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Monday, April 6, 2020

Spring Walk In The Pasture

No, not this spring. I'm looking back at spring of 1988 and 90 in the continuing series of converted vhs home videos. It was a beautiful spring day with snow melting and water running across the dead grass from last fall. My dad and dog came along to check out the scenery. Later in the video I jump back to the dry and early spring of 1988 that would turn out to be the hottest and driest year in my farming history, before or since. Can it really be 30+ years ago?

Thursday, March 12, 2020

First Calf

I got lucky with the first calf of the year. It was born in the cattle shelter sometime early this morning. Lucky the cow had enough sense to do it there rather than far out in the field in the bushes where it would be in the snow and cold wind. I had to drag a bunch of steel panels into place to partition off part of the shelter for her and the new calf so the rest of the herd wouldn't interfere with the bonding process. It took a bit of patience and ingenuity to drag the calf in there while the cow was occupied eating hay at the feeder. Soon as she saw it in the enclosure she came right in and I was able to fence them in with no trouble. Lucky for me she was not the excitable or aggressive type of mother. Even the rest of the herd was unconcerned and I literally had to push them out of the way at times.
The temp was in the teens (above zero) but a nasty Northwester blowing so they were much better off in the old shelter. Even so the calf looked to be shivering and had no clue where it's sustenance was located as it laid down to rest in the straw. I left them for a few hours but finally went to town to get some of the dry colostrum mix that new calves need in the first few hours of their life. Shocking price on that at $50 for two packages which make 5 cups of liquid for the calf.
So I was pretty happy to see the calf had figured it out by the time I got home and the cow was standing very co-operative too.
I just came in from a late night check for water and  hay and all appears well.


Thursday, February 27, 2020

Quite A Mark Up

While shopping for groceries today this bag of wheat caught my eye.

That price works out to $300 a bushel. I'd just come from the Viterra elevator where the best price I can get for my feed grade wheat is $5.25 a bushel. But only if it is dry. All last year's wheat was harvested high moisture level because the weather simply never got dry enough all fall, right up til winter started.
I guess some spent good money on carbon taxed propane to dry their damp wheat so they will be able to sell enough to pay their bills. Mine will be safe until spring but once the weather starts to warm up, the grain in the bins will too. That is when the risk of heating grain gets real. Hopefully the aeration fans will be able to dry it down to safe levels before it starts to spoil.
On a lighter note, spring is on the way and I will be able to take the rusty old Mercury out for a bit of "stress relief".

Friday, February 14, 2020

Thoroughly Disgusted

I probably should not comment now but I (and many others) feel so fed up with what is happening to our Canada. Protests, strikes and illegal blockades all across the country are bringing our economy down. Unions pushing the Co-op refinery workers to strike for more pension. On top of their already huge salaries and pensions. And not just walking a picket line but putting up fences and blocking fuel trucks from entering. Thereby shutting down fuel flow to a trickle. And all the while the police stand by and let it happen. Even after the courts ruled it an illegal action. Finally, after weeks, they started moving the fences and trucks are moving fuel again.
And still the union pushes their weight around with another blockade fence at a card lock station Even after the goverment has appointed a mediator to get negotiations rolling again. They are making themselves even more unpopular here.
And that whole pipeline blockade thing has just gone past the point of ridiculous. A few brainwashed activists have fired up the whole nation of agitators and railway blockades are springing up all across the country. And the police let it happen. All I have seen them do so far was arrest a man who was trying to clear up one of these illegal blockades. Backwards justice happening here.
I'm pretty sure if I pulled my farm equipment across the highway and stopped traffic I'd be getting a quick visit and stern reprimand to clear the highway by the police.
Sounds like most rail traffic has shut down for Eastern Canada so that should get some action quicker than if it was just the West
I've never felt less hope or optimism for this country than I do now. Western separation is looking more and more like a better alternative.
Trending on twitter the other evening was "#shutdowncanada "
Our prime minister is busy travelling around the world giving out tax dollars away in a bid to get himself a seat at the U.N. He needs to be home doing what he was elected to do. I never thought I'd say this but his father probably made a better prime minister.
He was not afraid to call in the army when the situation was getting out of hand back in 1970.


