Thursday, December 24, 2009

The 12 Days of Practice

This lovely version of the traditional Christmas song was created by a bunch of us at White Tiger Karate. Namely, Sensei Sharyl, Cheryl, Kyle, Linda, and myself.

On the first day of practice my sensei gave to me an hour in a horse stance.

On the second day of practice my sensei gave to me 2 black eyes
and an hour in a horse stance.

On the third day of practice my sensei gave to me 3 crescent kicks,
2 black eyes, and an hour in a horse stance.

On the fourth day of practice my sensei gave to me 4 Corners, 3 crescent kicks
2 black eyes, and an hour in a horse stance

On the fifth day of practice my sensei gave to me 5 broken toes!
4 Corners, 3 crescent kicks, 2 black eyes
and an hour in a horse stance

On the sixth day of practice my sensei gave to me 6 combination,
5 broken toes!
4 Corners, 3 crescent kicks, 2 black eyes,
and an hour in a horse stance

On the seventh day of practice my sensei gave to me 7 little newbies,
6 combination, 5 broken toes!
4 Corners, 3 crescent kicks, 2 black eyes,
and an hour in a horse stance

On the eighth day of practice my sensei gave to me 8 knuckle push ups,
7 little newbies, 6 combination, 5 broken toes!
4 Corners, 3 crescent kicks, 2 black eyes,
and an hour in a horse stance

On the ninth day of practice my sensei gave to me 9 prancing panthers,
8 knuckle push ups, 7 little newbies, 6 combination,
5 broken toes!
4 Corners, 3 crescent kicks, 2 black eyes,
and an hour in a horse stance

On the tenth day of practice my sensei gave to me 10 Pai Lum Fist Sets
9 prancing panthers, 8 knuckle push ups, 7 little newbies,
6 combination, 5 broken toes!
4 Corners, 3 crescent kicks, 2 black eyes,
and an hour in a horse stance

On the eleventh day of practice my sensei gave to me 11 rounds of sparring
10 Pai Lum Fist Sets, 9 prancing panthers, 8 knuckle push ups,
7 little newbies, 6 combination, 5 broken toes!
4 Corners, 3 crescent kicks, 2 black eyes,
and an hour in a horse stance

On the twelfth day of practice my sensei gave to me a 12 hour belt test
11 rounds of sparring, 10 Pai Lum Fist Sets, 9 prancing panthers,
8 knuckle push ups, 7 little newbies, 6 combination,
5 broken toes!
4 Corners, 3 crescent kicks, 2 black eyes,
and an hour in a horse stance

and an houuuuur in a hoooorse stance :)

A note for those of you who don't know:
Pai Lum Fist Sets are defenses from different attacks
Prance of the Panther is a name of a form
Little newbies are new kids aged 4-7 who are sometimes difficult to teach :)
6 combination is a defense from a punch
4 corners is the name of a bo staff form
And a horse stance, well your feet are double shoulder width apart, knees bent like you're sitting in a chair... quite like how one would look if one were riding a horse.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

32 Reasons Why I am a Dumbass....

There they are: 32 reasons why I'm a few french fries short of a Happy Meal. I stopped at the Green Crow to see if they had any seasoned cants I could use as a carrying timber. Well, the Crow used to mill 7x9's for railroad ties until the Pennsylvania company stopped taking them. So they had these boys hanging around. The guy gave me a great price so I said I'd be back and take them all. Well, now we are doing a post and beam, which I am psyched about. It will be more difficult because I have not done that yet. So another learning curve. Anyways, the reason for the title of the post. It took me a while to load the truck. They were heavy. I loaded the truck by myself, then found the boss to pay him and he said, "Why didn't you holler. We would have helped you load them." (sigh) I sweated and stink like skunk who has an overly active scent gland. I bathed.

On farm notes: Bred two of gram's pigs. Semen was almost a week old, so I hoped they took. We'll find out. The seed catalogs have come in, but I have yet to open them. Garden is going to be nearly all PVO this year. Enjoyed the Solstice at Kearsarge-Gore Farm. Enjoyable to spend a night leaning back with friends on an annual note. Getting goose tomorrow from Fall Dog Farm. Last bird I need to process for the year. Been riding Kristin. Yoked up the steers the other day in the barn. They are unbelievably tame.

Nothing in the future. Get the walls up for the house. I will draw out a framing layout tonight for the beams/timbers. Check out our mill to see what I have ready, then call Colby's Mill and order what I need. Need to square up those timbers before taking them off the truck. Not lugging twicemore.
Sleepy, going to read before milking cows.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Ted and Zac

I walked Ted down to the house at the powerline today. It is a 1/3rd of a mile away. He did alright. Slipped and fell in the yard on the ice, but was otherwise fine. He geed and hawed wonderfully. When he saw the neighbors horses he paused quite a bit. I tapped him on his butt a few times to giddup. I didn't get a chance to take Zac out.
Tomorrow I am going to take out on of the calf yokes and play with them quite a bit. Ted and Zac are the two bulls we picked up in August. They way about 550lbs each now. They are friendly, and lead terribly well. Ted can haw, giddup, and back without a lead now. Gee is a problem still. Zac is a little tougher. Leads nicely, but still needs the lead for commands. We have an old tractor tire laying around. I'll see if I can supe that up and use it as a small weight for them when they get going together in the yoke.

No poem for sleep. Will be a dreamless night.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Making Chocolates watching Rocknrolla- started the steers. Rode the horse. Broke the sun.
And sweetest in the gale is heard;
And sore must be the storm
That could abash the little bird
That kept so many warm.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

no no no no no no no

No No No No No No No No No No No

No No No No No No No No No Nooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

Noooo No No No No No ....NOOO.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Ah Distinctly I remember It was in the bleak December

It's December first. The world goes boom stick waving in hand like John Wayne did in the movies there was always that girl- all of them- the tough one who could kick teeth in, or the pretty one riding side saddle up the horses it's time to go after the cups, the marmalade the tea, I'll take my shadow and make a toast. It's the First of December. The whole world goes boom.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Cat Runs and Subfloor

Sweepy.. and it is only 8. I gotted Marianne to milk and done the choreses that morning so I can goes over immediately and sat up work on the decking for the day.

