Experiments around the farm


 

 

Jim Tate

Jim Tate

PDF FARM EXPERIMENTS

8/28/2016

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I liked the new letterhead that I made for the OP-ED article so I am going to use it again…The mule is my good friend Stewarts good little mule Dancehall Dixie….The jackass riding the mule is yours truly.

 

I have a lot of photos I took of various things this morning as I was working.  The photos are from the cell phone and I cannot see to aim the thing in the sunlight so the photos are not as good as my regular camera.  The phone camera is just as high a quality but if you cannot see to aim it the photography suffers.

 

This is the mornings work area…the three pvc pipes are the left hand boundary of the two lots grazed by the heifers this past week…this area will be broadcast to cool season seed mix and bushoged and closed off while the cattle move to the next lots up the hill.

mornings work area

In sowing yesterdays lot my shoulder bag seeder when kaput….so while I was out yesterday afternoon I stopped by home depot to get one they advertised on line….but they failed to have one in the store….

So I stopped at tractor supply and found this one for a little more than half the price and I think I am going to like this one.

ground work

Metal gears that are exposed and can be lubricated.  Metal seed opening adjustment.

metal gears

Real good seed distribution.  Easy adjustment for volume and easy cranking….

seeding rate

Below is a step that I got behind on this year…and I have been paying the price.  I did not trim under the electric fences the first time we grazed and then the crops got over them and I have been trimming fences ever since…this works for me as well as anything…a mower with the wheels set as high as I can set them….lot easier than a string trimmer..I have a wheeled string trimmer and it is worthless.  This little mower handles blackberries and small trees and poke berries and the residue.  More on residue to follow….residue is important…Part of what I want to illustrate is the amount of residue I am leaving….in this paddock the residue probably averages 8 inches high or more…I could make them eat more…

But that does not leave anything for the livestock underground….building the soil microbia is a key component to building the soil….this takes underground roots and surface residue…my goal is for the livestock to take half and leave half and I think we have come closer to it this year than any year in the past….a good part of the credit must go to the timely rains we have had most of the summer….water is the most important nutrient.

residue mower

I have learned some things this year…It is not awful for grasses to go to seed.  I have a couple of wet paddocks that I could not get into to seed or bushog after grazing….these paddocks had a pretty good mat of walked down residue and I wondered how it was going to affect the grass…the orchard grass and fescue  had put up seed heads and they had matured before it got dry enough to even let the horses in that area.  Now a month or so after grazing I have new grass showing all over the lot.  Natural reseeding.  I am also seeing increased red clover in areas where I have not seeded red clover in a couple of years.  In addition if the livestock grazed those seed heads they help with the reseeding.  Yes I get a few weeds but weeds have some value as long as they do not take over…bush hogging after grazing will control the weeds.  I actually need more goats to graze with the cattle for better weed utilization.  My lazy goats are not hungry and lay about the barn most of the day.

The morning light was not the best for the photo below. It shows the stages of the lots mown and sown the last three weeks.  Last weeks has barley up about three inches tall today.  The grasses are too fine to see.  Clover is starting to become apparent.

last three weeks

I mentioned above that I have lots that did fine without mowing…the only reason I mow regularly after grazing is for weed control and to suppress the existing vegetation to allow the new seed to get established.  A good grass stand will not allow much competition to get established.

Below is where I will talk about what I learned about quantifying the value of residue just this weekend.  Some background is in order.

A couple of years ago I attempted to set up an aquaculture experiment…raising fish in rain water tanks and using plants grown in gravel to filter the water and fertilize the plants…My experiment did not work because I could not find an economical 12 volt pumping system…small pumps would not pump enough water and the fish did not get enough aeration, and pumps of sufficient volume killed the battery beyond solar charging capacity.  So for a couple of seasons now I have just scattered seed in the tubs full of gravel and observed what would grow.  Last summer I dropped some improved crab grass seed in these tubs and grew a whale of a crop….no nutrients just kept it watered growing in pea gravel.  In the fall I dropped some cool season cover in it and had a decent spring cover crop, again just gravel and water….when the cover crop faded with summer heat the crab grass came back,,,naturally reseeded…I normally water my cover crop buckets daily and also water these tubs…

Now, these tubs have a valve system to keep them from getting water logged and if full, the drain opens and drains the tub…sometimes a heavy rain will trigger the valve and I have to refill them…so I check the water about every day….Normal transpiration will use about two to three quarts of water per day.

I decided to drop some cover crop seed in the gravel again this fall…the crab grass and buckwheat had overgrown the walking area so I decided to cut it back…I took some shears and cut it back to about six inches and generated a pile of residue.  After I generated the pile of residue….I thought why not chop this up and mulch the seed with it…the second tub I did not cut as it was not in my walking area.  The residue I took off when chopped up made about a five gallon bucket of mulch….I put it on the seed and it made a layer at least six inches thick….All this was late Friday afternoon.   I did my regular watering during that evenings chores.  Saturday afternoon the tub with no mulch required the regular two quarts of water.  The tub with the mulch require 1 pint of water….only one quarter of the normal amount.  I will try to see how long the effect lasts.  Same on Sunday….two quarts in the tub with no mulch and about a pint to the tub with the mulch.

Photo below is the mulched tub and then the two tubs side by side.

Update 9/7/2016

the mulch tub is still only using about a pint or less of water per day…..the unmulched tub is using a quart and a half to two quarts depending on the heat of the day.   the fall cover crop is coming up in both….more easily seen in the unmulched tub but the cover is coming up through the mulch in the mulched tub.  will try to get some new photos

 

mulched tub

two tubs

 

 

 

Seeding summer cover at PDF 7 8 2016


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WE GOT AN EARLY START THIS MORNING AND SEEDED A PADDOCK THE CALVES WENT INTO MONDAY NIGHT…THIS FIRST PHOTO IS TO SHOW THE SMALL SIZE OF MOST OF MY PADDOCKS…THIS ONE IS ABOUT 40 FEET BY 100 FEET AND IT CARRIED FIVE WEANLING CALVES FOR FOUR DAYS

SEEDED WITH 4 LBS PEARL MILLET, 4 LBS OF COWPEAS, 1LB OF KOREAN AND 1 LB OF FOXTAIL MILLET.  THE SEED WAS BROADCAST AND THEN I WENT OVER IT WITH MY HIGH TECH SOWING EQUIPMENT

ABOUT 40 FT BY 100 FT

MARIE SENT A SUPERVISOR TO MAKE SURE i DID EVERYTHING RIGHT.

SUPERVISOR

BELOW IS A PADDOCK RESEEDED LAST WEEK

SEEDED ON WEEK AGO

THIS IS A CLOSEUP SHOT THAT SHOWS THE RESIDUE AND THAT THE SEED WAS PRETTY WELL COVERED UP WITH MY HIGH TECH PROCESS.

RESIDUE AND SEED SEEMS COVERED

THIS IS THE CALVES PREPPING THE NEXT PADDOCK FOR SEEDING…YEAH IT IS A LITTLE WEEDY BUT IT HAS NOT BEEN GRAZED SINCE EARLY SPRING WHEN THE GOATS WERE IN THESE PADDOCKS.

PREPING A LOT FOR SEEDING

THIS IS THE ADJOINING PADDOCK THAT WAS SEEDED ON JULY 4TH….IT WAS TOO WET THEN TO PUT THE TRACTOR ON IN. SO THE DOCK SEED HEADS ARE STILL THERE….i DON’T WORRY ABOUT DOCK ON THE COW SIDE AS THEY WILL EAT IT….THE HORSES NOT SO MUCH.  THE SEED SOWN ON TH E4TH IS ALREADY UP

LOT BROADCAST LAST WEEK

THIS IS THE LOT THE HORSES HAD THIS WEEK….FOR NEARLY A WEEK….THREE HORSES AND TWO MINI DONKS.  THEY GRAZED A LOT AND WALKED A LOT DOWN….LOADS OF RESIDUE….TOO WET TO GET ON WITH TRACTOR SO i AM JUST SHUTTING IT OFF AND LETTING THE PRETTY GOOD GRASS REGENERATE.

HORSE LOT JUST GRAZED TOO WET TO GET ON

HERE IS THE HIGH TECH EQUIPMENT….I BROADCAST THE SEED BECAUSE MY EXPENSIVE EQUIPMENT DOES NOT DROP SEED EVENLY BUT IT DOES A PRETTY GOOD JOB OF GETTING IT TO THE SOIL…AFTER BROADCASTING SEED THIS MORNING THERE WERE SEED EVERYWHERE…AFTER MOWING AND AERATING YOU REALLY HAD TO LOOK FOR THE SEED.  MY THANKS TO THE LOCAL STARLING FLOCK WHO SENT IN A SPECIAL TEAM TO HELP ME FIND SEED.

HIGH TECH EQUIPMENT

BELOW IS A CLOSEUP OF THE WEEDY LOT BROADCAST ON THE 4TH…SEED IS COMING UP….I USED A MUCH MORE DIVERSE MIX ON THIS PADDOCK THAN i USED TODAY.

BIG BULL 1 COMING UP

THIS IS TODAYS PADDOCK SEEN FORM THE OTHER END.  THE GREEN IN THE BACKGROUND IS A PADDOCK THAT WAS SIMILARLY SEEDED TWO WEEKS AGO.  BUT IT HAS A PRETTY STRONG STAND OF ORCHARDGRASS FESCUE AND CLOVER….WE WILL SEE HOW THE COVER SPECIES DO IN IT.

BIB BULL 2 RESEEDING

Holiday Joy


Sunday, July 03, 2016………………………. Typical Holiday weekend….Holidays have always presented me with trying times…it seems like the fates store up stuff and then dump em on me when they go off for a holiday….

Started out Thursday evening with the well pressure Tank going bad…but bless his heart, Zack Stern with New Day Mechanical got us going again with an evening service call. In the process he updated a lot of old junk plumbing and simplified everything….

I promised him I would take a picture of the stuff that came out and send it to him but I have not yet had a chance

Marie informed me Thursday night that she had to be at the hospital by 9:30 Friday morning to be admitted for her leg……….Took her in Friday morning and it took half a day to get her in a room and settled…………the first 24 hours were tough as they gave her something for pain and it caused her to be sick to her stomach and it took a while to figure out what was doing it.

Julie Vican was kind enough to rearrange her day and fit me in in the afternoon rather than Friday morning…It was a regularly scheduled appointment but Pete is lame with an abcess…

When I got home Saturday my friend Court Warfield was sitting in the driveway with some food for me from his wife Andie…it was frozen so I put it in the refrigerator to thaw and have not eaten any of it yet…Maybe for supper tonight.

Marie has her regular doctors looking after her and they called in a wound specialist and he is running cultures and changed her antibiotic to an iv 4 times per day….I was there Sunday morning when doctor Brown came in to look at it and he was very pleased with the improvement….

Dr. Gonzales, the wound doctor had not been in yet when I left this morning. She is real homesick and so I am going to take the dogs to see her tomorrow….I will call when I am on the way and her nurse will bring her down to see her dogs……..Apache misses her and he keeps going downstairs to look for her….. or a treat…but the treats come from her every time he looks at her

I cut grass all afternoon yesterday after I got back from the hospital…I did get some seed scattered on a paddock the calves had grazed…   the one the horse had been in is too wet to get the tractor in and there is so much residue that seeding it without mowing it would be a waste of time so I just changed the gates and left it alone..

This morning I went to the hospital and then to the grocery store….did manage to weigh the calves this afternoon……but rainy so I am trying to catch up on computer logs and stuff…..damned grass looks like it needs to be cut again…..more proof that the number one nutrient is water…I have the old aquaponics experiment tank that has nothing but gravel and water in it and it has a great summer cover crop growing on it…I just sprinkled some of the cover crop seeds on the gravel….in the residue of last falls rye and vetch cover crop in the same tub.

