Monday, May 30, 2011

Farming 2011

This weekend we were finally able to get back into the fields to do some field work. Last spring we tore up part of a pasture and seeded it to oats. We then swathed the oats before they were fully ripe, and left the swaths in the fields rather then removing the grain and making straw. This is called swath grazing and is a pretty common practice in Canada.

Dad breaking up a piece of land

The cows are then turned into the swaths when there is no more grass for them to eat. Last year the swaths lasted right until December 24th when we brought cows home for the winter. This allows us to do less tractor chores and feeding, and keeps the cows out of the main yard longer. With the cows being in the pasture, they get more exercise, and can fertilize the pasture rather then the corrals.

Fields that are ready for seed
We are hoping that in the next week we will be done the field work and will be able to get the crop seeded. We have been getting a good mix of rain and heat lately so that should make for some great growing conditions.

I hope to keep you all posted on the crop progress this year. Until then we will just keep making rounds with the tractor!

Summer on the Farm

One of my favorite things to do in the summer is to walk through the cows out on pasture. Over the last couple of weeks we have been taking cows to summer pasture where they will stay until September or October. 

Our cattle are very quiet as most are old show cattle, or have at least been tie broke during their life. This makes it easy to walk through them, be able to scratch a few old friends, and just enjoy the site of cow/calf pairs.

Each year we keep a few pairs at home to eat the grass there. The ones that stay are usually a few that we are going to show or sell throughout the  year. It also means that the better cows get to stay home so that visitors have something to look at when they stop.

If you are in the area, feel free to stop in any time to see the cattle at home, or a tour of the rest of the herd. Most of the cows are within 10 mins of the home place, so they are always a short drive away!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Golf Courses

One of my favorite summer activities is golfing. It started about 3 years ago, and I have been hooked ever since. After my first round I went and bought my own clubs and have never looked back. 

Not a lot of my friends golf, so it started out going with the family on the weekends. Now it has turned into a weekly thing for me to do, and there is nothing better then hitting the course or the driving range after a long day at work, or on a relaxing weekend.

One of my other favorite things about golfing is just getting out and enjoying the course. Golf courses are really beautiful, and this year I have been able to play 4 new courses, and have enjoyed each one of them.

Millwoods Country Club

Victoria Park Golf Course & Driving Range

Black Bull Country Club


Dorchester Golf Course

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Ralph Lauren & Double RL

After watching the Oprah special on Ralph Lauren today, my love for Ralph Lauren and the brand was rejuvenated. 
Crystal had told me a little big about the Double RL ranch after she drove by it this winter on the way to Teluride. This is a ranch where pictures do more justice then words. What I love most about this interview was the love of the land and animals that Ralph and his wife have for this place. It is great to see a family with money and fame be so grounded and normal. Just another testament to the ranch lifestyle.

And what does this beautiful ranch inspire? Thousands of beautiful looks and designs like these...

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Slave Lake Forest Fires

Over the last few days the media has been flooded with images and stories of the tragic forest fires happening in the Slave Lake area right now. Slave Lake is located 3.5hrs NW of Edmonton.

In the last few days fires have forced residents out of the town and into emergency centres that have been set up in surrounding communities. The reports that have been coming from the town are sad, heroic and unimaginable. All roads into the town have been closed, and thankfully there have been no casualties to date.

My heart goes out to these families as they try to rebuild their lives, homes, businesses and community. To help out please donate or visit one of the many resource centres that have been set up.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Murder on Simpson Drive

This weekend we held our 2nd Annual Murder Mystery party. With so many friends having birthdays around the same time, it is a great time for us to all get together before the summer and have some fun. This year's theme was 80's Rock Stars!

Flush Day- Part 2

On Thursday we did round 2 of flushing our cows at the farm. This time we only flushed 2 of the donors, Elle and Signature.

