As for me and my house we will serve the Lord....

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Milking time and crop talk

We had another visitor from Canada this week on Thursday , Ben Stobbe who who here for the Mennonite Center celebration and since Garry was over at the barn for afternoon milking we went over there.  Ben had visited the barn site several years ago with John Wiens so he was interested to see the progress from the collective barn to typical Canadian-style free stall barn with milking parlor we have now.

 I got some photos, including some of the girls milking.

Garry was wondering how late the wheat was planted last year in October, and so I was clicking through the blog from last year to see. Whenever we can't remember something, I usually have written about it, especially about field crops, so we can always check. When did the container from BC arrive in the village? Near the end of November.

The answer to wheat planting (the latest ever) was October 24th. He was wondering because this year it has been so wet they had to stop preparing the land or planting. After the rain last week we did not buy any expensive wheat seed, but he was thinking maybe they could use up the treated wheat seed in the shed. Turns out there was not much leftover after planting that last field, so they just bagged it up and put five bags away for next year.

Max was able to sell the rest of the sunflowers and get the last people who wanted seeds for their shares to pick them up, he convinced a number of people who had not picked theirs up yet to take a thousand grinva instead. Turns out the people who were getting seed and taking it to the mill in exchange for oil and mookooka (the leftover seed after crushing to feed animals) were not getting a very good deal, you could buy the same amount or more and have about 300 grivna to spend on something else! Now the other side of the shed will be empty to store more corn, as they are hoping to get a combine hired for Monday and get the rest of the corn harvested before the next fall rainstorm gets here.
Village gardens are being plowed now too

The plowing is going well, they finished plowing the two old alfalfa fields and now that it's drier have started on the corn fields that were combined last month. The were excited to discover that this year they can plow right through the stalks without burning them. Tractorist Sasha is plowing from 7 am to around 3 or 4 pm when Max's brother Artem takes over until 11 pm, so they can get more acres plowed in a day. The forecast for the next week is calling for more dry weather.

We have several shares in the same area near the barn, so it's like one big field (unfortunately we are losing another 5 hectares from it for next year). This spring it was planted in corn and most of it was combined last month.  Some of the students have been picking up fallen corn in the field near the barn for extra cash and a few of them are doing quite well at it. One day a couple of them got in trouble for picking corn off the plants that were still standing, instead of picking up the corn cobs that were knocked off the plants that did not make it into the combine; since one part of the field had plants that were still green like the corn planted three weeks later, so it will be harvested next week. Turns out that it was the place that they had not plowed last fall but had put manure on it over the winter, and worked it in in the spring so the plants there didn't die as fast as the rest of the field when the heat and dry weather killed off the corn this summer in August. Garry is thinking that with the cows milking in the barn there will be more manure to spread over the winter so they will not plow more acres there for spreading and that land will respond well to the manure again so there will be better crops again next summer.

A couple of the guys at work in the old barn this afternoon

We have less students here in the village this weekend, last week when Garry and Maria visited the church that had sent some of the boys here, they offered to send a bus to take some of the students to Kiroy Rog for the celebration of their third birthday. Garry was surprised that they left so early this morning,  at  nine am and 11 or 12 are gone until Sunday evening, everyone else is working extra shifts, but no one was were they were supposed to be this morning. Maria had taken care of the details with the people there and we did not read the email this morning.

Where there's smoke there's... 

I took these photos when I went out to feed the dogs this afternoon. I feed Bear, who's tied up, but he shares with Polo, so some days I feed them twice. I was concerned that someone might have started something burning close to the back of the barn.

But it turns out just some Ukrainians across the way cleaning up, they always burn what's left of the gardens.... fall cleanup.

Garry is off trying to buy some tires and get them put on the car today. He had a bad tire earlier in the week and last night he had to inflate it since it had become the spare a couple days ago. He had to change it on the side of the road in the dark after hitting a hole and putting a big dent in the rim of the rear driver's side tire. I had a little flashlight in my purse so I got to hold it and point it at him as the car went by him rather close since it was on that detour where the road construction has been paused for three years. We turned the corner and bang,,, flat tire. Somehow neither of us managed to grab our cell phones before leaving home for English classes. We really should remember them. Luckily we got home fine without hitting any more holes or the tire going flat.

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