Saturday, May 09, 2009

Spring Time Happenings

Well, spring time has been full of activity for 2009. Nine lambs born as you can see in the previous posts.

The maple syrup season turned out to be a good one. It was on again and off again which made for a good long run. In all we got over 5 gallons of syrup from just 11 taps. That's a record for us!

Good friends Ken, Dawn and kids came up and got in on the syrup making. They made a couple gallons themselves and I think they are now hooked on making maple syrup and are making plans to come back next season. We had a great time while they were here and are looking forward to next year.

My dad got a plow and tiller for his Ford tractor and plowed us up a large section. We figure it's just under an acre. We plan to plant corn. I thought we would put the whole thing in corn, I got some Painted Mountain corn that I first learned about over at Northern Farmer blog, but after the spot got tilled up it's obvious we didn't get enough seed to fill it up, so we are putting in other things like sunflowers, potatoes and maybe some pumpkins. We already planted potatoes. Four, 160 foot rows of them.
Also we took an edge and planted some fruit trees and berries. Kelli, Shalea and I took a class a few weeks back on how to graft fruit trees. So we wound up with a dozen little trees that we grafted onto root stock ourselves. Five apple, three plum and four pear. And we put in an assortment of berry plants. Red, yellow and black raspberry, blue berry and currants.
Here's some more pictures of Dad having fun with his new toy.

Also he tilled up our regular garden area. We took out the raised beds and tilled the whole thing so that we can get alot more planted in there this year.

The raised beds we had were spaced to far apart so now we've added quite a bit more square footage of ground that we can plant.
So far in this area we've planted a couple hundred onion starts, some leeks and a 4' x 28' bed of spinach.

In the green house our experiment was successful. We are now eating various kinds of lettuce and radishes from there. The garlic we planted in there last year is growing like crazy.

We have tomato plants started in the house that we plan to put in the green house soon. Also we started installing a new irrigation system. Last year we found it difficult to keep everything well watered. We ran sprinklers which were kind of a pain. They didn't cover everything so we had to move them around to get everything done evenly. And a couple times we forgot about it and it ran all night. Of course when that happened the places where the sprinklers ran were VERY well watered.

The Three Amigo's are no more. The one in the middle said adios to his brothers as we had our first lambs butchered. And, we weren't going to but, we did have Shadow done too.
Actually these three (pictured), had to be separated recently, as one day they decided it was time to try and kill each other. They were pounding the daylights out of one another. I've never seen anything like it. You could have sworn they were going to split their skulls wide open. Then the two here on the outside started ganging up on the one in the middle. First I took him out, then a couple days later I had to separate the remaining two.
And well Shadow. He was no longer the sweet little thing that we raised in the house, who used to follow us and chase the dogs around. He got real ornery. He got to where he'd butt anything and anyone.
We didn't get alot of meat but, the butchers raved at how nice the meat looked. So we gave them a little as kind of a tip.
We were pleasantly surprised to find out that the price of lamb is currently pretty high. There are farmers in our area who are getting around $10 to $12 per pound for lamb meat. At those prices we don't have to have big sheep to make a decent buck selling the meat.

These are some of the things we've been up to this spring. It feels good to have some things being planted already which is quite early for us. The weather has been good and we got some decent rain. Though, we're still behind on rain but, some is better than nothing. It's been enough to green up the grass anyways. The sheep are enjoying it as we now have them on pasture.
Until Next Time

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Census GPS-tagging your home's front door

LIFE WITH BIG BROTHERCensus GPS-tagging your home's front door Coordinates being taken for every residence in nation

By Bob Unruh© 2009 WorldNetDaily

According to an online Yahoo program, the Global Position System coordinates for the White House, probably one of the best-known publicly-owned buildings in the world, are 38.898590 Latitude and -77.035971 Longitude. And since you know that, it's no big deal for the White House to know the coordinates for your front door, is it?
Some people think it is, and are upset over an army of some 140,000 workers hired in part with a $700 million taxpayer-funded contract to collect those GPS readings for every front door in the nation.

The data collection , presented as being in preparation for the 2010 Census, is pinpointing with computer accuracy the locations and has raised considerable concern from privacy advocates who have questioned why the information is needed. They also are more than a little worried over what could be done with that information.
Enhancing those concerns is the recent decision in the Obama administration to have White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel in an oversight role over the census, which will control a reapportionment of congressional seats and could be used to solidify to a stranglehold a single political party's control over the nation, its budget, military and future. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke recently told the Washington Post: "The census director reports to me, and, of course, I serve at the pleasure of the president." He added the White House told him "it has no interest in politicizing [the census]."
But at American Daily Review, blogger Douglas Gibbs had more than a few doubts. "GPS coordinates of your front door will make it easier for the government to monitor you," he said. "The U.S. Census Bureau is simply an excuse – a harmless looking means of obtaining the front door coordinates. The creation of GPS coordinates for front doors has nothing to do with the census, in all honesty, no matter how much the United States government tries to convince you that it does."

This is really happening, just click on the above link for the full story.

We have first hand experience with it.
A group of about 6 or 7 census workers converged on our farm about a month ago and took GPS readings on our homes. Our house, my parents house and our log cabin in the woods. Apparently they were doing training and that's why there was so many of them.

It was a little overwhelming having all those people pull up in 3 vehicles, get out and tell me they're from the census and that they needed to GPS our residences. Plus they had an issue with an address that didn't fit. It was a number between our place and the neighbor to the north that didn't exist. It was kind of freaking them out and they had to get to the bottom of it.

Also, they couldn't understand how us and my parents all shared the same address. "You mean you all share the same mail box????" "Well yeahhhh, what's so hard to understand about that?????", I expressed.

Fortunately for them one of the census workers was a good garbage customer of ours. I began to get a little on edge with them converging on us like and asking lots of questions, but he was able to simmer me down. If it wasn't for him I probably would have booted them all out of here and refused the GPS readings. They did "ask" me if they could. I wonder what they would have done if I would have said no.

Anyway it's true, they are doing this. I don't see any need of doing this right at the door step. They could do it at the end of the driveway. So what if there are multiple buildings at one address. It should go by the address not individual structures, in my thinking.

We are moving from the "information age" to a new age of "surveillance".

Friday, May 01, 2009

More Lambs

"Corky" (on the left) has a new friend (on the right) another rejected lamb. Last Saturday, April 25th we went to town and two ewes had given birth while we were gone.

One of them had triplets and since some sheep can't count higher than 2 this little cutie got the boot. Momma wanted nothing to do with her. And she was the smallest, I guess nature has a way of knowing these things. In the wild or out on the range this little female would have perished.

These two are her siblings. All three were very similar in appearance except for slightly different coloring.

So now "Corky" has someone to keep her company and we now have two bottle fed lambs. Sophie the ewe that kept stealing babies also had a lamb on Saturday. She only had one, a little black one and now she is perfectly happy and has stopped trying to take other lambs. Even to the point where she won't adopt either of these two orphans.

Below are some cute pictures of Corky and Midge (short for midget) being perfectly happy to share a pen together.


Until Next Time