Joe and I on Saturday did just about half of the decking. I needed to make a dump run, and a grain pickup so we closed up shop early. I did find a wonderful mailbox at the dump, and a cast iron with enamel double bay sink for our future kitchen.

Uncle Joe and Marianne working on the deck. Zac having a quick bite to eat. Yesterday I had a glass of milk for breakfast, and then didn't have anything to eat until 3. I ate down a whole pie on the way to the dump, but by the time I got to the barnstore I had terrible heartburn. So I filled my canteen with water, and drank most of it, but it felt like I was choking on this burning sensation. So, today I took the time to eat in the day.

Basement looking like a basement now. Zac and Joe putting on last board. We're hanging over by 1/4 inch. I'll draw a line and take the skill saw to it tomorrow.

Ahh, Done.
Not bad you guys says Sasha. I approve. Ed across the street came by and gave a thumbs up. I helped him lug something into his basement, and he showed me a furnace he built, and a device he made to make twisted yarn. Turns out he knew my late great uncle. We were talking in the drive, and I heard a farting noise. (It wasn't me or Ed). Sasha, who ate most of my pie that day, was making a pass in Ed's garden. He had the runs and the first time I can ever recall actually being able to hear a cat poop....Ed laughed, said it was good for the roses.

I have been bringing Lydia into the barn. She is freshenning in February. So she is getting into a routine, and I touch her daily so that milking will not be so troublesome to begin with. She did not have a halter on the other day. I grabbed one, and realized that halters do not make sense to me. I kind of become dumb when one is in my hand. Thank goodness Marianne was not a horse person, and saw me fumble with a halter while we were dating. "Well, he is cute and all but you should have seen how he put on a halter. Not for me." They just do not make sense to me. They're like the algorithm to a bra clasp; completely over my head. One hook and a twist- who knew? Would have made high school easier...

Thinking: I saw before I had well finished all suddenly mount and scatter wheeling in great broken rings upon clamorous wings..WBY

Thursday, November 26, 2009

House as of today

I spent the first part of Turkey Day (By the way, Happy Gobbling Day) working on the house. I had not yet put the spacers in, and unfortunately that took more time than I had anticipated. Grandpa told me a way to do them temporarily with a board nailing every 16 after I came back. O well. Still, I did start the decking. I did not get much on, but nonetheless started.

So in reverse of where I am today-

This is the full basement with the carrying timber in place. It was a bitch putting it up alone, but felt kind of like a game of chess figuring how to brace a plank in place. I re-notched the wall instead of notching the wood in the timber. It was 1/32 off from the sill, which I thought was darn good.


Jack came over and we had a hell of a day putting up the rim joists and the first joists. The green hemlock is troubling to move alone, and having two hands makes the project move so much faster. Cheers Jack! Will try to get kiln dried for the second floor joists and rafters. It was pretty neat to work on the house today. Normally when I work it goes something like, "F--- it. It is a pig shed. It doesn't need to be square." But with the house, we're measuring out perfectly. Our last rim joist section was a saw blade too wide, but still took it back to make the correction. It was neat to be measuring out 12+ feet, and making correct cuts down perfectly with a little math and patience. *Note to reader: Not a carpenter so I find myself taking more time than I'd like.
Jack and I after we finished the next day. Our box was 1/4 inch out of square, and we adjusted it to being perfectly square. By the way Jack, I did find my sledge hammer after wards. (I had a splitting maul but he brought a hammer. ) We finished by tacking into the sill, and the joists together and into the timber. Jack's way of running the sides of the rim joists was better than mine. Now, on that note and since Jack cannot rebutt here: Mine would just take longer, but nonetheless the result would have been the same. =P Looking damn good though.

This is Fenevare- The picture does not do her justice. She has been growing very well, and looking unbelievably healthy. The 4 calves have been eating almost 1 1/2 bales a day, but growing wonderfully. She was born in July. I want to keep here. Trying to keep money in the pocket so that I will not have to do something stupid like sell her for cash. Pinzgauer xJersey.


Note: I am not a cat person. Swear... Sasha and Zac on mini lunch break. I let him eat whatever I am eating. Today was a slice of bread and water.
I cut out the spacers, and tacked them in. Wish I held onto that nail gun. I have a wrist/forearm problem as it is, and now it is just throbbing. The last part of the day I went lefty. Only three courses in for the deck today. Mistake: I bought 1x6's. They are going to go up slowly. The benefit: Planed, edged and dried for 40cents a board foot. And no chemicals from some nasty plywood.



It has felt like I have been doing half days since I do not have to milk, work house and then go to work. Next week will be tough to get back into that pattern again. Unfortunately the rain will stop me from working on the house tomorrow. Saturday should be a good blow out day though. I think I will treat myself on Black Friday to a used bookstore. Anyone want to go on a trip? Seriously, just e-mail, call.

Hasn't it been such a wonderful fall? The other day for lunch kitty and I layedin the warm grass. You should have been there. A line of our bodies in the sun- with the kat tiptoeing across our backs.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Antecaca

Antecaca- The first defecation made by a "milking cow" immediately after being milked. The term came about in the late 18th century when a dairymen in Pennsylvania wrote a short editorial on his observation that most of his cows would defecate soon after being milked out. The observation was widely noted thereafter, and the term, antecaca, became the named standard. It is believed, though little research has been made, that the pressure from the udder of a cow once relieved by a milking shrinks so that the colon of the cow then relaxes. This in turn promotes an antecaca. Antecacal defecations have been recorded in 82.5% of all dairy cows within 3 minutes of being milked. This is why in many states it is illegal to use a milk cow, in lactation in a cow plop bingo, as the owner of the cow could give an unfair advantage in the gambling event. Holsteins, Milking Shorthorns and Ayshires are the three breeds most likely to have an antecaca. Guernseys are almost never known to have an antecaca, largely believed because the unique carotene of their "Golden Guernsey" milk is a soothing agent for the milk glands and surrounding viscular tissue. Thus the relief from a milking is not as tangible as in other breeds.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Fresh + Turkeys

I had a most fantastic day-
But prior to that I want to mention the movie Fresh, which Linda Howe put on last night in New London. I tend to be out of the loop on documentaries such as Fresh, King Corn, Food Inc. My reading tends to be other than farming/environmental genres, and hear about different books through conversations where I often think, "Darn. I need to read that." Well, the short of it- it was great to see the film and receive some reinforcement-post growing season- of many of the things we do.

