It’s November!

The weekend Farm Report comes to us from Ben!

Have you noticed the price of dogfood lately?? Hokey Smokes. I’m sorry dogs, you’re not getting the fancy stuff you used to get. Partially because it’s not even available, and partially because I’m not paying $60/ bag for dog food. Jeepers. I was shopping and the dogs end up with more treats than we get.

Egg production is coming up! The new ladies are laying eggs. The eggs are a little small yet, but that will improve in the next month or so. And the girls don’t seem to have figured out *where* to lay eggs. Some on the ground in this corner, some over there in that corner. A few in these nest boxes, a few in those nest boxes, and three more back in that corner. At least they’re laying.

I put the back wall on the pen the other day. I take it off for air circulation in the summer. Back on to stop the drafts in winter.

The weather has sure been good for harvesting and making corn stalk bales (for bedding. See header photo.) Haven’t gotten my corn out yet; I read a report that said about 85% of corn is harvested in SE MN. Yeah, driving around, there’s not much standing out there yet. And not much I can do about it. Corn isn’t so sensitive to moisture and weather changes (barring 60mph winds or hail) but snow on the ground is OK. So, the neighbors will get it when they get it. They have a bunch to get on the farm next to ours too and once I see them there, that will take 2 or 3 days, then they’ll get mine in a day or two. If the weather is still holding, I’ll have the co-op spread more lime on the fields that need it and if the weather is STILL holding, I’ll get some chisel plowing done.

A lot of corn got hit with a fungus called ‘Tar Spot’ this year.

You can see it as the black spots on the leaves. From what I’ve read, excessive moisture this summer caused the corn plant to become infected with crown and stalk rots, which then made it susceptible to tar spot. The tar spot affects photosynthesis, and the plant dies before the kernels reach maturity. There are fungicide sprays for it, which I may have to use next year, but that’s another expense, too. And I’ve been saying my corn ears look pretty good this year, so until it gets harvested and I can see what the yield / acre is, I’m not sure how much damage it caused.

When I had the beans harvested, I asked the co-op to mail the check to me. Took 2 weeks to go 25 miles! They told me it went in the mail on October 11th. I didn’t receive it until the 27th. And it was postmarked the 11th, and it didn’t show up in my ‘USPS Informed Delivery’ email. So where was it for 2 weeks?? You can believe I won’t ask them to mail the corn check. I got approved for a loan for next years crop inputs. I haven’t even paid off this year’s yet and I’m ordering stuff for next year. That’s how it goes. We’re not rich, we just have good credit.

Rosencrantz and Guildenstern have begun to mingle!

They were out drinking water when I went to do chores and when they saw me, they went back in the pen (I thought). I was gonna chase them back out and force them to be mingling, but they weren’t in the pen. And I found them out back on their own! And they sort of crossed paths with the older ducks but didn’t actually interact. The next day they almost seemed eager to get out of their pen and they were hanging out with the big boys. Atta way kids!

One of the new guineas spent a night in the coop with the chickens.

The chickens and guineas spend most of the daytime over in the lilac bushes.

I don’t know where the ducks go at night. We used to have a bunch that laid right behind the house. That was OK as there was shelter and you’d think protection from varmints. But this batch hasn’t done that.

Remember the time changes Sunday!

What have you stopped buying? Why? Which item do you miss the most?

63 thoughts on “It’s November!”

  1. Ugh, I know it Ben! We’re maybe not buying as much dog food as you are, but with 5 dogs, we buy enough. Dog food and cat food are up. My mom loves to treat all of the dogs to a milk bone now and then, but those have sky-rocketed, too. Glad your corn is doing well!

    Liked by 4 people

  2. I’ve cut back on bison because of the cost of everything else.
    Too bad because today is National Bison Day. They are the National Mammal.
    I sorta miss premium cable TV.

    Liked by 6 people

    1. I was interested to see that bison have been reintroduced to a preserve in our area. Here’s part of an article in today’s Pioneer Press: ” A herd of American Plains bison now grazes at the Spring Lake Park Reserve in Dakota County as part of a larger effort to reintroduce the beasts to the diminished prairies of Minnesota.

      The park, on the Mississippi River northwest of Hastings, joins a handful of locations in Minnesota, such as Blue Mounds State Park near Luverne, Minneopa State Park near Mankato and the Belwin Conservancy outside Afton, in hosting a bison herd.

