of the pond and give them more light. More than a theory actually. Now these micro breweries or vineyards are the hottest thing since sliced bread. Heard in the new a couple of days ago, land by the Finger Lakes further Up State on the right side of the lakes is going for over $10.000 an acre. Actually dairy farmer and vine maker fighting over it, corn growing better on this land. My plan to go into the Apple Jack business, at least give you a bottle with every order you make, "no business like the drug business" they say. ?

Saw a heron by the pond and if I had been ready on the camera button, would have gotten it on the ground. Been working on this bridge (trail) over the creek, the water goes through the culvert pipe unless the flow is too much for it, then gently flows over the trail, the sediment collecting in this little pond on the upside to be dug out periodically. Not known what the EPA, the NYC Watershed or NYS DEP are going to say about this, but I am the farmer and they the bureaucrats, never to be forgotten and I will scream that from my prison cell when the time comes.

When they made the road through our valley, route 14, maybe a couple of centuries ago, the just stuck the culvert pipes where ever they felt like it, not caring what the water would do below running downhill.

I have then  been doing these channels collecting this water and leading to the creek before it can run downhill and make gullies in the land. Not sure if they like that much being bureaucrats, their mantra being "you are not allowed to do anything, good or bad, unless we give you written permission, we the power and you just a stupid farmer". Talk about issues in the land of the free.

https://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/10/15/applejack-recipe_n_1959563.html

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As you can see, fog this morning. Got up early because this is going to be a long day. After chores, going to Steiner to pick up two pigs and two steers. The pig then to be divided into shares, the other one done for ground, will post both this afternoon. Then I have to do this custom slaughter pig into the evening, enough to do.

Saw something new this morning from the corners of my eyes, not totally sure if I should believe them. Walking by the pond and see movement on the surface, then all of sudden within a fraction of a second it seemed, thousands of tiny fish (fry) all jump at the same time. I have seen this in videos with bigger fish but never in the real world. Tried to take pictures but obviously they didn't do it again. 

This tree stump not far from the apple trees I planted, I put wire around them to try to protect them. The beavers must get nutrition from the bark or the layer right underneath, otherwise they would not be putting this effort into this.

Calmed down about the beavers, and they maybe about me, the dogs too, everybody friends. Unless you read somewhere a "New York farmer was attacked by an army of beavers". But of course won´t be in the news, a dark secret kept from us, we are all being eaten by mountain lions and bears, wolves and coyotes, squirrels and crows. Any of you seen the movie "Birds? And you never heard about this farmer that disappeared, only thing found some buttons in the pigsty.

Gave the pigs a new hay bale Yesterday, they will then sleep in it and eat at the same time, will disappear surprisingly fast. Anybody who claims pigs do not get nutrition from hay or grass doesn't know what they are talking about. Well they know, just pure propaganda, too expensive to feed hay or grass to factory pigs.

My believe as you know, the fat in these pigs being better for you. Or in other words, not really doing this for you but number one, ME. These pigs my ticket to a long and healthy live, a one man medical experiment so to speak. I think Pip swallowed a live mouse this morning, a cruel world this is.

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Maybe there is something wrong with the lens I bought on ebay, feel the pictures are getting kind of grayish. Maybe just the moisture in the air, but you get the feeling being for a visit anyway until I get a new lens. Going to try another one tomorrow, my 50 mm and see how the colors are with that one.

Trying to do a few hours in the topsoil gravel business every day, out there the till  past 8 PM last night. Lights on the skidsteer and I can keep on going in the dark. A radio on my ears and I can think while I do this simple work. Don´t know how it will add up, the diesel for the skidsteer costs etc.

Few words on the sheep you see in one of the pictures. You see Zola sleeping below them, coyotes in the woods above but no losses. I had terrible luck with the sheep this winter, horrible losses, but as soon as they were outside they recovered. I have to rethink this over-wintering, the sheep need more fresh air and sun in the winter. 