Sunday, February 2, 2020

Harvest Long Ago

In the ongoing task of digitizing old vhs tapes I pick out a few to post on youtube. This one from 1994 seems like a long time ago and I guess it is. The majority of that oat field in the second half of the video is, and has been for several years, under water. The nephews were a couple of live wires performing in some scenes and now one has a daughter almost as old as he was in the 94 video.

Wednesday, January 29, 2020

Above The Law

Seems like these strikers are above the law and free to hold the Western economy for ransom because of their greed. Clearly breaking the laws with their barricades. Stopping fuel trucks from picking up fuel. And the police seem to be just standing by and watching. Why are they not clearing up the roadblocks so normal business can resume? Who is really pulling the strings on these puppets? Its been 50 days or more now. Lucky this is not during peak fuel use season or I don't know what would happen.

Monday, January 27, 2020

Family History

I've been making use of winter time to convert some of my old vhs home video to digital. They say recording tape will eventually degrade to nothing. Plus VCRs wear out and might be hard to find in a few years.
Its interesting to see how much has changed looking back 30 years ago. How can it be 30 years since I started farming that West farm? I'd already been farming on a smaller scale for almost 18 years at the time so I was not new to the game but it was quite a change in acres and hours to work.
I've uploaded a few to my youtube channel and they seem to be quite a hit with some viewers.
This latest video shows us setting up the fuel tanks in my brother's yard in April of 89 in preparation for farming those extra acres.
Walking out to "crocus hill". It is still there and so are the walkers. (Not the dog) Some a little bigger. All a little older.

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Protestor Diets

This farmer talks pretty fast so you might need to set your playback speed down on youtube because his message, though delivered in a humourous vein, is right on the mark when it comes to what it takes to produce food. Even a vegan diet. Unless they plant and harvest the crops with humans and horses, its going to take diesel fuel to do it.




Friday, January 10, 2020

House Move Part 2

Part two of the 1991 house move to my brother's place. It did not take long. The movers really knew their work and it did not take long to get it off the beams and onto the new basement. Not sure what youtube is doing with the thumbnail image for this video but all I am seeing is three dots. Not the image I picked.










Thursday, January 9, 2020

House Moving 1991

One thing about this cold weather is that it gives me more time indoors to work on converting vhs video to digital. Its a time consuming process but people seem to like the videos I post on youtube. And its getting hard to find a working VCR to play the old tapes so having them on DVD and computer makes them accessible to most.
This one from 28 years ago shows some of the highlights during the move of the new to them house that my brother and family have lived in since. It was a bit long so I separated it into a two part series. Now I have to get busy and edit part two.
Something wrong with blogger won't let me post the link to the video. Maybe later.


Monday, January 6, 2020

Uncle Roy Sings

I'm a little envious of those who have a natural musical talent. They can take an instrument and learn to play it without benefit of lessons and produce music. One side of my family had it. I don't. I do enjoy listening to some of the old recordings saved over the years. I'm gradually trying to transfer from the somewhat unstable magnetic recording tape over to digital format where they will be safer and more accessible. At least for my foreseeable future.
This is one of my favourites sung and self accompanied on the guitar by my uncle Roy. He might have had one of his "roll your own" cigarettes in his mouth while singing this old Carl Smith tune. I've listened to a few versions of it by others on youtube and in all honesty, this is the best I've heard. I may be a little biased though.
The recording was made on an old reel to reel to recorder in the winter of 1955 or maybe 56 in the old family farm house. It might have been done by lamp light and batteries as I believe it was 1956 before rural electricity was available in the area. I added a few photos from the old family albums to make it into a music video.