my daily life on a cattle farm, my love of agriculture, and stories behind my photos

Sunday, May 27, 2018

spring chalkboard

With the change of season, there is a change on my antique chalkboard. A fresh start. My old slate chalkboard is such a cute and simple way to decorate my rustic farm home throughout the year. The chalkboard I repurposed is such a fun way for me to be creative. Most times, my design includes cows. I do love my cows.

Saturday, May 26, 2018

vodka lemonade

[  vodka + lemon  ]

There is something about lemon. It is my favorite...especially during the summertime! It is not often I drink. But, I do love an iced cold Corona with a lime or a vodka lemonade during the summer! They remind me of sweet summer. And, I cherish it!

Enjoy this sweet recipe for a vodka lemonade to sip slowly this summer...

2 ounces      vodka  (  I use Svedka  )
6 ounces      lemonade (  1 cup lemon juice + 6 1/2 cups water + 1 cup sugar = 2 quarts  )
lemon slices for garnish
Add vodka and lemonade to your favorite glass. [ my favorite glass is a purple Mason jar ] Stir together. Add ice and lemon slices for garnish. Soak in the sunshine!
Here is another for a vodka lemonade slushy! This is perfect for summer!
2 ounces      vodka
2 ounces      lemon juice
1 + 3/4 ounces     simple syrup ( reduce 1 cup sugar + 1 cup water over medium heat )
2 cups      ice
4      strawberries ( sliced )
Combine the vodka, lemon juice, simple syrup, and ice into a blender. Blend for 18 - 20 seconds. Pour into a glass and garnish with a strawberry and a lemon slice. Find your favorite spot outdoors and relax!
Enjoy the warmth and sunshine this summer!

Friday, May 25, 2018

rye: 2018

Rye was no-till drilled on October 18 and November 1. 

The two fields of rye were cut on Thursday afternoon and Friday morning... one field of6 acres, and the second field of 8 acres. These fields were cut to be chopped and bagged as ryelage. And, we will feed the ryelage to cows late this summer as needed.

Rye was raked this morning to be chopped and loaded into wagons to fill a bag. 

catching rye as it is being chopped

Loads of rye were hauled back to the farm to fill the silage bag. Bagging crops like ryelage allows us to harvest high nutritional value forage and store it for later use. It has worked very well for us.

We finished chopping and bagging one field of rye. Then unfortunately, rain arrived. We were caught in a rain delay. So, we will have to wait to finish the second field of rye.

Friday, May 18, 2018

Friday on the Farm

This afternoon, I checked in on the newly seeded hay field. The field was no-till drilled on April 13. Overall, the seeding looks good. We hope for continued favorable growing conditions. 
[ view agriculture photos @ monicastevens.photoshelter.com ]

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

conservation: rock chute

Conservation has always been at the heart of our farm. It is an ideal passed down through the generations. We truly believe in being conservationists and stewards of the land we love. My dad has practiced no-till farming for 35 years. Other conservation practices are implemented on the farm: contour farming, cover crops, grassed waterways, and filter strips. Permanent pasture is reserved for soil more sensitive to erosion from wind and water. And, hay is part of the crop rotation. Utilizing ground for growing hay also helps increase organic matter and soil fertility.   

When we were renovating part of a cattle pasture, conservation work was also completed. In 2009, tile was installed in a grassed waterway of a field  that borders the pasture. The tile outlet was in a creek that meanders through the pasture. A rock chute was installed at the edge of the creek to safely guide direct surface water off the field into the creek. The slope of the creek bank was slightly reduced and rock (rip rap) was placed along the creek bank as streambank stabilization. The rip rap was used to guard against erosion from water. After installation, we seeded brome along the rock.    

It has been nine years since installation. And, the conservation practices used to protect the creek from water erosion have worked extremely well! It is quite impressive.

march 2018

Friday, May 4, 2018

Friday on the Farm

On April 13, we no-till drilled a field. We seeded the field with oats, brome, alfalfa, alsike clover, and red clover. A rate of 2 bushel of oats, 2 pounds of brome, 10 pounds of alfalfa, 1.5 pounds of alsike clover, and 3.5 pounds of red clover was used per acre. This field will be future hay ground as forage for cows. 
[  agriculture photos @ monicastevens.photoshelter.com  ]