blowing in the wind
… how refreshing.
As the first autumn storm passes and leaves start to cover the ground, I come to think of all the things I haven't written about since my last post back in January. Oh well, who cares about an eight month gap in a personal blog … few cares about anything anywhere anyway these days.
Anyway, to keep the timeline somewhat intact, here follows a few glimpses from the past few months.
refreshing this old farm
The plan is to upgrade our small dairy-farm, and run it more or less as we used to until a few years back. For how long, and at what level, depends on so many factors that there's no point to even speculate right now. But, as long as the animals and we have a good life, why quit?
The decision to start up again was taken in April this year, knowing all too well that there is much to fix and/or modify both
indoors and outdoors in order to make all work as we want. Beyond obligatory rules and regulations, we have our own set of premises for how
to run this farm of ours.
The animals set the basic timeline during the upstart, and if all goes to plan we will be back in production by the end of 2019.
Five heifers entered the farm in late May, and on the picture above they are out on the pasture reserved for young calves. Being five to six months old when they arrived they had no previous experience with outdoor life, but within days they had it all under control and feasted on lush grass.
On the picture above the heifers have gathered around the waterpost, that is strategically placed to serve calves on pasture and inside the inner enclosure with the old calf-housing, and in time also cows passing by the pen on the path between the larger pastures. For obvious reasons these was the first structures to be restored.
An extremely dry summer this year caused big problems for farmers all over the southern part of Norway. Statistically it
hadn't been this dry for so long since the summer of 1947, while last year (2017) it was unusually wet all summer.
Too much or too little rain in growth- and harvest-seasons tend to cause problems on any farm, and not all farmers are prepared to take too many bad years in a row and pull through unscathed.
We had acceptable growth and amounts of grass on our hillside farm this year, despite the drought. However, we had to fence off big parts of what was designated as pasture, because archeologic digs linked to a (potential) future road project was thrown at us a week or so after the heifers arrived. As pasture-grass is either eaten fresh, or will get lost, loss of grass to the dig was significant.
Although the actual digs was finished in a few days, the long, enforced, wait ahead of the dig threw all our plans for the
summer out the window. Two months lost in top season seriously disrupted our work, used up resources, and pushed our plans out in time.
(And, the entire archeologic dig ended up being for nothing, as those responsible for the road-project have since discarded that particular route. A total waste of our time and energy.)
As the actual route for that future road still hasn't been decided, the archeologic digs on our farm and in the wider area continue. This means more delays, change of plans, and added work for us in the coming monts as we try to prepare our farm for the coming winter.
Good thing we did not invest in more and/or older animals this year, or else we could be in serious trouble and not be able to feed the herd over the winter without buying silage and hay at astronomical prices in competition with larger farms. If the coming winter turns out more or less like an average winter for our area, we should do fine with what we have been able to harvest this summer.
The storm named “Knud” passed our area in the evening of September 21, and left us without power for more than 24 hours as trees that fell over high-voltage lines had to be cleared and lines repaired. Apart from the inconvenience we haven't observed any real damage on our farm, and the animals – including two farm-cats – are doing fine.
The loss of power delayed the writing and release of this posting, but that's all.
last rev: 07.oct.2018