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Saturday, May 30, 2015

The Hawthorn Tree

We have a few wild hawthorn trees that grow in the area. This one is blooming now and quite noticeable from a quarter mile away. I took a drive through the field while picking rocks and got a photo of it. Turns out they are quite a medicinal tree. Uses for hawthorn
And the flowers have a strange smell .

History and Traditions & Folklore

Many country villagers believed that Hawthorn flowers still bear the smell of the Plague of London-the flowers are mostly fertilized by carrion insects, attracted by the suggestion of decay in the perfume. 2
The tree was regarded as sacred, probably from a tradition that it furnished the Crown of Thorns. It adorns the family crest of English royalty, the Oglives, chosen by Henry VII. 2 

It is a tree of Mars. The seeds in the berries beaten to powder being drank in wine, are held singularly good against the stone, and are good for the dropsy.
Nicholas Culpeper, 1653

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Seeding Done

But still busy as usual. Sprayed burn off on the last flax field as weed control is not much when planting with two inch wide "spoons". Did a little chem fallow spray to use up the last half a tank and managed to bend one spray boom when a wheel dropped into a deep hole. Muskrats? I was able to straighten it about 90% right using two tractors.
I was a little surprised to see one grain bin has turned into a 1600 bushel self feeder for the deer due to a slight panel leak in the door that I missed.
So I set up the trail cam to see what other animals might show up. So far nothing but deer. 
Tremendous drying happening in the fields as we have had barely a quarter of the normal amount of rain for May. Fields that were worked wet now have lumps of soil hard as bricks. Not sure how the crop will emerge. It will be rough. 
Soft spots , "frost boils" are still an issue in the yard and many roads. I hauled a couple of loads of gravel with the old yellow International yesterday evening to fill in the worst one on my driveway. 
I have begun to reclaim my yard from the grass and dandelions growing unchecked since spring thaw. The little old John Deere has it's work cut out for it. 

And believe it or not there is possible risk of frost overnight. I can cover up the tomatoes an potatoes in the garden but any crop in the fiel is at the mercy of the weather. I don't think the canola and flax are up yet so they should be fine.

Friday, May 22, 2015

The Hundred Acre Woods Gets Bigger

Or smaller, depending on your point of view. As the farm had only sixty cultivated acres on it I called it the hundred acre woods. As of today I finished planting flax there and only came up with 45 acres. So that means there are now 115 acres of "woods" although a good percentage of that is now under water. Every slough is full to running over. The field was always cut up in small pieces. Well now there are more smaller pieces. Folding up machinery wings and transporting from one patch to another is getting old. When will this excess water disappear? If my grandfather and uncles, who lived an farmed there all their lives, came back and saw it they would be amazed

Friday, May 15, 2015

Long Day Late Night

It has been a long day in the tractor and I have just finished supper at nearly midnight. First day in the field seeding wheat yesterday. It goes quickly when I'm going but I spend too much time just getting things ready. Worked late this evening after hearing rain is in the forecast.
Got the flax seed cleaned earlier this week. Also the granular fertilizer delivered without any trucks stuck in the sinkholes on my driveway. There are a few out on the grid roads too.
Rain in the forecast for the long weekend. I might get up early for an early start if it does not rain. Have hardly taken time to take a picture but here is a video from last week before things got busy. Another Mercury drive. It just keeps getting better.

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Almost A Replay of 1952

I harvested the last few acres of last year's flax crop today. It took most of the day getting machinery ready, swathing, driving home to fix a sickle that broke when I hit a rock. Combining went well with no problems in the mud, although a little spongy and soft out there. The getting ready and cleaning up afterwards took longer than the actual combining but at least it is done and I can now pile and burn the straw getting the field ready to plant.
I wonder how long it took my dad and uncle Sandy to harvest the field of wheat in April of 1952 with the little Case model A combine? Those wheat swaths laid out through the winter of 51-52 but survived fairly well. The wheat was very dry, a little light in bushel weight too. Getting stuck in the mud was a problem at times. Sandy's LA Case tractor pulling the combine and Dad's model D John Deere waiting ready to hitch up and pull when the Case got stuck in mud.