Now- Onto the things we do!

Slaughter! Yum! Above is a landscapish view of what went on today. Mark, Jack and Pam, Michael and Nicki, Zac and Marianne, Gram, Casey- who could not find anything to do on their own, spent a wonderfully beautiful day together. They, without precept, arrived at Raccoon Hill Road, where someone sparked up the idea of slaughtering the turkeys. Everyone agreed, and five hours later they were done with 50 birds- lasagna and rice pudding was so well deserved afterwards.

Actually a bit of planning went into today, and it went off very well, with few hitches. On conventional standards were were slow- 10 birds an hour. However, last year it took us 2 days to do 28 birds without the new plucker. Pin feathers were still aplenty, but far reduced compared to last year.

O no. It is happenning. I was quite excited about this post, and had many ideas for it, but my energy was just drawn out. Sleep. Working on house tomorrow. Come to pie night Friday.
Zac

Friday, November 20, 2009

Pie Scholarship at Night

I think one of the most pleasant of pleasantries in life are the particulars of not knowing how you'll spend an hour. Ostensibly we all wake- eat- and then perform the bulk of our daily lives as practiced as a base step to a dance. Let me pause quickly- sometimes it feels like that- I am happy to say that the farm, and seeing others self employed is varying very different. (say that three times fast)

But the pleasantries of an hour: an unexpected great conversation with a friend, the eureka of late fall sun on the shadows of brick walls, or being ready to leave work when three (wonderful) coworkers come in to make pies for a scholarship fundraiser for Kearsarge High. That was a wonderfully spent hour staying later- talking, reciting a poem, realizing that you knew how to lattice pies (I became the latticer!!) and then tiding off for home. Home becomes the ostensibly regular part, but with the division of difference between- a few pies. That was fun. And Linda, Kim, Tammy are too. In fact, many of the family at work make the job worthwhile. Sleep- Will worry about the morning when it comes upon me.

I'll tell you how the sun rose
A ribbon at a time....

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Sill


Sasha enjoying our lunch. He is now my kitty. I have yet to tell Marianne that, but I think she'll understand. We've shared enough lunches that we can be pretty good amigos now. Although the little bastard made me lose my balance as I was walking across the sill today. That is ok- I (accidently) allowed his bird of a lunch to escape.

Jack helping last week finish up the basement. Thanks Jack!!

This week. Since D and I were rained out Saturday I have been working to get the house going this week on my own. I built haphazard staging to hold the 2x's up as I built the supporting timber in place. I finished it in two half days before work. Then have been on the sill before work.

Prettier picture of house to come. Small, but shall be lovely. Night

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Two Lives WCW

WCW rubbed his eyes on rocks and stones pushing pen against whatever he had found to make a note that would chime in verse. He'd go teary eyed, crusted over in disguise by smile to deliver a baby always thinking- how many lives- how many lives in a lifetime can you live? He managed two, the best he could do.
I see the old men at dusk sweeping away their doorsteps- that is where we all fall into place at the end- pushing aside everything to light to fall in their places. I'm still living regrets from 3rd grade. Time for the doorstep. Time for the doorstep- to sweep it bare. Before the flood light comes on- yes dear yes dear. I am coming- just one more sweep across here.
How many lives in a lifetime? How many days unrolled from their plastic wrap happenings- Good morning- How are you- Good Good. (All Old Men sweep their doorsteps) When I am forty I will by a new riding mower and level the yard. I will cut you there- and say I got it. I got you. I am master standing in the yard my feet rooting in the 2-3-1 and liming. My feet rooting plant me here till I may sweep the doorstep bare. Grow again and we shall plan badminton and trample in the cuttings.

Someone is coming to move in next the door. (A crying white candle lights the room where)

I see all the old men sweeping their doorsteps. Yes dear, yes dear. Just one more sweep till I shall make it bare. (the moon's fairest woman brushes her hair) That is how you watch; sit there, sit there- never ask what he is sweeping away. You'll find out someday.

Someday before your second lifetime. I am tenured and always loving my doorstep. I pick a broom and find out what I am sweeping. How many live's in a lifetime WCW? I swept the dust that was parts of me before, and sweep and sweep there! they go out the door! Your foe said- I grow old I grow old. That we did and stood saying- "Where did all that time go?" I rub stones. I rub stones- my ankles in the creek so cold.

I want to be dust if you'll the broom- oh the touch like lust (from time to time like a nectarine) Let us do it like the old man- let us sweep now and see if we can find the bottom of our step- and sweep it clean (and we who are dying just to be near her.) We'll sweep it now and let the grass grow. Snip the roots and lets go. I'm sorry, apologies - How's you're morning? Perfect and lovely- we lost the birdy, and dropped the rackets. So lovely, we handed them to the neighbors- and found another game.





(a kind of kiss- she places her mouth to the flame and blows out our faces. El poeta no esta en mi memoria.)

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Karma

Today was gorgeous. Yesterday was Karma. I figure that event put me and the Universe back at zero- so we're even.

Finished the chicken coop in the barn today. Most of the pullets are in there now. Moved the camper trailer up to the house site as an equipment trailer. Took apart the hoop house.

Neighbor's daughter came over to see a milking tonight. I showed her both machine and hand milking, but forgot how difficult milking by hand can be the first time. Our ability to become dexterous is amazing. I can put my hands on a teet and the milk comes flying out. She kept squeezing and squeezing and got a squirt here and there. I did mention that it took me about a week to learn how to milk. But was very much fun showing someone else the cows. I was surprised at their perspective of the cows- I stand over them and just push them with my hip if I want to shove them over. She stood at their rib cages and thought they were gi-normous.

(I thought I should mention my computer just mentioned that my virus database has been updated...)

Just thought of Mezzotints and will be lost now ooing and awwing the web though it is much more fun with Nick gallery hopping...

Saturday, November 14, 2009

It's Raining Its Pouring

Zac's in the bedroom crying...