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Heavy fog this morning as you can see in the pictures, all burned off now. If you compare this picture of the pigs with the one from Yesterday, you will see the bale is already getting smaller, will be down to nothing in a week or so. You can also see if you look carefully, they are eating it from the bottom. They don´t eat all it use some for bedding, but surprising amount ends up in their bellies. Have you heard this one: " a dog looks up to you, a cat down, a pig sees you as an equal" . Supposedly Churchill, but of course, must have stolen it from somebody,

Did this pig Yesterday and washed out the guts and everything. Believe it or not, the guts smelled nice, a sour smell to the stomach and almost earthy smell to the guts. The most disgusting stench in world is the smell form the manure in pig factories, just awful and sickening. The pigs then live in this all the time, has to do with their unnatural diet, they are actually sick.

So there is this joke about my grandfather the painter, he went to London to try to get into the Royal Academy of Arts. Didn't get in and went on to Copenhagen and got into the Royal academy there. Had to to with Iceland being a Danish colony then and quotas on how many Icelanders were taken in. While he was in London he made a drawing of the Tower of London in fog and sent home to Iceland. Just blank paper, quite the joker he was, this maybe around 1910 or there about. People still telling this joke half a century later when I was growing up, maybe conceptional art before its time. He was contantly doing stuff like that an people telling me when they found out who I was, over and over and over again.

So here you have a picture of the farm in fog, the branches the beaver worked on over night not 300 feet from the house and the apple tree I planted, seems they are going to make it. Perfect weather of course, cool and damp until the roots have established them self. 

My neighbor called this morning, seems like the beavers are daming the lake and putting her house under water on the other side. We agreed we would pull branches out of the dam every time we went by, might put in pictures. I have calmed down about the beavers, think we are going to be able to share the farm after all, be on friendly terms. 

One more thing. I mentioned some days ago I would like to have a separate discussion on my case "Kjarval vs. Iceland" and asked for feedback from you, if you thought it appropriate mixing it in with the farming and all.

No feedback positive or negative. So because you are reading this and I like telling stories, I am going to do it, good for my mental health if nothing else. And who knows, maybe some of you have a legal mind or education and could give me advice, moral support if nothing else just by reading it. Or just pretending you read it,  doesn't take much to click on the discussion and move on. ?

 You don´t want the farmer down in the cellar thinking dark thoughts do you, not good for the animals. So stay posted, coming up. 

 

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Fog again this morning, gone mostly but low hanging clouds, moisture in the air. Yes I know not much to these pictures this morning, the same old stuff, but taken before breakfast and that their virtue. And if we keep this up, we can go back in time and see the vegetation at that same exact date years and years into the past, me and you in the year 2025 as the song says. The future only a few years away and the year 1984 way back in the past. 

There you can see the dogs grazing, so don´t say grass ain't good for you even if you are a littler higher on the food chain.

My mother told me this story about another mother in times past. Her children looked so good they were sure she was stealing sheep and ransacked her home, but didn't find anything. She told them she fed the children grass. Never understood the moral of that one, if grass was good for you or if it was important to be a good lier to take care of your children, do what it takes. All my mothers stories like this, she would also tell me the one about the boy and the wolf and me the boy I felt. She had six brothers all younger than her and when see saw something in me she didn't like, I was like this or that one of her brothers depending on the shortcoming in me,  none of them any good it seemed.

I was not sure I should put in the picture of the pigs, no grass to be seen,. But this is what pigs do to the the ground they are on, eat it stones and all. I am still amazed when I slaughter a pig as I did the day before Yesterday, how much dirt and gravel is in their gut. Something they skipped in all studies on pig nutrition as far as I know,. Sure the dirt and stones assist their digestion, especially with the hay and helps them stay healthy.

