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Roosty6 @B110

Sunday, November 15, 2020

Grain Scoop

Some discussion came up after I posted a picture of the vintage grain scoop on facebook. Its an old rusty metal scoop that has been on this farm far longer than me. Likely one that my grandfather used to load grain into the wagon box to haul to town and sell at the elevator. It was about a 24 mile round trip with horses and one trip a day at around 65 bushels per load. 
The wooden handle was missing from this one. No surprise if it had worn out from use. The leading edge of the metal is worn thin and cracked from years of use on thousands of bushels of grain. I got creative and made a new handle out of an old broom stick just so it looks kind of original. I had to try it out so made a video along the way. You never know what people will find interesting. Or maybe boring. 

Monday, October 19, 2020

November In October

 Yes, its November weather in October here. Dressed up in full winter clothing every day and the furnace running to keep the house up in the high 60s comfort zone. We have had daytime "highs" in the high 20s this past week. Thats November temps and its mid October. No wonder they dropped that term "global warming" a while back as it is not very convincing in these conditions. 

No snow worth mentioning and the ground is mostly too dry to freeze. Great for harvest with no worries of getting stuck in the fields. Sloughs are either dry or lower than I've seen in years. Panic button has not been hit yet but there is concern for spring planting conditions if it stays this dry. 

But no use making too many long term plans as Covid might throw a monkey wrench in that. 

Hopefully we will get out Indegenous Summer weather in November but I'm not counting on it. 

Some video I shot here to preserve history. I watch this old barn lean and settle a little more each year and wonder how much longer it can stand. Poplar logs have done well to last 113 year without rotting away. On the bright side, I've still got the necessary tools to build a new one!

Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Making An Appearance

 Just to show I'm still alive as its been almost two months since I posted anything here. Just the usual stuff going on. The whole virus thing has not affected my life or work much at all. 

Harvest has been going on since Sept 9th in starts and stops. Typical weather gives us a day or two to work and then a rain shower shuts down harvest for a couple of days or more waiting to dry. As I'm doing today. I'm at about the two thirds complete point as of last night. I gave up about 11:00 pm with yet another plugged header auger from all the lumpy canola swaths I'm trying to feed through it. This is one variety I will try to avoid in future. My back is suffering from heaving on the big unplugging wrench so many times yesterday. 

Leaf colour are fantastic this fall. I managed to get out in the Merc for a long overdue drive and photo shoot of the fall scenery earlier this week when it was too damp to combine. 

Today I seized the opportunity to haul the first load of hay home from the East farm. With a five mile drive I try to get that job out of the way before real cold sets in.. Today was perfect. Lousy moose must have pushed one of the round bales almost into the creek and lost some of the twine. I might try and salvage it at a later date. I nearly hit a couple of moose the other night while crusing home in the Merc. Lucky the old six volt lights show far enough down the grid road to spot them in time. And good old shoe and drum brakes were well up to the task of a sudden slowdown. 

With my nephew's help we got the itchy oat field done last Friday. Nice crop but nobody wants to work with oats for more than a day due to the itchy dust. 

Thursday, July 30, 2020

Almost Too Hot

It hit 92 here this afternoon and I haven't ventured out of the house since dinner. Nothing really urgent needs doing that I have to endure that heat and humidity. I finally gave up on waiting for rain and set up a sprinkler on the garden this morning. Its doing pretty good considering how dry its been but this heat will make it wilt. Seeing some early blight on the potatoes but they are producing well. Some pods on the peas and should have a few ready to eat in a day or two.
This heat will be burning the crops on the sandy hilltops as they run out of moisture. Its been great for haying and I got most of mine cut and baled within the past week. Nice working late in the evening when there is enough moisture on the swaths to bale well.
We are actually pretty lucky to get enough rain to produce some decent hay and then dry enough to harvest it.

Monday, July 20, 2020

A Productive Week

In spite of not getting any hay cut or baled, the past week was pretty productive. Moved the majority of last year's crop to the terminal cleaning out ten grain bins. I suppose if I hadn't been doing that I might have been cutting hay. But it seemed every day there was either showers or the threat of them and I'd probably not have cut any hay. As it happened, the showers did not amount to much in this immediate area. Seems you can go from dust to mud and back to dust again in the space of half a mile.
I even took the time to get some crop photos with the Merc. The bloom is starting to fade a little on the early canola crops so I knew I better not wait much longer for photos. The sky and clouds were perfect, roads were dry, and the Merc was ready to roll. I think I got some of my best crop photos and video yet and put some of it on youtube. It will be good to look back on in December when the snow is blowing.

Wednesday, July 15, 2020

What A Relief!

I've emptied 9 grain bins in the past 24 hours and my back isn't even tired. The grain vac has to be one of the best inventions ever. And what a relief to get rid of that high moisture wheat without any spoilage or beetle infestations. I'd been a little worried about it ever since the weather started to warm up. The small fan did not seem to be doing  much drying even after running a month. The big fan at the West farm did dry some. It all came out of the bin in good condition and is sold to make space for the new crop.
It was a long scenic 100 km round trip to get the grain vac but it was worth it. It was worth shooting a little video as the countryside is half yellow with blooming canola. Clouds were looking their best so this video will make you think all this world's a sunny day.
Now if I can get a day or two without extreme wind so I can get the chem fallow under control maybe I can get back to haying. Hardly a day without a rain shower.

