Thursday, September 30, 2010

Animal cruelty at a factory farm

Below is a link to a news story I saw this morning while looking at World Net Daily. It is a very disturbing look at animal cruelty at what I would call a factory farm. While animal cruelty is certainly not limited to factory farms it just shows what can happen when a farm reaches a size to have to hire outside help and the owners become detached from the daily happenings of the operation. And assuming the owners were not complicit with such depraved behavior.

In my opinion the young men involved, the perpetrators of the violence, got off WAY to easy. As far as the article tells only one of them got charged.

A video of the cruelty is included in the article, although very graphic and disturbing I think that people should look at it to see the level of depravity that can go on. It is in fact so cruel and violent that it makes me afraid that these guys are allowed to walk around free. If they can treat an animal with such disregard it wouldn't be much of a stretch to think they might do this to a person who would be weak or unable to defend themselves just as the poor animals were that they did this to.

The article in the link below tells the whole story and the video itself fills in any blanks that might have been left out. These guys shouldn't be allowed to get off lightly with this. The officials in this Ohio town should be flooded with letters demanding justice.

Farmhand gets 8 months in jail for beating Conklin dairy cows

Just for the record I feel just as passionate about the cruelty done to unborn children in this world as I do with cruelty done to animals. Just thought I'd mention that because it often irks me how people go on and on about the treatment of animals all the while remaining silent about the holocaust of babies that continues daily in this Country and around the world.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Food Freedom

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Goats spar through fence

In the video which was taken on 9-4-2010 you will see our two little billy goats Stinky and Stankey sparring through the fence while Arie plays. Arie wants badly to play too, but she's been on the receiving end of those horns before and is wise enough not to get too close.

Sunday, September 05, 2010

Turkeys in a chicken tractor

If the turkeys are in a chicken tractor does that really make them chickens? Of course not I'm just kidding. I suppose since they are turkeys after all, then the pen they are in even if it has always been a "chicken tractor" is now a "turkey tractor". At least while they are taking up residence.

The turkeys are pretty much ready to be um well, "processed". That's a nice way of saying "killed". Or "butchered". Kelli likes to call it processing I call it butchering. But, I reckon she is right about the terminology because what we used to do was "butchering", back when we were learning the ropes. Not a pretty site! Take my word for it! Now we are way better at it after more than a thousand birds under our belt. I'm not sure exactly how many we've done over the years but, it has to be in the thousands by now. Actually we've only done a hand full of turkeys. One of our own a short while back and 8 belonging to our neighbor Mike, who got his when we got ours.

Mikes turkeys got bigger than ours. I think it is because he and his wife used strait commercial feed . Game bird feed actually. I used chicken grower feed mixed with extra corn and a sunflower mix that we feed our chickens. Plus they kept food before them at all times. I feed ours twice a day and they get a little hungry between feedings. Plus I move the pen twice a day. It's been about 3 weeks since we did Mikes birds and now most of ours are bigger than his then. I figure ours were about two weeks behind his. But, I probably spent less on feed. Since corn is cheaper by the hundred I use that to help cut the cost. It adds fat however. Our birds don't get over weight but, they do develop some fat inside. I'm almost certain it's from the corn. Because over the years I've noticed that the more corn I use the more fat they get. We remove as much of the fat as possible before we freeze them however.

In these video's you can see our Kangal Dog puppy Arie too. She gets bigger every day. She tags along almost every time I do chores.

I keep Arie on a leash for better control. She drags it around which makes it easier for me to get a hold of in case she does not respond to my call, which doesn't happen very often. She's hasn't done it yet but, if she ever bolted from me and decided not to listen i figure it would be easier to catch her.

Years ago when we still lived in the city I had a Fila Braziliero, a dog originating from Brazil, she took off after a rabbit and was killed by a car. I don't ever want to make the same mistake again, so I am very cautious with Arie.

I'm really getting into training her and I look forward to the day I can breed her, which I plan to do as long as she stays true to her breed.

As far as I can tell we didn't get any frost damage last night. I don't think it frosted at all here, but our growing partners who live about 3 miles from us as the "crow flies" got a little damage from frost they said.

Until Next Time

Saturday, September 04, 2010

Frost tonight possibly

Today we kept hearing that we could get frost tonight so we covered much of the garden. Hard to imagine after all the heat we've had recently. So we decided to harvest our first grapes as well rather than risk losing our first ever grape crop.
So we went up with a large bowl and some scissors to snip the clusters off the vines. We saw that we had another small batch of strawberries ripe too so we picked those also.

We were pleased to find a couple cantaloupes also which were growing from a rouge vine. This is the year for rouge plants for us. We have tomato's coming up all over the place. We had lettuces growing all over the green house. Sunflowers popping up around the farm. And these two cantaloupes.

We are very happy with our grapes. We have "wine" grapes and "table" grapes. In the bowl you can see the two different varieties. The wine grapes are lighter and bigger and the table grapes are darker and smaller.
So far this Labor Day weekend is proving to be another good one for the road side stand. Last year it was our best weekend of the season and it seems it will be the same again this year. Although it does not look like we will top last years sales. Over all, the farm stand has been slower this year than it was in 2009. But, it isn't over yet and we shall see.

The CSA is going well. It seems that the share holders are getting the swing of things as far as picking up their produce in a timely fashion. It was a little confusing at first. Plus we had to change the pick up days a couple times as we got the kinks worked out.

I think it is good to have both the farm stand and the CSA. They seem to complement each other. We focus mainly on the CSA then what ever is left goes to the stand. We make a better profit on the stand also. We like to give the share holders as good a deal as we can so the money made per item or bunch is somewhat lower for us.

It was a good sweet corn year in the north woods. Paul, our corn grower up near Eagle River had one of his best years. He was able to plant early. Today, he told me that he's been growing sweet corn for 20 years and out of all of those years he only had 2 years that he didn't get any corn.

Last year wasn't good for corn but, he did get a harvest. It's just that alot of the corn didn't fill out to the top. This will be Pauls last weekend for corn though. He planted two rows later and they are finishing up right now. We'd hoped to have corn clear through Monday but, as it's going we might not. We have two other sources for a little bit of corn so those just might get us through. On the other hand our green house is now coming into it's own with tomato's so at least we have that. Tomato's and sweet corn are the top 2 draws for the farm stand. People come in looking for those and by other stuff as well. Not everyone comes looking for those two things but, I'd say the majority do. Probably the 3rd in line for popularity is cucumbers. Lots of people in these parts make pickles. One of our growing partners always has dill and that is a popular seller too. Goes with the cukes.

So far this has been one of the best growing season's we've had since 1998. I just wish we would have been geared up for it. I wanted to plant some more field corn this year but, I ran out of time and didn't get to it. And I would have planted alot more of everything if I could have made the time. But, then again the more you plant the more work in weeding and watering and so forth. A person has only so many hours in a day. We try hard to not get caught up in the rat race but, it always seems to find us. Just too many things we want to do.

Well, I hope everyone is having a good Labor Day weekend so far. Take care and God bless.

Until Next Time

Thursday, September 02, 2010

Show about EMP