The concrete crew kept at it and thankfully the rain held off yesterday until after 3pm! The stem walls for the barn are done and they've moved on to the reception pit for the manure (the first place it's welcomed after it leaves the barn!). And the big hole for the rest of the manure storage facility was dug out more this week, in preparation for concrete walls to go up in it!
Lots of other "behind the scenes" work also got done this week (plumbing meetings, shopping for the Guest House, meeting with the State milk inspector, accountant meeting, buying parts & supplies for our tractor, and more) as well as some important jobs at the current farm (cleaning out cow yards & feeders, meeting about hay & haylage - stay away rain!, testing each cows milk, and more).
The barn walls should be arriving this week, so the landscape will start dramatically changing soon!
Did you know that June is Dairy Month? It is! In celebration we'll be highlighting some of the Dairy Good things about our dairy cows & the dairy products they make!
Plus, although we're not ready for the masses to visit our farm yet, there are some great events going on throughout Iowa, Minnesota, and beyond. See if there's one in your area and get it on your calendar now! Where do you plan to visit?
We worked hard this week! Here's the rundown on Week 8!
A lot of the work this week you won't be able to see for much longer, but we should be able to feel the affects of it for as long as our barn stands!
Monday started with the well being drilled, and before the end of the day, we had water (or at least foam!). Dan says they use a biodegradable soap-like lubricant while drilling which foams a lot when they hit water. Dave was certainly surprised when he headed up the drive to be met by a pile of soapy foam coming down the hill towards him. By the end of the week the well was capped off and waterlines were laid in from the well to the barn.
The other "underground" work that happened this week was planning, preparing, and laying out all the conduits for water, electricity, and other things that need to discreetly get from one place to another throughout the barn. Dan's brother Matt helped him measure and layout where they'd all need to go as well as helping with a variety of other projects this week on the farm.
And more concrete walls went up, with hopefully the remaining going up with week, if the rain stays away.
We joined dad for a picnic snack early in the week and then brought lunch to our concrete crew on Friday. It's always fun to see the progress. Dan's aunt Sandy & cousin Josh were visiting yesterday and we got to show them around the site too! Sandy remembers walking back by where we're now building on up across the road to the "north 40" to bring Grandpa Neil (her dad) lunch when he was out in the field working. We're so thankful we can share this journey with friends & family!
This week is a shorter work week with chances of rain, which will hopefully stay away so we can finish the concrete work in preparation for the barn walls, roof, etc arriving the next week! Happy Memorial Day!
It was another rainy week with not a lot of visible progress at the building site, although we did get some significant "behind the scenes" business done (closing loans, signing insurance, pre-construction meetings with robotic milking reps & builders, and plumber ). The week ended with a busy family weekend full of a wedding, birthday party, and family visiting from Florida, which is why this post is coming on Monday morning!
The most significant thing that happened is that we have power lines to our driveway! All that's left is coming up the drive and we'll have power!
At the current farm this week all of the cows got a pedicure otherwise known at getting their hooves trimmed, getting them ready to move into their new barn in a few months! We also had a couple new baby calves, one of which our contest winner, Katie O. & her family, got to name.
I'm pleased to introduce you to Jacinta. Now we have cows with Turkish, Polish, and Spanish names!
As I mentioned Dan's brother & his family is here visiting this week. They headed up to the building site on Saturday after they arrived to check it out.
At the end of this week I expect to have lots of great pictures of progress as the rain is suppose to stay away and it should be amazing cool working weather!
I touched on some of our farm's history in this post about the foundation on which we're building New Day Dairy. It's always good to write and record stories because often that's when discrepancies are found! Apparently the story I've been told about Dan's Great-great Grandpa & Grandma wasn't quite accurate. So after going in search of the truth by visiting Dan's Grandpa Neil & Grandma Mavis, I've uncovered the true story of the beginning of the Bolin family in Clarksville!
Dan's Great-great Grandma Margret Ann Hickle first came to the Clarksville, Iowa area by covered wagon with her family at the age of eleven. They had to ford the mighty Mississippi River, by attaching logs to the wagon wheels & floating their covered wagon across, because there weren't any bridges. Other Hickle's had already made the journey to Clarksville (the first is 1855), so they had family to join when they arrived (the original Hickle farm is SE of Clarksville).
Margret spent a few years in Iowa before, as a young woman, heading back to Illinois to work as a hired girl, back then a common practice by young woman before getting married. During her time back in Illinois she met George Washington Bolin; they fell in love and were married December 29, 1881. The first four of their children were born in Illinois before they decided to move back to Iowa in 1890, where they had 5 more children (4 of whom survived). Dan's great-grandpa Adlai was the first to be born on the current farm.
That fall George & Margret bought their first 80 acres of land, which is where the current farm now sits. At the time it didn't include much crop land, but mostly timber, where we now have pasture. They wanted the timber as it was valuable for both fuel and building. The east end of the what we now call the "old barn" was already there but George used timber from the land to add on the west end of the barn. If you visit you can see the big log beams that are still in use today holding up our haymow!
To feed their family they, like most farms & families at the time, kept a variety of animals, including of course, the family cow. At the time the barnyard was south of the "old barn" and that's where the family cow hung out. When Margret needed milk for the next meal or to make butter, she had a large pitcher with a handle she took out to the barnyard. Holding it in one hand she then used her other hand to milk the family cow before bring it back inside for the next meal!
Now a-days we milk more than just a family cow, so that you don't have to have a barnyard and a pitcher to get your milk for breakfast, lunch, and dinner! And I'm thankful you do what you do, so that we can get back to caring for our cows, our specialty! What's your specialty?
PS... Watch for more "The Old Days" posts, as I uncover more farm stories from the past to share with you and our children's children!
Hey, it's Sunday and I'm getting our week reviewed!
Dan was away at training this week, learning the technical side of the robotic milker that will be arriving in a little over a month! He flew all the way to Pennsylvania to train. He learned a lot but since it's mostly all the technical things I won't go into much detail (plus, I have no idea either!). The kids are excited to have Daddy home and he spent sometime explaining to them all he learned and showing them pictures... at least they'll know what to do if something breaks while Dan is gone!
While Dan was gone by parent's came to stay with us which meant I got to help out a bit on the farm in the mornings doing calf chores (among a bunch of others things we got accomplished)!
Even though Dan was gone, things were still moving forward on the building site. It did rain some so things moved a bit slower, but for this week, that's okay.
The electricity is coming down the road! A few poles have been set and the temporary electric service box is up waiting to be connected into.
There was some concrete poured for the wall between the barn and guesthouse. Since it rained the concrete truck did get stuck. Thankfully Dan's Uncle Dennis was able to come help get it out as no one else was around that could help! So thankful for the amazing family we have around us!
We did have our calf naming contest on Wednesday, so be watching for the next calf to be born and what Katie O. decides to name it!
Growing up a city-girl, after marrying my dairy farmer husband and spending a few years abroad, we came home to expand the family dairy farm and want to share our journey & farm life with you!