HAPPY EASTER

April 24, 2011

Sunday

Linda

Pretty Easter Tulips

John 3:16 “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”

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MAKING DRAIN DITCHES

April 22, 2011

Friday

Linda

Rain, rain and more rain. Yesterday the weather was clear enough to do a job that has needed to be done for a long time. When it rains hard like it has for weeks now, our back pasture area becomes a mud bog. Water drains into the pole barn as well and if your boots aren’t tied on tight you might leave them behind in the quagmire. The guineas won’t even go in there for fear of being swallowed up by the black mud blob. The solution to the problem is to dig some drainage ditches so the runoff will flow down into the creek.

Once again the Kubota tractor was pulled into service. Sonny borrowed the double blade attachment from John that is used to dig the ditches.

Digging the drains.

Its nice that their tractor attachments are all interchangeable. I couldn’t imagine having to dig these ditches by hand especially when there are five of them. The double blade tool cut through the dirt like butter, making long troughs for the water to flow through. Although we don’t have to manually dig the ditches we do have to clean them up a bit which does involve the use of a shovel.

Double bladed drain ditch tool.

We need more earth banked up against the sides of the root cellar to help keep it at a cool and steady temperature. The excess soil from the drainage ditches will be more than enough to take care of the job. Sonny shoveled dirt into the bucket of the tractor then drove it over and dumped it by the root cellar. I then shoveled the dirt up against the walls. There are only so many hours in a day and we still have more work to get everything finished.

Our winter atrophied muscles screamed at the manual work and there was a lot of groaning and hobbling around that evening. Of course we laughed and joked about it even if it was painful to move any muscle for any reason. We may have to stop for a break more often than when we younger but we aren’t down yet. Often times there are jobs on the farm that will test your metal but the rewards of this lifestyle are innumerable.

We’ll soon see if the drain ditches work as we are in for some more heavy down pours tonight.


WATER TANK AND WAGON

April 18, 2011

Monday

Linda

We don’t have any pigs that need to be fed and watered yet but we are all set when we finally find some to purchase. We bought a metal garden wagon from Tractor Supply and strapped  a 65 gallon water tank to the base. The hog pen is located way out in the back pasture and lugging water buckets from the house every day would be too difficult. Besides I don’t care to have my arms stretched so far that my knuckles drag the ground. Not pretty.

We also bought a 2 stroke portable 6 gpm model pump. When the creek is full of water we will be able to use the pump to fill the water tank with creek water. That will save having to use power from the house pump. We can then hook the wagon to the four wheeler and deliver it to the hog pen. Sonny will put a spout on the water tank to which we will connect a hose and be able to fill the water trough with ease.

WATERING TRAILER


ODD JOBS WEEKEND

April 17, 2011

Sunday

Linda

April showers bring May flowers but they also make it difficult to get caught up on outdoor jobs. All weekend we have been dodging rain drops while attempting to catch up on some projects. Of course Friday was the usual trip to town to give Lowes and Tractor Supply their weekly cut of our paycheck. Throughout the week I make a list of things we need to pick up and am usually jotting down add ons while Sonny steers Festus down the highway. That old truck has carried so many loads from those two stores that it should be able to drive us there all by itself.

Friday afternoon we took a ride on the four wheeler up the back hills of our property. The four wheeler has been a life saver…literally… It has saved us from huffing and puffing and whining every step up the hillsides. We aren’t as young as we used to be. For two years we have wanted to clear away some of the trees that the logger let fall across the paths. Sonny was on a roll using the chainsaw to cut up the fallen trees like a seasoned lumber jack. It was a good thing I ate a big breakfast because I expected to roll the logs off the side. We were making excellent headway until the chain came off the bar. Of course all the tools were back at the house.

We were able to clear a good portion and some of the logs, most were so rotten so we were able to just break them apart. Just because the chain saw was out of commission didn’t mean our work was done. We walked the steep property line and put new ribbons on the trees to mark our boundaries. We actually enjoyed working up there and it was nice to see the buds starting to show on the trees, especially the red bud trees.

The greenhouse is on the mend and moved back to its original location. Sonny and I used ropes wrapped around the base on each end like a handle. We then lifted it, taking shuffling baby steps as we turned it completely around and settled it into place next the garden.

Back in place and looking better.

