My one of my best friends lives outside of Boston. She’s a farm girl and misses the sounds of the farm. At least that’s what I tell myself when she reminds me that when I call her, her phone plays the sounds of crickets chirping. Kind of like this blog lately! Crickets chirping but not much going on. It’s been about a month since I last posted so I thought I would share a post with some of the reasons I just haven’t had time to blog. I hope you’ll forgive me!
In case you missed it, many parts of our country are struggling with drought this summer. Our area’s status is currently listed as “Exceptional Drought”. This is our corn on June 14th, 2012. The corn leaves are trying to protect themselves by curling up which is why this corn looks like spikes out in the field.
Back in June, Hubs, myself and our friend Robin got a chance to check out the Wisconsin State Fair Blue Ribbon Tasting. We found some new favorite cheese, beer and wine combos to try out at home. Two new favorites from the tasting were Moody Blue from Roth Kase in Monroe and a Feta in Brine from Klondike Cheese, also from Monroe.
Our little town holds a festival each year. Like any town worth it’s salt we of course throw a big parade. I love how the whole town of Lake Mills comes out for the festival.
Meet Maybe! The minute I met her I knew we were meant to be. She’s only 5 weeks old in this picture. So we have to wait a while to take her home.
I was on the road for work visiting dealers for my company and got to visit a farm that just installed robotic milkers. Cows get to decide when they want to be milked and a robot takes care of the rest. On the same trip I also visited Sartori Cheese in Antigo and the AgSource Laboratory in Strattford. I have lots of blog posts to write for you guys!
Our corn on June 28th, 2012. Still very spiked and desperately wanting rain. Usually corn grows quickly, you can see that this corn hasn’t grown much in the 2 weeks since the first picture I took.
Drought is one thing, but heat is a different story. Here in Wisconsin we usually only have a handful of days over 90 degrees. This summer we have had many more than normal and we’re only half way through. For a full week we had temperatures in the upper 90’s and with heat index temperatures reached close to 110 degrees. While people and animals in warmer climate states may not think that’s hot, for us here in Wisconsin it was difficult. Our barns are set up to protect our animals from cold and keep them comfortable in summer. But extreme heat calls for a different set up. Thankfully my husband was able to rig up a sprinkler system and lots of fans to keep our cows a little bit cooler. I did loose two calves during the heat wave, one had been born almost a month early and as a result of her premature birth, she didn’t have fully developed lungs. The other calf had been born backwards and had fluid in his lungs as a result. Because of these calve’s breathing difficulties the heat was just too much for them to survive. Thankfully I was bale to save a third calf who became sick and dehydrated during the heat wave and she is doing great now.
During the heat wave I found this little guy wandering around our driveway. His mother is a feral cat and he must have wandered away from her and got lost. I’m a sucker for a cute kitten. Thankfully I was able to catch him, with minimal bites and scratches and take him into the house for some food and water. He was skin and bones and very dehydrated. We became fast friends over a little smoked pork and a bowl of cool water.
Our corn on July 6th 2012. You can see the bottom leaves starting to turn brown and die.
We’ve also had lots of calves born lately. Usually a dairy farm will have a 50/50 ratio of bull calves and heifer calves born each year. But right now on our farm we are having a big streak of heifer calves born. I’m sure when we look at the numbers at the end of the year they will be closer to even. Lots of heifer calves means lots of work. We sell our bull calves to other farmers who will raise them as steers but our heifer calves stay on the farm and will become milk cows. Right now I have 34 heifer calves under the age of 4 months old. That’s a lot for our farm. This calf is named Butterscotch and she went visiting the dogs while I was getting her hutch ready.
Summer means one thing to 4H and FFA kids around here, showing at fair! In addition to helping out some kids with their animal projects, my husband and I help out with our FFA Alumni Root Beer Float stand. I also spent time working at the Waupun Equipment booth. We were all thankful that the heat eased up for the week of our fair so people could come out and enjoy themselves and see all the work the kids put into their fair projects.
My best friend came out to visit her family back here in Wisconsin and came to visit me at our fair. I would say she’s a bad influence but I am pretty sure I bought this round.
This was the best part of the fair. A fantastic concert from Dierks Bentley and a little relief! The fairgrounds got 2″ of rain during the show and he kept playing until his equipment stopped working. Our farm, 10 miles away missed this rain.
The day after the fair ended I headed to New London, Wisconsin for the Wisconsin Farm Technology Days show for work. This show always seems to bring in interesting weather and this year was no different. The first day of the show the temperature was over 100, two days later on the last day of the show it was a cool 65. The crops in the area of the show looked a little better than ours at home but they were happy to get a drink from these clouds.
The little bit of rain at Farm Tech Days came at the same time almost 2″ of rain fell at our farm. Along with the rain came some serious wind and our maple trees got a trimming from Mother Nature. We had some other damage as well but thankfully nothing that couldn’t be fixed with some elbow grease and a chainsaw.
Little Ms. Maybe, our puppy came home! Hard not to spoil her at PetsMart when she melts you with her pretty blue eyes.
After finally getting some rain our corn shot up. This is our corn today, July 23, 2012. It’s much shorter than it would normally be at this point and we’re not certain if the rain came in time to help this year’s crop or not. We should be able to tell how much pollination occurred in the next few days. We really could use more rain right now so please say a prayer or do a dance or something. My cows will be grateful you did this winter when we have enough feed for them all.
So I guess this post is one big excuse to why I haven’t been blogging. Remember when we were kids and after the first week of summer vacation we started lamenting about being bored? I’d like to find some time to be bored! What has your summer been like so far?