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Helen's Mulberry Lane Farm Journal

We Use This For That

Once the corn season hits, we have to get ready to shred/chip the corn stalks which we then use for animal feed over the winter months. Last year we took our large ride on mower and ran over the stalks several times. The shredded corn (silage) went into the bagging part of the mower, was then removed and stored in bags in the barn. Gerald has been thinking about improving this system making the job more time efficient.

We had several options. Buy a chipper/shredder or rent one. Never mind buying one. You can probably guess why. We could rent one. Gerald went to look at the possible option for renting. He looked inside the machine and could see why the corn stalks would jam up the machine. These chipper/shredders aren't designed for doing up corn silage.

Necessity is the mother of invention. What equipment do we already have that we can adapt for this purpose of making corn silage? What about our push mowers? Maybe putting the mower on some plywood.....

Gerald typed in "shredder/chipper lawn mower" in google, and found, after several searches, a neat youtube video with just the thing he was looking for.

Easy-To-Make Chopper for Corn Stalks

After several adaptations to what Gerald saw online, here is what he came up with.

I love multi-use machines in the kitchen and on the farm!
Timothy feeding the corn stalks in our "chipper/shredder".

Gerald used a large shovel to help the silage get into the trash can.

'Beka gives it a try.
Tim checks the moisture level of the silage.

(Notice 'Beka's wet hat? It was a sweltering day when they did up the silage. She took a cotton scarf and filled it with ice. Then she puts the ice filled scarf inside her hat. It is a great cooling mechanism!)

Gerald was thrilled with how time efficient this new "silage" machine is. (And I'm pretty thrilled with my Renaissance Man!) The silage goes directly into the garbage bag lined trash can, all in one easy step. The trash cans are stored in the barn ready for use when the snow flies.

Black Raspberry Heaven (i.e. Jam)

I think I died and went to black raspberry heaven. I have always dreamed of making my own black raspberry jam from my own black raspberries. This was the year that dream came true!

The black raspberry harvest this year was utterly fantastic! We brought in gallons of black raspberries. What we didn't sell and didn't eat over ice cream or with milk, we made into black raspberry jam.

First the picking.....
From left to right: Rachel, Joey, Timothy and Esther.
Where are you hiding, Matthew?

(Just a side note to our family members who came and helped us during our busy (i.e. insane!) strawberry/black raspberry season....thank you Rachel (& Joey) and Matthew (& Esther), for your gracious and kind help, and for giving Dad and I the privilege of continuing to be a part of your lives now that you are married and have your own homes. Your attitudes define "honor thy father and mother." (And to Joey, my son-in-law, and Esther, my daughter-in-law, the honor, respect and love you extend to Dad and I gives us a warm glow! Bless you, dear ones!)

I still can't get over the harvest.....

Don't you love the color?

Into the jam jars...

Esther, (and baby Ger in carrier; aren't those precious toes?),
helped fill the jars.

We now offer "Mulberry Lane Farm Black Raspberry Jam" in our market stand store. It is the best tasting jam ever! Stop by today for a "taste of summer" in a jar!

Rachel (home visiting) and 'Beka
made this black raspberry pie for July 4th weekend.!


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