But of course these nutrition studies done for and payed by factory pig farming, Big Meat, not about having the pigs run around eating dirt and stones. So here is the picture, not hiding anything from you. Other pigs on grass  and maybe I will put in pictures of them again, did a few days ago. There is some grass further behind but not much in this lot I have to admit. The pigs closer to slaughter on grass though. The problem, pigs are just so destructive to the ground, root it and destroy. I understand some breeds are less destructive, going to spend the rest of my life studying that issue.

So I did this pig, been eating the meat for breakfast and dinner, more convinced than ever it being extremely important with pork to freeze it as soon as possible, total delight eating it fresh as can be, the whole body can feel it, fat and all. 

So I am getting much better at this, learning one trick after another on how to do this better. Still having problems pulling the pelt off without pulling too much fat with it, have to study up on that one. I was even was able to do some chops, funny chops maybe but chops. Wrote the customer who is getting half of this pig, they can just laugh through dinner. 

The problem, too much work with other farm work, going to be three days with chores before I am done. But I will keep on trucking, learning the hard away as I learn everything it seems.

But you guys have to understand, only me and Jason, can't hire more people and even if I could, not sure anybody wants to work on a farm anymore. As I said will keep on going, if only to be able to eat this pork, my believe it is the the  Elixir of life - Wikipedia and I am not kidding.

https://www.npr.org/2018/05/16/611727777/suicide-is-rising-among-american-farmers-as-they-struggle-to-keep-afloat

I am putting this program in from Yesterday, was listening to it as I was cutting up the pig, just to show you these issues are for real, been coming at us for decades, a real crisis. We all have to eat, a fact of life and we can not live by Twinkie s alone. The more I think about this and live, the better I understand it.

Why do you think they made you believe plant oils are better for you than animal fats? Because they are just so nice or that they wanted make more money on you? My grandmother was an editor of a Danish weekly, still around it seems https://www.udeoghjemme.dk then owned by a margarine manufacturer. She could have anything in the magazine she wanted, totally free hands, except real butter, forbidden. 

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Quite a bit colder this morning, almost crisp, but I was good in a shirt so not that cold. First thing first, the beavers. This is the dam built maybe early twentieth century to provide the village of Delhi with water, this house some kind of valve house, nothing in it today. Spring Lake, very much made by this dam, called Robins pond earlier.

My neighbor called and said the beavers were making the dam higher, a problem on their side of the lake. I promised to work on pulling their dam away every time I went by. Surprisingly hard to do, they intertwine the branches, mud and stones together. But I pulled enough for the water to escape down where it was supposed to go, will become part of my chores. Last time this happened they had the beavers trapped. Don´t  want that, want to live with them and find it quite charming. Unless of course they decide they don´t want to live with me, then war.

Yesterday I put the cows on fresh pasture, first time this spring or summer they are on enough grass. Until now they were gnawing the grass as fast as it came up and supplementing it with hay, at least that is over. You can see the pasture I took them out off. In two to three weeks they will be back, called rotational grazing. Finished the pig Yesterday, more on that in the news letter going out later today.

I am finding this routine working out. The dogs need to check on the predators, I need to check on the cattle and things.  Fnd it very important too you learn what the farm is about. 

I am making a new discussion called "fresh or frozen". the title says it all. Got feedback on putting my case here "Kjarval vs. Iceland" and will start writing about it shortly. Will be a story with the documents, think it should be every interesting for everyone. But what do I know, not much. Stay posted.

Even thinking about getting a new camera with video capabilities, making a weekly show or something. Not maybe here but for Iceland, the battle there. I am not totally new at this, been keeping up a discussion in Iceland on my case and other things for some years. Over a million hits by now, would compare to over a billion in this country. In China? ? 

But who knows, maybe my accent is not that bad.

 

 

 

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Raining this morning. So what did I do, tried to take pictures of the rain.

First update on the beavers. I thought maybe they mostly gnawed trees right by the water to make more light get in for the plants they eat or something. But then this morning I saw this tree down quite aways up.