Let us begin with a sigh... Today's rain was most depressing in that I spent the bulk of the week prepping the basement/getting materials for today- and in the short of it- D. and I got very little done as a result of the poor weather. Before I discount our attempts- I will completely acknowledge that plucking chickens in the rain is far easier, and far more pleasant- yes gutting chickens mind you- than doing any sort of carpentry in the rain.

So, before I make this pleasant page a mire of displeasure- Let me thank D. for spending a Saturday with me in the rain. We are both busy enough to fully appreciate the pleasures of a day we should have taken off. Anyways, he kept cheery which helped me out. I have been on a long haul with the basement/other work- and this week was especially difficult to finish setting blocks and to get ready for today. I sped out of work in my one ton on Wednesday night to HD to pick up a few tools I did not have/PT lumber. Well the website said they closed at 10pm, but they actually close at 9pm. My plan was to work in the morning, and use the nighttime to run an errand. I suppose that was an error in many ways.

So tonight I wanted to briefly post, and enjoy the rest of the evening with a book, and hopefully wake tomorrow with that cheery Sunday mood. Eh? Maybe I'll set the alarm clock for 6:20-and just run out in my pajama's to milk the cows. Hell, maybe I'll just run out in my birthday suit. Oughta surprise any early morning milk customers, but otherwise I don't think the cows will mind.

Post-Post

I did not know Normandy was a name of a cow. Cow, your name is specially, and you are dotted, and spotted. However, can you tell me. Are you more spotted than dotted or are your feelings allotted moreso dotted? I would say so splotted but unlike a shorthorn your white and- well if I may pause before calling your coat white- you are not really so white- I shall say you are pretty- though I have not met you maybe witty, which if you are my dearest maiden will you kindly allow me to say you are a dearest sweet to me. I truly must pause at this time because Jameson and I are due to be met, and I am taking time to publicly announce an Ode to a Normandy Cow- and I fear the Jerseys in the barn will hear of this flirtatious talk, and oh dear, they shall milk dry.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Pre-Weekend Posting

Hectic week. Energy level made an inverse from beginning to end. Still trying to chew that bite. Unexpectidely (sp) work became more hectic- so my ability to get in week rest dissapeared.

Hay un lucero quieto
Un lucero sin parpados
Donde?...
Un Lucero,
En el agua domida
Del Estanque

Still much enjoying reading about Lorca's life and some of his poetry. a bit more of Dickinson than normally enjoyed. She has the ability to grab you for odd facinations.
Ten minute break is up. Of the few enjoyables this week- I do very much realize that if you start as money as your gain, then you might as well be in the copper coupling business. There are so many more pleasantries to be had- some so simple. God didn't birth me with pockets for change- so I'll take the pleasantries very much enjoyed.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Relax, ok, but..

This posting has been put off with good intentions. Grandpa was hurt as a lot of you know on Friday of last week. He is doing well, and will be back home shortly. That is all I really want to say about that. As a reminder to that- farm readers, and I am completely guilty of it too: Disengage your pto if you're going to work on the equipment. He got caught up in the line drive of the manure spreader, and was damn lucky. The picture below shows his jacket, denim shirt and tshirt wrapped around the drive. So wear your chainsaw chaps, disengage before dismounting the tractor, and fix the manual brake on your IH tractor....zac...


The rest of the basement will/is being done without grandpa which is a shame. It has been a blast of fun to do it with him. This photo is a floor level view of the basement sofar. 2 complete walls.
Which I think is great considering it looked like this a few weeks ago!
This photo is from last week. The foremost wall now has 5 courses. Hopefully going to knock out 4 tomorrow before work. Then I will be able to do the windows the next day. Bulk head needs 5 more blocks to be finished. Compound, pour the floor, backfill, sill, joices, deck, then head down to the mill and start walls.
Reading: Mostly Lorca and Octavio Paz lately. S. has not been able to meet up for Spanish lessons, so my own course has been to play with short verses. Some fun new words: estanque (from memory the spelling) pond, desnudez, nudity, cortinas, curtains, o....I forget the word for looming, that was neat. They have been nice for this fall. I enjoyed a wonderful wooded walk, and was able to recite Wild Swans of Coole admidst the colors of the trees, but October is gone, and November pleasantly here with warmer weather than last year.

I am picking up a cute little heifer calf this Sunday. Little pricier than my normal calf purchases, but still heifers are hard(er) to come by, and I would like another critter for the extra milk here and there. I decided Antoinette as her name if she is unnamed. Either that or I will lock her in an attic and call her Bertha. Hope she doesn't burn me out of house!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Rainy Night

The pleasures of a quiet house, a dog, a book of Lorca, whiskey and the rain outside.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

NanoWRImo

Grandpa and I went over to my place and grabbed 50 pullets for my grandmother. She wanted a mix of Auracanas and Golden Comets. I still have about 90 or so more pullets. I am excited about swapping piglet sales next spring for pullet sales. The hens will be moved into where the brooder was. This will create a mild problem come February when I need a brooder, but I will make do. I always seem to work things out. I think the hallway area will be temporarily converted from Feb to April. I wanted to do 500 next year, but we'll let that figure move around a bit until it comes time to order. (the 500 is both for the amount of manure I'd like from the brooder for the field, and for the amount of layers/pullet sales I need to bring in)

NanoWRImo is starting soon. I have been juggling ideas for a couple weeks now, and have been happily assisted by reading Brautigan lately. Last year I knocked in a mere 13k words in the month- short of the 50k needed. I am not sure if I will fare better this year, but have enjoyed talking characters through my head while doing dishes and washing tables at work.

I had a Prufrock moment at work the other week. I was trying to move a mop bucket that was temporarily stuck when I had it: "It's 8 oclock, and I am moving a mop bucket to wash a dish room". And then like that it was gone. Do I dare?

