Dead For A Good Cause

A few posts back I had made a statement about how we try to keep the farm as neat and tidy as possible by cleaning up and storing everything from hand tools to heavy equipment to recycling. I like to think we have a well kept place, but many times I am wrong. Continue reading

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Mud Piles Added to Hay Field

Mud overflowed the fenceline and pooled in the hayfield.The frozen tundra was the last to thaw. The many inches of rain we have gotten since the snow and ice just could not absorb into the ground.

So areas like this one got a sloppy, muddy run off. This spot is along the nursery field. There is a rocked road just on the other side of the fence and the hillside beyond that. The thin layer of dirt and mud that was thawed slid right over the top of the layers that were still frozen.

The slurry flowed down under the wire fence and deposited itself in sweeping mounds at the edge of the field. These mounds will have to be taken care of before the grass tries to grow through the thick layer because the hay equipment will not be able to drive through and the grass will get choked out.

The spots that are the thicker layers of deposit will be scooped up, the bigger ones by tractor and the smaller ones by shovel and bucket. The deposits that are thinner yet will be dragged apart by the field harrow pulled behind the Gator. The harrow is nothing more than a blanket of steel teeth pulled behind a piece of equipment that combs through the grass to pull out moss while smoothing mole mounds, foot imprints, and other small imperfections in the topsoil.

We harrow all the hay fields every spring anyway, we will just have to spend a couple of extra days on this area to get it back into healthy, grass growing production. The harrowing will start when the ground has firmed up after the winter rains.

Three Car Mud Room

There is an awful lot of paraphernalia needed to be a farmer. I am not talking about tools and equipment, this story is about clothing.

My garage is strewn with tennis shoes, old tennis shoes designated for splashing in the river, garden shoes, short boots, plastic boots, knee boots, muck boots and hiking boots. I have gear for each of the 43 different rain definitions. I have a wind breaker, a short-sleeved golf shirt, a long sleeved golf shirt, white jacket, black jacket, hooded versions of each of the above and still more coats for severe weather along with rain-gear of every fabric, texture, thickness and weight.

Especially with this last month of exceptional rain totals, the garage served as a drying rack for each set of soaked garments. Any rig that made it into the garage became space for drying clothing. It was not unusual to hear conversations such as, “Have you seen the car?” with answers like, “Did you look under the raincoats and inside-out jeans?” As we have been peeling off wet clothing and replacing with drier ones, I am reminded that the weather will soon be colder and the heavy duty clothing will be needed.

I look out into the field of cows who are perfectly contented as the rain pelts them during their meals of hay or as they graze about the field. Their coverings suit them well during the cold, the hot, the wet and the dry. They don’t need a large mud room to dry sets of garments or a laundry room that is constantly piled with dirty clothes on one side and clean clothes on the other. Just a good shake now and then and they go about their day. Sometimes it would just be easier to be a critter…

Now you will have to excuse me, it’s time for me to go muck-out the garage, again.

Ditching

There is an area near the new barn across the river where the rain that comes off the roof creates a wet area. It affects where we have to drive a rock road to get the hay to to outside feeders. While the ground is still bone dry, it is time to get a ditch opened up to dig in a culvert to divert the water away from the road.

Two men shoveling out a ditch.The bucket on the tractor loosened up the rock and dirt yet still we had to manually clean and straighten the ditch.

This day we were able get the culvert in and with the help of the tractor once again get the ditched closed back up.

More rock was dumped and smoothed over filled in ditch. Now we just have to wait for the rains to see if we did a good job.