Back Issue Vol: 36-3
I am always seeking to learn, trying new things, and experimenting in an effort to make what we do with horses and how we do it safer and better. Since I wrote the previous article I’ve learned about a type of driving bridle design which has a crown piece and throatlatch system that is very different from the traditional driving bridles we use in this country. The bridles are specifically designed to prevent them from being rubbed off or pulled off over the horse’s ears. They are based on a design used for some Australian stockmen’s bridles.
Cucumbers will thrive in any good soil not extremely heavy nor sandy. Good corn or wheat land, if in gardening condition with respect to tilth and drainage, will answer. Or for the earliest crop, a situation with a more pronouncedly sandy soil may serve best. In most parts of America the field crop of Cucumbers may be grown from seed planted in the open ground after danger of frost is past. Put 6 to 12 seeds in the hill, the hills being 4 by 6 feet apart.
Thanks to the many resources available in the new millennium, it is relatively easy for new and transitioning farmers to learn the business of small-scale organic vegetable production. Economic models of horse-powered market gardens, however, are still few and far between. To fill that information hole, I asked three experienced farmers to join me in tracking work horse hours, expenses and labor over a two-year period and to share the results in the Small Farmer’s Journal.
By waking up so fully to the tasks at hand we are empowered to be more present, more available, and thus able to offer a compassionate and skillful response to the needs of our horses even as we ask them to accomplish heavy work on the farm. It is not up to the horses to trust us; it is up to us to prove ourselves worthy of their trust. What the horses can offer to us are new avenues to freedom and resilience, sustainability and hope.
From reading the Small Farmers Journal, I knew that some people are equally happy with either model, but because McCormick Deering had gone to the trouble of developing the No. 9, it suggests they could see that there were improvements to be made on the No. 7. Even if the improvement was small, with a single horse any improvement was likely to increase my chance of success.
Successful storage of vegetables is not difficult and in most homes it merely means utilizing the cellar, attic, a large closet or other parts of the house, depending upon the character of the product to be stored. There are four major things to remember in storing vegetables; namely, temperature, ventilation, degree of moisture, and the quality of the vegetable.
In A Greenhorn Tries Draft Horses, a greenhorn (myself) tried a single work horse named Lady for farm and woods work. It was probably natural that, having acquired some experience with one horse, I should want to see what it was like to use two. Perhaps it is more exciting to see a good team pull together, and there is the added challenge to the teamster of making certain that the horses pull smoothly rather than seesaw.
The art of properly setting a threshing outfit for operation is an accomplishment not to be overlooked. The machine should be set as level as possible. Usually the machine will set at a perfect level on a barn floor or on level ground and is built with the right pitch to work off the straw and get good results. There might be extreme cases where it is advantageous to lower the rear wheels by setting them in the ground or placing a plank under the front wheels when the separator sets on a barn floor.
During the fifties, when I was a little girl playing here with my big brother, Tom, we dug in the dirt, building our miniature worlds with sticks, rocks, and little toys. Mom would watch us through the big kitchen window while she fixed supper. We knew the rules: Don’t go past the big gate – and we didn’t, because of the bull. Play nice, don’t fight – but sometimes we did. Supper at 4:00.
My friend Bill Reynolds, of Ranch and Reata magazine, took me for an all too brief visit to a wonderful museum in his neck of the woods. Truly outstanding lineup of fabulous original vehicles with one reproduction Stage Coach featuring gold-plated hardware!
“Don’t let them out in the rain, they’ll stare up into it and drown…” Our experience with turkeys has been completely the opposite. While most poultry species aren’t exactly bright, we find that turkeys are lovely, personable, and most important for the self sufficient homesteader — extremely efficient converters of grain and forage into delicious meat. In 5 months, a turkey can grow from a few ounces to 20-30+ lbs.
After 70 plus years of industrial logging, the world’s forests are as degraded and diminished as its farmlands, or by some estimates even more so. And this is a big problem for all of us, because the forests of the world do much more than supply lumber, Brazil nuts, and maple syrup. Farmlands produce food, a basic need to be sure, but forests are responsible for protecting and purifying the air, water and soil which are even more basic.
Good cheese comes from happy milk and happy milk comes from contented cows. So for goodness sake, for the sake of goodness in our farming ways we need to keep contentment, happiness and harmony as primary principles of animal husbandry. The practical manifestations of our love and appreciation are what make a small farm. Above and beyond the significant requirements of housing, feed and water is the care of your cow’s emotional life, provide for her own fulfillment. Let her raise her calf!
Old Lucky moves along sure except that every third step seems to hesitate then hiccup his back end and push him sideways. I smile only until I realize my own gait shows similar irregularities. Me, I have to work at having a true step and hiding those inevitable moments when my signal never reaches the offending leg until a jig step, more burp than dance, escapes. Two old dogs that’s us.