PDF FARM SHOTS 6 26 2016


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RANDOM SHOTS FROM AROUND THE HOMESTEAD TODAY

THIS FIRST ONE IS MY FREEZER STEER AND THREE OF COURTS FOUR HEIFERS,  THE FOURTH WAS LYING AT MY FEET

CALVES ESCAPE HEAT AND FLIES

THIS IS THE PATCH OF MOSTLY CHICORY AND CLOVER THAT IS IN THE GARDEN…WELL THE WHOLE GARDEN HAS IT BUT i MOW PATHS BETWEEN THE ROWS.  DECIDED A COUPLE OF WEEKS AGO TO LET THIS PATCH GO AND SEE WHAT A COVER IT MAKES.  WILL BE THE SPOT FOR TOMATOES NEXT YEAR.

CHICORY AND CLOVER COVER CROP

THIS IS COVER CROP BROADCAST ON A SACRIFICE ARE IN THE HORSE SIDE…SOWN ABUT SIX WEEKS AGO AFTER GRAZING.

COVER ON THE SACRIFICE LOT

I AM LIKING MY PLANT TOWERS….PICKED TWO CUCUMBER AFTER TAKING THIS PHOTO

FIRST CUCUMBER

PICKED MY FIRST TOMATOE FORM THE TOWER AS WELL….OKAY IT IS A CHERRY TOMATO BUT ITS MINE.  AND THE WIND HAS BROKEN THIS PLANT OFF TWICE.

FIRST TOMATO OF 2016

GETTING A HANDFULL OF KIOWA BERRYS EVERY DAY FOR A FEW DAYS NOW…

GETTING A FEW BLACKBERRIES

NIMROD LIKES TO LAY IN THIS SPOT TO WORK ON HIS TAN.

HE LIKES IT HERE SUNBATHING

THE SQUASH ARE DOING OKAY BUT THE LETTUCE HAS BOLTED…HAVE SOME MORE ON THE WAY

 

LETTUCE HAS BOLTED

MARIES GUARD DOG….HE WILL ONLY LEAVE HER TO GO OUTSIDE WITH ME.

MARIES GUARD DOG

NEW SEEDLINGS BEHIND THE CHICKEN TRACTOR….I PUT DOWN SOME SEED EVERY TIME i MOVE IT

 

MORE RECENT TRACKS

GUARD DOG ON THE LEFT…..WATCH DOG ON THE RIGHT

MY HELPERS

NELLY IS BACK TO WORK EATING WEEDS

NELLY AT WORK

PEPPERS ARE DOING OKAY EXCEPT THE DEER KEEP EATING THEM…ATE ONE DOWN TO THE STALK THE OTHER NIGHT AND WAS STANDING THERE WATCHING ME WHEN I WENT TO WORK IN THE MORNING.

PEPPERS IN PAILS

i DO LIKE MY PLANT TOWERS…PRETTY AND PRODUCTIVE.  THE COLOR IS FILLING IN WITH THE FOILAGE…THE TOMATO IN THE TOP WAS A BRANCH THAT FROKE OFF OANTHER PLANT AND i STUCK IT IN THE TOP…THRIVING

PLANT TOWER 1

ROCKS AND WATER….THIS IS A TUB OF GRAVEL FROM A FAILED AQUAPONICS EXPERIMENT….i COULD NOT ECONOMICALLY GET THE PUMPING RIGHT….SINCE THEN IT HAS BEEN A COVER CROP EXPERIMENT…HAD RYE AND VETCH IN IT OVER THE WINTER….NOW PEAS AND MILLET

ROCKS AND WATER

THIS MATER IS ABOUT THE SIZE OF A BASEBALL….NOT LONG NOW

SIZE OF A BASEBALL

SPATTER IS HEADING FOR THE SHADE

SPLATTER HEADING FOR THE SHADE

SQUASH AND ZUCHINI ARE DOING WELL IN THE BALE GARDEN ROW.  CUCUMBER ON THE FAR END ON THE TRELLIS

SQUASH AND ZUCHINI IN THE BALE GARDEN

SQUASH ARE BLOOMING AND BOOMING…PICKED THREE TODAY THE SIZE OF FOOTBALLS AND GAVE THEM TO THE CHICKENS.