Tuesday, July 7, 2020

Roostys Roofing

At least now if it rains only the hay will get wet. This roof was overdue for replacement so I took the day to get it done. Its a patchwork quilt of various bits of metal I acquired but I like it.

Sunday, July 5, 2020

More Living Sky

Once again our "land of living skies" did not fail to impress me. Thunderstorm moving across the South while I was still in the clear watching the sunset. Made for some interesting photos and video. And of course an opportunity for some more "Mercury photos". That lightning strike picture is actually a freeze frame from the video. It was many miles away but still looked impressive. No rain fell here. There have been some wild storms in the South with hail and a tornado or two. Plow winds as well.

Tuesday, June 30, 2020

More Spraying 2020

Finally able to unhitch from the sprayer a few days ago now that in crop spraying for weeds is done. Good (lucky) timing as the heaviest rain held off til a few days after I finished. Crops are in pretty good shape here and growing well.

Hitched up to the  haybine now in hopes of cutting some hay.

Thursday, June 25, 2020

The link between food production and fossil fuels (w/ Quick Dick McDick)

Some common sense comments from the man behind the youtube videos. Very articulate and informed. Trying hard to educate the general public that does not have a clue where their food comes from or what is involved in producing it.

Saturday, June 6, 2020

The Sixth Of June

June 6 always means "D Day" to me as it did to my dad. He missed out on it by about a month but did get over there in time to see the devastation left of the battle. Burned out Sherman tanks and dead bodies of animals (and a few humans) were quite the shock. He said he did not have much hope of ever getting out of there alive. Somehow they fought their way through the next months til the war ended in May of the next year.
I've posted some of his memoirs here over the years but have been pretty slow at posting the rest of them. I am lucky he wrote down his account of his journey and saved photos of the places he was and the people he saw along the way. This photo was taken on Wangerooge island after the war ended. Dad at centre and Alec Abel on the left. I got to meet Alec in later years.

In other news, last fall's harvest is done as of a week ago today. That dry dead straw just disintegrated going through the combine and the wheat was the driest I've ever combined. It won't be worth much, just a little less loss in a poor crop year. And here is the video.

Probably not news that the wind is still blowing like a hurricane trying to tear everything loose. We did get one nice quiet day this week and it was yesterday. I went at it as hard as I could and managed to get two fields of chem fallow sprayed. Might have done more but heavy fog made for a late morning start and the 30 miles of road driving, at 14 mph, used up a lot of time.

Sunday, May 31, 2020

Too Busy to Blog

Its been steady work here for the past two and a half weeks. No rainy day breaks so I just went from anhydrousing, straight into seeding. When that was done I got on the swather and cut the field of wheat that laid out all winter. Picked it up with the combine today and was fairly happy to be done. No deer antlers in the tires. Found one. Hot and wild wind blowing the swaths around. Then cloudy skies threatening rain so I was pushing it to the limit to try and finish. Thanks to my "harvest crew" we got it all done and machinery moved back home safely.
Might slow down a little tomorrow, unless its quiet enough to run the sprayer. Then I'll be on that as the weeds are growing fast. Early canola is emerging and hope the flea beetles don't find it. We had signs of frost in low lying areas a few nights ago. Early potatoes might show a little leaf damage. Late potatoes are not in the ground yet but hopefully soon as I can get a chance.
Long days and short nights meant no time to edit and upload videos to youtube but I've caught up a little the past couple of days including this one of yesterday's swathing wheat.

Friday, April 24, 2020

Spring 2020

Finally some spring like weather this week. Warm, in the sixties a few days and as of today, 24th April, most of the snow is gone. Surprisingly wet in the fields considering how little snow we had. Guys were combining last week trying to clean up last fall's leftover harvest. It went ok with the ground still frozen solid but this week not so good. I see muddy ruts as the frost comes out of the ground. So I'm leaving that wheat field a little longer in hopes of avoiding getting stuck with the swather and combine.
Dry fertilizer delivered this week as well as a tank of anhydrous ready to go. The auger complained with shrieks of protest as we started unloading fertilizer. A bearing seal had separated allowing fertilizer dust inside.. By spraying oil on it I was able to limp along with it to finish unloading the semi. Always a worry wondering if the auger will break down in the process of unloading.
The repair was more than I could handle eventually requiring three of us to get the shaft and old bearing out of the auger.
The last calf was born 6 days ago and as I feared, I have a new job as a calf feeder. The cow has mastitis or something wrong with her and either has no milk or none good enough to drink. The calf is strong and willing so I've been pail feeding it with milk replacer twice a day.
Great scenery yesterday with the white clouds in blue sky so I shot some driving video and a little drone video as well.

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.