We have Calves!

Good evening all! Currently… I am sitting in my apartment sipping on a homemade mocha and munching on frozen banana peanut butter bites- which I highly recommend! I am teasing my mind, warming myself with warm coffee while allowing myself to pretend it’s hot with frozen treats haha.

bananas

I am so over this cold front already and it just arrived! Just imagine relaxing in the sun with a good novel! Ahhh I am so ready for hot summer nights! I bet our babies are also ready for warmer temperatures. The 2017 calving season will be wrapping up at the Ball Farm here in a few weeks. It has been a busy couple of months for dad. I applaud him and his hard work! I am looking forward to helping with the 2018 calving season :).

Ball Calving Season

Even though I am not physically at the farm, I feel like I was right in the midst of the action. Dad has been very diligent in sending photos of the cows and their calves. I am getting updates in real time and its very exciting to see our herd expand.

A lot of hard work and time is dedicated to the herd during calving season. Typically our season starts towards the end of March and continues into May. This year we had a calf almost every day during the month of April! Very very busy! But the first step actually starts with the cow. It is very important for the new calf to consume their first milking. The first meal for a calf includes colostrum. Just like humans, calves need colostrum to build their immune systems. The colostrum contains antibodies to protect the calf from diseases.

Ball Calving Season (1)

The second step happens a few days later. Farmers use a variety of methods to identify their calves when they are born. Most cattle producers tag their calves and some may also use more permanent methods like branding. We currently use the tagging method. To help with identifying the pairs, calves get the same number as the cow. We are in the process of developing a new numbering system that will allow us to maintain more information.

ear tag

The third step happens when we tag the calf. Unless a bull, fertile male, is going to be used as a breeding animal, farmers castrate them. Bulls are castrated for a couple of reasons, 1) it reduces aggressiveness and sexual activity and 2) creates a higher quality grade and a more tender beef cut. Banding is an alternative method to traditional castration. It offers less stress and faster healing.

calves

The fourth step takes a bit more time.  We keep in-depth records for each individual calving season. By managing strong records we can refer back to it throughout the year.  Below is an example of our records. We also record when we get the calves preconditioned by the vet.

records

And finally we watch the calves grow! Calving season is a lot a work but it is so worth it. Not only do we have baby calves, we have baby seedlings!! Here is you official flower garden update: We have germination! Checkout the snapdragon seedlings :).

snapdragons

Have a great night!!

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Anticipating Beauty

Anyone else anticipating beautiful garden veggies? I know I sure am! Can I get a woot woot!? I am very anxious to map out my flower garden! Not only do I expect to eat deliciously healthy this summer but I am hoping to surround myself with many bright and colorful arrangements. Last weekend, Ty and I started our seeds! It is official…the season has begun. We are in business and a successful (crossing my fingers) summer begins!

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Do you want to start your own flower garden? Are you interested in planting a flower bed? Or are you curious about this new profound passion of mine? Well if any of those pertain to you, keep reading. 🙂

Follow six easy steps to germinate seeds indoors. What is germination? To germinate means to grow and produce shoots after a period of dormancy.

1. Purchase the necessary supplies. 

Items and Estimated Cost 

  • Grow light: $50.00
  • Trays: $5.00 each
  • Seeds: varies
  • Seed starting mix: $10.00
  • Labels: $1.50

2. Decide which seeds need to be started indoors. 

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Depending on the flower, some seeds do best when directly sowed. The seeds that need to be started indoors usually have a longer germination period and are sensitive to the cold. I started Eucalyptus, Aster, and Snapdragon.

3. Add water to the seed starting mix.

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The soil needs to be moist, but don’t let the water pool. The soil need to be wet at all times in order for the seeds to germinate.

4. Add soil to the seed cells.  

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I bought seed trays that have a hole in the bottom to help with drainage. Fill the tray cells full and don’t be afraid to overfill. The soil will compact when we continue to add water.