 Maybe this is a mad beaver in exile from the beavers by their dam further down hill. Maybe it is just mean. Don´t really know how to take this, right by the house. Good to open up the canopy I guess, but when no trees are left, no canopy to open. Maybe it is just a good gardener, knows when to stop, or as I said, mean, thinks I like trees and trying to drive me out.

Last fall I moved these two apple trees, going to do some changes where they grew and also not doing all that good there. Not a professional job I have to admit, dug holes with the backhoe where I wanted them, trenches around them and then just yanked them out with the backhoe and tied to the bucket, a nasty brutal undertaking. Did not think they were going to make it put worth the try. But what do you know, both putting out leaves on some of their branches and one of them even flowering, the cold and wet helping them.

Saw this pattern on the pond for a second and took the picture, do not know why, maybe a message from somebody?. More than ones on these walks I miss an opportunity. Should have a camera implanted into may brain or just some gear on top of my head, blink my eyes and a picture taken. This a pond I made and still working on, my message to anybody up there, you can even see it on Google map.

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Very short this morning, delivery day. Got out earlier and maybe you can see it in the pictures, the light amazing, have to get out earlier. But maybe you never know what the clouds are doing to the light, the clouds of course never the same.

The beaver has gotten the name Todd, took this tree down overnight about 8 inches across. The good thing, I was going to take it down because it was shading an oak tree I want to let grow, very few oak trees up here at 2000 feet. But what if it takes the oak tree down next, "then what?" said Temma over breakfast.

As I said very short. I am going to have more of these dogs, probably put up a kennel with a heated house so they can spend part of the day and the nights there, too much load on Temma having them inside all the time. They do work, no losses to predators all spring.

 

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Tired tired tired. Back home a little past 1 am, could have been worse. The good part, no mistakes but took too long loading the car and then heavy traffic on the Thruway.  Need a walk in freezer where I can store the already filled boxes, so i can fill them a few days before.Two delivers midtown and I somewhat lost it there. But it is over and what doesn't kill you makes you stronger they say. Didnt think I woyld have strength taking these pictures but acually enjoyed thinking you would see the farm through the camera with me.

Turns out the discussion on the delivery here on the Forum works great. Can put in at each stop with the phone ´the next stop and how long the GPS says it is going to take,. Then while driving, I can just put in numbers for the minutes when on red lights and such.  I can put a list of all the stops and you can then figure out how I am doing. 'Keep it simple stupid' my mantra. Not you, ME!

The question, should I restrict the discussion in any way so only you the customers can see it and comment, feed back welcome. The thing is, all these  systems coming out of my head work. And what is more,  the redundancy helps correct thing going wrong. Just this little one, you see a piece of hand written paper with numbers and such in your box, very important. That paper goes with the share into the freezer when we make them up.  We tape the invoices onto the boxes the day before. Then sometimes we dump  a share into the wrong box and find out when we are looking for that box for the share we are working on, that the wrong share is in it already, happened ones this time. If not for that piece of paper, harder to figure out what happened. Before we would throw this paper away as we filled the boxes but no more.

Just remember, we are making history, quite amazing weaving through, Manhattan, Brooklyn etc. and never being more than a few minutes between stops, would be impossible without Google map and makes this all quite efficient.

These are the "dead apple trees I killed by moving coming back to live.

 

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Rained over night but dry while I took the picturetakingwalkingthedogscheckingonthecows walk this morning. Yesterday we sorted the yearling steers from the bulls and bull calves. Put with the heifers and cull cows onto fresh pasture.

Was not looking forward to it, tired. But every thing went easy piecee. Has to do with I have bred my cattle to be calm and the results starting to show big time. Also I have learned to always move slowly like an old man around the cattle, never fast movements. Or maybe just maybe because I am old and moving like old man. ?

If you look at the hill beyond, you see it is not totally green yet and almost June, very late. Next year, if I keep this up and you keep on reading, we can go back and see the difference. A deal?

