Fall 2020

Hello and welcome to our web site and our farm.  Sorry it has been awhile since I wrote a new piece but here goes.     The summer slipped away really fast after that cold wet start. Things didn’t tolerate that kind of weather very well.  We did have a good calving season and they have really grown.  About 40 altogether.  The turkeys were not so good.  Only have a quarter of them to sell this fall.  Most died within 2 weeks of getting them in July.  Not sure why.  Once turkeys get to be a month or so old they are sturdy but until then they are very fragile.  Put them out to pasture at 8 weeks and they now weigh 15 to 20 pounds and will reach close to 35 by Thanksgiving.  At least the toms will.  The hens will be a little smaller.  They about knock me down when I go to feed them.  Can reach over 3.5 feet to get into the bucket.  Hard to walk with them surrounding you.   Geese and ducks tried mightily to raise some babies but something happened each time before the eggs could hatch.  Better success next year.     The chickens for eating did fair.  Lost a lot of the early groups and thought I lost all 150 this last time.  They live in hoop houses in the field next to the barn and we had that hard wind and rain on September 27.  It caught the hoop house and skidded it over the chickens the sailed it onto the hay bales nearby. I was very glad to see my son and his son come home.  They got on the 4 wheeler and lifted the hoop house off the bales, pulled it back to where the chickens were and sat it over them.  Of course, they were soaking wet and cold. The guys got the torpedo heater from the shop and put it on the chickens.  After an hour or so they began to look more alive but I felt sure we’d lose a couple of dozen or so.  Anyway, we left the heater on them all night and as they got warmer they moved further from it and in the morning there was only ONE dead chickie.  We will process them October 17 and some are sold but not all.     The garden did well for being planted so late.  Have canned much and eaten all the melons we can hold.  Gave many away.     The fall looks promising.  We were able to put up plenty of hay.  The cows and calves are fat. We have sold some of them to people who want good grass finished beef.  The last one we slaughtered would likely grade high choice to prime.  Some really good, well marbled steaks.  We are milking two Jerseys for our use but will open to the public a little later. These cows had never been milked so had to teach them the ropes.  Both are doing really well both to hand milking or machine milking     After Thanksgiving AJ and I will be much less busy as we will only be milking and not all the other chores.     Of course, the Holidays begin then and there is much to do for them, even though it’s mostly for family.

Will close and hopefully write again next month.      Virginia   Missouri Gems-Toole Farms         www.toolefarms.com