Tag Archives: ranchlife
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.
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.
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.
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 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!
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.
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!)
(2) The 36″ Standard Tree Roses which are on sale for $25.99
(3) The 24″ Patio Tree Roses are on sale for $15.99.
Unfortunately since it is so close to Christmas, she can’t guarantee US mail delivery in time for Christmas, but she will try!
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.
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.
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!
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.
After a couple of hours the barley expanded and smelled wonderful! The whole Ranch smelled like cooking pumpkin oatmeal and campfire, it was dreamy.
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.
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!
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.
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.
- 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!
HOWEVER. The downside to pastured pork:
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:
Now that we’ve been pig owners for a few days, I thought I would share what we have learned so far: