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First thing first, was wrong about this three, the wrong tree and everything. Is there any wonder I am confused about everything, don't know if I am coming or going most of the time, left handed and probably suffering from repeated blows to my head.  Thought this was the only pine tree there, wrong wrong wrong, turned out there were several of them, sorry if this messed with your mind. 

So about the sparrow hawk, I thought we had a special thing going, true mutual love. We went outside, the day before Yesterday to do the chores. It flew off my shoulder about 20 feet and landed on the tractor. I walked up to it and on to my finger it went. A little later it took off again, this time misjudging the distance and fell onto the ground, back onto my shoulder. A little while later it took off, swooped down to the ground to gain speed and up and up it went ending up in a tree high above me so I could hardly see it. I went there several time during the day, no sparrow hawk. But this sparrow hawk has been calling from top of the silo and top of the barn very high up. Guess it has father issues, not coming down. What else is new, ones a no good father always a no good father, but it was stuffed with ground pork, should last it a few days.

You see these chicken by the feed bin, the mother with her two chicks, took a picture of them a little back, the grow fast.

Took this picture of the flat tire Yesterday, was going to write about it. Just as with the bearings, the tires make the world go around, probably well over a 100 tires on the farm with air in them and all going to go flat one day. Where the rubber hits the road they say, here on the farm the stones.

The dogs are working, you can see it on the poultry, everybody more relaxed, somewhat amazing. What I am going to do, build an insulated kennel very close to the house and have more of them. If the sparrow hawk didn't love me, just more dogs to love me, or at least me thinking they love me, what can an old farmer do, find love where ever he can.

After this meeting Yesterday I went out and cut cut cut, lot of hay down and only one baler to bale it. Lets hope that one holds up, something wrong with the control box in it, but we will keep on going today until it brakes down completely.

 

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Short short short. Supposed to rain this afternoon and a lot of hay down, a lot. Was on the tractor all Yesterday and baled and baled. Jason fixed the other baler (well done) and hopefully that one will be baling too. But obviously I can only drive one tractor at the time, weekend and all.

Putting this in here and on the "Food and Health". Will write about it later, consider it very important.

https://www.livescience.com/63044-otzi-mummy-last-supper.html

This website in Iceland I have written on now for years, closed down again. I firmly believe it was closed because of me. I will wait a couple of days to see if it is my paranoia or reality, maybe just a mistake they made, we will see. If it is down for good I will make space here for a forum in Icelandic, but will try to breath through the nose for a few days. ?

 

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First the good news before I go ranting, you can just stop reading when I run out of the feeling good stuff. Finished baling all the hay, a lot down. If I said maybe 80 acres not too far off, well maybe 40 hard to tell not my fields, about a mile from the farm.

See the chicks running when I let them out, the first one gets the worm I gather. They are really growing aren´t they? The plan to grow them like this by the thousands, but a lot of little things have to fall in place before that can happen.

On to the bad stuff. I got out quite early on the old Deutz with the newer baler on it. That tractor is now 50 years old and just keeps on going, even one front tire the original one, a 50 year old tire! Looks better than the tire on the left wheel, maybe 5 years or so, starting to crack up.

Anyways, baled for a couple of hours and everything good. The weather forecast said it would start raining around 6 PM. So with a little luck, I could finish. Listening to NPR and as I said everything good. Then one of the rollers in the baler went (more on that later). Home I went and luckily Jason had come and was ready to do some baling with the older baler he had fixed the day before. The parts for that one several hundred dollars and a days work fixing it. One of the problems, the manufacturer charges ridiculous prizes for these parts. 

Jason said he would bale for a couple of hours so I decided to lie down, needed the rest. In an about one and a half I hear the machinery come back to the farm, a sinking feeling, what was wrong this time? Turned the pto shaft in the baler had gone, a problem we have been fighting since it was new, undersized. Quick thinking and we cannibalized the other baler, took the shaft out of that one and put into this one. I went out and was finished just before it started raining about 8 PM. 

The problem is all this machinery is substandard today, these balers when bought new for over $30.000 and constantly braking  down, substandard bearing, undersized components etc. etc.

This time it seems the weld failed, separated. This baler is maybe 4 years old, maybe 5 and I very much doubt the manufacturer will take responsibility, will keep you informed.

The funny thing, this baler is Case International, meaning these two separate companies merged some years back and who knows where these balers are made. Even if they are assembled in one place the different parts come from all over. And another funny thing, the other baler is made by New Holland, exactly the same baler, just with a different sticker on it. New Holland is a agricultural machinery manufacturer, used to be a division of Ford or something like that.

Okay, satisfaction in keeping on going, figuring out how get over an obstacle without giving up, feeling like a real man, like climbing a mountain I guess. But this the reason us farmers end up alone, nobody wants to be around us, feels like living with somebody at the front fighting. Year after year of this just too much. Would help if one made money at it I guess. 

