Y4 Ranch

  (Staples, Minnesota)
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Just being summer

It's been somewhat rainy here lately, bugger of a time to get in this winter's hay. All the planted crops are growing quite nicely with all the rain and heat, but we're coming very rapidly up on combining season for the small grains.

 CSA's: this note is for you, contact us to add beef, lamb and pork to your menu, any one or all three. We have an abundance of beef ready now and 30 more by  the end of the month. We'd like to set something up for next year.

This past weekend we hosted a field tour at our farm demonstrating a University of Minnesota forage test plot; it seemed to be a well received program. Hopefully somebody retained something they can use for themselves.



Beef ready


  Hello to all,

  Just a quick note that we've plenty of beef available right now and over the next 30 days 30 more will be ready. Lambs will be ready at the end of September, so start thinking of stocking up for winter.

 Anyone who is connected to a CSA that doesn't offer beef, lamb or pork and would like that as an option please get in touch with us, we'll work with you to get a delivery and product schedule that will work for just about everyone.

 Haying has been going well for us this year, ( knock on wood) with no major break downs. We've crossed the 400 bale (big rounds) thresh hold in a 2 week time period. One of the best we've ever had, obviously we're not using the horses so far this haying season, but we'll start to get them in this next week. Mowers are ready as well as the rakes, but the Jayhawks need some help. We've asked the former owner to assist with their operational readiness, should be interesting. Several teamsters from the local club intend to come out and work with us, we're hoping to have 5 or 6 teams going by middle next week, weather permitting.



Been a while!

Not really new to this!

 To all who actually read these: Welcome, Thanks and I hope you find some of this interesting.

 It's another season, not Christmas anymore, but just as good; calving and lambing are finished in a record this year and planting is finished. This past year we choose to change our calving season around here, we used to calve mid-March and after but I don't like finding babies in the snow bank and or fighting mother nature and storms that sometimes blow in during that time of year. So we pushed our calving back to end of April, bulls went in last summer in late July and calves came out in late April, 100% conception, 100% births unassisted in 38 days on 40 head. I'd have to say I'm very blessed with the great outcome this year, we're shooting for a dupilcate this next spring.

This years planting included, Oats, Peas, Camelina, Corn, Orchard Grass, Clover, Alfalfa and just finished up Buckwheat yesterday. Some of the Buckwheat is just a little over a week old but it's up just about an inch and looking good. the Bee Man was caught in Staples yesterday, I'd never met him before, they were sitting in a closed hardware parking lot when I was getting fuel across the street. I had to chase him down, darned near lost him. Once I did and we visited for a while, I explained what I had up my sleeve and they jumped at it. Soon I'll have their bees busy in my Buckwheat and Clover, and I'll have some fresh honey in my cupboard.

This past Mothers Day weekend we had 30+ draft horses planting Oats and Peas on 12 acres, done in great time, a little cool here on the Friday before, SNOWED on the tents, but we survived. Mid MN Draft Horse Association rolled the sod over, chopped it with a disc and planted with a converted JD 7 ft press drill that my son and I built. The drill worked great after a few adjustments, we pulled it with a 4 up hitch of Belgians.

Haying is next on the adgenda, as much as I like  the rain on this sand, we could use a few days of straight sunshine on the rocks with a twist of low humidity and a shot of wind on the side. The Sams Family Haying Crew is chomping at the bit and ready to hit the collar at full speed, winter's coming.

Mike Sams



Winter's Here!

Hello to all and Merry Christmas!

This is the first time I've ever blogged anything, so I'll give er a try. So far this winter we've experienced weather that we've not seen for quite some time and I look forward to it. " Crazy!" you might say and you'd be right, I've experienced the 145 degree heat of Southwest Asia and the bitter cold of a good solid winter at -50 degrees F and colder; both of those temps in one year.

To tell you about our operation from time to time will be the basis of this blog and the happenings within our agriculture circle. We're a small outfit based in the corner of three counties of Minnesota. If I had my choice I'd be back in Montana but after getting married and having a couple of kids, staying here by Mary's family was the best decision. So I'm as far West as I'll probably ever get to live again, Wadena County is litterally a stones throw from my front door. Some of the activities and people you'll hear about might sound as though they come from much farther West and some of them have lived out there, including me. The "Cowboy Spirit" does live and prosper in my neck of the woods, cold as they may be right now. Some of the activities around here include sitting by a warm wood fire, listening to Michael Martin Murphy and Don Edwards, ketching up on some letter writing and card reading. Mary's been very busy getting ready for Christmas as we'll be hosting my side this year. They all heavily suggested I get the teams and bobsleds out for a ride and riding we'll go.

My son and I hook up one of the teams every day to feed hay to the cows, sheep and other horses around here. We use what we call a Feed Scoot, it's the front bob of a bobsled with a flat bed built on it and a front standard with a boat winch to tip bales up on the scoot and away we go. We can feed nearly 100 head in a very short order with NO diesel burnt or electricity to keep them warm enough to start. That's good e-nuf for now as I gotta go and bring in the team to get ready for feeding. Mike

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