Sunday, October 18, 2009

House and Garlic

Short post. Wrist hurts, want to sleep it well. We have a few more courses then we're done with the basement. I planted about 15 pounds of garlic today- and prepped the other garlic bed for the other 20 some odd pounds
Zac

Friday, October 16, 2009

They know the map of the silver paths to the ears. -Brautigan.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

House


Well as of now that is what the house looks like. Grandpa and I got two courses in today- spread more stone, then I went off and tried getting the hens more tidied up for the fall.
Speaking of fall- I have more than should have- fallen behind and am feeling it.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

First Sonnet

The camera isn't readily available. Marianne took it today and took pictures of the rabbits that I (finally!!) moved into the community pen. 1 buck, 4 does- food, shelter and water. Anyways, he should be doing alright, but at first his simple, sneaky attempts at mounting failed with the 4 does ducking for cover- for the last couple years rabbit mating has occurred in a small pen- now that they have 120 square feet looks like flowers, a movie and foreplay will necessitate. Very happy to see a few of the bunnies in a much more humane, loving environment. I'll be the first to say it- I love seeing those guys run around and happy- trying to figure out how to get more of them into a community environment. The tough part is I do need to keep up on pedigrees, and select stock. So cages are partially a necessity.

First sonnet- ok- I am doing a drop in audit class at CSC. Thanks M. We were supposed to write a sonnet. Anyways, my shortcomings with music translate into my very often not writing, but rather enjoying to read poetry. Well, kind of hard to do that in a creative writing class. So I am proud to say that I did write a (what I think is) a half way decent sonnet- and it is my first. I did start to write a prose sonnet (with the attached argument that shakespeare/petrarch are dead- so the form are more of guidelines anyways) as a love note to a h.s. girlfriend about what my wife thinks of her (even though Marianne never met her) Anyways- shall I say-lame?
So- no bashing here's the sonnet without the title.

Let us be something kind like broken glass,

Of harsh talk between all the good flittings,

That shake and shook all the broken fittings

And ebbed our coarseness- Into our last-

As screens and the quiet gleams of cities

On bridges apart that span our distance

Let us break the rebar cages, consistence

(upon) our rages- and all our pretties

Blooming like flowers after thermal winds

When I myself being all the seeing

Of daffodils torn by mistrals being

Flutters between the shines of looming kinds-

Yes and I never finding your contrast

Let us make this visit our very last.



couple like/eye rhymes there- so not completely true to form, but I tried making them sneakily work- work? works?

Zac


Thursday, September 24, 2009

Days in Advance

Work, work then pig by byes- chicken by byes and then setting blocks, setting blocks- work- but back to old shift.

It is a day that speaks
When hurried clouds do go
In the Air of cool September

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr

Well, to use the blog as a venting post, briefly this time, because we have company downstairs and really want to lean back in a chair and enjoy cake and ice cream...

Lost quite a few hens almost two weeks ago- think were coyotes- trying to take care of that. Spent one night in the barn waiting for a coon- lost a pullet today to a dog in the neighborhood- need to take care of that.

Otherwise work is alright- full time again- house coming nicely- can't wait to really stack a lot of that this weekend.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Leap Frog

Elida and Burt were playing Leap Frog the other day- but I don't think he is a very good jumper because he couldn't ever get over her- anyways he got mad when we took her away to milk, but they must have pretty good memories because they started the game right up again when we let her out.
Zac

Monday, September 7, 2009

Well, I couldn't very well sleep so what better to do late in the night than chat with your public, schizo friend (blog)? A professor I met at UCB referred to diaries as our schizo self- which I thought was a neat little thought- writing to yourself though that entity is contained in another form.

Anyways, can't sleep. I ended up switching positions at work, and now paying the unforeseen consequences of changing shifts/responsibilities. Mainly right now that means the inability to sleep. Sometimes worry too much.

The garden is in its final stages for us this year. Much of it has been discced in. With two weeks in the CSA season left, it seems like it will be timely enough for us.

Beef shares are selling well. Happy to see our steer go, and the interest in the grass based meats. This is especially nice since we are phasing out the pigs as a mainstay on the farm.

The house is going well. The work has halted cept on weekends due to being back at work. Hopefully get the basement done by the end of the month. There is plenty of minor constructions around here that need to get done also.

The honeycomb at night has strange dreams:
Small black trains going round and round
Old warships drowning in the raindrop.
-Robert Bly

Saturday, September 5, 2009

House Progression

Grandpa with the transit taking level in the hole. We had minor problems keeping the same level. In the end we made a grade within our form, and dug some of it. Turned out just fine.



The hole has more water than we'd like, but what can you do. We dug the drainage out to daylight, but we're having it fill a cistern for irrigation.
First day of form building done.
Second day- I spent the rest of the afternoon putting in stakes, spreaders and then a rush to RP's to get rerod. We poured the next morning.

$562 worth of concrete. Extra went to center for supporting timber, right for supporting timber, and side for chimney.
Next day I started popping the forms off. Lot of denailing. Grandpa came in time to help pop the inside forms. Went much faster with two people= 1 wrecking bar, one crow bar.
$270 worth of stone. Hundred bucks worth of drainpipe. Spread that out. Grandpa used to excavator to drop the stone near where I needed to shovel it. O, thanks KRR for the excavator.

A Month worth of paychecks in blocks. That is the next big project- then backfill, deck and get onto other fall projects. I am going to go sleep in the field tonight- night!


Date of pour.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

House

Quick posting before clocking out. Work at 8am tomorrow. Not sure if I should have switched positions. Gotta get going early just to get out on time.
Finished forms last night- ordered cement earlier that day and was poured this morning at nine for the footing. Grandpa told me not to get excited- I was jumping around as we were going at floating the cement and helping to direct the pour. I told him it was like having sex for the first time: you're not sure exactly what to do, but you're just so excited that it's happening.

Tomorrow get out of work at 12- going to get water pipe, 3 yards of sand, and get over to the place- take apart the forms, till grandpa shows up.
Zac

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Why Chicken?



Well I kinda lost my energy to post tonight. Keith Cutting gave me a heads up about a rule change from the Department of Health and Human Services regarding the processing and sale of meats in the state of New Hampshire. Unfortunately, it looks like a few changes will be made: namely, I heard through the grapevine that I won't be able to process my own chickens, and then bring them to the market.

Before I get going on the problems with the potential rule, let me first answer the title to this posting: Why chicken?

