Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Two Days of Frenetic Activity (and sore muscles) - Day 1

It has been a busy couple of days, we have had multiple fires in surrounding communities where we (the Fire Department) where called on to proved Mutual Aid, we had to get the haying done before the rains came, and a local community had their Fall Festival where Judy had a booth to sell her quilts. We have a neighbor that hays for us and he has old equipment so its like going back in time and all of us get great enjoyment out of the whole haying process; but it is a lot of work.

This is an old John Deere sickle bar mower that initially cuts the hay. The teeth you see on the front of it move back and forth like scissors and is powered by the rear PTO and when its running all you hear is a clicking noise.

It does a pretty good job and though it doesnt cut as evenly as more modern equipment, its simplicity makes it extremely reliable. We are looking for one to mount on our Kubota.

The fall hay isnt nearly the quality as the spring cutting and with the severe drought we have had we werent sure what our yield would be. Now that its cut we are sending off our soil samples to the Cooperative Extension service so we can determine our lime and nitrogen needs. We will be liming, fertilizing and seeding soon.

Someday when our financial ship comes in we are going to buy a bigger tractor like this; its not really needed for our small farm and we already have two tractors but.....you can never have too many!

My good friend Bandit who is an easy companion likes to ride in the cargo basket of the 4 wheeler and he enjoys the old machinery as much as I do. He is getting on in years so he likes to ride when he can.

This is taken from the entrance to our back woodlot looking towards the mid pasture that has just been cut. Once its cut we let it lay in the pasture to dry and then it will be raked into rows then baled. Our concern at this point is that we are expecting rain in the next 2 days so we are on a tight schedule.

Some of the pasture was a little sparse and we were thinking at this point we wouldnt get more than about 50 bales.

Our farm is long and rectangular which we like because its easy to cross fence and it breaks up the property into useable segments. In the front we have the farmhouse, truck gardens, a pond, two garages and a small woodlot, then we have the barnyard with the big barn, orchard, a small side turnout pasture, a pasture for the goats, and Judy's trailer, then we have a larger woodlot, a bigger pond, the front pasture and the pole barn shop, then we have the mid pasture, then a couple acre woodlot, and finally the back secluded pasture that we keep for deer and wild turkeys. Right behind that is this large pasture owned by one of our neighbors. 

The neighbor that owns this back pasture bought 60 acres directly behind us to keep anyone from encroaching on the back of his farm and it protects us as well. His wife's grandparents built our farmhouse back in 1938 and they are never going to move so we are pretty pleased to have that protection as they own all the land on two sides of our farm. We cant see or hear any neighbors which we like and we also have good neighbors who are friendly but keep to themselves. No one around here has kids either which though it sounds terrible, we like because there isnt any partying, no dirt bikes or 4 wheelers zipping around we can hear and its just a quiet peaceful place. We would like to eventually buy a few acres from them though and get another pasture back here...click on the picture and it will get bigger....its beautiful there and there are tons of deer, wild turkeys, and geese out in the pasture most of the time.

Judy set up her booth at the Fall Festival and had her best sales yet so she was pretty pleased with that.

Once the hay was cut I joined them at the festival and it was very enjoyable. Good gospel and country music, good food, lots of crafts and friendly folks.

Next will be part 2 of this hectice couple of days...

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