Get Set, Go

The day was a flurry of activity. I finished the show barn chores and headed across the river where I had a pile of wood ready to split. Since we had moved the main herd to the far, far field I was able to have the Super Splitter sitting under a waterproof tarp right next to the pile and was ready to get going rather than hauling it out of the barn and setting up.

I split firewood and kindling for an hour and a half before it was time to feed the main herd in the far, far field. With the rain we have had, the river is too deep to run the Gator through so we use the tractor back and forth. It is much easier and faster when two of us feed so I get to ride on the pallet with hay bales, it is attached to the front loader forks of the tractor. While Mike drives backward through the field, I fling slabs of hay this way and that so the cattle can get to eating without pestering each other.

After feeding, I went back to splitting. We hauled one trailer load of kindling into the barn and stacked it into a crib for curing. Then we made a second trip to the bull barn where we unloaded the Gator full of firewood pieces and a trailer full of dry/cured kindling.

When we finished unloading it was past lunchtime, so we took a quick break and had delicious grilled tomato and cheese sandwiches before heading back across the river. Mike wanted to take the tractor up the hill to bring down some wood, and I grabbed a bucket and knife and went Chanterelle mushroom hunting. Mike has a term for these quick one-bucket walks, he calls them sashays. So funny to hear him talking about taking a little sashay through the forest.

It pays to remember where the mushrooms had been in the past because I walked right to a dandy of a spot and filled my bucket and a bag(an spare I tucked into my pocket, just in case) in a couple of minutes. I had my picking done before Mike had gotten the tractor to the top of the hill. Since I had nothing else I could pick into, I headed down hill.

The dogs and I spent some quality time cleaning up the landing while we waited for Mike to come down the hill. By the time he had come down, it was time again to do the evening feeding so the tractor was put to work hauling hay bales.

Getting to the house after chores, I cleaned the 10 lbs of mushrooms and we ate about 5 lbs for dinner. I made a Chanterelle, garlic, butter sauce to go over jasmine rice. Fantastic!

You gotta see the pictures! They are posted with this story on SchmidlinAngusFarms.com. While you are there, if there is any online shopping you plan on doing, please go through my picture links. By doing so, I may make a small commission without a charge to you! The commissions help pay for my user charges for this site, Thank You for supporting the farm

A Week Without A Delivery

It has been a busy summer and the loads of firewood have been going out nearly every week with sometimes having two loads in a week. It has been keeping up busy trying to keep up.

But this week was a break from the norm and we did not have a delivery scheduled. We have spent the time that we would have been wrapping, loading and delivering in a productive way by starting to get the dry firewood stacked into the barn to be used during the winter months.

We had to separate the stack of hay bales from the wood so we used a tarp as a curtain to keep the two segregated. Then Mike moved cribs filled with dry wood along the wall and I started stacking more wood along the cribs to be safely contained in their area. We also began moving seasoned hardwood into another area so we will have premium bundles available.

So far we have about four cord of wood all stacked up with the plan on at least four more cord in this area plus five cord will be put into the Big Red Beast after she is done with her rock hauling fall job. After being filled with wood the Big Red Beast will be covered and stored in another barn until needed for the firewood project. We are hoping our stacks in the bull barn will last until December before we have to break into the truck.

You gotta see the pictures! They are posted with this story on SchmidlinAngusFarms.com. While you are there, if there is any online shopping you plan on doing, please go through my picture links. By doing so, I may make a small commission without a charge to you! The commissions help pay for my user charges for this site, Thank You for supporting the farm

The Thanks I Get

It was a warm morning of cutting up 16 inch pieces from the log deck I’m trying to work through. I wanted to save enough time to get the pieces that I had gotten cut split into appropriate sizes for bundles before all the equipment had to be shut down for the day because of fire season.

While I had my back turned to all my hard work, Butler the dog decided that the nice layer of wood chips I had made would make a very comfortable napping spot. Even with all the noise of the splitter and me chucking pieces this way and that, Butler dozed on.

That’s the kind of thanks I get around here, if everyone is comfortable that must mean I have done my job well.

