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Archive for November, 2012

Wednesday, Nov. 28th – Thursday, Nov. 29th 2012

November 29th, 2012 Comments off

Both yesterday and today have been spent running errands, doing odd jobs, and farm maintenance, mostly by Conrad and Julia. Wednesday Conrad worked on rebuilding our ancient “triangle” chicken tractor to be used for exceptional chickens, meaning those that Chris has decided need separate housing for some reason. He and Julia also took trimming the fence lines to a new level, namely, 8′ above the ground, with Julia piloting the tractor and Conrad in the bucket trimming privot hedge and trees. Charlie and I were working almost exclusively on repairing our tiller, necessitating an excursion to the wilds of Riders’ Trail to Paul Gove’s shop for help extracting the bearing case.
Today (Thursday) saw me out much of the morning for a medical appointment, as well as reassembling receipts for diesel purchases so I can submit the invoices. In the afternoon, we worked on creating a level foot-print for the hoop house, and Julia was working pulling up mulch in the garden. I’m sure much more happened, but it will have to be added later.
Fantasy Cookies
George has been ill, but seems to be recovering. On these cold evenings, Miriam’s tea-steeping training has been gratefully recalled. Now, if we only had some Digestives to go along with it!

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Tuesday, Nov. 27th, 2012

November 28th, 2012 Comments off

This morning Julia was up and out early to attend a hoop-house workshop in Goldsboro, so Conrad, Chris, and I did the milking. The rest of the day was filled with a variety of odd-jobs: Conrad was cleaning fence line, repairing the float-valves on the stock tanks, and sundry other things. George, Charlie, and I worked on the tiller equipment. The Breeze tiller’s PTO is fixed and back on the tiller; there still are quite a few tines and bolts that have worked loose. I have spent more time in stores finding parts to fix things than I have doing any real work the last few days.

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Monday, Nov. 26th, 2012

November 26th, 2012 Comments off

Another beautiful day in NC. We are getting back to normal here at the farm with a pretty full day. Conrad and Julia accomplished a lot of clean-up and fix-up: rehabilitating a rabbit cage, starting some seeds for transplant in early Feb., scooping poop, feeding out hay, and of course milking this morning. Charlie, George and I were trying to repair tilling equipment most of the day. The cross-piece purchased yesterday would not swivel properly when installed in the yokes of the PTO which put a trip to Raleigh to Agri-Supply on the calendar. Since I needed to get a bearing for our tiller, we decided to bite the bullet and get it done. Its a long way there and back but the PTO is fixed.
Our evening was pretty eventful. Julia and a visiting friend (another Charlie) cooked a delicious dinner for all of us, including her parents. After dinner we told stories and Charlie (Julia’s Charlie) entertained us with banjo, guitar, and fiddle, and graciously allowed me to accompany him as best I could. So, it was a good day here at the farm.

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Saturday, Nov. 24th – Sunday Nov. 25th

November 26th, 2012 Comments off

Two more days devoted to sustainable agriculture – the farmer component in this case. Saturday was “Leave-taking” day for the remainder of my family, and we didn’t hurry it. We had the remainder of our 1st bacon run for breakfast, then without strain or effort moved on to lunch. There seemed to be a lot of conversations that needed to be concluded before going our separate ways, all of them grace-filled.
What little farming that got done was by Conrad, Julia, Charlie, and George who did general cleanup and maintenance and which was greatly appreciated by me.
Today (Sunday) was spent largely in recovery mode. Charlie, George, and I made a run to TSC for a U-Joint cross-piece, while Conrad and Julia enjoyed a day off – mostly. Back at it tomorrow.

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Friday, Nov. 23d, 2012

November 24th, 2012 Comments off

On the second day of Thanksgiving we did just enough farm work to get by. Milked the cows, fed the calves and chickens, and the rest of the day we enjoyed ourselves. I spent the morning and then some riding my bike with Amy, Ben, Dan, and Tim. Tim had mapped out a route composed of twisty sections of some local roads and while there was no way I could keep up with the others through those turns, it was a lot of fun. But, the most fun was be able to ride with my kids. At one point we were crossing one of the Falls Lake causeways and it was one of those “it doesn’t get better than this” moments. By the time I got back to the house, most of the family had reassembled. We spent the afternoon catching up until milking, followed shortly by dinner.
Meanwhile, Charlie, George, Conrad, and Julia walked to Maple View for ice cream and back. They saved the day from being a complete work vacuum by splitting some wood, and Conrad also rebuilt the upper water hydrant supports. After dinner, Julia took the lot pub crawling in Chapel Hill while the rest of us worked hard to eat up all the leftovers. We failed, but will make another valiant attempt tomorrow.