I am pretty sure this weld was done by a robot who didn´t care if the penetration was right, seen it before. When you weld you have to make sure you eat just right into the the metal you are joining, a feel a robot can´t learn I guess. Enough already, no more ranting for the whole day.

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Fog this morning as you can see on the pictures. Burning off as I write this, but still over the town down the valley. This time they all went swimming, Pip too. Wonder if it has something to do with his upbringing, taking him this long to figure out he could actually swim.

Spent too long a time in a kennel or something. The former owner said he would behave strangely in the kennel, jump up and down in the same spot over and over again, all feet off the ground. He sometimes does this when he wants to get inside, start's to jump like this in front of the door. Hasn't done it in a long time though.

Well there was a sparrow hawk up there in the tree and I felt (felt being the important word), it was talking to me, answered when I talked to it. That is what I want to believe and then it is so. It said "I am doing okay, miss you though so so much". Said it over and over and again and then it flew away. Now that I know sparrow hawk language I will see it around I am sure. What do they call this "distance relationships" about 80 feet apart. 

So Yesterday I did war on burdock and thistle and won, at least that battle. Spent several hours in the heat wacking burdock where ever I could find it. Not that many actually, if you hit them exactly the right time just before the seed matures, you are good. Burdock is a horrible plant if it takes over, exspecially on sheep, can't stick to these dogs though, hair too short, but the Great Pyrenees have problems with it.

Then I went into the pasture and starting wacking the thistles, you can see the wacker in one of the pictures up against the wall. Wacked and wacked and then had a brilliant idea. What if I drive around the pasture in the lawn mower, have it in the highest setting and that's what I did. Drove from thistle to thistle and mowed them, even some multi flora you can't really wack, worked great. But if anybody saw me in the field on the lawn mower, they got their confirmation I am the mad farmer. The only farmer left maybe but the reason I am bonkers.

The cows are pretty good at cleaning up a pasture, not like the sheep who eat what they like and leave the rest so it takes over, weeds and such. Cows eat mostly everything, has to do with how they graze, the tongue goes around the grasses and then pulls the whole thing into the mouth where the teeth cut it, can't really choose too much. 

But they leave the thistles and then it takes over if you don't do anything about it. If you go into the field after the cows have been there and wack the few thistles left, you can do the field in no time. If a little more, from now on I will use the lawnmower. If a lot, I just cut the whole field with the tractor mower. That's Clementine in the last picture as you know by now. Temma away and then I am okay, even acts as if she likes me.

 

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Not much to these pictures, almost got caught in the rain. You see my trusty old Deutz. If one can love a machine I love my old Deutz. Made in 1968 in then West Germany, German engineering at it´s best.

I think I  bought it maybe in 1985 for $5000 out of the mid west. The tire closed to you the original one. If that isn´t quality then............... The engine is air-oil cooled. A funnel (I opened it for the picture) up against the six cylinders with a fan at the end of the funnel. The coiled pipe you see, takes the engine oil through it and cools it in the air stream. As you can see, the cylinders are as in a motorcycle, air cooled, but this a high efficiency diesel engine, maybe the best ever made, the one the Germans went to war with in their tanks I believe. This tractor has the model number 8006, another model 1006 has the same engine but with a turbo, want to find one like that, make a collection, that's what I want do. 

This is my water engineering, controls the level in one of my channels. Seems like the beaver felt it could improve on it, make the level higher, putting mud on top of the stones I use for overflow level control. See these apples, this on a tree I moved last fall, not many apples but a few.

You see the sheep, Zola the Pyrenees right by them rain or shine. If Zola wasn´t there the coyotes would have eaten them all a long time ago.

On to other things. In my discussion on my case I have been establishing how important my grandfather is to the Icelandic nation. Next I am going to proof to you how this conspiracy was kept going all these years against my family by the powers that be. I feel I have to do this slowly and methodically, otherwise you won´t believe me, so be patient.

Remember, a delivery July 29th but you know that

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When I came outside this morning, there was a parade on, either I forgot to close them in, don´t think so, or the door opened up. But the truth being, was somewhat in tatters by nightfall. You can see the two gosling's that survived. We have pictures of them here somewhere just when they hatched. They grow fast, very fast. Understandably. In nature they have to be able to fly out of the breeding grounds by fall, sometimes high up in the Arctic. Nature is just amazing.

Yesterday it rained, so I decided to work on this website, incorporate this Icelandic discussion forum and everything. Then things went downhill. At some point I thought I had lost everything, all the pictures, everything gone. Ac du liebe Augustine alles est væk or something to that effect. Panic ensued, but here we are and everything working.

The latest news on the baler. Ofcourse they are not going to honor any kind of warranty, defect or anything else. The part costs $1300 from the dealership. Found it for $500 on the net and today we are talking to a salvage company who has two of these balers. Those caught fire, happens quite often. A bearing goes, heats up, tinder dry hay dust and hay in the baler, can almost explode.