You gotta see the pictures! They are posted with this story on SchmidlinAngusFarms.com. While you are there, if there is any online shopping you plan on doing, please go through my picture links. By doing so, I may make a small commission without a charge to you! The commissions help pay for my user charges for this site, Thank You for supporting the farm

Trimming Time

For the last month we have been eking out bits of time to make up dry, full sized logs into 16 inch pieces, splitting to manageable sizes and wrapped into bundles during the in-betweens of the hay season and regular chores. It has been a battle since we do not have electricity across the river where the logs are, and no logs on this side of the river where the wrapper is. The finished bundles that are usually stored inside the garage where there is a comfortable place to load the pickup does not have a high enough doorway to get the bigger loads that we have been hauling during ‘this unprecedented time’.

We have been looking for those small time savings in order to keep the firewood project running during this crunch.

A couple of times already, we have moved the main herd out of our way by letting them graze in the far, far field. That saves the amount of time needed to move them out of the working area while cutting and splitting. We can also have all the equipment out near the wood pile without fear that some critter will destroy it by scratching their thick necks or dropping poop piles in our way.

We have been staging the loaded cribs in the bull barn, three and four at a time while we have the tractor out of the other farm duties and while it has the front end loader tines hooked up. We have not been bothering to put any pallets of bundles into the garage at all but many times are wrapping and directly loading the pickup out in the barn.

All of our time saving measures so far have kept us stocked enough for weekly deliveries, but I have not yet been able to make up the wood needed to carry us through the winter delivery schedule or our own personal firewood for the house. Now looking for a way to turn back time in order to get it all done.

What Are The Odds

I have two saws for my little firewood project. The are exactly the same, well, not quite.

One saw was purchased and a few months later I blew up the motor.  I really don’t know what that means. Nothing projectile-ed anything, there was no sparks or fire, no loud boom of any kind. I just had no uuumph when I pulled the starter cord. No compression sounds from the engine. Could not even get it to begin to turn over. So now you know that I am basically mechanically stupid, just never figured out how that stuff works. I do know when something is broken, and this saw was broken.

While my under warranty, broken saw was being examined and doctored on by highly competent mechanics, I needed a saw. Mike purchased another one that was the exact same model number and I used it for three weeks until my older saw was fixed and brought home.

We wanted to make sure the fixed saw was working correctly, did not want to have a lemon sitting idle. In order to tell the new saw from the one that was just brought home from the fix-it shop, Mike took a can of spray paint and gave it a good Rorschach type inkblot with black paint right on the top where it could be easily identified as the saw to use first.

With the new saw sitting idle, a dirty birdie flew by and marked the new saw with his own kind of inkblot. Wouldn’t you know it, the birdie blot is nearly identical to Mike’s blot. I have to keep checking both saws when I go to grab one to make sure I don’t mix them up. I suppose I could just clean the birdie saw, but I do love a good challenge…

You gotta see the pictures! They are posted with this story on SchmidlinAngusFarms.com. While you are there, if there is any online shopping you plan on doing, please go through my picture links. By doing so, I may make a small commission without a charge to you! The commissions help pay for my user charges for this site, Thank You for supporting the farm

 

The Neighbor Is Going Bald

It is not always easy to get along with neighbors even when they live several miles away. But lately I have been having a bit of a feud with a rather close neighbor and it seems that this one is going to end up bald and it may be because of me.

You see I have had an upstairs neighbor move into my work area recently. In the beginning we both got along peaceably and basically ignored each others comings and goings. I didn’t disturb the neighbor and the neighbor didn’t disturb me as I stacked wood in the cradle and wound the plastic wrap around to secure bundles of firewood before stacking onto pallets. I could work several hours at a time without even hearing a peep out of the neighbor. Continue reading

Questions About The Super Split

The reason I talk about the gadget I use to split firewood in a lot of the farm stories is because the Super Split is an incredible addition to my wood making equipment. I have also had questions about the equipment.

The purchase was easy through the Oregon Woodland Co-Op (OWC). Both electric and gas powered versions are available for purchase. A smart customer recently ordered a Super Split with both the gas powered and electric motor so they can be switched out as to what is needed where they are working that session. I happened to purchase the gas motor powered version because I knew I would be working on the side of the river where we do not have electric available. The unit is self-contained and easy to hitch up to the Gator to move it where I need to do the work. Continue reading

On The Back Burner

Just before beginning hay season, Mike declared that we needed to remove all the firewood project paraphernalia out of the barn for a clean area to stack bales and move hay equipment.

