~Winter Photos~

 

Snow plow clears our road!  Thanks Ron Vlaminck…..neighbor to the south.

Winter is hard on the farm and I think this year may be shaping up to be like THE LONG WINTER!  It’s been terribly cold lately but the hogs and other livestock are doing well.  It’s hard to believe though when you are out in the snow and wind.  We’re actually farrowing right now and the piglets are staying warm in the huts, thank God!   Videos coming soon!

All done!!

 

A cold rural mail box.

Dad and Mario discuss the snow removal plans!

Pigs are entertained by the snow removal.

Snow removal is a big job on the farm.  Just when we open everything up we’re back at it again due to the winds and more snow!  Chores are a bit easier when the walking paths and areas are open.  A load of Organic Prairie pigs will be shipped on Thursday and we don’t want the truck to get stuck!

Reece feeding the bred mothers in very cold air!

 

While livestock are fed and yards plowed, Fred and Bella prepare the bacon for smoking.

Barrel of bacon ready to be smoked.

The weather doesn’t bother our sheep all dressed in wool!

 

Chief wanders down to see the snow plow coming!

We should fire up the pizza oven…………..

 

More snow removal by Mario….as Maggie asks him to not shear too low for next summer.

We make our hills on the prairie.

This should melt in time for next Christmas! Merry Christmas 2018!

 

Winter cheers from the flower pot!

That’s all for now.  We will be uploading some videos very soon, so stay tuned.   I have to go out and wrap the bacon!  Thankfully we filled the propane tanks to run a bit of heat in the butcher shop.  

Life is good down on the farm.  Yes it’s very good but by no means easy!!

 

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~Lot’s Of Apples~

 

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There is a ton of cider in the freezer now! In fact so much that it’s hard finding room for the 6 deer, now Summer Sausage!  I am guessing when it was all done there were around 40 gallons.  These photos were taken in October sometime.  There’s a lot more going on our farm then just the hogs!

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The weather has turned very cold here in SW Minnesota.  Our home is warm though, with all the baking my girls are doing!  Happy Thanksgiving to everyone. 

Life is good, down on the farm! 

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~Piglet Count and More~

 

Aren’t we just darling?

Weanlings enjoying the sunshine!

We just finished weaning the last of the summer/fall farrowing group.  Over all everything went well and we are pleased with the numbers.  There are 364 weanlings alive today!  The chores will get a little bit easier as we consolidate new groups in the new South Slope building.  That’s the warmest building on the farm right now.  They need to get off to a good start and eat a lot to grow good, strong and healthy.

Young butcher hogs hanging out in the very cold air.

Fred is kept busy grinding feed many nights after work.  Lately it’s been so cold; I don’t know how he can stand it!  But….. he is doing what he loves and that’s farming!

Fred grinding feed at night.

The new Hereford and Hereford cross boars are being put to the test on our new gilts.  Let’s just say they have a lot to learn!

A very shy Hereford cross Berkshire boar.

The weanling piglets have all been de-wormed with the garlic concoction.  This was a very time consuming chore until we decided to mix it in much larger batches.  It’s super important keeping parasites down at a very early age.

Sheep eating their feed laced with a strong de-worming treatment.

The other day we de-wormed our sheep flock with a similar garlic concoction as was given to the piglets.   First we tried feeding a full dose in a single feeding of grain and they were turning up their noses to it!  We then decided to half-dose it in the rams feed which worked much better.  Methods are constantly changing on the farm.  It’s a life time of learning by trial and error with a large dose of perseverance.  We pray a lot!! 

Rest in peace Rowdy. We loved this loyal and faithful friend.  Missing him so much…..He had a heart of pure GOLD.

There’s so much more to farming than meets the eye.  You don’t just “slop the hogs” and walk away.  Observation is so important.  If you are not spending time doing this you will miss so much.  Animals can’t talk and tell us humans how they feel.  Preventing disease through good nutrition is key.  We’re only three years into Organic hog production and it’s a new learning experience pretty much every day.  Life is good down on the farm!

 

 

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~Happy Fall!~

 

Happy fall from Cotto and her 11 piglets!! 🙂 They’re just 4 weeks old and having a blast playing  in and around their “Dome Hut” made from the base of a recycled wind turbine wing!  

