Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Fall Work

Every season brings a different list of tasks, and like most other farm jobs they are time sensitive.  Last week was a good one - weather was sunny, dry and warm and the field corn was down to a moisture content that was safe to crib so Andy went at it.  He was able to get the 5 acres of field corn picked and put in the crib in three days without having to deal with either mud or breakdowns.  One for the record books.  ;-)

Our machinery is antiquated but he's comfortable with how it all functions and given our scale of production it suits us just fine.  The metal gravity wagon collects the ears the picker spits into it, then to unload it the trap door at the bottom is rolled up and they flow out - hence 'gravity' box.  Occasionally you have to climb in and kick some cobs out of the upper corners but once a few loads have slid out they all flow much better.

The ears travel up the elevator and tumble into the crib where Andy has lifted out a roof section.  Kernels that come off the ears in transit fall through a grid in the floor of the elevator, collect on a big tarp and we bag them at the end of the day.  Because they are packed so solidly in the bag there is risk of molding.  The corn is dry enough to go in the crib and continue to cure, not dry enough to be contained in a bag.  

We had just ground some corn (last year's) for the sheep so we had no immediate use for this.  Rather than see it go to waste we called a neighbor who raises boa constrictors and he was happy to take it for his livestock needs - the rats he raises for the boas.  You never know who is raising what a few doors away. He showed us a pair of babies a few years ago - gorgeous ones like these.  

Anyway, the corn is picked, stashed and equipment for that put away.  Whew!

Our old apple trees have really outdone themselves this year.  The Pound Sweets are living up to the name.

Any drops with dings or bird pecks go to the rams.  Besides being very large this year the apples have no worms.  Not one.  I'm not complaining, but it's certainly remarkable.  The Wolf River is still laden with a lot of fruit.

Apples without blemishes have been collected in buckets and turned into yummy things for the winter.  I've lost track of how many containers of applesauce I've put in the freezer.  Last Sunday was a marathon of apple handling but I can't say what it was - a good bit of the work will reappear in Christmas baskets.  :-)

I've also been working in the wool shop.   I've been sold out of dyed Cotswold curls for a while and picked a fleece with good curl character and low VM and put some toward a colorway I'm working on and some I dyed solid colors for sale in my booth at the next fiber event - Christmas on the Farm in Phelps, NY.

The curls are nice for needle felting, tail spinning and general embellishment of fiber goods.  

So there was the first week of November.  Onward!


  1. Those apples are really impressive! I planted a Wolf River from St. Lawrence Nursery, but it is still small. I hope it some day looks like yours!

  2. Boa Constrictors?!? I am never coming to your farm again :-o.

    1. None of them live here - they're just distant neighbors. He's at least 2 miles as the crow flies..... or 5 miles as the snake slithers. haha

  3. To a work is never boring and I admire the corn. Fabulous apples too! We have three trees on our new farm and have no idea what varierty they are, they will get pruned and next year we will see whats what. The curls are wonderful!