Well, we set a new record for arriving late… we didn’t make it out of St. Louis until about 10:30pm on Friday night, getting us into the farm around 1:40am!  Got up around 9am when Sonny called… he had my repaired brush hog support bar.

This weekend’s list of to-do’s seemed simple, but I suspected we wouldn’t get it done:

  1. Reassemble the Brush-hog
  2. Brush-hog 30 acres with the mower set to 10+ inches to chop the seed heads off the WSG.
  3. Finish processing the cattle (tagging, vaccinating, deworming)
  4. Separate the young ones and perhaps Chuck from the rest of the herd, and get the rest of the herd onto those 30 acres
  5. Plant some more sweet corn – getting late, but thought we would try
  6. Plant some beans around the existing sweet corn
  7. Bush-hog around the fruit trees, vines, and berries
  8. Water all the new plants we put in 2 weeks ago
  9. Spray the driveway to knock back the weeds

Given the late arrival, I didn’t get starting with the 30 acre project until about noon and cut until 9pm.  Took 2 tanks of diesel on the tractor, which started having problems when the tank dropped to about 1/4 full.  Felt a LOT like the low pressure fuel pump wasn’t working – which died on me 2 years and 100 engine hours ago.  If I ever get caught up, I’ll send the tractor in for servicing and have them check it – but right now that machine is my muscle.

Got out on the fields again around 9am and worked until noon, when a lightening and thunder storm chased me away.  Ate lunch and took a bit of a nap.  Back out at 3pm and finished the job around 7pm.  Steps 1 and 2 done.  Alas, I tried dropping our electric wire and driving over it when I finished Saturday night.  Worked once when I refueled, but the 2nd time the brush hog snagged it and popped the line.  Naturally, it didn’t break there, but rather about 500′ feet up the line…  While trying to figure out how to stretch my arms 10′ to reach the two ends, the cattle heard the tractor and come into the field.  That wasn’t the plan, but they all came, so all are now on the 30 acres patch.

Evia and I fixed the line in the morning – took all of 3 minutes with 2 of us once I retrieved and untangled the parts the cows dragged around overnight.  Evia went off to work on the garden, I resumed brush-hogging.

So… 1 and 2 I manged to accomplish.  4 was partially done.  Evia managed to do 5, 6, and 8 (I think, not sure about the two nuts trees).

Realized I need a better way to move the tractor into the 30 acre field.  Thinking of making a small drive-through coral similar to what Donnie has.  Perhaps 20×32, just a few poles in the ground with cattle panel sides and electric spring gates (3 – one on each end and one in the middle for crowding).  Figured it might help in seperating, and I could put a salt block feeder in it with only the fare side blocked so the cattle would get use to it.  Feels like yet-another 1-day job.   Anyhow, this one would go past our crossing and will eventually go under water when we get the big lake built, so I’ll just make it “temporary” (e.g. to last 5-10 years).

Current to-do list (in random order):

  • Spray the driveway
  • Spot spray the fields for locust and primrose
  • Basal spray all larger locust (a process we do yearly and are seeing significant improvements)
  • Separate the cattle and finish processing them
  • Repair the water line to the garden
  • Talk to Donnie about a new crossing and expanding the 30 acre field fence to include a few more acres, or skip, but have to zig-zag the fencing.
  • Brush-hog the fruit trees, vines, and berries
  • Brush-hog the yard
  • Finish processing the cattle
  • Build the new coral
  • Paint the older (built this winter), large coral
  • Finish building the sorting facility
  • Finish building the loading facility
  • Harvest honey from the bees
  • Build new top-bar bee hives
  • Remove dead bee hives and store the suppers, hive bodies, and whatnot indoors
  • Spray the fence line, both mine and Sonny’s, just to keep them clean
  • Weed wack under all the electric fence (best done Evia or Gabby driving the UTV, really must remember to turn off the fence first…)
  • Convert our 60×60 garden area into raise beds
  • Find a spray guard and kill the grass around the fruit trees (and maybe a strip around the berries)
  • Check the cattle waterer off the new pond
  • Run new electric fencing along the western edge of the fields.
  • Build a gate in that new electric fencing to allow the cattle into the 5 acre woods
  • Design the attic trusses for working shed
  • Build the attic trusses for the working shed
  • Install the attic trusses on the working shed, and tin the dang thing.
  • Move equipment into the new working shed
  • Salvage what I can (mostly cattle panels) from the 100 year old falling down shed.
  • Remove old fencing, sheds, etc. from around the old falling down shed.
  • Disassemble what I can from the old shed, try and salvage the post for re-use in a future hay barn
  • Start shopping for 16 rolls of hay, if unavailable, see if Donnie wants to north and south fields (but I prefer to buy and import nutrients onto the farm)
  • Talk with Donnie about where the big lake will go.
  • Talk with Frank about harvesting whatever he wants in the future flood plain.
  • Finish hanging the paneling in the house
  • Finish hanging the door and floor molding in the house
  • Have the Architect update our future floor plans with the new kitchen location
  • Build the house
  • Build a cistern for the house
  • Build some VAWT’s for the house
  • Get a road gasoline tank at the farm
  • Get a propane tank at the farm (after house is built for stove, refrigerator, freezer, and perhaps a backup hot water heater)
  • Run into town and buy more cattle feed, another salt cover, and some salt blocks
  • Castrate Larry, Moe, and Curly unless someone offers to buy them
  • Replace dead fruit tress, berries, vines, etc.
  • Prepare the 30 acres field for a spring burn
  • Replace the cell-phone antenna, straighten the mast and support.
  • Start a wild flower scrapbook, perhaps posting photos here!
  • Kick back and have a beer?