Also there is a machine shop in Andes about 15 miles from us, they might be able to weld this together and make better than new, but not for $500 I think.Will keep you posted. Just so you know, being able to tell you my problems makes them manageable, better that Prozac I would think. ?

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Was on the tractor all Yesterday cutting. If I said we are 3/4 done not far off, maybe 5/8. Supposed to be dry for several days so we should get what is down dried. Today I am supposed to bring two steers and two pigs to Steiner, a big part of the day will go into that.

Hook up the trailer, get the cows into the fold. Sort these two out, get them on the trailer. Get the pigs into the old trailer, quite tricky with pastured pigs, some not about to cooperate. Then back the old trailer up to the new one and load the pigs behind the steers and off I go. The drive about 40 minutes. Unload, back home and unhook the trailer. Job done.

Here are the cows, the steers going,  with them. Not happy this morning, been a little too long in this field and complaining when I went by. But when I am done with this writing and the chores, I will get them into the fold, load the steers and onto fresh pasture they go.

We had a little bit of flash flooding a couple of days ago and this ditch filled with gravel. The town's fault actually. They just did the gravel road to the farm. I told them not to do it the way they were doing it, would end up like this. But were they about to listen to an old stupid farmer with an accent? Don't think so. But I will just do it the right way, they can then have me arrested, resist, resist, resist.

O forgot, found a new 12 ply tire on ebay, a really good price $130, free shipping. Lets see how it holds up.

The news on the part for the baler the dealership wanted $1300 for. Got it out of a salvage baler for $150. Then Jason brought the broken part to the machine shop and they said they would weld it back together better than new for couple of hundred. Win win in my book. $1300!!! An autrage, I am really going to give to them next time I go there, autrage!

Sold the steer I divided, will divide another one tonight. You are going to have to wait until I pick these pigs up at Steiner, early next week hopefully. The plan to post them before the delivery. I you want pork better be ready to order on short notice.

I really think this diary is doing it´s job. Helps me gather my thoughts and also get you to understand a little bit what is involved in farming these days, a bearing going here, a tire there, something breaking everywhere. ?

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"Happy cows are here again", how does the song go? Moved the cows and brought those two steers to Steiner and the pigs. He said he would process the pigs next Wednesday and then I can pick them up Thursday. Post them that night and you will have Friday and Saturday to put in your orders. You could let me know you intend to order pork so I can incorporate you into the delivery sheet,. But as I say, I am so flexible I ............................... Yes. 

See that little family, somewhere there is a picture here of these chicks a day old. Little do they know, if not for the dogs, somebody would have eaten them a long time ago. I guess the summer is moving right a long, this heat wave must have pushed these berries to mature.

Now these giant marsh mellows dot the fields everywhere and will stay there until I feed them in winter. Then all this plastic, somewhat of a problem. I bring it to the dump, but if  had a special plastic burning furnace on the farm, I could turn the plastic into heat in winter. I understand if plastic is burned at high heat and enough oxygen in the fire chamber, no pollution. Any of you want to invent an outdoor farm furnace like this and become a millioner? You can experiment here on the farm and I get some of the profit, a million for you and a half for me? A deal?

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Surprisingly cold this morning when I went outside, I almost went back in to get a shirt, not really that cold, just kept on going.

Spent most of Yesterday on the tractor bailing, no hay down. But not as tired as after cutting the day before. Has to do with going slower with the baler, more relaxed. When mowing I go as fast as the mower can take, almost holding my self to the tractor. But also. I sent Jason out in the beginning while I worked on this forum. He baled for a couple of hours and then I took over, only one baler operating.

Now the question, should I cut today? The weather forecast says 30% change of rain tomorrow, then 80% the day after. My motto, cut come Hell or high water. With luck I could cut today, bale it tomorrow half dry and Jason wrap it Monday, cures that way in the plastic. We will see, will do the chores, have some coffee, look at the weather forecast again and make the decision. Us generals are a lonely lot, in the end on us.

There you can see the baler in the surgery all opened up waiting for the organs to come by UPS.

These are the teeth on the bucket of my backhoe I use to make these channels. You can see my handy work, called hard facing. You weld an hard alloy on to the surface seeing the most wear. The more you weld the better. Luckily the stone here is quite soft.

Anything else? Yes I planted these blue spruces maybe 15 years ago. These are the steers and the bulls, by August 1, the bulls should be with the cows, have to find time for that. Sort the heifers away not to be bred etc. etc.

A few years ago I bought semen out of twinning cattle from a government USDA research station and had a dairy farmer in the area store it in his semen tank. Getting to be embarrassing by now, have to do something. These tanks don't cost much, a few hundred bucks but, but next year, next year kind of thing. What I will do, get this tank and go over with a pork share to give them. They are of Danish origins and must eat pork I gather. 