      “It’s going to be really exciting to watch them, learn about them and see the impact they have on the 160 acres of prairie that’s in the park,” Tom Lewanski, natural resources manager for Dakota County, told the Pioneer Press last year.”

      Liked by 7 people

      1. Renee and I both grew up near BlueMounds Park. A restaurant near that park was the location of my grandparents’ 60th wedding anniversary. The window looked out over the park. It is a beautifully desolate patch of the Great Plains that allows my imagination to put myself in a covered wagon, bumping towards some version of freedom out there.

        Liked by 6 people

        1. My best friend lived on a farm close to
          Blue Mounds Park, and we would climb over a fence on the back side of the park and climb on the rocks and eat lunch under the trees growing out of the sides of the rocky hills. The rocks are pinky red in color. It is called the Blue Mounds because of how the hills look from a distance.

          Liked by 5 people

  3. Rise and Shine, Baboons,

    I can’t think of much I have stopped buying, except, of course, the tortuous pantyhose invented by sadists. But that is not about cost, it is about not twisting myself into the things. I do not miss them even a little. It must be 20 years since I even wore them. They should be lined up next to the corset and Chinese bound feet as symbols of women’s fashion that asked too much from women.

    What I gave up during the pandemic, and that I missed very much, was travel. Getting on an airplane and going somewhere for a week or so was such a pleasure, despite the decline of wire travel comfort. We got up very early to get on our 6:30am flight to Phoenix. The flight was smooth as silk, and quiet. It gives me a feeling of “the good old days.”

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Yes, a few times. Very tasty but definitely doesn’t taste like beef (or chicken!) If you like venison, you’ll probably like elk. Supposedly very nutritious too, IIRC.

      We had elk farmers just north of town years ago that raised them and sold the meat. They also gave tours and hosted a corn maze in the fall. Nice folks. Wonder what happened to them. For all I know, they might still be there raising elk.

      C in O

      Liked by 5 people

      1. I wonder, though, whether commercially raised elk would have the same diet as wild elk, and as a result taste different? Same thing with bison. Pretty sure that wild turkeys taste quite different than ones raised for their meat.

        Liked by 3 people

  4. Glad Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are figuring things out.

    With Daughter off to college, shopping in general is different. Shopping to cook for one is more of a challenge than I might have expected. Not that I am used to cooking large meals, but Husband liked to have leftovers – so if I were to cook the things I used to make the way I used to make them, I would be eating that dish for a solid week. On the other hand, cooking for just me means I can try and experiment with meals that the other two might not like (picky eaters, both of them). I don’t know that I have cut back for economic reasons (yet), just because with only me I pick and choose differently.

    Also – I can buy smaller amounts of better ice cream because I don’t need to share. 😁

    Liked by 4 people

  5. Gave up buying fast food years ago. Mainly for health reasons, but also because when we travel, I want to eat at a local place and experience the “culture.” Don’t miss it at all.

    I rarely buy CDS anymore. Already have too many and don’t listen to the vast majority of what I own. My wife finally gave up buying lottery tickets when she retired. I’m impressed that she’s shown such restraint over the past few years with all the billion-dollar jackpots there have been lately. I’ve never bought a lottery ticket or a scratch-off ticket. Got five or ten as a gift once. I think I won a dollar.

    Stopped buying Christmas gifts years ago too. No kids so it was easy for us. Once their kids became adults, the rest of the family also decided we didn’t need to waste all that time shopping only to give someone a gift card for their favorite store and then receive a gift card for our favorite store!

    Instead, we make donations to charity each Christmas time in place of gifts. Everyone’s much happier and more in the Christmas spirit since we made the change.

    Chris in Owatonna

    Liked by 4 people

  6. I can’t think of anything I’ve completely stopped buying, but my “egg lady”, where I’ve been getting farm brown eggs (like Ben’s) for $1 a dozen, suddenly has more demand, so I’ve started having to buy in stores occasionally – yikes! And I’m shopping around to find the cheapest butter, etc.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Can’t say that we have given up anything because of price. We don’t live extravagantly, not by a long shot, but at my age I really don’t feel like denying myself anything I really want if I can afford it. What’s more, I don’t feel like I need to justify it to anyone.

    Most of what I miss are the casual get-togethers with friends and the things that I’d spontaneously do before COVID. I wouldn’t say that I live in constant fear, because that isn’t the case, but I’m certainly more aware than ever before of my vulnerability.