Both cows got flushed to Power Drive. We are really starting to see the impact of Power Drive in our herd. We have our first set of 2yr olds with calves on the ground now. They have turned out to be great cows, with beautiful udders.
Power Drive

This go round we got 8 embryos out of Elle and 10 out of Signature. We got a few of these put in and will hopefully have some of these calves on the ground in 2012.

Signature 2N

Friday, May 13, 2011

Pampa Brazilian Steakhouse

I love trying new resturants in the city. I have to say that it is one of perks that makes Edmonton a great city to live in is the diverse dinning that we have, and some great restuarnts too.

My lastest place that I tried was Pampa Brazilian Steakhouse. It is located right downtown, just north or the Legislative Building at 9929-109 Street.

Pampa is a region in Southern Brazil where cattle-raising takes place, and in particular, it is the birthplace of both: the gaucho and churrasco. Using large wooden or metal skewers driven vertically into the ground near a wood-burning open flame, the gauchos have been preparing churrasco for hundreds of years.

 PAMPA offers a unique fixed-price dining concept known as “rodizio.” This service style features continuous table-side service of a wide variety of select cuts of beef, pork, poultry and lamb. Included in your “rodizio” experience is our one-of-a kind salad bar.

Guests control their service with a small red and green-sided disk. The green side signals the grill masters to bring this variety of meat skewers to the table, while the red side may indicate a pause in service or that you are finished. Turning back to the green side indicates the grill masters to resume service.

We did our best to eat as much as the meat as possible, after all that is what you come there for.  We were told of 10 selections that would be brought around on this evening; Pork Sausage (house made), Parmesan-Crusted Pork Loin, Chicken Drumsticks, Chicken Thighs Wrapped in Bacon, Picanha (top sirloin) – Pampa’s signature cut, Garlic Picanha, Bottom Sirloin from Spring Creek Ranch, Beef Ribsslow roasted for 6 hours, Ribeye, Leg of Lamb, and Chicken Hearts. 

We ended up trying about 8 of these through the night. My favorites were the Beef Ribs, Chicken Drumsticks and the Chicken Thighs Wrapped in Bacon. Because the meat does some from Brazil, you can taste a difference to our Alberta Beef we are used to eating here.

Because we were there for my birthday, we decided that we should try some dessert as well. Our server gave us a few recommendations, and we went with the Chocolate Mousse. We figured it would be a nice light dessert to finish off after a meat heavy meal. The Mousse did not disappoint at all.

Pampa did not dissapoint at all. I would definitely go back for another round or two here in the future. Just a few tips for those of you wanting to try. Pace yourself at the salad bar, don't eat all you salad at once, otherwise you are just left with a lot of great meat! Also go when you are really hungry. Dinner is about $45.00/person so make sure you are hungry enough to eat your monies worth, and leave your diets at home!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Prom Date a.k.a Minnie

The last few weekends we have started to work on some cattle for the next year of showing. We will be taking some cattle to the Drayton show again in June, and with mom and dad leaving on a holiday before, we needed to get a jump start on things.

While we were breaking calves, we thought it might be smart to start working on some of the yearling heifers we might sell this fall. One of those happened to be Prom Date, or as I call her Minnie.

Minnie is our of our donor Dream Date and Hummer, the World Champion, and Agribition Supreme Champion bull.

In the last few weeks Minnie has had lots of friends at the farm.We have had a few people ask if she was club calf breeding because of how much hip she has to her, yet a extremely pretty and feminine front end.

It has been pretty muddy at home, but after a quick clip job I must stay that she is starting to show potential for this fall!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Completed Living Room

Well it is finally done! I have completed our living room redesign. After having hammy down couches, and ugly covers to help hide the floral pattern it was time for an update.

I got told I was crazy to get white couches, but I love them. They are super comfortable and actually makes me want to spend time in our living room!

I also needed some chairs to help add some additional seating. I wanted to bring some color into the room and desided on these great turquise chairs. Yes they are velvet, but I think they are great!

We also added new curtains, and the room was finished. I would love to get a new TV, but for now this room is complete!