Making Hay
Week of March 17th, 2002 | The weather was warmer. Spring is just around corner.

Dad cutting up a tree.

Dad cutting up a tree.

Happy Saint Patrick's Day! Make sure you wear green! Spring is just around the corner. It didn't snow, like predicted, and the temperatures are rising. I hope this continues because I love working in the field during planting season! That will be real soon, too.

Monday, Dad and Sammy had to move hogs around in the hog floors. This way, the two cattle yards will be empty and the cattle can come home. The pastures are becoming muddy and there is no grass growing. We have to bring the cattle home so the grass will have a break and grow.

Tuesday, Dad moved the cattle home from the pastures. To do this, he had to shut all gates and leave the cattle lane open. Then, Dad put a bale of hay on the loader. This way, the cattle would be interested in the hay and want to follow the tractor while it was driving home in reverse. This brings most of the herd home. Usually, there are more cows in the back end of the pasture. We have to chase them with an ATV, but we still do not have one yet, so Dad had to use the tractor. After the herd is home, Dad had to go back to the pasture. He brought all three cattle feeders home. They are placed in the cattle yard so we can still feed them hay.

Dad's birthday was Wednesday! He turned 50 years old. Mom didn't have time to bake a cake, but made brownies and a wonderful supper! She did surprise him last weekend and had an overnight getaway planned for the two of them at the Hotel Winneshiek in Decorah. It's a very nice place and the food is great! Yes, dad is getting older (really over the hill) but can still farm!! HA! HA!

That morning, he and Sammy sold 5 hogs and 2 sows. Dad hauls these hogs in our livestock trailer. The hogs go to Charles City, Iowa. From there, Dad went to St. Ansgar, Iowa, to pick up 3 1/2 ton of premix. Premix is a feed ingredient we always use and sell for hog feed. I helped unload it. Dad placed down three pieces of wood on the bottom of the trailer and placed the feed on them. We were impressed and thought we don't need to build a roller to roll feed back and forth in the trailer. We got all of the feed out easily.

Thursday, Dad cleared more trees in the grove that were down. Dad has to cut the trees into logs that the tractor can move around safely. We have to watch for the good logs. These will be cut into wood. The wood will be stored in our woodshed and will be used for sow huts, gates, fences, repairs, and anything else that involves wood. Also on Thursday, Dad separated 25 pigs from the hoop building and put them in a barn room. They will go on a special diet because they are not healthy.

Friday, Dad worked in the grove. That afternoon, my class and I held a matinee for our musical, "Painting the Fence", a short version of Tom Sawyer. My friend was Tom and I was Huckleberry Finn. Dad went to this performance, but will also go to our public performance Monday night.

Saturday, Dad and I finished the grove project. We cleared all of the brush and trees that we needed to clear. The ground is rough, but we can't level it until the spring, because right now, it is frozen. Also this spring, we will plant trees in this spot for a windbreak and for a beautiful boundary line from our neighbor's field and our yard. That evening, Dad, Sammy, and I sorted hogs. This way, the hogs will be sorted and ready to load Sunday morning.

Saturday night, Mom, Dad, and I were watching public TV. They are running their annual Festival to collect money for continued support of public television broadcasting. Our favorite program is The Red Green Show. Two of the cast members from the show were in Iowa at the TV station helping to raise funds. When we saw them on TV, we decided to call in a pledge and ask if we could talk to one of the actors. Dad and I both talked to Winston Rothschild. He plays a sewage serviceman on the show. He's so funny. I asked him on the phone how much sewage he hauls in a year. He laughed and replied, "Thousands of gallons." After talking to him on the phone, we were watching on the TV screen to see if he would share his phone call with the audience viewers. He sure did! He told the viewers that he received a phone call and was asked how much sewage he hauled! That was so awesome! If any of you have ever watched The Red Green Show on public TV, you'll know what I'm talking about. This is a great show. It's so funny. Dad and I watch it all the time. Mom likes it, too.

Farm Fact: Most of our farmland is surrounded by 66-foot wide shelterbelts and boundary. These shelterbelts provide windbreaks, wildlife habitat, and pollution control.

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