State of the Farm

Planting gardens all over the place.

This is the time of year we love - when we are farmers first and stockmen second. Actually, we are farmers first all year round, it’s just more fun this time of year when we are creating rather than just encouraging vegetation’s growth. as we go planting vegetable gardens all over the farm. That’s right - vegetable gardens all over the farm - more in the pastures and paddocks than in the house yard. These are vegetable gardens for the cows and the pigs.

We started 6 weeks ago with turnips, beets and carrots in the summer pig paddocks. These veggies will be ready for the pigs to root and eat when they return to the west side of the lake in early spring. Right now, the porkers are on the east side, where we have begun planting oats, wheat, rye and clover. The same mix will be planted in the cattle pastures and our finishing yards. The critters go on growth spurts this time of year with the mild weather putting some spring in their step, especially if we can keep some green stuff in front of them.

We never tire of seeing these tiny seeds grow into lush vegetation . While planting is hard work and time consuming for a few weekends of the year, the crops that supply our creatures’ nutritional needs and the sheer beauty of it all provides rewards exponentially greater than the work it requires.

What about the weather?

This will forever be known as the year of extremes in our weather book - and we hope an anomaly instead of the new normal. Very little rain last fall through the spring with higher than normal winds leading us into a super-heated summer with virtually no rain until we reached September. Then higher than normal rainfall in September and 3 times normal in October. Many of our neighbors are predicting an extreme winter with snow before Christmas. We shall see, but nothing surprises me anymore when it comes to changing weather patterns.

So, is this evidence of global warming? And if it is, will it bring major changes to our lives across the planet? And if it does, can we blame it on mankind’s overloading our atmosphere with carbons, or is it simply a natural evolution?

I answer all of the questions with an humble “I don’t know.” But I do know this - our weather patterns the last couple of years have been quite different than the preceding 20. More extreme. We shall see if that continues.

JVF