Solar panels and Soybeans

This week saw the start of getting the rails installed on the roof to hold the solar panels.  A fair bit of measuring work is needed to get the first rail installed, making sure the wood under the roof lines up with where the fasteners are put.

The next rails get progressively faster as they know where they’re going!

4 rails out of 10 up!

Friday afternoon also cleared away nicely, so we finally got a chance to try harvesting a few soybeans.  Got the headland off the field with the test plots, so we can harvest those whenever Pioneer wants to.  We then thought we’d get the headland off the next field too.. a couple hours later, we just finished the field!  Got along great.  The beans were dryer than expected (15-16%) and the yield seemed to be around 50-60 bu.

We are very fortunate to have a great crop, when so many this year don’t!  Definitely counting our blessings!

Sept 11th

Started filling cousin Bob’s silo with corn silage yesterday, and will continue all week.  It’s a little earlier than usual, but that’s exactly what we were doing on a  Sept. 11th back in 2001.  I remember quite clearly hearing it live on the radio in the tractor, and reporting to Bob, who didn’t have a radio, the updates.  Never forget his face when I told him the tower had collapsed…  We were reassuring ourselves how bad a target for terrorists a couple of guys in the middle of a field are!  Never forget..


Sheep on Slats

The old pig ‘nursery’ room got converted to sheep pens back in January.  I took a picture of it now that it is empty, just to show how amazingly clean the slats have stayed over the last  8 months.  I was worried that this flooring wouldn’t work with sheep very well, but it has been better than the grower slats!

I then decided to take a few minutes with the presure washer and knock down the cobwebs, maybe clean up the feed alley a bit, and might as well wash and disinfect the rest of the flooring too!  One entire day later.. and although it is cleaner, it doesn’t really look it from the picture!!

Running the pressure washer a few times a year for sheep is A LOT better than a few times a week for pigs!

Diggin’ with the neighbours…

Some people call him Terry Kersten.. not out of any disrespect for the good Golphin name, but to clarify who they’re talking about.  See, Terry married Marita Kersten, and works with his brother-in-law Tony Kersten, who farms just behind the other brother-in-law Mike Kersten.  And of course, everyone around knows his father-in-law, John Kersten.  They’re the Kersten clan, and he’s one of them!

So, Terry Golphin happened to mention that he bought an old mini-excavator to save himself having to rent one to fix a few tiles and other things around his place.  Since I needed to dig a trench for the Hydro line for my solar panels, I asked if he ever let anyone else use it?  “Sure!” was his reply, and he even delivers!  So Sunday saw the arrival of a well used, but still fully functional mini-excavator.  Monday meant that my Brother-in-law John had to go back home, but we managed to do a little digging with it before he left… Great fun!

More Painting

Dad the Painter strikes again!  This time it’s the implement shed.  The coloured steel was a nice forest green when  it was new back in ’81, but it has faded a little over the years!  (In fact some of the southern exposure has spots completely gone)  Dad spent a few afternoons with his handy paint brush freshening it up, and Mom was happy, ’cause at least he wasn’t on the roof…


Another reason I like Sheep

The Folks were cleaning out the ‘woodshed’ at the house, and Dad found some old aluminum paint.  No idea how old it is, but it was still perfectly good!  So Dad took a wire brush with him to clean off the rust a little, and started to paint the bad spots on the feed bins.


The fans from the barn blow out towards these two bins, and in just a few years, managed to corrode through galvanized metal and zinc plated bolts in several spots!  (If you look closely, you can see that the entire front leg has been painted, whereas the back bin post has not.. so much better than it looked before!) A little paint makes a world of difference.. now we have to finish where he ran short on paint..

While sheep aren’t exactly odorless!  Pigs are worse, and a whole lot more corrosive.  Many things are going to last a lot longer now that it’s a sheep barn!


The Auto Sorter is here!

We are now the proud owners of a new sheep auto sorter.  The Gov’t has a traceability program to help cover the cost of such equipment.  So with funding in had, we purchased this awesome weigh scale/auto sorter/computer/sheep record software system from Gallagher. (which means it’s ORANGE and black-much to sister’s disgust)

It automatically opens and closes to allow the sheep on and off, reads their RFID tag so it knows who they are, weighs them, and then sorts and records them according to preset conditions.  In short-it makes life a little easier and provides a whole lot of data for tracking sheep!

All spectators accepted! (as long as you have clean boots!)

From Dry July.. to wet Aug?!

Usually, the family weekend at the cottage is before we start harvesting wheat and barley. Occasionally the wheat gets done before that weekend, and then the barley is after.  This year, I was 2 afternoons away from being completely done barley before we left!  Almost finished in July!  A definite record by far!  So when I got back from the cottage on Tues, I learned that Dad had put in 2 afternoon’s while I was gone, and finished.. meaning we were actually done in July!  As it turns out, it was a darn good thing too, as it has been raining off and on ever since!

I’ve been teased a little about what to do with my time since we finished so early, but it also means we started early!  So I’m doing all the things I didn’t get done earlier, since it’s been pretty non-stop crops since, like, March or so…  #CrazyYear

The crops survived the dry July, and are on track to be quite good I think.  Time to be thankful for that heavy – holds-water-well soil that can be a bit of a pain in the spring!



Wow, not a single blog post by me in June – that’s terrible!  So much going on, I’ll blame ‘not-enough-time’ for my lackluster performance here.  Plus, I’ve been tweeting a bit of it.  If you want to peruse, you can just view them at

We now have a new cement floor in the silo, and a full crop of haylage on top of it!  The feeder was built by the excellent father-in-law, and the lambs are growing (and handling the heat not tooo baaad…)

Wheat harvest has begun, on a record early 14th of July.  I would have started a day earlier, but I had to get my tire back from getting fixed.  I didn’t think I’d need it quite that soon! All in all, it took about 5 afternoons to get the combine ready to go.. and if all goes well, it will only take 4 days to combine both Bob’s and my own wheat.. something seem wrong with this picture?  I guess the combine should be pretty much set for the barley too though..

The crops are looking great with all this heat we’ve had.  So far the only thing short on moisture is the 2nd cut hay.  Bob has started his, but it is pretty short..


Planting.. and Harvest

So… a busy few weeks!  Corn planting ended up being done pretty much on average, but the early spring did mean there were absolutely no ‘wet spots’ in any fields.  It was in great shape, although it was a bit dusty!  The soybeans got done too.  The tile did get put in on holiday Monday.  Between Kevin, Grandpa, and me, the mini-excavator ran 12 hours straight.  But the planting is done!

So it seems a bit overwhelming that Cousin Bob started cutting hay on Wed.  That’s only one day between finishing planting, and starting harvesting!

I only have sheep to finish lambing (and a whole lot of new lambs that haven’t been tagged yet..)  A feeder to build for haylage, a silo floor to re-cement before we start Haylage.  Corn to spray (’cause those weeds are starting to grow pretty good too!) and a forage harvester to get ready.

Makes life interesting!!