Hello from Graze-N-Grow. Now that we’ve had our first freeze, can we expect an Indian summer this year? I guess anything is possible this year, weather wise. I can remember how my spirits were lifted with our first August rain after four weeks without. With almost a foot of rain in September, though, the thrill is gone. Pastures, of course, are green everywhere, above water anyway. There’s been some late-season hay put up lately and some corn and beans harvested, but only a fraction of normal. It may end up being a fall like ‘09, when we didn’t get started at home until mid-November.

Since I tilled up the wheat stubble before planting covers this year, the ram lambs had to be pulled from grazing them until last week after it firmed up. With such a late first grazing, there won’t be any re-growth for a second pass, but there is still plenty out there. We’ve sold several lambs direct this month, so the bigger lambs keep disappearing, but the rest will have plenty of good grazing to catch up.

We took our Rock/Cornish broilers in to Brummel’s federally inspected plant in RockFalls the first of the month and will take the Freedom Rangers in next month. We have a steer and two ewes to take to Eureka this week, so we’ll be able to fill orders for several of our regular customers, except for some lamb customers who will have to wait a month.

Our ewes will be processed half for lamb sticks, which have been a popular treat for grab-and-go snacks, and the other half ground for dog food. I know when we buy dry food for our guard dogs, we just get the cheap stuff and supplement with our own meat, but the high-end dog food in the store always have lamb or chicken as the main ingredient. It doesn’t say what parts they use, but I can guarantee all muscle and organ meat in our package, palatable even for me to eat. I’m not sure I would be tempted to try theirs, though.

We’ve been pleased to hear from two of our new customers last week who have sampled our meat along with other sources and have chosen us to supply their families with meat. That’s gratifying since our ultimate goal here is quality food for good health. Regardless of challenges with weather extremes and any other obstacles we encounter day by day, that’s what farming boils down to. So, all of you privileged as we are to farm — keep up the good work. Happy trails.

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