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Wednesday, Nov. 21st – Thursday, Nov. 22d.

November 22nd, 2012 Comments off

Woodcrest Thanksgiving
Yesterday and today have been all about family and friends, with very little farming getting done. We milked our Jersey Girls and Swiss Misses, and made one trip to the feed and grocery stores, but that is about all. By dinner time Dan and Liza, Ben and Julie, David’s family, Tim’s family, and the Ollers were all here.
Part of the afternoon was spent rehearsing music for our Thanksgiving church service, which turned out better than I expected, at least. All in all, a satisfying day.
Today we got up early to milk and found Julia and Conrad already at it, even though she was supposed to be off, bless her heart. The morning was spent eating breakfast, then lunch, then snacking, and in due time Sherill and Don, Heather, Drake and Jordan, Mel and Joshua, Stacie, John, Collin, and Reed, Amy, Cameron, Kinsley, and Selah, and Melissa arrived. The Bryants, Tim, Jaimie, the twins, and Patti Siedel, George, and Charlie rounded us out at about 55 people for dinner. We were, and are, a grateful family.

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Tuesday, Nov. 20, 2012

November 21st, 2012 Comments off

Today started, as all days here do, with milking BUT it was handled completely by Conrad and Julia. They have decided to start at 7:00 instead of the more civilized hour of 8:00AM, so all of you planning to visit us to see the milking get done should plan to be here at 7:00…. After breakfast, Charlie and George decided to tackle the leaves in the front yard. Owing to the scarcity of trees, and hence, leaves in jolly old England, they were a little overwhelmed at not being able to see the actual ground so raked all the leaves (yea!) and moved them to the garden for composting. Conrad worked on the fence-line and Julia was working with the garden. I ran errands in the morning and made a maintenance trip to BREEZE in the afternoon to shutdown the irrigation system and sundry items. We were milking when the Oller’s showed up (double yea!) and we all finished up in short order, segueing to a fried-chicken dinner with all hands. Busy day at the farm, it was.

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Monday, Nov. 19th, 2012

November 19th, 2012 Comments off

This morning we started on the new assignment schedule. Conrad and Julia handled morning milking, so I was able to resume my morning workout regimen. When I got home at 10:00, the day was mostly underway. Conrad and Julia worked on farm chores while Chris and I worked at getting the house prepped for our Thanksgiving guests, and I also did some much needed accounting.
Charlie Jones and George Edwards managed to find Hillsborough, and once there, unerringly found our best bar. This is a valuable skill, and they have honed it to a degree rarely encountered. We are looking forward to a great week.

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Saturday, Nov. 17th, 2012

November 17th, 2012 Comments off

Morning milking was over-staffed this morning – with 5 of us it went quickly. We are going to split up milkings, I think. After breakfast I held open forge and worked on my own projects. The rest of the crew did some tidying up and general maintenance. Around 3, Chris and I took a trip down to New Hill to pick up our new goat, Chocolate, who we hope will counteract the goat milk shortage. I have a picture of her taken with flash in the barn that is truly creepy, so I won’t upload it. I’ll get a better one for the blog.

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Thursday, Nov. 15th – Friday, Nov. 16th 2012

November 17th, 2012 Comments off

Yesterday was cold and rainy much of the day. After milking, Conrad and I went up to Breeze where we finished the siding on the pump house, and then replaced all the missing bolts on the tiller tines. Arriving back at the farm, we discovered – JULIA, who has come back to us as our farm intern for the next several months. I had a PARC meeting to go to, so I left the milking in the able hands of Conrad, Noah, and Julia.
Today was somewhat of a repeat – I was away most of the morning and early afternoon at the “Bright Lites” awards, where Emerson-Waldord School received a grant for $1500 to build a blacksmith forge. Since I had been instrumental in helping design the proposal, I was invited.
Julia, Chris, and Conrad worked on farm maintenance items in the garden and house. Chris is going full throttle on clearing space for all our Thanksgiving guests. It should be quite a party.

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