Tag Archives: ranchlife

Wordless Wednesday: Bliss

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Wordless Wednesday: Prom 1999 – The Princess and the Pig

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What I Did Over My Christmas Break by Meg Brown

I feel like I am in elementary school again, writing an essay about my break. Its fun, I’m going to go with it. Thanks to Christmas and the New Year, I got some time off from my office job. Of course I spent my days off on the Ranch, “working”. It was glorious.

Kristen and Ryan mounted their horse, and moved cows for the first time - they are excellent help.

Kristen and Ryan mounted their horse, and moved cows for the first time – they are excellent help.

Two major events happened, the first is I got to move cows without my Dad. THAT NEVER HAPPENS. I was told to get a crew and move a herd of cows two fields over. I called Kristen and her husband, Ryan, and Shannon and Olive to come help. The cows knew what to do and were excited to have a new field to eat. I didn’t take any pictures of this happening because I was trying really hard to pay attention and not screw up (I didn’t!), but next time I will, I promise.

We all remember Olive right? She is my future 4-H member/cowhand in training.

We all remember Olive right? She is my future 4-H member/cowhand in training.

The second big thing was our barn fell down. Well I guess I should say, the rest of the barn fell down (part of it collapsed last year). Due to the nasty storms we had, our old metal barn collapsed. According to legend, this barn was old when we bought this Ranch in the 1940’s. It’s been hanging on by a thread for years, but needless to say, it was sad when the old thing finally died. I have lots and lots of memories of our old barns, they are where I played a lot as a child.

Dead barn.

Dead barn.

Another amazing thing happened when the barn collapsed. As I was helping my Dad tear down the barn, and try to start the clean-up process, I offered to get a crew of my friends together for a clean-up day. Normally my Parents say, thanks, but no thanks, when it comes to my buddies helping with projects like this, not this time. Dad said, ok, go ahead, get a crew.

My crew at work!

My crew at work!

My barn crew kicked butt! Brian Drake, Rene and her friend Forrest, Daniel and my Dad’s friend Mike all came over and spent their New Year’s Day working hard! My Mom cooked a ham and made a pecan pie for us for lunch. We got so much done!

My Dad had so much fun with my friends, he made me start driving the backhoe to the lumber pile so he could hang out and visit!

My Dad had so much fun with my friends, he made me start driving the backhoe to the lumber pile so he could hang out and visit!

My treasures from the barn. Old pipe. I'm turning it into planters for my yarden.

My treasures from the barn. Old pipe. I’m turning it into planter for my yarden.


My old cowdog Nikki spent all my vacation with me. She is too old to jump up onto the backhoe, so I picked her up and put her in the seat with me. She was so happy to be with me! It kinda made me cry.

My old cowdog Nikki spent all my vacation with me. She is too old to jump up onto the backhoe, so I picked her up and put her in the seat with me. She was so happy to be with me! It kinda made me cry.

We got about half the barn cleaned up in one day. It felt good.

We got about half the barn cleaned up in one day. It felt good.

I had a wonderful vacation. Working on the ranch really makes me appreciate my office job and working my office job really makes me appreciate the ranch. It was great to introduce my Dad to some of my friends – and have him really enjoy them. But most of all I really like having my friends out – often they get to experience something they’ve never done before, like move a herd of cattle or drive a tractor, and to me that experience is priceless.

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Merry Christmas From Bella Rosa!

Have I mentioned that a lot of my family is involved with agriculture? Not just cows, plows and sows, like me, but specialty agriculture like roses and flowers. I got to work for my cousin Michelle at her nursery when I was in college. It was great because I earned my floral design certificate while at Butte College, so learning how to grow roses gave me more background knowledge in the rose industry.

Michelle is offering followers of The Beef Jar and locals a great gift idea for the holidays. Roses! Three different kinds! The roses are dormant right now, so shipping is possible. She will deliver locally for free, but shipping rates will apply to plants that are mailed.

She is offering:

(1) The weeping tree roses available in white, hot pink, and light pink on sale right now for $39.95. These are extremely hard to find these days. (If you want to buy me a Christmas gift, I would like two hot pink ones, thanks!)
HotPinkWeepingTreeRose

And

(2) The 36″ Standard Tree Roses which are on sale for $25.99

36" Standard Tree

36″ Standard Tree

AND

(3) The 24″ Patio Tree Roses are on sale for $15.99.

24" Patio Tree Roses

24″ Patio Tree Roses

Unfortunately since it is so close to Christmas, she can’t guarantee US mail delivery in time for Christmas, but she will try!

Feel free to check out Bella Rosa’s webpage at www.bellarosacompany.com. However if you want these special prices and FREE local delivery please contact Michelle  at bellarosacompany@yahoo.com

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Sloppin’ The Hogs

I’m sure you won’t be surprised when I tell you, we love our piggies! It’s been a kick in the pants having pigs again. They are fun to watch, they are fun to interact with and they are going to be incredible to eat.

