Monday, June 27, 2011

Where is June going so fast?

First cutting is nearly done.  This has by far been the rainiest spring I can remember.  Our soybeans look good, but will need another spray of roundup.  The beans are on sandy soil so the rain is good for them.  Just hard to get hay dry.  We should be mowing the 500 acres of custom work this week.  With the delay we are looking at possibly only 3 cuttings this year. 

We are learning a lot in our Financial Peace University course.  Trying to modify it to our farm business is going to be interesting.  I am starting the envelope system for groceries this week.  Hope it helps and I do not get many complaints.  We are out of hamburger.  Jeremy needs to get the vet out to check the heifers so we can send some to butcher. 

On Saturday I started Paul & Ruth on commission for doing some light chores around the house.  Ruth doesn't quite understand yet, but Paul is eating it up!  He gets a quarter for putting away the silverware, taking out garbage or picking up toys.  They designed their own "banks" with stickers and clear plastic containers out of the recycling. Paul is eager to earn more money so he can take it next week for children's church.  Amy is rolling all over the place and is still in the 90% percentile for height... 27 inches at 6 months.  Not sure why time is flying, but it is and we are just holding on for the ride! 

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Jeremy brought home a new "project" tractor last week.

We have been trying to finish up our own hay acres before a big custom mowing job starts.
However while we missed a lot of the rain over the weekend, I came home to this yesterday :
That is about 4 inches of rain my camp chair.  It did cool things off and Jeremy spent the evening at the 4-H fair helping. 

Monday, June 13, 2011

Building a Farm Business and Growing a Family

It is not always easy to live on one income while building a business such as a farm.  We have strong tendencies towards the simple so that helps.  Here are some ways we save on living expenses that may help others:

1.    We have a woodstove and only use our propane furnace as backup in the winter.  We can generally get buy each winter on one tank of propane.  Which we plan to buy during summer fill-ups.  Jeremy cuts and splits all our wood off of the farm.
2.    In the summer we only turn on the air conditioner when it starts affecting our sleep.  We have also added insulation when needed.
3.    Dairy heifers that will not make good milk cows either go into our freezer or that of our friends and family.  We even traded beef for pork last summer!
4.    I cook 75% of our foods from scratch.  I watch sales and follow money saving blogs to take advantage of coupons.  We also stock up on many foods and buy flour in bulk.
5.    We have really cut back on our eating out.  I have to admit driving past pizza place on my way home makes a really tempting supper at the end of a long day.  However, I can go home and the five of us can have a nice nutritional meal for 1/3-1/2 of that “cheap” $10 greasy pizza!
6.    I have been attempting to grow a few vegetables, but that has not gone well.  Hoping we have at least tomatoes this year!  Last year a friend gave us some sweet corn and Jeremy’s Grandfather gives us a bushel of peaches every year both of which I freeze.
7.    Jeremy does 80% of his own repairs.  With local shops charging $50-75/hour rates, this is a must for a beginning farmer.  It also allows Jeremy to run older equipment because he knows he can rebuild most of them if needed.
8.    Research research research!  Especially for things like car seats, I spend probably too much time finding out what will not only save us money in the long run, but also keep the kids safe!
9.    Our clothes often come from hand me downs, consignment stores (I try to shop only the clearance racks there), or garage sales. 
10. Our Sunday school class has just started a “Financial Peace” course by Dave Ramsey.  I will have to let you know how that changes our habits.
11. For Paul & Ruth I cloth-diapered, but I also worked from home more then.  Now I buy most of my diapers for ~$.10 each using Amazon Mom’s Subscribe & Save program!  I have saved my diapers and plan to use them when I get back home!  Plus I can use my swagbucks for $5 amazon cards!

Let me know how you are saving money to keep your family in the “green”!

Friday, June 10, 2011

We beat the rain again!

Making Silage bales

I went out at 9:45 Wednesday night to snap this shot of Jeremy.  He still had some bales in the field and rain was coming.  After starting at 6 that morning he finally came to bed about midnight.  We are very blessed to have a large barn that he can pull into on nights like this.  We used to fight tarps, which can be very trying at 11 p.m. with thunder in the distance.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Making hay while the sun shines!!

Or at least baleage!

American Truck Historical Society

Jeremy has been waiting for 3 years for the May 26-29 ATHS show in South Bend Indiana.  We get some strange looks hauling hay with our 1971 Autocar Semi. When it kept raining and he couldn't get in the fields Jeremy took the truck to the show and it fit right in!  We are still debating painting the truck, many of the truck show participants said not to since there are so few originals left.  Jeremy really has enjoyed getting this truck back on the road and using it.  Ruth was "discussing" the show with Daddy in the second picture.

On another note the rain has stopped and we have finally put up some of the first hay of the year!  The weather looks good so we are attempting some dry small square bales.  The heifers aren't hungry anymore!

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