Thistle Hill Farm – Blog

…doing what comes naturally

Month: April, 2013

Meanwhile back at Thistle Hill….

….we have a half-brother to the two young bull calves down in Georgia.  This one is by Millennium Falcon, too, but the dam was Goldings Snowdrop.  He’s one of six traditional English Devon calves we’re raising here. The first generation we brought over is now approaching two years of age and we’re using one of […]

To the barricades….

….there are times when I think I could be a revolutionary.  Mostly those are times when I hear about the latest outrage perpetrated by chemical giant, Monsanto. It’s hard to imagine a more powerful, more destructive company on the planet.  Their genetic engineering—all government-sanctioned—and their ability to skirt any real scientific review is without parallel. […]

Updating our British newcomers….

….we spent several days recently inspecting our British calves at Doyle Unruh’s farm in Georgia…and our older heifers just across the state line at Bill and Nancy Walker’s farm in South Carolina. This is an Essington Buttercup son by Millennium Falcon, now almost six months old.  Doyle will be holding him on his recipient mother […]

Devon, we hardly knew ye….

…our Cornwell correspondent, Juliet Cleave,  came up with this picture of an award-winning bull…the way Devon used to be…before the English (and the Americans) “improved” the breed. And it wasn’t that long ago:  1963! We’ve asked Juliet for more information.  For now, we only know his name was “Uggaton Highwayman 2nd”.

The “right stuff”….

….few things are as much fun as watching  a young dog learn to herd.  Our  nine-month old English shepherd “Pokey” has got it all figured out…except where to put the cows once she has them in a group.  Almost any corner will do.  We’re hoping a professional trainer will soon sort things out for her. […]

Famed Devon breeder a stroke victim….

Gerard (Jerry) Engh of Lakota Ranch has been stricken by a serious stroke.  Son Jeremy Engh tells the American Devon Cattle Association (ADCA) that the stroke occurred several weeks ago and Jerry is recuperating at the ranch in Remington. Jeremy says it may take a few months before there is a full recovery. The senior […]

Do we know what we’re doing….

….from our unintended (and intended) consequences file.  The mad scientists experimenting with gene modification have come up with the next generation: changing the molecules in wheat to change it’s carbohydrate content. The process is called “silencing” the genes but it apparently not only silences wheat genes but may match human genes and silence them, too.  […]

Food, the counter-revolution….

….we were at a party last weekend, and wound up sitting with two other couples at a table in the kitchen.  (I always position myself to watch the cook, if possible, or at least be closer to the “seconds”.) Near the end of the dinner, one of the women at the table commented this was […]

A familiar scene….

….if you’ve ever tried to spray fish oil.  Add in several other ingredients, and you have a recipe for a sprayer jam.  We’re fortunate to have a neighbor—Ira McDowell—who is a veteran tractor mechanic as well as an all-around handyman. That’s Ira unclogging the line from the outlet of the PTO pump while I “supervise”. […]

A light at the end of the tunnel….

….signaling the demise of ethanol? The corn-based product has been probably the worst fraud environmentalists have inflicted on us.  Ethanol is more of a pollutant than the gasoline it’s supposed to help clean up.  And meeting the so-called “demand” has driven up the price of corn to the point where it’s caused starvation in the rest of […]