Besides the fact that it is so damn good....We love chicken. It is a wholesome, delicious meat that we can raise on the farm. They do not require as much pasture as a cow or sheep. They make wonderful droppings upon our field that simply make the grass grow! We feel energized after eating it. Our farm families love it. Devour it. If someone came up to you who felt a part of their life has been completely revitalized- namely the dinner table, then why would you want to squash that?

We process the chickens on our farm for several reasons. Namely, that the economics of taking them to a USDA slaughter house is prohibitive. Lameys, the only USDA slaughter house in the state, charges $5 per bird to process. Without including the time to load birds into cages, the truck and then drive them to Goffstown, that processing fee would add another $1.00 per pound to our birds. I process the birds on the farm partly because I am not in the business to pass the buck along. Our customers do not want a live bird- they want a ready to eat chicken. Secondly, they are my birds. I buy them as chicks, raise them in the brooders, get them out onto pasture- I am out there at odd ours of the night checking on them, and with flakes of hay keeping them warm and dry in storms. If I can take the integrity to raise the best possible birds that I can, then I am going to slaughter them in the best possible manner that I can. I slaughter 20-35 birds a day, once or twice a week. In between slaughterings the area is cleaned and rested. The sun pasteurizes the area. I keep everything clean. I don't care how much bleach they use, a slaughterhouse that is killing and cutting 5 days out of the week isn't going to have the cleanliness and attention that I can give my birds.

The next biggest thing is the economics of me raising birds. We can't drive down to Goffstown with 35 birds. We'd have to take 100+. Which essentially means good bye fresh birds- hello frozens. Now I have to have an extra freezer just for birds. Might as well add another $0.25 a pound.

Just to switch focus quickly: The state of California passed in March 2008 a law requiring that all raw milk pass a 10 coliform units per mil. test. (this is essentially impossible: http://www.naturalnews.com/022303.html ) Anyways, NH has the same rule on its "books". http://gencourt.state.nh.us/rules/mil100-300.html I guess we are also supposed to have,

“Raw milk is not pasteurized. Pasteurization destroys organisms that may be harmful to human health” listed on our bottles when we sell it.


What we have been fearful on our farm for the last couple years is the ability for the DHHS, senate/house, or other public bodies to put a few words on a piece of paper and as a result put us out of business. Food products that are considered potentially hazardous garner attention from regulators. Unfortunately for us, they are the type of foods we are interested in producing. Not because they are potentially hazardous. We do not see them that way at all. I think they are potentially lifesaving. Real, raw milk, fresh chicken, ground meat from cows raised on pasture who have seen more weeds, dirt and grass than concrete. Instead of looking up the statistics of food related illness from food sources that promote an unhealthy, environmentally degrading, morally decomposing system- why not look for and promote the production of foods that energize and vitalize both the producers and consumers. I think a lot of the dairies around us would have a bit more pep in their step if they were pasturing their cows on grass, getting $4 a gallon for pure milk, selling baby beef calves in retail markets instead of getting $0.72 a gallon after sales, shipping and commission for milk from sillage fed cows, and $30 dollars for day old shipped calves.

I recently took a ServeSafe class for my work at a kitchen in New London. Without getting too much into it I can simply say- the government's view of food is more of that of a dangerous item that needs special care, while ours is of a wholesome nutritious fulfillment of the land we live on that becomes one part of our daily nourishment. You can look at stats on food illness- but how about the stats on food wellness? How many dinners were made wholesome with our chicken? How many wives loved their husbands a little more for buying a beautiful bouquet from Two Mountain Farm? Did anyone's allergies improve after having honey from Cutting Farm? Did those kids remember going to the supermarket with their mom- or Farm Days at Musterfield Farm? How many of feel healthier now that Doritos has 33% more free per b

ag?

So where do we go with our farm? Do we really want to put money, time and unneeded frustration into a lifestyle and product that can disappear when a bureaucrat with a piece of paper comes around my barn door some day? The answer truly is no. I don't want to spend a few years building up something that can disappear over night. But how many vegetable vendors does the state want? our farmer's market need? If the state restricts the sale of foods they think potentially hazardous- that only Purdue, Tyson and Hood know how to produce safely, then everyone else that wants to farm either has to enter that production system or grow products without restrictions. We can't all sell summer squash. Right now that is what is so nice about our market- the other farmers we work with- A lot of our products overlap, but th

e products are so diverse that instead of being competitors- we're friends and advisors to each other. What happens to our already fragmented farm communities when everyone shows up with summer squash, beans and cucumbers?

Part of: the Answer


We need a few things. here are the few things I have been thinking of for the last couple weeks.

1. We need a state government that recognizes the fragmentation and diversity of homesteaders and farmers in the state that does not passes regulations on th

e direct sale of farmer to consumer; and that instead promotes the sale of properly raised/grown foods.

2. (the government) needs to realize that direct farm to consumer sales are not part of the food system; they are a reaction to the current food system. There is a difference between walking into a grocery store for a gallon of milk on your way home from work, and driv

ing to a farm to pick up a gallon of milk. The latte

r is decision to purchase something different, by choice, often because it is felt to be the healthier, better decision. These interactions should not be regulated. They are a reaction to the system that is already regulated. As Joel Salatin said, it's just letting people opt out.

3. Farmer markets are extensions of the farm. They offer a convenience for a customer to meet various farmers at one location. If a product can be sold at the farm, then it should be able to be sold at the market. Free and clear of legislative baggage.


4. Food isn't hazardous. With the exception of corn syr

up, MSG, and a few preservatives food isn't dangerous. People shouldn't fear the food they eat. They should be in jubilation of how they feel afterwards. Food illness

happens. Three years ago a man in Massachusetts died from lysteria contaminated milk: PASTEURIZED contaminated milk. The state official at the time said that even in a perfect system things can go wrong. It happens, rarely- But just keep in mind that it is leg

al to sell e.coli contaminated beef as long as it is precooked before sale, and as long as a veterinarian gives

the ok to a downer cow it can still legally go throu

gh the slaughterhouse.


5. An inspection doesn't make food safe. Feeding animals what they should eat makes the food safe. Maintaining biodynamic gardens keeps food safe. Integrity keeps food safe. You can have all the inspections you want. If whomever is shipping it off to a middleman and doe

sn't care, then it really doesn't matter.


