Tuesday, September 2, 2008


HAPPY NEW YEAR? Sure I know it sounds kind of strange to consider a happy new year on Labor Day. Especially as you view the "dust devil" whirling in the parched field of corn stubble. Every fall on farms all around the area the beginning of September is in many ways the start of a new year. Harvest begins, fairs are over, school buses run again, ospreys leave and geese return. On St. Brigid's Farm we too are excited about the new year because there is a lot going on right now preparing for fall, winter, and years ahead.

Corn silage was started early and required many many more acres than usual because of the dry weather and low crop yields. Our neighbor, Roy Crow, offered additional acreage for harvest and another neighbor, 4-Ms (Miller Bros.) did a splendid job filling the silo for storage of winter feed.

Reseeding of selected pastures is another job appropriate for this time of year. With this summer's drought and significant weed pressure from a pesky fellow called horse nettle we have decided to reseed 16 acres on the west side of the farm. This gives us the opportunity to spread manure slurry on this acreage prior to the seeding. Donnie Pool from the Biospread Company does a great job doing this task with his specialized equipment. Unfortunately we are unable to plow this ground as planned because the soil is too dry. Sometime of the next month we'll get a soaking rain and then we'll be onto that job.

Construction of a new heifer and steer barn for winter time housing by Triple-H Construction Co. adds to the bustle around St. Brigid's Farm these days. During previous winters as we bring in from the pastures nearly 200 animals our space for resting, feeding and care of the herd is VERY crowded. A new barn will make the care and feeding of the entire herd more convenient for us, more pleasant for the animals, and preserve the pastures from over winter damage. Earl and his crew from Triple-H should have this facility finished before the beginning of October.

Lastly, there is a repeating seeding project on St. Brigid's Farm. That is the reseeding of field #1, our field of warm & cool season annuals. In the summer we grow grazing sorghum and in the fall/winter we grow oats and triticale. Kevin Miller is seen here doing the dusty job of discing the sorghum and today's plans are to have it reeded and ready for the tropical storm I just read about forcasted to arrive here Saturday! IF this holds true it will be a welcome relieve to our dormant pastures that are not irrigated and to the daily task of moving the traveling gun irrigator on the precious east side of field #3.