Hooray, I thought to myself, moving the Splitter, the cribs, waste/chunk buckets, saws and the like would work to my advantage. I would happily set up an outdoor workspace near the log deck to work more efficiently. The big problem with that would be the main herd of cows that enjoy scuffling around in the fresh wood chips and depositing great globs of manure. When Mike said he wanted to move the cows across the field to eat around the far, far pasture while we worked on the hay I thought my worries were over. Continue reading

Old Joke

Remember that old saying about if you are looking for wisdom on a particular subject you should ask a farmer because he is always out-standing in his field? That is what I am reminded of when this time of year is calling us and especially Mike to walk through the hayfields ans assess the timing to begin hay harvest. Now that we are within a month of cutting the some of the fields, the walks have become a daily ritual.

Each field ripens differently since we have no flat area anywhere on the farm. The river meanders through with odd eddies and horseshoe bends, and each hayfield is shaded in parts from riparian trees, the tall trees in the old railroad grade and the hillside. The sun doesn’t hit some of the slopes or shady spots this time of year.

Mike’s daily walks are usually with the company of a dog or two and they make their way around the thin spots and the lush ones, areas with more white clover and those with fine meadow grass. He reaffirms his mental maps as to how far the bog area of the big field encroaches out into the field from the old tile. The new sunken areas from ancient old growth roots that have begun to decay now that the live tree tops and subsequent stumps have been gone more than a hundred years. He evaluates how much damage the elk herds have been doing and how much vegetation they are leaving for us to harvest.

Our time for reflection is drawing to a close as we inch our way toward hay season. We are already starting to transition out of processing firewood which has remained stronger than usual in sales this spring. All the splitting area of the barn will be cleaned out so the hay equipment can be pulled out of hibernation. The empty cribs used to hold split wood will be stacked up out of the way of hay production as with the Super Splitter and the chainsaws. The few cribs  full of wood that we have ready to wrap into bundles are tucked into a corner of the bull barn where I’ll be able to  continue to make a small supply for weekly deliveries.

As for Mike, he is probably outstanding in his field as he ponders the next few weeks here on the farm.

You gotta see the pictures! They are posted with this story on SchmidlinAngusFarms.com. While you are there, if there is any online shopping you plan on doing, please go through my picture links. By doing so, I may make a small commission without a charge to you! The commissions help pay for my user charges for this site, Thank You for supporting the farm stories.

Ramping Up Production

I used to call my garage my ‘three car mud room’, and this time of year the garage is more like a mud room than a garage at all. The third bay has never been used as car space. It houses the big freezers, extra storage space and had been the area used for the butcher table until we took over the square footage with bundles of firewood and kindling last year.

The garage has become more of a multi-use area. Instead of parking my car in the garage, the pickup gets preferential treatment so the bed is dry when we want to load and tarp the firewood orders. Even the pickup got ousted from the garage this week because we needed the space to finish drying off firewood so that we don’t run out of product in the upcoming month before the weather turns a little drier. Since I am away from the farm this coming week, the garage option was the perfect solution to all the rain-soaked but seasoned wood.

The barn has been busy across the river with splitting firewood and kindling. The split wood was then stacked neatly into cribs. The cribs were moved one by one across the river and county road and placed in the garage with dehumidifiers and fans running to finish drying the soggy outsides of the cured wood.

After all the hustle as a family unit, we were able to get over two and a half cord of wood nestled into cribs settled into the garage. I can already see what is ahead for me when I return to the farm at the end of the week. I anyone tries to find me, I will be out in the bull barn bundling at full speed.

Since mrssusanschmidlin.wordpress.com is nearly out of data, the complete story can be found at SchmidlinAngusFarms.com. I encourage you to check it out, get your information in on the FOLLOW button spot, and get every story in full color. I would be grateful if you did want to do any cyber shopping to use my links on the stories on that site. By using my links, I get credit for directing people to shop and may make a small commission without any cost to you! Your support helps support the website to be available for the daily stories. Thank you for supporting SchmidlinAngusFarms.com