 

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Think I might pull this one of (or is it off, not a native remember), cut this field of my neighbors Yesterday and the plan to bale late this afternoon, have Jason then wrap the bales Monday morning. The hay will only be half dry but hopefully dry enough not to plug the baler. Very good drying conditions when I cut it. Then some showers overnight but not much water. A tiny shower right now but then the weather forecast says dry the rest of the day, even some sun. So if I bale late afternoon, maybe starting 5 PM I might be good, wish me luck.

Some weather disturbance going up the coast and us on the outskirt. But if I pull this one  (off??) I can say again I am good at haying between the raindrops, my Icelandic heritage. I read in the news the drought is so bad in Scandinavia they are buying hay from Iceland, maybe I should ship some over.

This neighbor of mine called Friday, a farmer, got rid of his beef cattle some years back and only does hay now. He asked me if I wanted to do this field, not doing it himself. We started talking, he is trying to sell his farms, somehow involved with working with veterans with post traumatic syndrome. Told me his brother was in the Korean war and never right after that. 

You can see the cows standing tight together, protecting them selfs against the flies that way. What about these berries are they eatable, not a native and afraid of eating anything out there. Can I eat them and what are they called?

The beaver lodge is coming right along, wonder if this is one beaver that will get a mate when the lodge is finished or two, only see one swimming around, saw it this morning. Guess it has all summer to finish the lodge only needs it in winter, they hibernate don't they?

This an early Goldenrod, understand there are many varieties of them, native to America, did not know that. See that Robins egg, what a color. Piglets growing and healthy. The end, have to do the chores now, on weekends it is only me.

 

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It is completely clear now, I am a genius, maybe not quite as brilliant as somebody (hint, golden hair) but a genius all the same. At least when it comes to haying and I am able to hay between the rain drops, from now on a fact.

So I cut this field Saturday early afternoon in very good drying conditions against the the advice of the weathermen, thought I knew better. Dried into the evening, wind and everything. Wilted another term, the hay looses moisture as the cut stems breath and loose the water. Then overnight several showers but never that much water. A couple of showers during the morning, but dried off in between.

By afternoon the sun came out and a strong breeze. 5 PM I started baling and finished by 8 PM. At dusk, a heavy shower and raining now. Jason will rap it later today and the hay then cure in the plastic, not totally dry. As I said, I am a genius!!

When I got up it was pouring, decided not to take any pictures, just use old ones. But then it stopped and we all took a short walk. This time Clementine decided to come with us. The wife has been away for a while and the cats like me now. When she is home, I am somebody who should just be outside with the animals, not really welcome in the house, cats for you.

Remember the two chicks I told you about Yesterday or the day before, the hen raised them by it self, lay on the eggs and everything. She doesn't come in at night to be closed up and gets out foraging too early. Yesterday morning I heard a commotion on the lawn 5 AM maybe, still in bed. When I came out, only one chick. 

I know there are minks and fishers around, been taking the ducklings and I have seen them, the ducks a disaster this summer. Need special kind of fencing. Been thinking about how to do it for years now. Tight enough at the bottom to keep even rats out, high enough to keep the turkeys in and cheap enough to be doable, this fence has to close in whole fields so the poultry can be range fed. Think I have gotten it, the last piece falling in place just a couple of days ago, stay posted, turkeys a coming. 

Have to invest in fencing, fencing, fencing, fencing.

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Raining, not heavy, just drizzle and short showers. No dry weather in the forecast though until maybe the weekend when I do the delivery. Well have done pretty good so far, not going to loose sleep over it. Maybe I can cut late Friday or early Saturday, let it lie down while I do the delivery and bale Monday. Have to plan far into the future, have enough hay for the cows in winter etc. etc. etc. etc.

Also I have to work on the cattle, the plan to bring in the cows today and sort the ones away I am not going to breed, the bulls going in August 1. Have to cut back on the cattle, only keep enough to satisfy the direct marketing, loose my shirt on taking them to market. 

So we had two local butchers close by, Larry in Hartwick and Steiner in Otego. Larry sold his operation to a big beef producer who is going to use it only for himself and I think Steiner might be drifting in that same direction, worries me. understand he or somebody he works with raise cattle.

When I brought in the two pigs and two steers last week I asked if I could get an extra slot for a bull to do ground. Not a possibility, have this one slot a month, two pigs and two steers. What if I loose Steiner, up the creek. 

The solution of course to do everything on the farm, I have this custom slaughtering license and figured out how to do it on the net. you who have participated in these custom slaughter auctions know how it works.

the problem, to do the steers right I need a cooler to hang the carcasses and a walk in freezer to flash freeze every thing, just don´t have the money to built them. But never ever never never never never give up, or as he said: "a man is not finished when he is defeated, only when he quits".

So I am seriously thinking about doing a bull on the farm for ground, does not have to hang for ground right? Would be a lot of meat and a lot of grinding, but then you have to be part of it, have to sell everything before I butcher it, the law on custom slaughtering. Are you game??? Then all the guts for dog food, even the pelt, RIGHT??

Lets say 500 pounds of meat, thats 33 boxes of 15 lb of ground beef, can we do it??

