Rocky Ridge Ranch Newsletter - Mar 29
Hello Members and Friends,
Can you believe it? Another Windstorm! Some of the farmers out here have already started cultivation of fields so we're having a dust storm along with the Wind. So far only one hoop house re-blown apart. Good thing not as cold now so not many veggies should get wiped out by freezing.
Early yesterday morning we felt Spring fever happiness when out on the pasture we saw a momma cow with a just born calf. We went out to see how things were going when we saw a flock of Bald Eagles attacking a dark blob about a 100 ft. from the cow. It turned out the cow had twins and the eagles took advantage of the unattended calf as the cow was giving birth to the second one. The Bald Eagle Sanctuary nearby at Long Lake no longer has my approval. Before we've only had loses like this to Coyotes. Occasionally unhappy events happen at the Ranch and losing little ones are the most challenging.
Continuing with normal Spring work on equipment maintenance, fence repairs and early field work. Had two large bolts snap off on the bracket holding the bucket loader on. Not sure why. Took me a day and half of hard work to do the repairs. Gave up on fixing a starter problem on the 1996 chore truck. I already changed the battery and the old alternator which didn't help. Mechanic diagnosed a bad computerized fuel pump which would cost $850 for the replacement. Then he showed me a small vent hole he drilled into the top of the carburetor and said just pull the plug, inject a little starting fluid and that'll take care of it!
Things went well delivering the 6 hogs to the processor for more Custom Orders. Sold a yearling Berkshire Boar folks are picking up this Tuesday. They're coming over from Montana for it. Due to Covid-19 issues had to buy some other starter pigs last year. Have to say they don't quite measure up to Berkshires. Future plans are to limit my operation completely back to Berkshire's
Feeding the cattle ten 1,000lb bales a week now even while allowing limited grazing on early grasses. That's the reason I had to repair the tractor right a way! Think I have enough hay to last till end of May. Our seed broker still having trouble finding the special forage alfalfa seed I like. Seems like a lot of shortages lately! May just plant Peas and Oats for grazing and wait.
Cattle, Hay and Grain prices are increasing but hogs still down. With new livestock growing rules being proposed right now by the Feds I may just have to retire. Right now the new Food Production Law is starting to be implemented as well. So far small farms like us have been left alone but the new regulations put us at their mercy if they want to shut us down for using traditional instead of commercial practices.
Produce and CSA:
We now have stockpiled pre-processed meats for our existing CSA Members. Just went out and bought additional organic seed starting potting soil for more greens and vegetables. We're taking a chance to invest in planting now with the expectation of new CSA Members coming. It's clear the food panic is over partly because of the free food programs but of course those products do not compare in freshness, nutrition and health. In fact, in the past some of the food banks offered to give it to me for free hog food.
Lets review what is planned in CSA Deliveries for this coming Thursday:
Micro Green Mix, Salad Lettuce Mix, Kale, Swiss chard, Napa Cabbage greens, Daikon Greens, Herb-Rosemary, Salad Onions, and Leeks, Dry Onion, Potatoes, Squash, Carrots, Beets, and Eggs.
Variety of Meats:
Chicken, Ground Beef, Beef Roast, Short Ribs (for Stew), Country Style Ribs (use like chop best), Ham Hocks, Bacon, Breakfast Sausage
See you soon! Stay healthy!
Gary & So Angell