SQUASH ARE BOOMING AND BLOOMING

SUMMER COVER CROP BUCKET 1….THE DEER LIKES THIS AS WELL…KEEPS IT MUNCHED.

SUMMER COVER BKT 1 THE DEER LIKE IT

SECOND PLANTING OF SUMMER COVER   PLANTED LATE MAY

SUMMER COVER LATER PLANTING

TWO BUCKETS OF THIRD PLANTING SUMMER COVER…PLANTED EARLY JUNE…THESE BUCKET HAD COOL SEASON CROP…i CUT OFF THE COOL SEASON…SCATTERED THE WARM SEASON SEED AND CHOPPED UP THE COOL SEASON RESIDUE ON TOP OF THE SEED…IT WAS MOUNDED UP SIX INCHES AND THE SUMMER COVER IS COMING THRU IT.

SUMMER COVER PLANTED EARLY JUNE

THIS BUCKET OF SUMMER COVER WAS PLANTED MID JUNE…PREVIOUS COVER WAS FED TO THE GOATS

SUMMER COVER PLANTED MID JUNE

SUMMER COVER POT 1  THE DEEER HAVE NOT BOTHERED THIS ONE

SUMMER COVER POT 1

SUNFLOWER HAS SHOT UP IN THIS ONE

SUNFLOWER POPPED THRU

DID I MENTION THAT I LIKE MY PLANT TOWERS

TOMATO TOPWAS A BROKEN BRANCH

TOMATOS…3 PLANTINGS….3 VARIEIIES

TOMATOS, 3 PLANTINGS 3 VARIETIES

OLDER CHICKEN TRACTOR TRACKS….NOW THE HORSES GRAZED THIS LOT IN EARLY JUNE AND i MOWED IT AFTER THEY CAME OUT SO THIS IS ALL REGROWTH.

TRACKS OF THE CHICKEN TRACTOR

PETE IS ALWAYS CURIOUS AND ASKING ……WATCHA GOT?

