Swenson Gardens

Peony farm jottings…


We have had another crazy week on the peony farm! Tabitha aka ‘Tabby’, gave us a new heifer calf. Mom and daughter are doing great. Normally she is our best cow when it comes to calving and care thereafter, but earlier this week, we had quite a scare. We use rotational grazing techniques on all our pasture land so it was time to move the herd into another unit. It is absolute chaos when moving them as ‘the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence’ mentality is true. Basically when one cow enters into the new pasture the others are supposed to follow. Open the gate, get out of the way and watch real time funniest videos. Now don’t take this wrong as we LOVE all animals, but those of you who raise cattle you know what I mean when saying this, ‘cattle have no brains’! Yes I try to lead the herd through the gate first, but Tabby and her new calf where at the end of the cattle parade and couldn’t keep up with the single file line of cattle floats in front of them. Finally they caught up to the others, counted to make sure all parade participants were in the new pasture and then proceeded to close the gate.

Now it was on to the next evening project of disking our 2016 and 2017 fields for planting new peonies. Oh the joy to be done at 7 PM so I could watch the womens Olympic team gymnastics final. After putting my favorite tractor away, an 1968 Oliver 1550, I noticed Tabby was running around the pasture in utter distress. Ok first thing is to count the herd, all I could come up with is 23! There should be 24!!! Now for those of you as of late in this area, the mosquitoes are nasty from all the rain. In fact this week we had over 5 inches of rain and yes the new culverts worked marvelously on our driveway so it is still in tact. I really don’t like what some may call the other Minnesota State bird/insect and especially with the aforementioned statement on the womens gymnastics team final, so the choice was made to look for Tabby’s calf. Calling ‘Redd’, who doesn’t like cattle and electric fences from an early childhood experience, he and I set off in the gator to find the missing member of the peony fertilizer production team. Golly did I tell you I really despise mosquitoes? YIKES! Both Redd and I were miserable.

So it is now 8:10 PM and no sign of #24. Not kidding here, but I prayed that #24 would return or be safe until the morning since it is getting dark fast. Though we have not lost any calves to the local gang of coyotes, that thought is ever present when we have new calf’s. Redd also told me, I think that it was time to go in. Numerous walks in the fields, woods and trips around the perimeter fence line with the gator provided no clue where she had gone or perhaps snatched up by the ‘yote’ gang. As I was walking to plug in the outside fence charger, i happened to look up in the north field. There I saw #24 prancing towards the south fence line amidst the bellows of Tabby’s distressed mooing! Unplugged the fence charger and ranĀ  a 1/4 mile to that fence line where #24 couldn’t figure out how to reach her mommy. FInally #24 figured out how to get through the fence. Thank you Lord! Both mom and daughter are now reunited and needless to say, #24 stays by her moms side more than ever! Life on the peony farm during the Olympics…you have to love it!

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