On planing, I am waiting for the court date in Iceland for my case, summer holidays on right now, but the court-date will come without warning and I need to be there.

The plan to drive to Boston(about five hours), take a plane to Iceland 5 hours. Get into Reykjavik 45 minutes, then to the court in the Center of town. Hope to be able to say my piece about this whole thing being a conspiracy against my family, "my day in court" so to speak. Get back to the Airport and back home, can´t leave the farm very long.

I will put the case in here as soon as I have a date, more believable that way, don´t want you to think I am nuts making up things. ?

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I am very pleased with my self right now. I need to work on the cows before August 1, when I put the bulls in with them, worrying I won't get it done. So Yesterday in early afternoon when the weather forecast said no rain till evening, I brought the cows into the fold and we sorted the heifers out (the females born last summer).

Looked them over and decided who were to go into the cull lot and who were to stay with the cows for breeding. Quite arbitrary at this point, the records not very good (working on them, putting into a spreadsheet and such).

So first you look them over, need to be beefy, in good health, nice coat, everything in order, hooves, ears, tail, just good looking in general. Then you put them into the chute, to tag and give them numbers. If they get too excited, aggressive, start to bellow, into the cull lot they go, not for breeding.

As I said Yesterday, cutting back on the cattle so we only kept four this year for breeding. We were going to keep one, calm and good looking, but as we tagged her, noticed pieces of her ears were missing on both sides, a genetic fault that comes up in my heard, know were it came from originally. As I said, very pleased with my self, got a lot done by 7 PM.

What to hear a scary story with a good end? Ever since Pu got lost, I constantly worry about the other dogs disappearing. They have to be free outside to do their job and sometimes go places on the farm as they are supposed to. You can hear the coyotes in the hills around us, then there are bobcats and raccoons, bears and even mountain lions, more on that later. Lets not forget that beaver in the pond. ?

So the day before Yesterday I was to pick Temma up in Montechello at 8:30 PM, coming from the City in the bus, little bit more than an hour from the farm. So I made sure they were outside before I left, would be locked up for a few hours while I was away. As I left no Pop, nowhere to be found. I called and called but then had to go. When we came back about 9:30 PM, no Pop.

By then I had kind of accepted something bad had happened, we could hear the coyotes on both sides of the farm calling each other and then this beaver. On a farm bad things  constantly happen, calf´s die and cows, minks taking the ducklings, every day something. You learn to put those things in a special place and keep on going, look towards the horizon where you are hopefully going. 

In the morning no Pop. Me and the dogs took a walk around the pond, me thinking we could find her floating dead in it and the beaver smirking at us. Then as I fed the Pyrenees I thought maybe she had slipped in with them, a bitch after all, no Pop.

Later I was going to call the pound but she had never left the farm. Last I fed the pigs and there she was in the field with them afraid of the fence, electrified. Was I happy to she her and she me, end of story.?

See that milkweed and the pods on it, summer moves right along.

 

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Not much to the pictures today, heavy rain and a short walk. Now the sun is almost out and maybe I will take more pictures later and put in, so check in before you go to bed.

Suppose to pick up the pork today, will divide one of them and post and then start to organize the delivery, stay tuned, a newsletter going out tonight hopefully..

Yesterday I had this idea, what if I do a bull and a cow for ground (important to mix for right fat content) on the farm, custom slaughter, how can I do it? This is what I thought, have to sell everything before slaughter, the law.

So I auction  the whole thing in an auction here, bones, feet pelts for dogfood, guts everything. The meat in lots all the way down to 15 lb. boxes of ground. Would be more than 60 boxes I figure. You who bid on the meat or dogfood then have a whole year to get it. I keep it in my freezer and you only pay when delivered little bit at a time. If for any reason you don´t like the quality you can refuse the rest, the loss mine. You think it might work? I really want to try it this fall, need to do some improvements on the slaughterhouse, get  a better vacuum packer etc. etc. but at this point a go.

One problem obviously I only have two hands, but then I have Jason. ?

Then if the USDA has problems with this, we just sue them, have grounds, KJARVAL VS. USDA, Kjarval being me. ? Who is game?

?

 

 

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A farm of broken dreams? Maybe, but live is like that, you keep on going the best you can every day and leave behind things you wanted to do but never got to.

Everyday one has to plan what to do. Things that have to be done, should be done and those that can wait and hopefully you get to do some of those that have to be done.

Some days I loose my self in what it would be like to have maybe 10 people working on the farm and things getting done when they are supposed to, called daydreaming I guess.

But on we go, delivery Sunday, will fill out the delivery sheet today, then to sort the steers form the cull cows and put them with the rest of the steers, just too many animals in that field. The weather forecast says rain tonight but then a couple of days of dry weather. If I cut for a couple of hours tomorrow Saturday before I start to put the delivery together I could bale it Monday after the delivery? But then there is this very important meeting Tuseday and do I want to be tired doing that one?