The one downside to having heritage pigs is they take longer to feed and finish compared to commercial pigs. This means that our feed costs are becoming rather significant. We did plan for this and we knew to expect it so it’s not a shock to us.

However, since my Dad has a lot of experience with raising pigs, he suggested to us that we make our own pig food. Since these pigs are for our own consumption, and will be custom exempt slaughtered, we can make our own pig food!

This weekend we had an adult 4-H meeting where we made hog food and de-wormed our pigs.

Rene was kind enough to give us her pumpkins she grew! Thanks Rene!

Rene was kind enough to give us her pumpkins she grew! Thanks Rene!

We used rolled barely, milk, water, pumpkins and leftover vegetable waste from our kitchens to make the food. Next time we want to incorporate some rolled corn too.

Crystalyx containers are pretty much the best thing ever. I use them for everything. In this case a cooking container!

Crystalyx containers are pretty much the best thing ever. I use them for everything. In this case a cooking container! (These are what our cattle’s supplements come in).

I come from a long line of pyromaniacs, pretty much any excuse we get to play with fire, we take it. What can I say, I love to make s’mores!

Mahina and the Intern got a nice hot fire going and added water to boil.

Mahina and the Intern got a nice hot fire going and added water to boil.

I have a great fire ring in my front yard that we were able to set the tub on in order to cook our food.

I might have had too much fun doing this. Maybe.

I might have had too much fun doing this. Maybe.

While the food was cooking, we de-wormed the pigs. We used an oral paste that we tricked the pigs into eating by placing the paste in oreos. PThe pigs had no idea!

While the food was cooking, we de-wormed the pigs. We used an oral paste that we tricked the pigs into eating by placing the paste in oreos. The pigs had no idea!

After a couple of hours the barley expanded and smelled wonderful! The whole Ranch smelled like cooking pumpkin oatmeal and campfire, it was dreamy.

Mmmm, mmmm good. Homemade pig food!

Mmmm, mmmm good. Homemade pig food!

How did it turn out? Awesome. It was cheaper than the pig food we’ve been buying at the store, we are able to use food that would normally be wasted, and it was a lot of fun.

Best of all? The pigs LOVE it! They ate their normal amount and screamed at the fence until I gave them more (yes, the pigs are spoiled).

Best of all? The pigs LOVE it! They ate their normal amount and screamed at the fence until I gave them more (yes, the pigs are spoiled).

We’ve decided that we will now do a bi-weekly campfire cookout for the pigs. Like I mentioned above, we are going to try different recipes and see what the pigs do best on, and take it from there. Stay tuned!

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Wordless Wednesday: I Shall Call Him Mini-me

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Adult 4-H: Char is Home

 
Char fits perfectly into my cat carrier! And he didn’t even get car sick this time!

As you recall from the last post, Char went to Kristen’s house for some runt TLC. I am happy to report that Char responded nicely to Kristen’s hospital pen and is back on the ranch with his friends.

Char’s private pig house.  

Mahina came over and spent the day fixing up a separate pen for Char, so he wouldn’t have to work so hard for his groceries. Char liked it. Until he finished his dinner. He then broke into the other pen with his friends. We’ve been watching him closely, but he seems to be doing just fine.

Look at his little pig butt! Curly tail! Curly tail means happy and healthy piggy!

Char is eating well.

REALLY well. He gets to snack before the others, much to the alarm of Nikki-Dog (see her pointing at him? She is telling me he is not supposed to be there).

These pigs have become master rooters. remember how I told you the stickers and weeds were pretty nasty is their pen? Well check out the natural rototillers!

Before and after – I’m planning how to apply my hog power to other overgrown parts of the ranch….. exciting!!!

HOWEVER. The downside to pastured pork:

I found a tick on a pig. It upset me greatly. But it was a great time to e-mail my pig experts about a parasite prevention plan! Who wants to come over and help give shots?

My favorite part about owning pigs again? Pig races. This is the best video I could get of it, but trust me, we do this everyday so I’ll get some good ones later. http://youtu.be/wu2jjdNYwHY

When they catch me they get treats and the get to root at me:

This is treat time and root time. It’s a good time!

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Wordless Wednesday: Table Mountain

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Adult 4-H: What We’ve Learned in Two Days

Now that we’ve been pig owners for a few days, I thought I would share what we have learned so far:

Proper pig handling is essential for not only your pig’s health, but your own.

Hoot LOVES pigs.

Jack does not love pigs, but realized that a little too late to his liking.

The runt (Char) is really cute.

Learning how to drink from the water nipple took a hot second…..

But they are quick studies.

The runt will always take care of himself.

Our pigs are rooting for us! (But really, these guys love to root, and it’s super fun to watch their pure piggy joy)

Naps are essential on rainy days.

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Wordless Wednesday: Our Neighbor’s 50 Pound Cabbage

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