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Old 12-11-2009, 03:15 PM
 
Location: On a Slow-Sinking Granite Rock Up North
3,637 posts, read 5,272,557 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Maineah View Post
When our kids were young I grew a big family garden that provided us with all of the vegetables we needed for the entire year. I filled two freezers, a big potato bin, carrot bin, and had cabbages,squash, and pumpkins in the bulkhead too. We bought nothing but meat until spring when we replanted the spuds that had gone to seed. I had a walk behind 6 hp rototiller and a small mantis type tiller. The garden was 80 feet by 40 feet. I did not find it to be particularly hard....time consuming...yes.. but not hard to do.

Yes, it's time consuming, but it's not as time consuming as a large commercial operation like a working dairy farm.

Vegetables generally don't have to be fed and milked at Oh-dark-thirty LOL...

Growing up, my family had at least one if not 2 or 3 gardens going and we froze a lot of produce too. It was worth it to us.
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Old 12-11-2009, 03:57 PM
 
Location: Maine
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Maineah View Post
When our kids were young I grew a big family garden that provided us with all of the vegetables we needed for the entire year. I filled two freezers, a big potato bin, carrot bin, and had cabbages,squash, and pumpkins in the bulkhead too. We bought nothing but meat until spring when we replanted the spuds that had gone to seed. I had a walk behind 6 hp rototiller and a small mantis type tiller. The garden was 80 feet by 40 feet. I did not find it to be particularly hard....time consuming...yes.. but not hard to do.
It's not hard to grow all of the vegetables for a family - unless you're learning to do this in a year like we've just had. So many people are learning now that we've had to expand seedlings to a second greenhouse. This was a horrible year to learn how to do much of anything in the garden except for seeding, reseeding, seeding again, transplanting and transplanting again. I spent a lot of time this year telling people "it's not your fault". It was hard.
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Old 12-11-2009, 04:13 PM
 
Location: Maine
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I walked away and realized I said it was hard for people who are learning. It was a hard year for just about everyone. Whether you were growing vegetables, had livestock on soggy pasture or hoped to get your hay in before it fell over, it was a hard year.
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Old 12-11-2009, 04:33 PM
 
8,760 posts, read 16,133,046 times
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Originally Posted by Maine Writer View Post
I walked away and realized I said it was hard for people who are learning. It was a hard year for just about everyone. Whether you were growing vegetables, had livestock on soggy pasture or hoped to get your hay in before it fell over, it was a hard year.
I didn't bother with a garden this year. Not even a tomato. I started out to do it then changed my mind...it was just too wet. I had plants that drowned in the pots before I got to transplant them so I just said to heck with it. I can see where first timers would have been very discouraged with a year like we just had. We didn't even pick blueberries this summer as the place we go was literally under water most of the summer.
I know I made plenty of mistakes when I first started planting gardens. Planting too early or second crops in too late, too much or too little fertilizer, trying to hand pick potato beetles off the plants rather than using a good insecticide, all kinds of mistakes. Eventually you do learn and it's pretty satisfying to have a cellar full of food. It's nice to know I COULD do it again if I had to it just isn't necessary for us now with just the two of us here. For us it's just as easy to go to the grocery store every two weeks.
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Old 12-11-2009, 04:38 PM
RHB
 
1,096 posts, read 1,834,829 times
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Originally Posted by reloop View Post
I have also made a point once to ask one of these people (who made similar comments to me) just exactly where in "h" he thinks his food is going to come from if farmers simply "get another job." It was followed, as I recall, by a snarky name something like "dips....!" but that was in my less "kinder and gentler" days LOL...
I was thinking it, but to have let it out of my mouth, would have gotten me fired....
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Old 12-12-2009, 05:28 AM
 
1,297 posts, read 3,055,717 times
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Originally Posted by reloop View Post
Yes, it's time consuming, but it's not as time consuming as a large commercial operation like a working dairy farm.

Vegetables generally don't have to be fed and milked at Oh-dark-thirty LOL...

Growing up, my family had at least one if not 2 or 3 gardens going and we froze a lot of produce too. It was worth it to us.
O dark Thirty huh....does 00:30 AM count? That is when we start milking.

In order to get done for the milk truck that has to come every morning, we have to start at just a little past midnight for our morning shift. That gets done about 10 AM. So add a little post parlor clean up time and you are looking at getting out at 11 AM. Of course in an hour or so you got to do the pre-milking preparation for the afternoon milking, so while there is some down time in between, it means the farm is pretty much milking 24/7/365.

Another factor to keep in mind too is, when you got animals you have the problems of growing crops for them too. So you have all the science that goes into growing excellent crops of haylage and corn, and all that it takes to do that, including soil testing, CNMP's, tillage, harvesting and storage.

Then you have all the science that abounds from getting the animals to absorb all those crops, from proper mixtures, to probiotics, to protein levels to ration ratios. That is a science unto itself. And then there is the whole issue of taking care of the animals. You don't have to be a vet, but it sure is expensive if your not. (LOL)

All in all, adding the element of animals eating what amounts to a giant garden, really adds to the complexity of everything. But we continue to do it because we love what we do.
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Old 12-12-2009, 06:27 AM
 
Location: Maine
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What veterinary care do you have to learn? How do you deal with feet?
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Old 12-13-2009, 05:16 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Maine Writer View Post
What veterinary care do you have to learn? How do you deal with feet?
You don't have to learn any if you don't want to be profitable, but certainly the more you learn and the more you are willing to do, the more profit you will make.

You are not going to make much money if every time a cow gets milk fever you call a vet in to do the IV, or you call a vet because the sheep aborted and got retained afterbirth. I did that this week...nothing better in the world then reaching up inside a hemoraging sheep's vagina in the middle of a very cold day, but for ever vet call, that is 1 lamb you lose in profit too. Its just part of farming...albeit not a very pleasant one. Of course doing preganancy checks, doing artificial insemination on cows, giving all manner of injections, and physical extractions at birth are just part of the deal.

I am not saying to start out you need to be a vet and instantly know this stuff, but before people get animals and think they will make profit from them, they have to realize that every time they call a vet they should be learning to do that task, and to have medicine on hand so next time they don't have to call a vet. You certainly can't be squeamish.

The one point I think is important that I don't think enough people do is to get autopsies done on animals. We do that to any questionable death and it has lead to a very low mortality rate as we lost a few calves and lambs to selenium deficiency. Now every lamb or calf is given selenium at birth, as well as probiotics to get them up and going faster.
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Old 12-13-2009, 06:49 AM
 
Location: Maine
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Quote:
I am not saying to start out you need to be a vet and instantly know this stuff, but before people get animals and think they will make profit from them, they have to realize that every time they call a vet they should be learning to do that task, and to have medicine on hand so next time they don't have to call a vet. You certainly can't be squeamish.
I used to be squeamish. One day the vet said, "Pay attention. You can't afford to keep calling me and I don't have time to keep coming out here." She taught me a lot. I wasn't in it for profit (horses at that moment) but it adds up fast.

I think if you have time to keep telling us what you do as a livestock farmer people will keep reading. There isn't a lot of conversation but this has been read 449 times. Someone's interested.

I've never had to deal with a cow's feet. They either didn't stay here long enough to need to be trimmed or took care of themselves naturally. I have no idea how we'd have managed that.
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Old 12-13-2009, 06:57 AM
 
Location: Corinth, ME
2,712 posts, read 4,922,129 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Maine Writer View Post

I think if you have time to keep telling us what you do as a livestock farmer people will keep reading. There isn't a lot of conversation but this has been read 449 times. Someone's interested.
Yes indeed.
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