Saturday, May 05, 2012

Chewing the Fat

Spring time.  I suppose.  Woke up a couple of days ago and, overnight, the fields have turned from brown to green.  Much to the delight of the lambs and chickens.  Having said that,  here's a picture of yesterday morning..


 We have lats of Cabbages and Cucumbers growing in the green house. Like last year,  the first things up were the Flin Flon onions.  My Aunty Mabel gave me the bulbs which came from her Northern Manitoba garden via Summerland.

Were crazy busy. Right in the middle of the Barn rebuild.


 We are taking a log barn that was in pretty good shape putting in floors, insulated walls and pens to hold the burgeoning animal stock. 

After the clean up and with floor laid
The job started out with a day long dung out.  With some help from the lambs.

Who have heard a rumour their getting new digs out of the place

Of Course Boose the Cat was really in charge.

The large white glow is a lamb picking over the treasures..

The barn was used to store a lot of household stuff that the pack-rats had picked through.  They must have had a party or two:


the floor was a hand hewn log floor but had some gaps between the logs so we decided to put down some plywood I had salvaged last year from a house we tore down.
Swept up and cleaned out this 70 year old hand built barn looks pretty good!
We Replaced the broken and smallish old single pane windows with some double glazed salvaged ones.  There all foamed in and will look great when it warms enough up to paint them. The before and after.
really like the old barnwood trim!
There are two sets of these on the front:
All trimmed up and foamed in place.

And of course one for the pig side of the barn.


The to do list includes an insulated wall inside, paint, lights and outlets and water. Stalls for a boar, pigs, farrowing a couple for sheep.  A chicken pen.  What's nice will be having the bedding and hay in the loft and just being able to drop it down.  A bit of work to go. Also thinking of putting in a side door so that the 1100 pound feed bags can slip right in.

Picked up another four weaner pigs for a total of eight.


When I said you need a bath I meant...
 With our sow and Boar its getting a bit much for the old blue shed.  We want to start keeping breeding stock as weaners are going for 85$.   Besides were trying to transition to pastured pork.  We also have a hundred meat chickens coming and 20 Turkeys.  The plan so far is to tractor the Chickens and pen the Turkeys.  We have 19, rather large roosters strutting around the place and they are getting pretty nervous.. Maybe they caught a glimpse of the chicken plucker resting in the shop.  The roosters didn't seem to care when I stopped and sharpened an axe .



The Great White Pyrenees pups are growing fat and sassy, were trying to train them to not chase the roosters and it seems to be working. Or their just tiring them selves out...



 Their Mom, Snow, is gaining some weight on her and seeming to be coming out of her shell.  A great guardian dog. She's always on the look out.  Her and Xena seem to be a great team.  If they had access to ground to air missiles they would be devastating to the local birds.  and even high flying jets.

Attended a government sponsored course on the licensing required to legally slaughter on our farm for sale to others.  Some common sense cleanliness issues.  And then the legal requirements.  Approved labels, can only sale in our own regional district, can only sale 10,000 animal units.  Basically that's 10,000 lbs. The record keeping is quite onerous.  Basically I have to keep track of who and when ( with contact numbers) of every person I sale to.  This license doesn't allow me to cut and wrap. That's a separate deal.  So what it amounts to is I save the slaughter costs.  Not a heck of a lot. 40$ for a pig.   Can't wait to ask the butcher at the local Safeway if he needs my name and number in case there is a recall.  More about this on another post.

After a rest over winter the old skid steer fired up and managed to put a days work in before requiring a battery charge.
Scored a great book from a friend.  Its from the mid 1800's and wouldn't you know it gates still work pretty much the same way. Some of the language is dated of course.  Had to look up Scantlings.  But it was all stuff you were expected to make your self. Right up my income alley..


We also took some time out to help a neighbor with his washed out driveway.  The results of a frozen culvert and heavy spring snow melt.


All this fun just leads to an inevitable conclusion:


Hope you get some rest this week also.

4 comments:

Denise E said...

What a great job you guys are doing on the barn. Lots of extra room for the livestock. Fantastic project progress.

Art Blomquist said...

Denise, I don't know about the "extra"room - The animals just seem to keep multiplying. I think it's the water...

Donna OShaughnessy said...

Oh Art, that barn is amazing, those beams, those posts...but is it leaning or are you? Couldn't tell from the photo. So happy seeing you getting into the bacon business but don't you hate the government having to get their nose in the middle all the time!

Art Blomquist said...

Donna, The Barn is vertical, it's me who is on a lean! Imagine the work that went into hand building a barn like this! Don't know if I would be up to it!