Well, I am tucking off to bed. That is enough rant and nervousness from me. Maybe I'll edit tomorrow or let it stand as is. Take care, thanks for buying, kee

p it going and thanks to EVERYONE that came out in the rain today.

Zac


Chickens who are raised on the farm, processed on the farm. The grass is there, which means they aren't sitting in manure- which means when I go to process, I get to start with a clean bird.


First year garden at new farm. According to GAP rules which will be mandatory for vegetable producers in the future, we couldn't sell produce because we also raise animals in the vicinity.


Two week old chicks first day on half way house. That is the life. I put the food and water outside later to force them to go outside and get used to the great outdoors.

Wonderful addition to the farm. I started with a 5 frame nuc- quickly added a second hive body, then a medium super, and now a second super as the first is nearly filled.

Bees on busy day.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Week Aheads

I am clocking out to go to bed. The excavator is being delivered tomorrow. Grandpa is digging out the hole, we're going to pour the footing, then lay blocks for our foundation, drainage, dig the lines to the well- put the sill and decking on, and then that'll be that for a little. Of course, not all in one day.
I spent part of the day making calls to time out transportation of the excavator, ordering the blocks, trying to get hold of a transit level/laser, etc. and the last few hours cutting out the rest of the driveway, and the rest of the trees that need to go before the house gets in. Mowed around the well with the DR brush, and cut more Birch. Moved the hens into the pumpkin patch that was harrowed under. I figured that was a good move. I can leave the hens in that area for the next week, really fertilize it, and not worry about any hovering of the field. Broilers are good down to 90.

So behind for the next week or so until the cellar is done. Excited about getting that started/done and the learning in between.
Very excited about farm ending this season. Cover cropping looks great, getting final fertility by rapidly moving broilers. Enjoying the grass based farm. Looking forward to more brush clearing later in fall. Replacing brush with berries next year
Zac

Kitten,
whose purr sounds like
stereo in between frequencies
Bathed in the sunbeam of a day
so young it is dying
Zac

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Night timet thoughts

Chainsaw sharpen Plow behind as always wanting more time flies away itchy poison ivy annoyed with gotta sleep

Friday, August 14, 2009

Clocking out

Well,
I am heading right off to bed, no pics-
But!
Whom ever is the ever most awseome CSA-er to leave an old fake wood pannelled alarm clock with their empty milk bottle- THANKS!
That new, white plastic little bugger Marianne bought is going into hiding.
Zac

Monday, August 10, 2009

Alarm Clock

My alarm clock is a small, plastic box that is oddly patterned after the same fake wood paneling found in cheap apartments from the early 80's. The lettering has worn mostly off from the "hour" and "Alarm" buttons. The ring- or oddly constructed "err, err" used to annoy me endlessly so that I became well in the habit to wake up minutes before it was due to go off, and get out of bed.

I play a game at night trying to determine the best time the alarm is to be set. This has become increasingly difficult since the hour button does not properly work in response to pushing it. I try to determine whether I should be up earlier or have the luxury of sleeping in a few extra minutes.For the last few weeks the hour digit has been set to five oclock- a Sunday luxury of sleeping in till 6:03 would cost me a few minutes of wearied patience trying to get the clock back to "5"

The first minute digit cannot be a set on a zero, five or four. Sevens and threes are preferable- but 3's can only be used for :03 past the top of the hour or :23 past the top. for example: 5:03 or 5:23.- never 5:43 7's are fine with 5:27. albeit an "eight" is a must if upon looking at the clock an eight comes to the mind. But 5:08 would never be acceptable. Sometimes I try to squeeze in a few extra minutes, and will come to a 9, for example 5:29- but 2 + 9 is 11 so 5:31 would be preferable, but I despise setting the clock to thirty past the hour so 5:41 would be the correct choice, then I would just have to wake up faster to make up for the 10 extra minutes. The teens are completely open to use- 11, 12, 13, 14, 15 16 17 18 19- Except for 14/15, 12 was my QB number and for good dreams that will not be remembered, 13 is for three, 16 is young, 17 is lost, 18 is strong, 19 forgotten.

The 6 and 5 on the hour digit are identical. Marianne recently purchased an alarm to replace this one. She bought a white, near replica- I couldn't use a white clock, and had to have it turned away from the bed for the first night. I used mine.

Farm:

Going well. Some lettuce, beets, kale for salad mix came up nicely, but the arugula did not. Not quite sure what I will do without that mass of arugula for the CSA.
We finished the hay this weekend. Had a blast with my grandfather. The baler kept acting up- so he was on the tractor more often than not. I ended up loading most of the trucks, which was more tiresome than I thought it would be. I had leg cramps this morning, and decidedly took an hour or so off before work for lunch and rest. Enjoyed the haying for several reasons- one the obvious of capturing energy from our new land, secondly with my grandfather, and the lost thoughts while working through a couple days- and Juicy fruit gum and a two dollar bag of nacho chips.
I had a gallon jug of water, a 5 stick pack of juicy fruit, and the bag of chips, intent upon the pleasure of treating myself to some small luxuries while taking care of the hay for the day. The jug of water was cold pleasure upon sitting in the truck between picking up bales, the salty chips enough fill for the stomach without becoming lethargic, and the gum an old unending childhood oral pleasure that I am actually to cheap to indulge into anymore. The only unfortunateness of the whole gum, chip, water experience amidst the hay was the inability to enjoy them all at the same time. Chips/Water were a fine combo, Gum/Water was ok, but took the mild skill of hiding the gum high into the pallate so as not to wash the flavor immediately away- but chip/gum simply was not compatible. I could not enjoy the crunchy, salty goodness of the chip with the sweet, mouthwatering juiciness of the gum. In all, this Romeo/Juliet fiasco ended with two sticks of very well enjoyed gum, and a bag of chips washed down with nearly the whole jug of water- we finished at 8:30 on Saturday- with custard and good company, and touched up the rest on Sunday for a good weekend.