About the pictures, the tire got fixed. I bought a new tire, but when we took the wheel apart the old tire seemed okay. Jason thought it too worn, but I felt we might get some more out of it and back on the wheel it went with a new tube. Probably turns out Jason is right and we will have to put the new tire on soon. But everyday using the old tire is one more day getting use out of it, what can I say.

See the woods, if you look closely you can see a car driving behind the trees, the main road going by the farm into Delhi. 

 

 

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874123154_IMG_0575low.thumb.jpg.af4e7575cc0b10aeabe07cc081db54ea.jpgThe delivery tomorrow, much easier these days with all the systems working, the spreadsheets and all. Constantly thinking up new ways of improving on things and we might be on to something.

I put the picture of the tire and rim on my old trusty Deutz because I painted the rims almost 30 years ago now. The former owner had put a calcium-chloride solution in the tire to make the tractor heavier for better traction. But the calciou-cloride, if it leaks out, eats up the steel in the rims, actually holes in them when I got the tractor. So I sandblasted the whole thing, welded up the holes and used a special chemical supposed to combine with the rust somehow. Then painted everything with high quality paint it seems, remember buying the paint at a auto paint supplier. Makes me feel good everytime I see the rims.

So should I cut today after chores, the weather forecast says dry until Tuesday when scattered thundershowers. Have to organize the delivery tonight, deliver tomorrow and could bale Monday. But then there is this important meeting Tuesday, don´t want to be tired. So what will I do? cut of course come Hell or high water, try to finish the chores as fast as I can when finished with this and then go out and cut into the afternoon and get the delivery together into the night, should work out. The field to cut maybe 4 miles away from the farm. 

Anything else? Clementine decided to take the walk with us, the goldenrod getting closer to flowering. The sun actually came out for a couple of second and the cloudcover getting thinner as I write this. 

There you can see the hen with her one chick almost as big as herself by now. Some predator took the other one a few days back on the lawn, could here the n about 5 am in the morning. The hen does not roost with the other chicken where I lock them up for the night, too early out in the morning. 

This is Tai waiting on the porch to come in with us.

 

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 This is going to be short, a delivery day. Cut for maybe 6 hours Yesterday and then did the orders well past 10 PM, but I finished. 

Did maybe 40 acres, something like that. Then bale it Monday, have Jason start in the morning and take over by afternoon and bale into the night, might even finish it. The secret to haying, to push it, be bold, not cautious. If it rains into the hay the world is not lost. But if you pull it off, the neighbors will be impressed. Guess if they see rained in hay, they will have  a different opinion of me. Or as it says in the poem: 

Friends and relatives die,

everybody dies, but reputation is for ever.  

Not really true is it, we don´t even know the poet, long forgotten. The poem a collection of good advice. One goes like this: "An armless man can drive cattle, everybody is of some use", and on the good advices go. "When you come to a fire with strangers, don´t turn your back to them". Guess that´s a good one. More on this poem later, in a way the morality of the religion in Iceland and Scandinavia before Christianity, a little bit like the Ten Commandments, just many more of them. 

 

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So the delivery went very well, only one mistake if I remember right. On Montaque Street I didn't realize Isaach and Mar live in a building that has a sister building right beside it. So when I saw the door of that house I went in and everything the same, at least to my eyes. Luckily it solved it self, could have developed into a scary si fi horror story, me wondering around the building looking for people who didn't exist in this parallel universe or something. As I say, every delivery a "Mission Impossible".  

Seems like I might be able to pull this haying off, no rain in the forecast until late in the day. Jason got the baler ready Yesterday, greased and put twine in it and supposed start baling as soon as he comes in. I will then take over in the afternoon and finish. That is to say if the equipment holds up. I will go and buy more plastic to wrap the bales tomorrow, handy to have the money from the delivery.

See the chicken with her one chick left, my breeding so to say. The comb black with feathers up to the beak, been selecting for this, small dark combs, hardier in winter. The dark comb just for fun maybe, maybe to confuse the predators thinking it is a crow or something. The fact is, the other chick taken by the predator was lighter. Actually I am breeding black chicken with white wings making the predators think this is a whole flock of skunks. As I said I am a genius like somebody else.

I think these birds are called cow birds, no this is just a starling right? Another invasive species. As I took the pictures it jump from one eye to the other, taking flies it seemed. You know the first European starling bred in Central Park, imported to make the Dutch? feel at home. You can actually see the fly being picked in one of the picturers.

 

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This is very early, us going to a meeting and have to drive for a couple of hours. Took these pictures Yesterday when I came home from haying late in the afternoon, thought you might want to see them, the chicks and Adam the stallion.

The chicks are probably around Adam for protection but he hangs around them too, kind of neat. This is the third summer he is with the chicks.

So it is a fact, I am very good at haying. 64 bales came of this field, maybe about 800-1000 lbs. a piece, quite a bit of hay. Jason started in the late morning and I took over about 2 PM. Done by 5 PM and Jason then starting wrapping them, done about 8 PM as it got dark. I should take a picture of the bales all in a row.