Sonny replaced some of the broken parts with the new ones we had ordered, but there are still more needed. He marked all the pieces with a silver marker so we could keep track of what we will need to order. It is looking much better and he was able to put in a few of the panes. Before long it will be as good as new and I think we may not need the roll of silver duct tape after all.

We brought the lawn mower out of storage and gave the grass a trim taking just “a little off the top”. PHF is beginning to shed its winter robes and is stepping into the festive colors of Spring. One of the steps in that direction was to clear away the wood bins from the porch, giving it a good sweep and putting up the SWING! You heard right. My swing is back and I couldn’t be happier. I think I hear it calling me for nap.

Looks comfy.


WHERE’S MY RUBBER RAFT?

April 12, 2011

Tuesday

Linda

Swollen Creek

Flooded Driveway

So much for sunny days. Our driveway always floods when it rains hard, but the house stays dry. Its Spring alright!


A WHEELBARROW AND A RAKE

April 11, 2011

Monday

Linda

Wild Violets

When you live on a farm you have to get work done while the sun shines and Pot Hole Farm is no exception. We had plenty of sun beams streaming this morning so I thought it was a good time to rake up the fallen branches and debris in the yard. A wheelbarrow and rake…what more could a girl ask for? With the warmer days and rain showers the grass has been growing like Rip Van Winkles beard. It’s time for the lawn mower to come out of winter storage to give the grass a well needed trim, but it won’t be today with a storm on the horizon.

I’m not the only one with this idea. When I rode down to the Country Store this morning to pick up some bread I saw two of my neighbors buzzing around the yard on their lawn mowers. It always reminds me of those clowns in the little car racing around the ring of the circus Big Top. I know I look like that too when I cut grass. No one goes at a slow speed.  We always have the mower in top gear cutting rows back and forth through the grass and making circles around obstacles. Sonny can lean down and pick up a stray dog toy and never slow up. I on the other hand would end up in the creek.

Of course I had my crew working with me today. Ruby, Moby and the chickens. The guineas were off working in another department, but I have heard rumblings of a strike. Those guineas are all union. Ruby pulled out more sticks as fast I could rake them up and the chickens and Moby inspected all my work. Slave drivers. I think I deserve a raise.

I think I better get the Quality Control Supervisors over here.

Looks like production is slow. Tell her to get a move on.

Break Time.


FENCING THE PIG PEN AND BUILDING A STRAWBERRY BED

April 10, 2011

Sunday
Linda

The temps today got up to eighty degrees and the sun was shining all day for a change. I actually broke a sweat while I planted the strawberry plants that we bought last weekend.

Sonny built a raised bed out of 2x6s and we decided to put it along the side of the porch. They will get full sun there. We needed to fill the bed with some dirt so we got a wheel barrow load from the garden. I had two bags of organic potting soil and we mixed that in as well. Our soil here is mostly clay and I’ve read that strawberries like a more sandy type soil. Luckily there is still some sand left from the root cellar project. The masons left it when they put the block up last year.
A dab of that mixed with the rest of the soil and the strawberry plants should be happy.

Strawberry Bed

Of course the chickens had to inspect while I was planting the strawberries. They were just itching to get in that strawberry bed and do the chicken dance. Unfortunately for them the strawberry patch will not be a chicken disco because I put a fence around it. I fashioned a fence out of chicken wire and four fence stakes. The fence stakes worked well as anchors on the four corners to keep the chicken wire from sagging. I secured the fencing material to the stakes by reusing the wire that had secured the roll of chicken wire. Then I stapled the rest of the fence to wood boards. It turned out to be pretty sturdy.

It should be easy to cover the plants with a sheet if we get a freeze and I have some wedding veil material that I picked up at the flea market last year if birds try to eat the berries. With any luck strawberry shortcake will be on the desert menu.

Saturday John and Carol helped us put the fencing up for the pig pen. Sonny bought some supplies but to keep costs down we have been using left over materials from other projects. We had some cattle wire and T-posts and John had the wood posts and gate. It helps when you don’t have to go buy all new materials to a job.

Pot Hole Farm Pig Pen

It took all morning to put up the fence but with everyone pitching in it was finished in no time. We still need to do a little damage control to make sure the pigs can’t root their way out, but if they do we all know whose pig it will be. Yea, thats right. Speed dial.


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