    I’m currently sporting a scraggly ponytail because I don’t want to risk going to a hair salon where I have no idea who my stylist might have been exposed to. Simple things that I’d never give a second thought, are now things I carefully consider before acting.

    Liked by 5 people

  8. Replies to yesterday:
    Ben : TUESDAY 13th,oh man! Not saying another word, don’t want to scare you.

    PJ : I would love to send pictures, but don’t know how. If I rustle some up, perhaps I could send some direct to you, for you to ingeniously post?

    Barbara : fun stuff about the paella day coming up.

    Linda : ha, you should see the wounds I got from Meep last night, trying to mend this strange cardboard cat bed belonging to the upstairs cats.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Better yet, Fenton, if you figure out how to send the photos (ask Isaiah, I’m sure he knows), send them to either Renee or vs, they both have the power to post them if appropriate. Either way, I’d love to see some pix.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I never thought of that,of course Isaac could do it. Only thing is, this blog is part of my secret life. Secrets shared with thousands of people, but not my family.

        Liked by 3 people

        1. Have him show you how you send a photo to, say, your sister Jane, and he’ll be none the wiser that you’re going to take and send some different photos to others using the skills that he has taught you.

          Liked by 1 person

        2. And if this is part of your secret life, who would care? We are a bunch of aging Midwesterners that talk all day on line. About not much.

          Liked by 3 people

        3. Actually, I haven’t told
          My family about this, or that I write for it either. Sometimes because I’m writing about them.
          Kelly and I think it’s OK to have this to myself.

          Liked by 2 people

        4. And I can’t help but wonder who has condemned you to hell? I know you’re fond of hyperbole, and this is probably said in jest, but I’d like to call your bluff on that one.

          I have no idea what individual baboons think about heaven or hell, but I can assure you of one thing: If heaven if full of right-wing, evangelical zealots, it’s not where I want to spend eternity.

          Liked by 2 people

        5. Ooh, ooh, hyperbole! I’ve told you a million times, etc. No, I don’t believe in heaven and hell. Luckily for the right wing, evangelical zealots, who wouldn’t have been going there.
          Jacque, no, your secrets aren’t going to bother the people around me. But the secrets I have blabbed about, and that will now be visible for the foreseeable future, probably, I don’t want certain people to see. Not that I regret saying any of it.
          And Jane is so concerned about my naivete, and inability to communicate with ANYONE, that if she knew I was partaking in a blog, she’d be expecting me to be hacked/mugged /arrested at any moment. Only slight hyperbole there.


        6. It’s no secret in our house, or among my friends for that matter, that I participate in this blog. Everybody knows who I’m talking about when I’m referring to one of my baboon friends.

          Liked by 2 people

  9. OT – I was just sitting here in my recliner, minding my own business, when I looked up to see a deer racing down the sidewalk. A deer! Galloping down the sidewalk within St. Paul city limits! Unfortunately he was headed toward Robert Street. Hope the poor thing manages to find his way safely to whatever urban wilderness he calls home, though I don’t think the chances of that are good.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. We had that happen here a couple of years ago before a thunderstorm. The little Llasa Apso across the street gave chase, which was quite funny. She thought she could get that deer!

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I hate hunting (which in England means, chasing a fox or deer on horseback), but always loved to see a dog THINKING it was about to catch a hare. Never did see a hare get caught.

