Carlyon Family Blog

The Nature of Farming August 8, 2015 09:45

Hi everyone, Rod, the dad here, writing my first blog post.

Farming and Ranching is about raising food. It relies on what nature provides. Sunshine, soil, and water are the foundation. The result is that the business can focus on what it can manage which is the soil but relies on the “weather” to provide the rest. This summer has seen plenty of sunshine but significantly less rain than we normally get. In our 26 year tenure of the land this is the second time it has been this dry.  It brings uncertainty and the need for more planning and thought on what to do. We are thus busy trying to keep looking ahead and making good choices today the may impact us six months to a year away. We have managed the land to be sustainable in our tenure. The result is that the dryness has been less impactful. We have trees planted for shelterbelts and keeping the forest has helped keep the snow on the land and not blown away and as well it reduces the wind during those hot days resulting in less water evaporation off the land.

It is interesting to observe nature on our farm during this dry time. We have built and installed a number of bird houses across our land. Some in open areas and some more sheltered. They have been used and occupied by a number of species. Sometimes by someone you did not plan for. A couple of years ago a squirrel enlarged the access hole and set up house! Back to this year; they have been used as normal. For many, the mosquito is their food source, which is why we have the bird houses. It results in fewer irritants for the livestock. I am not sure what the birds are enjoying this year but the nests are full of young. The larger species that we have purposely provided forest for are also doing well. I have not seen any twins this year but have seen the moose and deer with their young. Last night in a grassy area we not graze I just about stepped on a young fawn. It was very new as it was small and wobbly as it ran to the cover of the forest. The mom was not seen but I bet she was watching. The beavers seem to be okay as they have built a strong dam that seems to be water proof as the creeks are down to a trickle but the dam is full. Any critters that eat grass hoppers are getting fat. We have a significant number of “hoppers”. It will take time but nature will take its course. We see various birds in the fields on the ground hopping around get their fill. In the scat (manure) of the coyotes and foxes you can see the remnants of grasshoppers as well. Flies and wasps seem to being doing well. We have all stumbled into a wasp nest this year and were quickly notified with a sting that we were too close!

We currently have our freezer well stocked with beef and chicken products for you. There are lots of excellent choices available for the BBQ or something for the oven. Call, email or order online to get a product you can trust, know where it came from and support a local family business.


Life of a Farmer June 19, 2015 13:21

Life of a Farmer

I was told it was my turn to write the next blog – so it is me ‘the mom’ Janet following after all three of the girls have posted a blog in the past few months.

I hope this time finds you enjoying our spring/summer weather. Here at the farm, things are going well, with the exception of a severe lack of rain!! Our pastures and hay crops are really hurting, as are many of the grain crops in the neighborhood. This problem is by no means local as most of Alberta and Saskatchewan are way below their usual precipitation for the season so far. It is hard to comprehend what this may mean for us and every other farmer out there!

Shortage of feed is a major immediate concern as everyone is struggling to line up alternate feeds for the coming months and for winter feeding. We keep praying for a decent rain to come down on our fields!

In the other day to day stuff, we are getting close to our first round of chicken butchering, and getting ready for our market on June 26th. This is a busy time as we try to keep our sales list updated and line up helpers for catching chickens and then 2 days later again for the sale! The day after the finished birds leave the farm we get our next batch of day old chicks! So there is only one night without chickens! Not much of a break. They are so cute when they arrive, but boy do they change fast as they get ready to head outdoors at around 3 weeks old.

The turkeys are doing great- except for a darn fox got in a few nights ago! He managed to dig under the fence, past the electric wire that runs along the bottom and then kill off a few of our lovely birds! Our ‘guard’ dog is getting lazy and we need to get him back in his game. But that is the hazards of raising the birds outdoors so they can eat all the grass they want.

Life of a Farmer