5. Create a seed bed. 

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Make a small bed for the seeds to lay. You don’t need a special tool for this, just use your hands to make a bed in each cell. By making a place to drop 3-5 seeds we avoid losing seeds when watering. It is also easier to cover the seeds with soil when they are secure in the cell.

6. Place trays under grow light. 

plant 3

We have had pretty warm days but the seeds tend to be sensitive to cold temperatures. They will still germinate but it might take longer. Ty moved our seeds indoors last night to avoid the chilly spring nights.

Six easy steps right? Starting the seeds indoors is not hard but seeing successful germination is a whole different ballgame! I am so excited to see the seeds germinate. I am crossing my fingers for a successful first trial!

To wrap up this Wednesday post I would like to congratulate Michael and the CCA Trap Team!! Good job Clippers! 🙂

plant 16

 

 

 

New Everlasting Happiness

Good Morning Picking Wild Flowers and Happy Monday! I thought I would kick off your week with a little food for thought. I was scrolling through Google trying to find inspiration for this week and I came across this short but perfect quote. “New Beginnings and New Everlasting Happiness.”

New Beginnings and new everlasting happiness

I practice Lent, a religious holiday that begins on Ash Wednesday and continues until Easter Sunday, and yearly I like to give up something that challenges me to rely on God’s help. For those of you who know me well, I have a bad habit of picking my lip when I am bored, nervous, or stressed. For the past three years I have tried to give this up and as soon as Lent is over I go about my normal ways. Well not this year friends! This year I want to focus on the true reason we practice lent, to lean on God for help in all things! Did you give up something for Lent this year? If so, comment below :).

THINGS to take

New Beginnings,” what does this mean? The more I sat and thought the more joy I felt. This quote represents Easter as a time to rejoice the ultimate sacrifice. Jesus died for our sins and with that we are forgiven. The second half, “New Everlasting Happiness,” puts a smile on my face. Each year is a new opportunity to see the beauty before us. I love this quote too, “The story of Easter is the story of God’s wonderful window of divine surprise,” (Knudsen).

The beauty before us… I bring you an Easter arrangement. I hope my class design puts a smile on your face this week.

Today’s arrangement is inspired by topiary design. “Topiary is the horticultural practice of training live perennial plants by clipping the foliage and twigs of trees, shrubs and subshrubs to develop and maintain clearly defined shapes.”

Recipe: Alstroemeria, white and yellow Daisy, and Aster.

I had a lot of fun with the topiary. It is a unique design that helps to celebrate Easter. The bright colors and odd shape highlight the symbolic relationship between the colors and elements of Easter.

Here is a FUNNY…

THINGS to take (1)

Happy Easter!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Boys and their Toys

This week we explore a whole new topic related to farming! Boys and their toys! Two weeks ago Dad, Tyler, Kyle, and Michael hunkered under Dad’s Dodge pickup truck to install a new exhaust. We all pitched in and bought it for his birthday and I just know he has been antsy to hear how it sounds!

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Now don’t let these boys fool you… They might look clean but let me tell you… there was no sitting inside without a towel! The morning started off drizzly and I needed coffee, but they did not seem to mind.

I don’t quite understand the excitement that accompanies mechanics, although I do enjoy watching everyone work together! My the end of the afternoon Dad had added a new exhaust and convinced the boys to help with break pads! All of their hard work paid off and everyone felt accomplished!

The opinion of a truck is important to the men in my life. Their trucks are used to haul livestock, machinery, hay, feed, and/or equipment. The TRUCK is part of their everyday routine. My first vehicle was a truck but the dynamic is different.

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I felt sad when I sold my truck, however it didn’t serve the same purpose for me as it does for those who use it everyday. For many outdoor professionals it serves as an essential part to their daily activities.

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And for that reason I will never stand between boys and their toys.

Now, I did not forget to add flowers to this weeks post! I want to make sure I add a bit of sunshine to your lovely Tuesday evening.

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The arrangement is a Easter basket design and can be used as a centerpiece. Meaning, that the flowers and Leather Leaf are symmetrical all the way around the basket.

Easter is a time for celebrating! We will come back to this topic next week but I will leave you with this quote.

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