WATCHA DOING

PDF update 6/19/2016


Sunday, June 12, 2016 BEEN AN interesting couple of weeks.  Marie has had cataract surgery on both eyes since I last took keyboard to hand.  First one went smooth as glass…a week later the second was more difficult and she had pain in her eye for a couple of days….it is rapidly getting better now…she is not even wearing glasses and only needs a 1.50 magnifyer off the shelf store glasses to read.  Definitely cheaper than my auto tint bifocals…….                      Now after the rainest May on record it has gotten hot and dry…….     Hay making is going on at full tilt whereever you look……  My second cousin Lee, came by yesterday and I helped him pull a new wire to the outlet where the freezer is….there was a short somewhere and he had us up and going in no time.  people everywhere having experiencs with copperheads….I wear my judge when ever I am out side…but all I have seen are black snakes until yesterday….I was pulling some weeds from a bed in the garden and apache was following something…all of a sudden a good sized garter sanke appeared in front of me…and right below my hand.  Almost fell over backward.  not having any cows here the grass is taking over.  I decided I needed a few calves to eat some grass and hold the snakes a little farther from the house.  So this morning I put a bridle on Perkins and we did some cow moving…Three of the weaned calves had gotten back with the cows…so first step was to open the gate and gather the cows and sort off those calves….one of them was a steer that I am bringing home to begin feeding for freezer beef….Then I sorted off four of Courts heifers and we brought those five over to my house.  Finished around 10:30 or 11:00.  It was beginning to get hot….  Perkins is still a great old man and is beginning to like cow work…He had one moment where he apparently thought the mineral feeder was a grizzly bear…thought he was going to unseat me for a bit but we worked thru it…Then we rode up on a lame turkey dusting himself in a dust hole….may flies and small black horse flies were both pretty bad…….then after lunch I mowed and reseeded the paddock the horses have been in this week….     Our nanny goat Nellie, finally had her long awaited Kid….A single male goat born on D Day….I named him Ike…got off to a slow start with him being a little dumb and her not wanting to stand to be nursed….I milked her and fed him with a syringe the first evening…next morning he had a full tummy…I check him two or three times a day and he always has a full tummy and she normally has one teat or the other flaccid, but this afternoon was the first time I have actually seen him nurse.  She apparently is a pretty good milker and one side is all he can take at a serving.
Friday, June 17, 2016 I would have slept thru the storm if Dee Dee had not been so scared of the noise.,,,Court just came by to check on us…I said that I did not think the storm was bad here….I watched out the window as the southern sky was continuously lit up with lightening and thought to myself that Richmond must be catching hell….about that time we had a brilliant flash that hit within a mile or two and the whole house reverberated….next one was 12 to 15 miles away…Court said that Hoge Smith lost a hay barn,,,didn’t know yet what from…I just poured out and inch of rain from the gauge but the power did not even blink here…..the rain was hard enough that the direct teevee was out for about 49 minutes…it is still misting rain this morning…..turned on the news and sure enough Richmond got hammered….thousands without power…trees and power lines down ….roads blocked and the schools are closed.
Sunday, June 19, 2016 Well when I went out Friday morning all of the cows were in the ell behind my house…they were not supposed to be there…I had apparently left the electric fence off and they just helped themselves and walked thru and tore down a lot of electric fence…..so I spent Friday morning moving cows and fixing fence….when I got it back up and on it turned em okay….Friday afternoon I managed to sow one of the front paddocks and mow the grass the horses didn’t eat..   Marie had to work Saturday morning and I spent the morning cutting grass and trimming.  In the afternoon she wanted to take me out to eat for Fathers day…I told her I was not her father but she was insistent.     early afternoon I put Nelly and Ike in the garden lot so she could get some grass…she had pretty well mowed where she was….Ike was running and playing…I went to the house to get the camera and when I came back he dashed into the horse round pen and got stepped on….he was dead before I could get to him….I cried like a baby while I was burying him, and Marie is still bummed out and angry over it….when we went to eat we drove across Hewlett road to Jericho Road and saw why Hoge Smith lost a barn….both sides of the north Anna River looked like a war zone…trees down everywhere…..there was a storm cell that went thru there that must have been ferocious….       Sunday morning I took Perkins to Lake Anna and we rode with a small crowd to celebrate the 75th birthday of Jim Leahy….I hope to still be riding if and when I hit that milestone.   we rode 4.77 miles and then had some snacks and birthday cake and came on home….Perkins did well but he is not in the shape he was in….He was ready to quit when we got back to the trailer….we got back home before it got hot.

Log entry 5/29/2016


Sunday, May 29, 2016 This morning I was determined to put the harness on MisS Star Baby and begin her education as a driving horse.  She was not thrilled but she did real well….took me a while to figure out the harness and make all the adjustments…today we just worked on her learning how to wear it and basic commands…whoa, back, gee rournd, gee over, haw round, haw over…about 50 per cent she would gee and haw over on voice command…made good progress…did not drive her but simply walked her and practiced commands.  I reckon we walked about two miles and never left the little lot we were in…we both worked up a good sweat….later at supper she asked me why I done that too her…I told her to reckon back a couple of years when she auditioned as a bucking bronc and put me on the ground and busted my ribs…then looked at me and said what are you doing down there old man?

first day in harness

below  is a shot of a single yellow sweet clover plant.  This is the second year for this plant…it started from seed last year and over wintered….in the second year it grows prodigiously and blooms and sets seed….In the second year it is deep rooted although this specimen is in a bucket.  I find it to be a difficult plant to grow and it certainly does not do well when broadcast…or at least it has not done well for me….   I spent a lot of time mowing grass and trimming this weekend…was trimming under fences today around the yard….Hit something and it stopped the mower…plulled it back to restart and had chopped up a big black snake….never saw him….but the grass is so tall I beeen wearing my judge all the time when I am outside….started raining about 4:00 pm and it is raining pretty hard now…Did get two paddocks seeded this weekend….If I have a couple of afternoons to work Star Baby maybe I can use her to drag the one I do next weekend.  Then to fix a sled for hauling stuff…yellow sweet clover

log entry 5/1/2016


Sunday, April 24, 2016
Knew that I had gotten pretty trifling but did not know it had been a year since I put anything in the log….fear not…I am not going to try to catch up here…spent the morning fixing fences…30 year old fences need repair frequently…repairing is sometimes more difficult than rebuilding…ceertainly not as pretty. Planted four big bertha peppers and four celebrity tomatoes in buckets yeasterday. cukes and squash are coming up but the crows are picking them off…we had a quarter of an inch of much needed rain Friday night…but still dry…reseeded ell 3c yesterday. plan on splitting wood this afternoon.