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Raining right now, not much just drops, the weather forecast says 90% change of rain today, 80% tomorrow and 90% Friday, no haying for the next few days.

Supposed to put the bulls with the cows today, my running with the bulls I guess. This is two weeks later than last year, decided the calf's were coming a little early this spring.

So I ordered this semen tank on Ebay $223 free shipping. I bought twinning cattle semen a few years back and had a neighbor store it for me in his tank, embarrassing how many years it has been.

When I get the tank I have to bring it to the liquid nitrogen supplier, have them fill the tank and then go over to them with a pork share and hopefully pick up the semen. Wont be able to use it this year though, not set up yet for artificial breeding. Have all the equipment chute and all but not had time to set it up, the plan to do it next summer. 

This tank holds the cold for 80 days and then has to be refilled. The plan to get the next size up for $500 later, that one good for 160 days and then use this smaller one to pick up the nitrogen and pour into the bigger one, plans plans plans.

Well if it starts to rain heavy, maybe I will just work on the bulls tomorrow and I work on the spreadsheets inside, the plan to try to incorporate somehow my email address so when you order a share in the spreadsheet you can drop me an email so I know you did it, redundancy, redundancy my mantra.

This delivery was actually amazing. I was by my self, Temma away and again and again I made some mistake that was later corrected because of this redundancy. Then if I thought I had made a mistake, I could just go back and check, no mistake. 

Then I figured out a little thing that helped. We mark the boxes according to stops, 1, 2, etc.  We started with the highest number, the lowest coming out of the car first. Every time we had to know exactly how many stops beforehand so the highest number would be right. This time I reversed it, number 1 the last stop going first into the car, didn't have to keep in  my head how many stops, "keep it simple stupid".

 

 

 

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Rained a little bit towards evening but not much, just enough to soak me while I was ending putting the bulls with the cows, five of them, one just a young thing. Very proud of my self having done it the right day. Two weeks later than last years, felt the calf's were coming a little early. By now my bulls are like kittens, nice as can be, calm and collected.

Somewhat a problem actually, if they don't want to go where I want them, they just don't go, look at me as if "how stupid can you be, I am not going there, don't feel like it". Then you don't want to push them too hard, being calm does not mean they have forgotten they are bulls if they decide I am some vermin to be eliminated. 

So this is how it goes. The bulls are in a long field with some steers, have to convince them they want to go through the gate and to the fold where I can sort them. Some of the steers are skiddish and when I have gotten the whole herd by the gate, maybe 30 of them, they decided three times they want to run to the other side of the field maybe a 1/4 mile. I can not run after them, only walk calmly as if I am there for a Sunday walk. If I start running, everything goes into an other state of mind, adrenalin and fear.

So I just walk calmly and in the end they are by the gate and decide it might be fun going through it. On to the fold they go, there we separate the bulls, easy piece after years of selecting for calmness. If a bull shows any kind of fear or aggressiveness at this point, not used for breeding, simple as can be.

Then we let the herd go back to the field, load the bulls on to the trailer one by one, heavy, don't want to brake the trailer, and drive them to the cows. There they start making this deep rumbling sound letting everybody know why they are there. Will go later today to check on them and take picture for tomorrow.

You see the picture of Blondie, she is on the logo, retired, has not had a calf for several years now, doesn't milk enough for them, they would struggle. She is going to stay as long as she is in good health, how is that for a business decision?

 

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One short walk this morning and back in, raining, but took a couple of pictures of the rain.

But as I promised, checked out the main herd Yesterday and took the camera with me, some of the pictures pretty good if I say so my self. The bulls had settled in and the cows around them, there they will be even into November, the gestation period 9 months for cows. 

Got the semen tank Yesterday, looked good, made in China of course. Me buying it from China putting somebody out of business in this country I gather. But what can one do trying to improve the bottom line that got lost a long time ago.

Brought the tank to the nitrogen supplier and supposed to pick it up at four o'clock today. He said he was supposed to charge me $8 a liter, the tank taking 10. But because I was Icelandic like Magnus Magnusson (the strongest man in the world according to him) he would only charge me $5 a liter. Thank you Magnus, maybe I should send you the $30.

I told him my great uncle was a strongman, had his own circus and all. Lifted elephants, tore up telephone books, bent steel bars and such, think  it impressed him. But when I told him he was only half brother to my grandfather, seemed like he put two and two together, understood why I am like I am.

Then I will bring the filled tank to the dairy farmer hoping he still has the semen in his tank.

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I don't think you know how important this diary is to me. Here I put the days thoughts on farming down, helps me put everything in perspective. Also seeing for my self what a paradise I live in, makes me appreciate my life, enough of that.

Did you do your exercises this morning? Didn't think so, Pop does as see how good she looks.

