We have commonly spent the long Thanksgiving weekend at the farm, but this year schedules only allowed us to put in a normal Friday Night->Sunday trip.  Still, we managed to get a lot done:

1)  Got a long nights sleep.  We arrived early, about 6pm, but of course, this time of the year it was already dark out.  I think I flopped into bed about 7pm and woke up about 9am.

2)  Went for a long stroll…  ok, not exactly a stroll, but I did walk around for several hours as I merged the herds back into one group.  Moe and Curly have been steered, so we didn’t have to worry about them with the girls, and Larry has been DNA tested, so anything that arrives in 9+ months can be validated as either being Larry’s or Duncan’s.  It was amusing to watch them re-integrate, complete with the whole herd pecking order reshuffling.  I was a bit concerned about Larry and Duncan, both being bulls, being together, but Larry didn’t make it up high enough in the pecking order to even approach Duncan.  While this was going on I checked both of the freeze-proof water system and they were good.

3)  Dumped the last of the water out of the summer trough and turned it over.  A nice rock on top and it will be good and dry during all the freeze/thaw cycles that will occur over the next few months.

4)  We spread all of the screenings (mostly chaff but a lot of live seed) Frank had provided us.  That was work!  Evia drove around and I dumped material into our seeder.  At 50-75lbs a bag, dumping partial bags while standing in the back of a moving, bouncing, vehicle left me rather sore.  Each bag was around 8 cubic feet of material, and out seeder only holds about 2 cubic feet.  The material didn’t “flow” well either, so when not dumping I was pushing material towards the chute.  The spinner caught my fingers a few times, but its not a chore if you don’t bleed a bit (unfortunately, true more often than not on a farm).  Next day, when we did the 2nd half, I wore leather gloves!  Who says I can’t be trained!  Oh, we found Chucks skull, picked clean and bleached white, but Evia wouldn’t let me keep it in the house.

5)  Found some shorts in our electric fence.  Starting to have problems with the original plastic wire holders breaking.   They were a pain anyhow, needing to be stretched over the T-Post, with a little plastic tongue that prevented them from sliding down, and a big plastic nut on the back that held them tight.  I’m replacing them with snap-on holders that have a plastic pin.  Much easier.  Not sure which is cheaper, but at this point convenience wins (the new ones may actually be – less parts, less plastic content, much less complicated to make).
  Also removed several hundred feet of electric fence opening up two adjoining fields.  That cattle now have the run of the complete farm, which I like to do in the winter.  It gives them more grazing options and multiple water sources should there be a problem.

6)  I put out two large round (1600-1800lb) bales of hay for the cattle.  They don’t need it right now, but not sure what the weather will do between now and the next time we are there, so rather safe than sorry.  Wish I had my camera.  Half a dozen of them played with their new toy and were covered in hay!  Most amusing.

7)  Finally, Sunday late afternoon, I hooked the tiller up to the tractor and did the garden (results shown in the photo at the top).  If we had another day, I would have tilled fire breaks for burning next spring, but also that was time we didn’t have.  We did a bit of fence work as well, but since that only took an hour or so, it is hardly worth mentioning.

We had great weather all weekend.  Highs were in the mid 50’s, so T-shirt and flannel weather.   A few tractor photos below:  Me on the tractor – that is a hay fork on the front used to move bales and the tiller on the back.  Frank dreaming of driving some day and Gabby thinking she is ready.  Sorry kids, not yet!  (ps.  The kids photos were from this past summer.)