Monday, April 25, 2016
Went to Dayton and picked up Star Baby’s harness. Trip was uneventful…when I got back I piddled in the garden till time to do chores. Weeded and resowed the carrots. Had a good crop of lambsquarter in them but not many carrots….cucumbers and squash were trying to come up but birds were picking them off at leaflet stage…found a lot of dead stems….replanted…filled in the peas where the dry weather had gotten them…watered everything.
Tuesday, April 26, 2016
back to work today….Started at 6:00 am setting up for the MWEE…finished by a little after eight..back to the office for a conference call at 9:00. after the conference call tried to catch up on things undone the last two weeks…then the computer internet went out….another digging crew had cut our line for the third or fourth time since the new courthouse project has been underway. Then at noon Marie called and we had a leak on the back porch. home to diagnose and disassemble…back to Ashland for parts and back home to make repairs…was not too tough…at least accessible….finished and fed the stock and now awaiting on supper and then a bath and most likely asleep on the couch.
Saturday, April 30, 2016
been a week…but I made it….Wednesday was the last day of MWEE and it was the day I had to teach Wetlands…Also had to do what I had been doing which was to assist in setup. Then I slipped on a wet hillside and fell in front of the very first class. Biggest injury was to my pride but I was sore for a couple of days. then after teaching we had to break down and haul back to the office. Thursday and Friday were back in the office to try to catch up. This morning my plan is to find a place to hang the harness and then go to the feed store. have not been in a couple of weeks so today will be expensive. supposed to be wet and rainy most of the weekend..been dry for a month and then starting Wednesday evening we have had rain and hard at times…I have measured 9/10 of an inch so far. We really needed the rain as it was really dry. for most of April we had March winds and no rain…all the surface water was just evaporated…grass growth has been way behind.
Sunday, May 01, 2016
Well Saturday was eventful…got the things I wanted to do mostly done…temporary improvisation on hanging the harness…trips to two feed stores..got some more tomatoes planted…four rutgers…already have four celebrities…Found a broken post and drove a steel post in along side it to hold it up… found a broken fence and mended it…tried gripples and it worked great and so easy…two grazing paddocks one the goats have been in for two weeks and one the horses have been in for a week got seed broadcast and then drug a tire over them to get some soil to seed contact….Still have the splitter on the tractor as I have two more piles of wood that need to be spit before I put the bushog on the tractor….the goat lot had a big patch of barley that the goats did not graze and the tire laid it down in a nice mat…picked up my summer mix form Ashland Feed and Seed and a half and half mix of that and some cool season mix is what I broadcast in that paddock…Then at supper we looked out the back window and a turkey hen was in the horse paddock just seeded right behind the house…I sure hope I didn’t disrupt her nest in that barley patch but I walked all through it when broadcasting the seed and saw no sign…at supper Marie asked me what I wanted for Supper Sunday…I told her that I might cook a roast if I could remember to get one out of the freezer. She reminded me and when I got one the meat was not frozen hard…checked and the breaker was tripped. Long story short the freezer is okay but the circuit is bad and the wiring will have to be replaced…cogitating on how to best do that. It is now around nine am and the roast is in the crockpot…started raining last evening again and we had some nice showers to get my new seed and tomatoes off to a good start..aim to plant some more tomatoes next week….have noticed that my solar pump is not working…most likely the battery is dead…been several years since I did anything with it…solar panel charges the battery and a timer runs the pump for an hour a day to keep the tanks full. but that is a sunny day project and I have to get a new battery…never a shortage of work to do and only one old man to do it all…