We’re all relieved that farrowing is now finished until the next farrowing in January! It  all went pretty well, thanks be to God!!! 🙂

We’ll be the doing the first winter farrowing since producing organic hogs for Organic Prairie this Jan., so that should be interesting! A challenge for sure, since none of our buildings are insulated! I hope that it won’t be too cold!!!!

Life is never boring down on the farm!

 

 

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~Callens Farm Photos~

Fall has arrived here on the farm and the cool weather is reminding us that it won’t be too long before snow starts to fly! We have been canning and freezing produce from the gardens and fruit trees as they ripen.

Fred and Mario renovating 4 different pens in the long barn.

Building a pool for the farrowing gilts & sows.

Salami cooling herself in one of the pools.

This used cement mixer made fixing an old building much easier!

Organic Farm…Do Not Spray!

Sweet Sixteen Apple tree is providing plenty of fruit this year. State Fair is better though and we consumed those apples in August.

State fair apples harvested back in August!

A good apple year means plenty of apple pie filling!

Beautiful cabbages were just bagged yesterday as Sauer Kraut. Yum!

Some of our recently harvested garden produce.

 

A sample of Mario’s cider he has been pressing lately all by himself!!

 

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Fred and Bella moving the calf out to a paddock with the larger steers.

 

Our milk cow, Autumn.

Chief finds a cool spot among the Echinacea’s.

Some of the Jersey steers.  December and January born, we have already sold 8 for specialty butcher.

 

Filling the Jerseys water tank.

We sold these Targhee bucks and they now live in SD and near the Twin Cities.

Fred and Kallie, sitting on the old arena fence.  Sweet!

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Laying cement for a grain bin.

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Starting to level the cement.

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Almost finished!

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Moving the bin onto the cement pad.  Not so easy considering, we had just received nearly 6 inches of rain.

Life is good, down on the farm!

 

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~Late Summer Farrowing~

 

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We started farrowing in the middle of August and won’t be finished until October 6th!

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The miracle of birth never gets old!

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You can hear the crickets as the piglets nurse on their mamma below.

 

 

 

Bavarian with her 19 piglets!

Silvana feeding the sows.

Marisa getting ready to help process the 3 day old piglets.

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Plenty of night shift watch but in the end it pays off.   Approximately 254 piglets are on 24 mamma’s right now and we’re praying the next 14 sows and gilts farrow out nicely as well!

In between all of the farrowing we managed to process a lot of canned goods. Life is good, down on the farm!

 

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~One Farm Day~

 

More green beans!!!

Here are some photos of a recent day on our small farm.  These don’t include all of the work that is involved in morning and evening chores.  This family raises some of the best pork this side of Heaven.  Organic Valley / Organic Prairie is  a company with integrity and the best tasting food and beverage line in the world!!!!   Even if you’re not into Organics, the flavor alone is enough to have you hooked. 

https://www.organicprairie.com/   

Farm breakfast created with love for my family.  Organic Prairie sausage stuffed burritos. Great fuel for the day!

 

Not sure if we have enough beans. Ha ha  That is a tank!

 

The tomatoes are all tied up.  Maggie did the pounding and I tied them.  Hard to keep up with the weeds in between rains.

 

The sheep are moved to another paddock.

 

Mario in the morning, building A-Frames for the pigs.

 

Feeding garden treats to the girls!

 

The wine was checked, mixed and fed! And…..later moved to the butcher shop.  So far there are 30 gallons of vino brewing!!

Slicing the salami to package for lunches.

 

Basil harvested and washed, ready for the Pesto the girls requested.

 

Picked the large zucchini which will have to be made into bread and stew!  Too much rain.

 

Started the mozz cheese.

 

Made fresh Pesto pasta, yum!

 

The mozzarella was finished.

 

Bottled the Choke cherry juice from the steamer.

 

Flowers watered and weeded.

 

Started making Choke cherry jelly and syrup.

 

Fred  and Mario fixed a building the sows were pushing off of the old foundation.

 

Time for chores, I’m hungry people.

 

Too cute not to post. Probably hiding from the flies!

Down on the farm, life is good by golly. Looking forward to a camping trip soon!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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