31 August 2010

Editor Fail!

Whoops, just realized that I was setting my blog posts as drafts by default. Which means they were not getting posted at all!

Massive cockpit error.

So I will be going in and making sure they are set to be seen today once I get back from the all morning meeting I have to attend.

Moral of the story. Check your blog from something other than blogger to verify that posts are actually visible at least once in a while.

04 August 2010

Off to Wales!

While Ken stayed home to care for the farm I headed off to Wales again to continue training to become an approved judge for Black Welsh Mountain Sheep.

After a relatively unevventful plane flight from Grand Junction to Dallas, then overnight flight from Dallas to London Heathrow, tube to Paddington Station, Train to Newport, Train to Abergavenny and lastly taxi I finally arrived in Abergavenny Wales to the Beavan Family Butcher Shop.

The Beavans' were featured in the BBC program Lambing Live. I made e-mail contact and had arranged to come visit and stay at their B&B for the first couple of days.

Most tourists are not that interested in butcher shops, but I enjoyed talking to Huw & Jan about the issues of running a small butcher shop that caters to the local trade and provides good fresh locally raised meats and eggs.

Huw Beavan

Jan Beavan

Then it was off to Great Tre-Rhew Farm and home of Kate, Jim, Trevor & Anne Beavan. The B&B portion is to the left of this picture.

As soon as I got my stuff in it was off to watch and try not to get in the way as Jim sorted out the lambs to be weaned and checked his ewes for teeth and tits. He was sorting out which ewes would be culled and which would stay for another lambing. Culls got a spot on their rump so they are easy to sort out later. Hopefully I didn't get in the way too much.

Ewes in catch pen.

Checking teeth.

I really liked his chute set-up. I don't think it would work for us because of the horns on our rams but it was sure convenient to work a bunch of sheep around. If we had all polled sheep it would be fine.

Then we moved the ewes to new grazing.

Lambs got moved to a different field

I really liked the old stone water trough. I wonder how long that's been there?

Beautiful cottage garden.

02 August 2010

Yoda the Sheep and Pasture

Yoda looking particularly majestic. He's doing well for an old sheep.

We have some sheep on the front pear orchard pasture.

31 July 2010

Ready for Racks

End of July and both poles are installed and the first of the brackets and racks to hold the solar panels are in place.

30 July 2010

Poles & Brackets Started

Second big pole being moved into position.

Getting it installed.

Mixing the mortar that holds it into place.

Bracket structure started.

First piece of the brackets that will hold the solar panels.

29 July 2010

Erecting the First Pole

Things dried out enough to continue work. After some initial filling in of the holes the wires and conduit were run from the poles to the hay barn.

Looking down where the metal pole will fit into the plastic pipe sleeve.

Getting the first pole in place.

Once the pole was in position that was enough for the day. Tomorrow will be getting the first pole plumb and putting the mortar around it to hold it up. If there is time the second pole will be installed too.

28 July 2010

The Day After

The next morning we surveyed the damage. There was water in the holes around the forms but things looked ok.

However, the barn was a mess.

27 July 2010

Concrete and Rain

The concrete came for the piers for the solar system. Got it all poured with no problems.

That evening it started to rain and the trenches filled up. Ken took the backhoe and dug an emergency ditch through the hay barn to keep the water away from the precious hay.

We also got out a pump to pump the trenches a bit.

26 July 2010

Rocks & Holes

Spoke too soon about the rocks. The second hole and the trench ended up uncovering a nest of rocks. Some were too big for our tractor to pick up but Ken was able to push them around a bit.

It's amazing how far down 9 feet is. The forms are in place to pour the concrete for the solar panel trees.

24 July 2010

Summer Pasture, Rambo and Rambutt

Late Summer Grazing. The bare patch in the pasture is where we burned the prunings this year. I need to find a different way to deal with the pruning debris because it hurts the pasture to burn it.

Rambo and his buddy Rambutt. Rambutt is the one looking at us, he has appointed himself guardian and watch sheep and is very aware of what is going on around him.

20 July 2010

Weighing the Hay

All the first cutting hay is in. John came down to weigh some bales so we can pay for it. We buy the hay by weight not by the bale. First cutting ended up being 664 bales and 19.3 tons. Normally we get about 45 tons for the first cutting.

After the haying we needed to drown our sorrows. So down to Revolution Brewing for a lovely mix of their Cherry soda and Cherry Sticky Thicket.

18 July 2010

Ready to be Fulled

The hat is finished and ready to be fulled to fit.

17 July 2010

Yarn and Winter Knits

We got the yarn back from the local wool mill in Palisade. I had pure Black Welsh in bulky and sport weight, blended Black Welsh and Polypay in bulky and then some pure Polypay in Bulky and sportweight. They all came out looking really nice.

I want to make a hat for Joe Sperry from the blended wool since the Polypay came from his flock. I plan to full it so Ken gets to be the model for testing the sizing.

14 July 2010

2 Cats in the Yard, Buck & summer Flowers

Bart brought his big backhoe up to dig the holes for the new solar panels. Orange decided to supervise so we have 2 cats in teh yard now.

This buck showed up today too. Don't know if we got deer tags or not yet but he might be a tasty buck if we do.

I really liked these flowers growing over the old hay rake.

09 July 2010

Summer Chickens

The laying chickens are having a lot of fun running around outside and getting all the bugs they can catch.