We just received the Winter 2014 edition of Capper’s Farmer, and it seems to be packed with good stuff as usual — and very attractive. I had asked all my Facebook friends to “like” the Capper’s Farmer Facebook page, and it certainly paid off for our friend Bob McMaster, as he saw your request for photos of past winter adventures. You chose two of his for this issue and rewarded him nicely!
Thank you, Mary. That’s great — and congrats to Bob! – Editors
Mary, who lives on a 20-acre farm with her husband and enjoys writing about country living, is a blogger for Capper’s Farmer. Check out her blog, Old Dog, New Tricks.
Tank Full of Memories
When I read your article “Wonderful Water Tanks” (Fall 2014 issue), I reminisced for a while about all the water tanks that have come and gone in my life. I’ve kept horses, goats, chicks, ducks, even a longhorn steer. Other than the obvious use, I’ve used tanks for chick brooders, duck pools, goat shelters, mounting blocks, grooming stools, you name it.
There were the winters that I had to break ice every day, splashing water on me in sometimes 5-below-zero weather, and it made my jeans freeze solid. Summers had their own challenges. People who thought they were helping out would regularly leave hoses running in the tanks, and small rivers would form. Then there were the countless hours emptying tanks, scrubbing the green scum off the sides with brushes, and hosing them out.
After all that work was done, I’d go to halter a horse in the pasture, and straddle an oval tank trying to get on the wiggly critter bareback. More often than not I’d end up wet and horseless when it tipped over.
Sometimes it felt as if those tanks — and the horses — got the better of me. I’d have to say my favorite memories were when the youngsters flipped extra tanks over and used them to get the perfect angle to hug their horses, or when the goats used them for trampolines. Great memories.
I was reading the article “Field Guide to Farmers and Ranchers” (Summer 2014 issue) by Jerry Schleicher, and I noticed that he said he doesn’t know what people who raise goats are called. My mother-in-law raises pygmy goats for a living. She and her husband own and operate Little O’ Farms. I read the description of what a farmer’s vehicle looks like compared to a rancher’s, and I think I have the answer.
When you climb into her full-sized Chevy van, you will often find empty bottles of dewormer and vaccine bottles, and the floor might be littered with straw. You might also find a salt block and a bag of treats for her “babies.” She complains about the high price of vet bills, the cost of winter feed, and poor market prices for her animals. Finally, the “dog” you will find in her vehicle is a notebook full of information regarding which animal was bred to which animal and when, due dates, and who will breed next. Yes, I’d have to say people who raise goats are definitely ranchers.
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