        Liked by 2 people

  10. Fun in Palomar : this was a catered event, and seemed expensive. And it seems that half the village thought so. A lot of “regulars” never showed, and numbers were made up by new faces. As Chelo’s English husband, George, pointed out, there are always new faces though. I’d add that all of them appear well familiar with the locals, I never understood how I haven’t seen them before.
    Anyway, a decent, but not massive turn out. Our bunch consisted of Jane and I, George and Chelo, and Axelle and Rafa. No Shere (sob), no Thais, who I actually haven’t personally seen for several months. Thais is busy elsewhere with a new boyfriend, and I never have seen Shere out and about. I assume she goes home to la Pobla del Duc for her social life. But we need ALL of us to get together occasionally. Right?
    But the rest of bonded, and God, Rafa eats nearly as much as I do! We were able to work together. Plates of bits and pieces are always put on the table, necessarily, as food is rarely served anywhere near the advertised time. And plates of bits and pieces are invariably left over. So after eventually ploughing through the lukewarm, mass produced(Jane’s term) paella, we joined forces and filched extra gherkins, crisps, shell peanuts etc, from further up the table. A man’s got to eat, after all.
    Jordi stopped by what he obviously realised was the Crazy Cat Table, for a long discussion with Chelo, probably about not much. I really don’t know what to think about that guy. But he keeps getting re-elected, and does love his village.
    But that’s about it, apart from a small incident at the bar afterwards. The girl was smiling and shaking her head at Jane, and I thought, what’s she saying “Sorry, you’re not old enough?” Jane turned away, aggrieved, disbelieving, and said, “They haven’t got any vodka!” Well the Comparsa keep telling her, drink gin and tonic like the rest of us. They have to get vodka specially for her and Cath (sister in law), and they’ve been known to forget. She went outside to complain to a bunch of Comparsa girls, and they were all as amused as I was. They drink gin- that’s what people drink. What’s the problem? (I don’t drink either). So she stuffed her tickets in George’s shirt pocket, and went over to steal vodka from Cath and Justin’s house. At which point I left so as not to cramp her style, she’s a fun person, and I’m not. And they were playing the usual awful music. A good day while it lasted, though.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I mean that I don’t drink either gin or vodka. I usually drink beer.
      The tickets were ones that were handed out to us at the table, as part of the deal. They were to be exchanged at the bar. I’d drunk all I could grab of the”free” beer on the table, and was headed home, so gave Jane my ticket.
      At many events, you have to buy tickets beforehand, or even buy them from someone near the bar. Then exchange them at the bar for a drink. Irritating, and I generally avoid it. Of course, if Justin wants to go through the process and then hand me free beers all night, well who am I to stop him?

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I knew there was something missing! Normally, even at free meals where we take our own bocadillo or whatever we prefer, beer, wine, soft drinks, and water are placed on the tables, and are often replenished as necessary. At the annual, well attended paella day in August, the villagers tired of supplying voluntary labour in the hottest month. So now everyone (almost) sits and lets a hired caterer wait on them. I and the English lady next to me, exchanged complaints this year. “Not like it used to be” etc. But later, I figured it out. I guessed at 300 tickets having been sold, 6 euros a head. Eighteen hundred euros. For that, the caterers prepared the paella at their premises, brought it over on a truck, and set the huge pan up again ( have you ever seen one of those paella pans? You can get any size you want, this one is several feet across), then kept us all going, with enough left over for seconds if wanted. Beer, wine, lemon or limeade, water, ice creams and coffee.
        I think we were moaning because we didn’t get cake as well, which, actually, yesterday we did. But when Joyce and Alan (who only come for the summer) return next year, I’ll say, they had all that staff in black doorags they had to pay, and they worked well. I don’t think they did badly for eighteen hundred euros. Yesterday, the charge was sixteen euros, the paella was poorer, some of the help were village girls who may have done it for nothing (character building), and there was no wine, which many prefer. I’m guessing that’s why Axelle drank water. They gave us a ticket for the bar. But on the whole, no comparison for value.

        Liked by 2 people

  11. To answer Ben’s question. Jane thinks I should stop buying Levi’s, because they’re expensive and we’re not doing well financially. I was unprepared for the suggestion, and am still putting the subject off.
    But I’ve given up a lot to come and live someone else’s life. I’ve been wearing Levi’s fifty years without a break, and that is not going to change.

    Liked by 3 people

  12. I have been buying fewer eggs and fewer salmon fillets. Lots of things have gone up in price, but eggs, probably because of bird flu, seem to be particularly dear.

    I’ve been eating out of my pantry and freezer more than usual. I always have a lot of beans and pasta on hand, since they keep well. So bean soup has been a regular thing for the past few months. Also split pea. and I have some canned garbanzo beans I’m planning to make soup with soon.

    Canned good haven’t seemed to increase in price much, if at all, so I keep buying those. You can still get canned carrots for about 75 cents a can, and those go into the rice cooker with some chicken broth and rice and spices, and I’m pretty content with a cheap meal like that.

    One thing I try not to buy anymore is any kind of clothing in white. Especially socks and pants. I always seem to get some sort of stain on them, or they just turn grey and dingy. I’ve become very fond of black. It doesn’t show dirt.

    Liked by 1 person

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