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Friday, March 2, 2012

Yes We are Still Farming

I'm just lazy and havn't posted in a very long time.  Potatoes and onions are in the ground, and we have a new addition this year...STRAWBERRIES.  We also added another farm hand.  I'll post more when I get time.
Broken wheelbarrow.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Still Building a Fence

Well the fence mentioned in the previous post is almost complete.  What started out as a small project to fence one side of an existing pasture turned into a huge undertaking for the entire pasture.  The rain recently has really made things speed along.  The T-Posts were taking 20 hits a piece to drive them in, but with the softer ground its down to 5 or 6 hits.  We hope to lay the hop yard out soon, and then order material.  Looks like we are going to start out with somewhere around 200 plants.  I'm still looking for a used single bottom turning plow if anybody knows where is for sale, drop me a line.  The list of things to do only gets longer and the days keep getting shorter.
    
After a few frosts the persimmons taste great.  Not sure what I'm going to do with all these things.  I hear you can make beer with them, maybe I'll give that a shot.
The barley is doing really well.  The rains have been great and a good stand has been established.  Now if I can keep the deer out of it, I might be able to malt our first crop early next summer.  

Monday, October 18, 2010

Fence

A new fence was needed to separate the horses from the power company's substation in a new/old pasture. No rain makes dry ground, not fun when building a new fence.  This made for slow progress, and since we all have regular jobs construction is at a halt until next weekend.  Hopefully we will get some rain in the meantime that will soften up the ground.
Long walk up the hill at the end of the day.
Broke a pin on the auger.  
Barley is doing great considering the lack of rain.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Progress

The barley has sprouted, surprising considering there has been zero rain since the seeds were sown.  Looks like we should get some rain at the end of the week.  Hopefully the barley will establish itself well before heading into late fall and winter.  I've been working on clearing an old grapevine that my grandfather planted many many years ago.  Wild weeds, trees, and brush had engulfed the vines and taken the grape yield down to nothing.  I'm looking for a used turning plow.  (If anybody knows where I can get a good deal on one, let me know.)  I'm also in the process of tuning up the old chainsaw.  I've got a lot of brush and trees to clear, and the saw is not running at its full potential.
Barley Seedlings
Before picture of the grape vine.  Do you see it?

After picture of the grapevine.  I will have to replace some of the posts and the wire to support the vines.

My daughter got her first ride on a horse.  She was a natural and loved it, thats me on the left.
 

Monday, October 4, 2010

Barley Seeds are Sown


Worked hard this weekend and finally got the test barley plot sown.  This is just a test plot for us.  We know barley will grow in North Carolina, but the malting process is completely new to us.  We will be working all winter to get the equipment setup and hope to be malting in early Summer.  Things are coming along on the farm.  A Rutherford County agriculture project called "Foothills Connect" was featured on the television show "America's Heartland" Sunday morning.  Foothills Connect is an effort by farmers in Rutherford County to reach individual consumers and restaurants in nearby urban areas like Charlotte, NC.  I love the fall weather but the shorter days really make it tough on a "wanna be" farmer who also has a day job. 


The plot plowed, limed, fertilized, and seeded.

Covering the seeds.  Is that a lawnmower out there?





Brush Pile






No more brush pile.



Theres lots to do around the farm, everybody has to pitch in.


Monday, September 27, 2010

RAIN!!

We got some much needed rain here Saturday, Sunday, and as I'm typing its still coming down.  I had a great conversation with Rob Austin from NC State Friday.  Rob has been doing research on growing hops in North Carolina.  Rob is a great guy and really knows his stuff.  We have a lot of work to do around here during the Fall and Winter, but are really excited about next year. 

After a small amount of rain fell, the ground "seemed soft" enough to break up in preparation for the barley test plot.  Ultimately we had to wait for a little more rain to fall, and right now I'm sure its a mud pit.   

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Tasks at Hand

Work is picking up around the farm.  We have had much interest about our future hops crop from North Carolina brewers.  The ground for the barley test plot will be prepared soon, and clearing of unwanted trees and shrubs is constantly ongoing.
Site of future Barley Test plot.

 
Brush Pile -- which will soon triple in size.