These are Norway spruces, try to plant a least 100 each year, been doing it for more than twenty years now and the first ones maybe 50 feet by now. There is a formula, you walk so an so many feet from the tree and take the degree from you to the top of the tree. Sure I can Google it. Their purpose mostly to break the below zero wind in winter here at 2000 feet in Central New York, the only thing between us and the North Pole a barbwire fence. O forgot Canada, sorryyyyyy.

One more thing, one of the bulls so calm I am sure I could train it to pull a cart or a plow. But the thing, those bulls can supposedly be the most dangerous, one day it might think I am another bull and decide to get rid of the competition, not afraid of me.

Will put in a picture of him soon, maybe tomorrow. He is just very nice. When I am moving them to the fold to sort I can sling my arm over its back and it doesn't mind. For now his name is "No name", but if you want to give him one, first come first serve. But then you can´t get too attached , unless of course you want to pay for his room and board, I keep it as a hostage kind of thing, send you pictures and such.

Did I tell you this story of this Holstein bull (probably some Holstein in this one). Very nice, but then the farmer noticed it was giving him the evil eye but thought nothing of it. One day the farmer was doing the dishes and the bull saw the farmer through the window. Came into the kitchen with the house on its shoulders, The farmers got away but not the house.

 

 

 

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Rain this morning, in the fourteens last night and the fields going to be wet when haying starts. A problem making ruts or even get stuck in the fields. The weather might change though, supposed to be sunny for the next few days. Mowed the lawn by the other house for the first time this spring, the grass so high I was having problems. By the house here not a problem, the geese keep it down. Going to mow it anyway, makes everything neater even though the house is falling down, at least the lawn is pretty.

About the geese, have a whole gaggle of them, hardy birds and stand up to the predators. Just that you Americans don´t really eat goose. Also having a problem slaughtering them the right way, the plucking somewhat a nightmare. They have this European "dry" plucker, supposed to do a nice job but not cheap, not been able to invest in it as of now.

But I have my plans with the geese and have since I was a young man, even wooed my wife with my geese-plans. So here they are taking care of them self until I get my plans going. These two are brooding their own eggs and very likely hatching their goslings out. Not even their own, a communal affair filling these nests with eggs.

One interesting thing about geese, even if you incubate the eggs in an incubator, when you put the goslings out, the geese come running, adopt them and protect. Has to do with how social they are, live in the wild in flocks of maybe thousands while raising their goslings on grass, grazers.

In Iceland the greylag goose, (the ancestor of the European domestic goose) come by the thousands and hundreds of thousands, millions and millions before Iceland was settled. Nest and raise their goslings before they fly south in the fall. The parents loose their flying feather while raising their goslings and in former centuries, Icelanders made folds by these breeding and grazing grounds and herded the geese into them for slaughter. 

So if you are a range raised chicken with grass all around you, where do hang out? Where the worms are of course, the grass just dessert after a good worm.

the sheep came running when they saw me because I gave them salt Yesterday.

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Heavenly weather as we went for our walk. After decades living in this country, still not used to the weather not coming at you as if trying to do you in most of the time. This walk a routine now and working. The dogs, the camera and my brain thinking about something to write about ones I have had my breakfast and coffee. 

Lots of things happen during the day, but no camera, this one just too big and fancy to drag around when doing chores. So what I did before all the money is gone from this delivery trip, ordered a small almost a pocket camera Still supposedly high quality, with a Leica lens, 4K video capapility and all, stay tuned.

This time I took pictures of the plants I know to be invasive species These thorn trees have up to 2" spikes and can take your eyes out. The farm was covered with them when we moved here, but slowly fewer of them tree by tree. They get about maybe 15-20 feet tall and do not let anything else grow, just bare ground under them.

