Tag Archives: farming

Everyday, He’s Rollin’

dungbeetles

While on my walk this afternoon, I saw this guy rolling his prize across the road.

Many dung beetles, known as rollers, roll dung into round balls, which are used as a food source or brooding chambers.

Dung Beetles are good for agriculture, and serve as nature’s sanitation workers.

 

Farm Report: March 24, 2013

First, a little farm music.  Otis Gibbs dominated the jukebox this weekend, but Son Volt’s new record is coming on strong.

Cassidy had a volleyball tournament and a birthday party this weekend and Lucky Dog is recovering from a little surgery to fix his eye (you know, so he can see and all), so Delaney, Luke and I went up to the farm by ourselves on Friday night.  One of the most interesting parts of the drive out to the farm when Raina isn’t in the truck is to watch Luke transform from Felix Unger into some sort of tough as nails farm boy, courtesy of my absence of patience for the first world problems of a 7 year old boy.  I’m turning him into either a man’s man or a neurotic mess.  Only time will tell which.

We had dinner at the Burton Cafe on the way in.  There were some (other) old folks there, doing karaoke.  I’m a second time tweener (as in between middle age and old), so they aren’t sure whether to give me great grandfatherly advice or ask me to join in.  So they mostly ignore me, in polite rural fashion.  Since I generally ignore even my best friends in polite rural fashion, this works out great for me.  There’s a lady there most nights who can flat out sing.  She did a great version of Harper Valley PTA, credited both Tom T. Hall and Jeannie C. Riley, and wrapped things up by saying that Jeannie C. Riley lives in Brenham- the nearby “big city” of 15,000 souls.  I had no idea.

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Then some dude I’d never seen before got up there and absolutely killed a duet with her.  I didn’t recognize the song, but that cat can sing.  I offered to buy Delaney her very own Ranger if she’d go up there, sing an entire song and try really hard.  She passed, which says all you need to know about her feelings about singing.

We got to the place in time to take the 4 wheelers for a spin, including the one that Delaney has already wrecked.  Twice.  I don’t know which has less of a chance to remain intact- Delaney’s farm implement or Raina’s car.  Later we watched The Hobbit and a couple of American Pickers episodes, to get me ready for some haggling at the Round Top Antiques Fair.  Or at least the fringes of it that I’ll actually see.  I am deeply crowd-averse and antiquing with 30,000 or so other people along a two-lane country road is not on my bucket list.

As always, Luke and I checked the game cameras diligently.

Photos By Trail Camera

We’ve seen deer, coyotes, hogs (must kill them all before they destroy my hay field) and all manner of small mammals on the property, but nevertheless we usually get pictures only of ourselves and the guys I have working up there on various projects.

Photos By Trail Camera

We rode the 4 wheelers on Saturday morning, did a little work, made a run to town for supplies, ate some pie in Brenham (sadly we didn’t see Jeannie) and went for a walk/bike ride.

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Later we took a ride over to Dime Box.  Bought some groceries…

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And saw a colorful roadside honky tonk.

doozies

We ate dinner at the Cactus on Saturday night.  Then we hurried home and watched the most awesome Chupacabra vs the Alamo.  It was good.  I’m hoping Sasquatch vs the Eiffel Tower will be next.  I’d be torn as to who to pull for.

Through some combination of sheer force of will and random chance, Luke and I finally got a bad photo of an actual wild creature late Saturday night.  This was the basis for much celebration- and yet another camera relocation.  We see tracks almost every morning, but they must be Romulans.

Photos By Trail Camera

Today Raina, Cassidy and Lucky Dog came out for lunch at Royers, then we went to some of the antique venues that are already open.  Again, there’s no way I’ll set foot over there during the madness of the official show weekends, so this was it for me.

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Finally, one more thing happened.  It was terrifying.  Delaney behind the wheel.  Of my truck.  Fear not neighbors- only on our dirt road.

Spring Break 2013

One of the many fun places in and around Burton, TX

The new Burton Cafe annex is just one of the many fun places in and around Burton, TX

We just got back from a fun week on the farm over Spring Break 2013.  Here are a few of the highlights.

Thanks to Greg, Yvette, Evie, Aidan, Arnie, Christina, Remy, Sierra, Emerson, Kelly & Hayden for sharing some fun times with us.

Mostly Good News About Family Farms

Farmgate, one of my daily reads, reports mostly good news about the condition of family farms.

According to the 2005 Family Farm Report, most U.S. farms – 98 percent in 2003 – are family farms, defined as “operations organized as proprietorships, partnerships, or family corporations that do not have hired mangers.”

While small farms with annual sales of less than $10,000, very large farms, and non-family farms have increased in number, the number of small farms with annual sales between $10,000 and $249,999, which is where most farmers I know fall, declined.

The report also confirmed what anyone with significant farming exposure already knows:

“Small-farm households typically receive substantial off-farm income and do not rely primarily on the farms for their livelihood. Most off-farm income is from earned sources, either wage-and-salary jobs or self-employment.”

While not an entirely rosy picture, it is reassuring to read that the family farm is still alive and somewhat well in the country that has eaten at its table for hundreds of years.

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A New Daily Read for Farmers

farmgate

University of Illinois has started The Farm Gate, a farming blog. It will serve as a central location for information on agricultural topics, ranging from crop science to economics to veterinary medicine.

Here’s the Yahoo story.

I am very excited about this blog. It’s now on my daily reading list.

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Grain Silo


I took this picture of this old grain silo this afternoon in Manvel, Texas. It was built in 1905 along with four others. It is the only one still standing and will almost certainly fall over the next time a hurricane passes through the area.

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