On the thistles, another invasive species not native to America: 

"The thistle has been the national emblem of Scotland since the reign of Alexander III (1249–1286) and was used on silver coins issued by James III in 1470. It is the symbol of the Order of the Thistle, a high chivalric order of Scotland. It is found in many Scottish symbols and as the name of several Scottish football clubs. The thistle, crowned with the Scottish crown, was the symbol of seven of the eight former Scottish Police Services (from which a new national Police Service was formed in 2013), the sole exception being the former Northern Constabulary. The thistle is also the emblem of Encyclopædia Britannica, which originated in Edinburgh, Scotland."

And

"According to a legend, an invading Norse army was attempting to sneak up at night upon a Scottish army's encampment. During this operation one barefoot Norseman had the misfortune to step upon a thistle, causing him to cry out in pain, thus alerting Scots to the presence of the Norse invaders."

And now you know, the thistles starting to flower as you see. Nasty plants but goats eat them, more goats on the farm needed.

Rained this morning but they are promising dry weather into Tuesday so I will cut and cut and cut today and then we are getting done with first cutting. The hay will then dry tomorrow (hopefully). On Monday I am taking 4 steers to market, haven't sold enough of them to you. Jason will start baling and then I will take over and bale into the night.

More on the saga of the semen tank, about learning everything the hard way or "how was I to know, nobody told me". So this what happened, brought the tank to the supplier and picked it up filled Friday afternoon, everything good so far. Went home and picked up the pork share I wanted to give them for storing the semen all these years and went to the dairy farm.

Found Dan, one of the sons, checking on fences right by the barn. Told him why I was there and that I had a pork share for them. He told me it hadn't been any bother and the pork share unnecessary , didn't take that much space in the tank. But as we got talking, obvious they had worried a little about the tank going bad and everything in it. So he took the pork and we went into the milk house to transfer the semen into my tank. No luck, turned out my tank wasn't tall enough to store the straws safely. I had bought a 10L tank put need a 20L. So I have to wait until I can afford to buy the 20L about $500 and then use this 10L to transport the nitrogen from the supplier. Everything good in a way, always the plan to get the bigger one and they can store the semen until then, the plan to use this semen next summer.

Well could have been worse but by nightfall Yesterday I was really discouraged, felt stupid and dumb, but after writing about it and the sun shining, feeling pretty good. Maybe the coffee helped. 

 

 

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Checked the weather forecast just now, dry today and tomorrow afternoon thundershowers on Tuesday. I cut for maybe 8 hours Yesterday without stopping. Got this special pillow of Ebay, saved me this summer. Has a hole in it for the tail bone. These long drives doing delivery were getting me starting to be aware of my tail. If you have a problem try it:

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Coccyx-Orthopedic-Memory-Foam-Seat-Cushion-Comfort-For-Office-Chair-Car-Seat/192409562302?ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT&_trksid=p2057872.m2749.l2649

Not selling anything, just trying to help ?

Now the question should I go and cut more today. What I will do, do the chores, move the cattle, take a brake and check the forecast again. I am getting done, if I cut today, then almost finished with 1. cutting. Will have more than enough hay, better to have too much than to little, becomes a nightmare very fast.

The problem, so many dairy farmers going bust and when they get rid of the cows they hold onto the haying equipment thinking they can make some money selling the hay so there is a surplus. O well this is farming for you.

In Scandinavia they are out of hay because of a drought. Too far away I guess, maybe I should put an ad in Danish: "Hø for salg, men du må hente det"! If you know anybody in Scandinavia let them know, all read Danish I gather. Have you heard this Finnish saying: "Can't be Swedish, don't want to be Russian so we can just as well be Finnish". But I ask, who wants to be Swedish, the Dane in me talking. ?

 

 

 

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So when we came out this morning the dogs ran after something, could hear them make nosies in a ruin below the house. Later when we came in I noticed Pip was off, something wrong. When I checked him his snout was filled with porcupine needles. Surprisingly he let me pull them out with a tweezer, must have been very painful when I pulled on them, some of them in almost half an inch in. Got them all I think but will check later.

Surprisingly. This dog has a real problem trusting people, either he is just this way or had some bad experience. Like when I need to do his nails, have to corner him, hold him tight so he can´t move and then cut the nails one by one, as if I am cutting off his toe with every nail and I know what I am doing, know not to cut into where the blood is.

So I cut a ridiculous amount of hay Yesterday. Supposed to be dry today and into the afternoon tomorrow, we will will see if I can finish baling it all. But now there are only two fields left and first cutting done.

Midweek I am going to the Empire State Farm show, the only farm show I go to, you never know what you learn. Probably this time that ALL the farm machinery is made in China by now, just about right time to raise the tariffs I guess and hurt us farmers a little bit more. We can take a lot of pain, masochists actually, but these needles must really hurt, surprised Pip ate afterwards like nothing was wrong.

The golden rods are starting to flower here at 2000 feet, up here we very rarely have a drought, where we used to live in Warwick NY, often this time of year everything would be yellow or brown.

 

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