Seems like they established them self's in old pastures, grow fast enough to keep other trees out. Somebody told me they were imported to be used in live fences. Makes sense, who wants to go through trees like these and come out blind on the other side. I know the multi-flora rose was imported for the same reason. According to my information, by Cornell. Thank you Cornell, very nice of you. Goats eat them, even stand on their hind feet to get to the top, stay tuned on that one. Going to turn this farm into an experimental farm in my old age, beavers and all, stay tuned on that one too.

On the other hand, something not to be forgotten, understand this ground we are on, was covered with ice about three Empire State buildings thick only a few hundred years ago or about 1200 years. So who are we to complain. 

O forgot, this a self-sown Norway Spruce, been planting them every year since we came here, but now they seem to be taking over. I buy the plants from the government, so blame them not me.

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So much to tell, but so little time. But because a picture is more than a thousand words I just uploaded them all. This morning the dogs flushed up something, they disappeared down by the creek and I could hear them yelp down below. One of these days one of them is not coming back, one more reason to have more of them, keep on going when one of them falls in the war on the predators. I am all for nature, but not quite as much on my farm, want everybody to behave, a control freak some would say and do.

Took these pictures of one of my channels I have been writing about, the plan was to hide them with trees so THEY would not see them from their satellites, black helicopters and drones. Started to worry when Mr. Todd the beaver is taking them down one by one. But now a totally new plan, these channels of course a beaver habitat, a protected species, guess they cant´say much to that one can they now?

These are the pregnant sows and the hay almost gone. We put the piglets from last summer on pasture Monday, Tuesday they stayed where they were supposed to but Wednesday they were all out. Yesterday went into fixing the fence and I think we are good. We are going to sort the main cow calf herd today and put on fresh pasture, going to be a long day.

When I am taking these pictures I am still in film mode, trying to save film and not take wasted shots. Can´t get used to the pictures cost nothing, if I don´t like them bye bye. Going to try to take more action pictures of the dogs, these dogs move all the time no pets, killers to be exact.

 

 

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Big part of the day went into sorting the cattle. Or as we say in Icelandic, the “lung” of the day. “Lung” in Icelandic “lunga” and has been since long before English was a language. Maybe it got distorted at some point and meant originally “most” of the day, the “long” part of it", who knows?

Long” in Icelandic “langur”. Bringing me to what I wanted to say,  you are not really speaking “English” but “New Icelandic”. The English language much from the language the Danes or the Vikings spoke while they ruled big parts of Britain.

Then you say, “would that not be "Old Danish" then”? Wrong I say, that language long dead and only Icelandic left. Ergo you are speaking New Icelandic. Now you know that. ?

Took some pictures while sorting the cattle, but they didn't come out, so the pictures this morning nothing to write home about. But just by accident I figured out I could draw with my finger on the computer screen and see what happened. One picture of the winter old piglets on pasture, must be happy after living in this gnawed down lot through the winter. But what can you do when you only can do so much with the resources you have. Or as Rumsfeld said "you go to war with the army you have".

That calf was just born and fell a sleep in the fold while we were sorting the cows. Taking the bull calves from last summer away so they could not breed the cows. Only about 5 left, the others sorted out this winter. Way behind on that one and maybe some of the cows got bred. A problem, meaning the calves will be born in middle of winter and if bad weather not good. Lets hope no hanky panky.

I have figured out I have to be on top of this, can not wean them too early from their mothers, they will then struggle to keep in condition. Can not feed them any extra, then not grass fed. So they have to stay with their mothers for milk as long as possible. Like to keep the bull calves intact until they are older, grow better that way and then I can see how they turn out, if I want to keep them for breeding, improving the herd. My "sheep and cow" as we say in Icelandic if something is important to you, "your sheep and cow". And now you know that too.
 

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Raining this morning. Obviously I was making fun Yesterday about you talking "New Icelandic", nonsense. But at the same time some truth to it. Amazing a language not that old, only a few centuries back is now taking over the world. It is a fact, the language spoken then in Scandinavia and Iceland has disappeared except in Iceland, we can still read the Icelandic Sagas written in the 11th Century, "French" to any Scandinavian today.

