Saturday, October 20, 2018

Past Few Days on the Farm

Since the blog has been quiet for a couple of days, I'm now getting emails and text messages to check if I'm alive and well. Thanks you. The answer is, yes. 

Daily homesteading farm life isn't all exciting, nor interesting. The past few days have been typicall......

6 am, rise & shine, but (sigh) the mornings have been mostly dreary. No sun, everything drab looking. And everything soaking wet from the previous night's rain. Normally I'm awake before 6 am, but it has been just too blah to want to get up and going. 

First things first.....stagger out to turn in the generator. Once again, the day doesn't look promising for sun to charge the batteries. The solar battery bank is getting old and needs some help (sounds like me!), so on sunless days we tup them up in the morning and if needed, again in the evening. Next on the addenda, feed the critters. Cats. Dogs. Pigs. Chickens. Sheep & donkey. In that order. If I go out of order, there's a rebellion. I think I control these animals, but in reality they've made me their obedient slave. <<<<<<echoes of Feed Me Seymour wafts through the air>>>>>>

Before I can move on to making coffee and breakfast there's one more task. Take the rain gauge and temperature readings. I've kept a daily record since 2004 and its come in handy. The past couple years I've been posting it on a website called CoCoRaHS. If you're curious to search me out, I'm station hi-hi-12. 

Finally, it's people breakfast and time to check emails. I'll scan the news headlines but seldom ever read the articles first thing in the morning. It's too upsetting, so why ruin my day? The headlines alone piss me off enough, thank you. 

From now on each day varies, but the past few have been working in the rain or between showers. Rain makes things go slower and unpleasantly. I deal with walking the fenceline in the rain (if I use the atv, then I have to spend an hour hosing it down and drying it off afterwards). Gathering livestock the rain. Happily the feed cooker is under a roof, rain protected. Next, checking the clean laundry which has been hanging in the rain for days. Today I moved each piece to a line I temporarily strung up inside the Costco shed that I normally use as a workshop. Looks like a giant spider web in there now. 

I've also been dealing with escaping pigs. Daily. The rain has softened the ground so much that the young pigs have been successfully rooting along the fence. Thus they've created holes where they can shimmy under. I made a quick bandaid fix by tying pallets along the outside of the fence.

 This has prevented them from lifting the bottom of the fence and crawling out. Just a bandaid repair until I can get in there to make a proper solution. Right now the pen perimeter is so muddy that I don't want to deal with it. Well, I did deal with it somewhat. The two worse offending pigs went into the freezer. Now I just have the two nicer pigs, the two who come when called and willingly re-enter their pen like polite little piggies. 

Another mundane task......replace a flat the sound of thunder. Great, what next? Don't know how it happened, but as I approached my driveway one of the tires on the truck went flat. Totally flat. Found out it had gotten a slice in the sidewall. Heaven knows what I drove over, because I never located the offending piece of metal. Whatever it was made a two inch slice. Totally ruined the tire. As dismayed as I was over the loss of the tire, I had a worse problem. I had a disabled vehicle blocking my driveway. So I had to do something about it. Of course, I was home alone. Sheesh. Yes, I know the mechanics of how to change a tire, but it wasn't something I wanted to do. But 1 1/2 hours later I had the spare properly mounted on the truck, truck parked back up by the house where it belonged, and the portable generator & tools all put away. When all was done, it was quite the rush to know that I had done it all by myself! Wahoo! 

By the way, those dang tires are heavy. And the stupid little jack takes forever to jack the truck up to the proper height. The jack was the most time consuming part of the whole job. And although I survived this task, I don't wish to do it again anytime soon. 

The only thing that felt like an accomplishment was that I spread 50 lbs of oat seed back in parts of the pastures. All this rain should get it to germinate with no problem. Plus I spread another 25 lbs of annual rye seed in bare patches around the farm. I'm not looking to harvest these crops for seed. The intent is to increase the grass for the livestock. My pastures still aren't great. Actually, they're barely passable. I've been gradually clearing out ferns and scrub, opening up more space for grazing. The oat and rye should help.  

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