Sunsets over Rocky Ridge Ranch
Hello Friends of Rocky Ridge Ranch,
I had a birthday last week. People often ask me when I'm going to retire. Really I plan to just keep doing what I know for as long as I'm able. But since I'm getting older it is forcing me to slow down a little. SO feels the same.
At the end of the day we have been reminded its time to end the long work days by some really beautiful sunsets lately. Last week we also had giant rainbows but no rain with them. We could use some more rain to settle the dust and reduce the fire hazard.
More fence work. Not sure we'll ever be done but making some good progress. Refurbished and repaired the corral/handling pen and chute to get ready to process and sort the cattle. Have to do some branding, de-horning, ID tags, neutering, and health checks. Plan to select a new bull for the future that has the characteristics of both the Black Angus and the Wagyu (Kobe). Also have to sort out four hogs and two beef for processing.
Most of the work on the tractor I'll be using to cut hay is finally done. Starting on servicing the Swather and Hay cutting machine and doing some minor repairs. It's old enough I'm having to get the help of a local machine shop to custom manufacture the parts I need. Put a new motor in the lawnmower and spent a day catching up on the tall grass and weeds around the buildings. Spent over six hours in that little seat all in one hot day and still not done! The mower is running better now than when it was new. The riding mowers save a lot of work and time but can't say much for the durability. We would really like to get a mini-tractor for garden work that also does mowing but they cost about 7 times more. Have an agreement to buy another used farm tractor but won't close the deal till they finish making some repairs they agreed to do. It's only a $20,000 deal so they aren't so excited about it. When I see the costs of newer equipment I don't think it would be very easy for a new small farmer to get started. Common supplies cost much more now as well.
Pasture grass growing well this year and still green and fresh. I think its because of the six weeks late Spring. Even the grain field I planted last Fall is doing way better than I expected. All the cattle look in top condition. Pasture for the chickens so tall you can't even see half of them when they are outside. When we rounded up the cows and moved them I had to use the hog pasture for awhile. The hogs were unhappy to be penned up until I let the water run for them to have a new fresh wallow to soak in. They'll be back out on pasture in a few days. Also gave me a chance to catch some for processing.
My wife So is staying extra busy in the garden planting, weeding, watering and harvesting. I would like her to use some help but she says it takes to long to show them how to do things. I also serviced the cultivators to help do the first battle with the weeds between the rows of squash and potatoes.
No lost coolers were returned last week. Have been promised by some they'll return them soon. Everyone I've talked to seems to agree that that taking a break on the July 4th Holiday is a good idea. That does not mean you'll get less deliveries but rather just a skip in the schedule.
Deliveries went well last week in-spite of the heat wave again. SO keeps finding new items for the delivery at the lend of the harvest period so the planned items for delivery may be a little different. Also the undulating cool to very hot conditions change how some of the plants grow and mature.
So let's take a look at the planned deliveries for this week:
Micro Green Mix, Salad Lettuce Mix, Green Onions,Leeks, Chard, Kale, Cucumbers, Peas, , Herb-Basil, Napa Cabbage, Collard Greens, Rhubarb, Wild Strawberries Squash (almost gone soon) and eggs.
Variety of Meats - Chicken, Ground Beef, Beef Steak,Beef Stew/Stir Fry meat, Pork Ribs, Ground Pork (some seasoned), Bacon, Pork Chops, Soup Bones
Health and Nutrition
Been several News stories lately about how commercial livestock growing operations are harmful to the environment and may contribute to climate change. Also there are more stories about how general health and life span have been declining due to food processing changes with additives for preservation, artificial flavors, and overloading of salt and sugar and fat substitutes like High Fructose Corn Syrup and trans fats. Also the increased consumption of these items in fast food. Conventional meats are overloaded with medication and hormone residuals. I'm glad to say they mention that farming like we do has the opposite effect. We do our best to grow organically and only feed our animals Real Food. Sadly the support of small farms like ours has been declining. Glad for our Members continued support of our efforts to provide a healthier food alternative!
See you Soon!
Gary and So Angell