Another fact, surprisingly many words in English have their origin in the language spoken then. Even the days in English from that language, Monday moon day, mánudagur in Icelandic. Tuesday, Týr's day, Týr the one armed Norse God who gave his arm to save the world. Wednesday for Odin, Onsddag in Danish. Just midweek day in Icelandic and a reason for that, more on that later.

Then Thor's day, Friday for Freyja the female Norse god. Do not know about Saturday,  in Icelandic it is just "bath day". Then Sunday, same in Icelandic." sunnudagur" meaning "sun's day" ofcourse. In Icelandic today the names for the weekdays have nothing to do with the Norse gods, the Church to care of that, another story I might tell.

My argument being, Icelandic, before it gets "corrupted", should just go into a museum and Icelanders take up English, can then call it "new Icelandic".

So I got the new camera Yesterday and just before dark I set my self up in the truck by the chicken to watch the puppies, not to be trusted, trying to catch them in the act. Read the instructions and tried a few things, complicated, videos and everything. More on that later.

As you can see, haying getting closer, the grasses at that point. Drew a couple of pictures on the screen with my finger, a new experince. I used to be a potter but that fell by the wayside, farming been everything for decades, dream about getting back into it. Soon some pictures of my pottery, supposedly collection items in Iceland.

 

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Fog this morning and wet but no rain. What do you know, Clementine decided to come with us on the walk. The cats are weary of these dogs as they should be, not to be trusted. But slowly a relationship has developed, the dogs know they are supposed to ignore the cats and do most of the time.

Found these leftovers by the pond, if left by mink, heron or other animal I wouldn't know, but the dogs finished what was left. An expert could probably tell by how the fish was eaten. As you see, haying is getting closer day by day, the grasses getting ready. Few know how many plants in north America are not native, many grasses,  even the dandelion, came here early with the first settlers.

I made this pond to have fish for dinner. Just that I don't have the time to fish and when I do, never catch anything. Bought a net on Ebay a couple of years ago but not had time for that either. I know there is fish in there,  released some maybe 10 years ago, when I made the pond, even trout. The pond id quite deep, maybe 15-20 feet where deepest. A problem actually, the water stratifies part of the year and fish can not survive further down for lack of oxygen. The plan to put an air pump in to mix the water and have trout for dinner, even for you, plans, plans, plans gets you up in the morning. Get enjoyment though just looking at the water, feeds the soul if nothing else.

I have this 5 horsepower  electric vacuum pump in the milk house from the time this was a dairy farm. Think I can convert it into low pressure air pump to pump air into many ponds, plans, plans, plans.

You can see the new growth on the pine, the old growth darker behind. This climate here is good for trees, mild wet summers here at 2000 feet and reliable winters, usually snow on the ground from mid December almost into April, false springs what kills them.

 

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Seems like I always end up around the pond on these morning walks. Beautiful weather again. Took a picture of the sheep on the other side, you can see the dogs Zola and Dumas up by the woods barking into them, probably coyotes lurking in there.

Not really coyotes, more wolves or a mixture. Maybe you saw this documentary on the today's coyote, originally only in the west but migrated east when the wolves was exterminated in the States but not in Canada. There the coyote mixed with the wolves and the animals here on the east coast descendants from that mix.

The circle on the water is made by insects I think, fly very tight together to make an up-swell in the water to bring up something the can eat maybe, not a naturalist only a farmer with a camera. But I do know this bird in Iceland called óðinshani, translation would be "Odin's hen". It lives on the open ocean in winter but comes inland to breed in the summer, the size of a robin. You can see them swim fast in very tight circles on the water to form an up-swell and then pick very fast what comes up with their beak. Stole this picture of the net.

Started Yesterday to add to my channels, try to do some every summer. Was going through my stuff, a case going into the Courts in Iceland this week hopefully and me looking for documents. Found these pictures of me. Might not be the cutest thing today but ones I was, right?

 

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