I had a very nice patch of Peas, Vetch, Oats in the garden. Since the piece had dried out with this recent blast of nice weather, I decided now would be a good time to get it under and planted in rye. Our building application has been approved, so trying to get ahead on some things. I decided to just mow the piece with a DR mower I got from a neighbor, then harrow it with a couple passes, rye grass, then harrow once more. Worked beautifully. I thought of the Robert Frost poem with the lines,
"Before the leaves can mount again
To fill the trees with another shade,
They must go down past things coming up"

And thought of the thick mass of summer growth decaying into the garden plot. So I thought best of harrowing it instead of using the tiller to mix it evenly into the soil. I think upon reflection- the mowing should have sufficed, but the piece looks very fine now. Going to let rye grass grow through late spring, then till, buckwheat, then rye again. (some witch grass nearby, that I think a bit of cover crop/till will help hamper)

Pictures from the farm- Enjoy.


Grandpa's New Tractor- Massey 255. Truck came in handy again since it has a pindle. The tractors nice to have around- bigger so easier to pull me out of my grandmother's garden.
Peas/Vetch/Oats cover crop before. Actually, this is a PVO piece that has pumpkins planted into it (with pumpkins forming!!)
PVO piece after tilling. Eat earthy worms eat! Hope I did not disturb you much- was getting dryer so hopefully you were all down deeper.
Messy Truck. Bag of rye, water, chips, straps, sleepy going to bed.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Post without Pics

I just realized I have not posted in a bit. I am not sure where Marianne is right now, so staying up till she gets in. Might as well post! Since I have not had the time otherwise.

Well, we might as well start with my grandmother's flower gardens. They are gorgeous. The other day a women stopped under the guise of buying eggs so that she could walk the yard for a while. My grandmother was very very happy about the flower beds; then I back the ass of my one ton right through one and partially excavated a rhododendron...I forgot my white shirt for work, and being in a rush I put the truck into reverse and sped down the street. Not being terribly proficient backing up, I neglected to cut the wheel back after turning into the drive. Long story short- I felt myself slide off the driveway into the garden, so I tried to pull forward- nothing. Then I decided to just continue backing up and see if I could get out- errr- wrong answer. I stopped and got out- and noticed that I had very nicely parallel parked the one ton onto my grandmothers garden. Grabbed the kid next door to run the truck while I pulled it out with the Deere- anyways I yelled NO NO not go, spun those tires so much smoke was coming off the dirt. We did get the tractor out. Now (guys) here is the very very important part. If you did something wrong (hopefully with good intentions) then go over to Kat at Two Mountain Farm and beg for a quick, beautiful boquet of flowers. Don't skimp- and place them on the kitchen table with a note. Thank you Kat!

Anyways, Gram didn't even notice the 20 foot plowing of her gardens when she pulled in- but the kid next door came running like heck to let her know how it all went...thanks. Anyways, no one was really mad- everyone acted like it was supposed to happen- like they expected me to do it....thanks. =)

In between- honey super is full and capped, CSA shares are getting much better- potatoes, peppers, squash, cucs, beans, garlic, herbs, tomatoes (some) eggs/milk, yogurt did not come through this time- just short on leafy greens.

Picked up two bull calves.
Tired. Night!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Weeks end Begin

I have a petition here at the house if everyone wouldn't mind coming by to sign. We are requesting that the townships of Andover and Salisbury be combined into a joint union of: Seattle, NH. The official town mascot would be the raindrop. An open hunting season on mud puddles will be posted from April through until August 15th. I could go on, but it is just a few more showers coming through...We got half the haying done last week. We cut one day, then tedded, raked and baled the next day: 191 bales. The hay looks very good, but it is quite late. It was fun doing this with my grandfather. In the past when we hayed my great grandmother's field my brother and I would just load the truck. This time I got to ted and rake. My grandfather wasn't very impressed with my tractor: it steers like a tank, and puts a bit coming up a hill. I like it though- starts every time.
This last week was pretty tough. The weekend before was overwhelming, and I felt it this week missing two days of work (one sick, one scheduled off) so my boss was nice enough to let another worker take half of my summer shift. Now I get to go in to work at 4:o0 (or 5:30pm) Should allow me to relax a bit, tidy up the animals, and get some much needed work done.
In short this week: must get a large batch of chickens out of the brooder. The rainy weather (and threats of storms) has prevented this. I also need to move the piglets. The mom looks too drawn down. So moving animals is it for a couple days. Otherwise focusing on the CSA, milking, and building application.

50 turkeys came in- we got them late this year in hopes of having smaller turkeys for thanksgiving- taking orders now!

Haying. Not very photogenic.
Very Photogenic.
Grandpa raking in background, foreground shell beans, cabbage, tomatoes and onions.
Gram cleaning out the milk machine. MMMM milk.

Summer
As a child was
Endless
Weeks
Meant nothing but a
Word
Printed on the side of a
plastic milk jug
Whose top might be cut
open
to hold shiners
when we went fishing

Monday, July 13, 2009

Morning of the Sun Dried the Dew

Slept in the field to the buzzing of mosquitos to the fading of the stars to a dim sky, clear with spotted clouds while the world slowly became visible to the dawn and the cackling of hens already awake early in the morning- to a wet arm resting on the grass filled with dew- dried by a rich sun....fed and watered all, milked the cows to see that pure white milk flow into the jars in the kitchen when everything is cleaned...painted the truck quick"Sun Farm: Raw Milk 648 2510 - Farm like the Earth is your Friend" at work......

Monday, July 6, 2009

Happy Pictures

I have had soo much positive energy with this sun and a clear direction/desire with the CSA. I sped out of work, rototilled up new spots in the near dark for greens tomorrow- watered everyone, came home, checked calf!! now going to wash eggs. Enjoy the pictures-Godbless

Tomatoes (2 weeks ago) in hoop house. Looking nice. Some bottoms starting to turn I think!

Shhhhhhh. Kitties Sleeping on Remay.

Bloody Butcher x Painted Mountain Field Corn. Very pretty


Example of squash- recent


Bottom of garden- Newly planted brocolli in straw, potatoes, cover crop (with pumpkins) then more potatoes.

Zac doing something.....something.


Hoop house- Eggplant behind but coming strong- tomatoes suckered and blossom/tomato set

Pretty Pretty Kitty!


Zac in well carrying out unneeded stone.


Bees today. Busy. Put on honey Super. Thanks Jack.




Heifer Calf- Born today. Pinz x Jersey. Grandpa upset. Goodnight!