Back Issue Vol: 26-4
“Old timers” are fond of saying that all it takes are lots of long hours in the field, ‘get yourself and the horses sweatin’ and keep them that way.’ It is felt that most training challenges and glitches in the system will work their way out by long hard hours of work. There is certainly something to say for this. However, it is far from the only way. It is my contention, born of a quarter century of experience, that foundation training and good common sense system structure will give us better results. The horse who stands quietly and calmly when needed, regardless of whether he is tired or fresh, is the superior work mate. This is accomplished by well set training and trust.
Most sugar cane is processed in refineries to give us molasses, brown sugar, and various kinds of white sugar. However, some South Georgia farms that raise sugar cane still process it the old way to produce the special tasting sweetener for their own food. One such farm is the Rocking R Ranch in Kibbee, Georgia. It is owned by Charles and Patricia Roberts and their sons. The process they use has not changed in the past 100 years. This is how it is done.
This is about making money with a small farm but this is not about how many tons or pounds we might produce of a given product per acre. This is about how we value what we do and who we are. This is about what price we put on that which we sell. This is about the magnetic attraction we build and/or allow around ourselves, our families, and our farms. This is about how we put ourselves out there to the public.
Owners want the best for their horses as demonstrated by the amount of money they spend on feeds, facilities, tack, equipment and veterinary services and supplies. Therefore, it is amazing that some owners who want to do things right for their horses use them improperly. As spring approaches, thousands of horse owners are chomping at the bit to hit the trails and show rings. Whoa! A horse owner needs to wait a minute and take stock of the horse’s condition.
Yann Arthus-Bertrand’s work is easy to find, but first you have to know it’s there. For starters, he’s the most famous photographer in France. His book of aerial photographs, La Terre Vue du Ciel (Earth from Above), which he called his valentine to the world on the eve of the millennium, was the Christmas gift there last year. Arthus-Bertrand’s animal pictures, however, are much less well known than his other work, even in France.
The main object, or is supposed to be, of this letter, is to reply to the article on page 66 of Winter 2002 issue of SFJ on “The Reluctant Mule.” I agree with your statement “we do not agree with this article.” I would go a bit farther than Justin E. Miller’s statement. If the man said that about my span of mules I would put him in the middle of a 3-abreast hitch hooked to a plow and lay on the whip to the one in the middle.
Kathy watched the colt. It poked its head out between the fence rails. “She’s going to get cold,” she whispered to herself. Opening the driver’s door, she scrambled out and ran through the rain. Reaching the fence, she undid the latch and opened the gate. Wrapping her arms around the colt’s neck, she guided it towards the truck.
The “Old Man” had finally bred his Belgian mares enough times that he was out of barn space. This was what I had been waiting for, to work the charm. You see, I had been wanting to have my own team for a long time; but I couldn’t hardly bring in my own horses when Dad was getting new foals out of his mares every spring. I had grown up on horses and broken several saddle horses, but Grandpa and Dad had always been justifiably particular about “just everyone” driving their teams. That meant, for Dad as well as me, that “the boy” got to help but he didn’t get to drive. We both took our turn, but with Grandpa gone and Dad with six young horses on his side of the farm to train and me with an empty barn, I figured it was about my time.
Perfection in dropping corn is what is most desired by all farmers, and we claim, without fear of successful contradiction, that, in the Diamond Planter, we have the most perfect planter made, not only in respect to accurate dropping, but also in convenience and durability – two other very important considerations. We have made a careful study the past season of the fields planted with the Diamond Planter, and those planted with other planters, on some of which the manufacturers are making great claims of “accurate dropping,” and the results only strengthen us in our position that the Diamond has no equal.
She sprints over to the half-packed picnic hamper and finds the bag of peanut butter cookies. Mom is still wrestling with Ike when she waves the bag in front of his nose. His nostrils quiver and his fuzzy ears swivel as he takes a big sniff, then nudges her so hard he nearly knocks the bag from her hands. She breaks off a little piece of cookie and gives it to him. He butts her, eager for more. She moves back slowly away from the slope and he starts to follow her, halting, then straining with the weight of the log.
Today was the day to dig another garden and plant broccoli. Spring had sprung early, March in the Piedmont woos, peas were already in, fear of frost disappeared with the blush of haze at dawn. I was ready. I had driven to Pittsboro the day before, and purchased old railroad ties for garden boundaries, unused for almost 50 years, ever since the spit of track from Sanford to Pittsboro had been closed by the Southern Railroad.
I got this idea for a hydraulic post splitter in my mind a few years ago and it just wouldn’t leave. Laziness is the father of invention. Twenty-some years of polishing a hickory maul handle with my grub shovelers was beginning to make me inventive. There just had to be some way to turn seven foot cuts off a locust tree into usable split fence posts without spending long sweaty days in too close association with a maul and wedges. We had tried sawn posts some time before and found that they rot out much sooner than a conventionally split post. Fence, on this farm, has to be bull strong, horse high, hog tight, and arrow straight, so sawing was out.
Rope of one kind or another forms an essential part of the equipment of most farms. From clothes lines to hay ropes, from binder twine to halters for the livestock, ropes of many kinds and sizes are in constant use about the farmstead. Like any other piece of farm equipment, its efficiency and economy depends upon its suitableness as to size and quality for the purpose for which it is used, the load of work put upon it, and the care or abuse with which it is handled.
It was an early fall day and the weather was still warm. Sam reached for his handkerchief to wipe the beads of sweat dripping down from his face. Many of the local farmers had hired on to use their teams of horses and mules to haul pipe and equipment for the gas company. It was the first natural gas line to be run in this area. It seemed like an insurmountable challenge for the crews that forged through these Appalachian foothills of southern Ohio. Sam, as all of the local crew, was happy to have work. It gave him the opportunity to make some cash, which was a difficult thing to be had in these depression years.
The turmoil had been going on for a week. I never knew five chickens could make so much racket. I guessed that their being relatives had something to do with it. Providence was the father of Poor Richard, and Loretta was Providence’s wife. Lenny was Richard’s wife, and Benny Hen was Lenny’s twin sister. The whole bunch of them lived right beside my doghouse. Yes, the close relations must have had something to do with it.