Life of a Farm Blog

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Progress

Things are coming right along here on the farm. Now we have a roof over where our new room will be and our deck. Rain will hamper us this week though, I am sure. It seems the children had a pretty good Christmas. Now there is tons of littlest pet shop stuff laying around everywhere. The Vermeer stuff I ordered way before Christmas still has not arrived. I hope they do a better job with parts than they do apparel.

We’re coming along on getting everything ready and turned on at the new doublewide too. I used the 6000 to cut a drive into the field where we set it up. I just set the dirt aside for now, but I will have to move the pile across the road into the basement of the house that burned. Now it’s time for gravel. I have a load of #2′s coming next week. It’s way too soft for a truck to get in there so I’ll need to have it dumped and spread it with the Mahindra. South Kentucky Rural Electric Cooperative finally came and set our new pole so we should have electricity soon. I already hooked up the water and covered it most of the way. Really all we need is the electricity inspected and turned on and to run our septic to the tank. Then we can start spending some time there.

I spent a couple hours Friday moving hay for our neighbor, Mr. Wisham. His longhorns had really made a mess out of his hay stack. Seems they really use those horns. I set hay in to some he had in a seperate pasture and the first thing they did was move it around the field with their horns. I think next time I will take my camera and get a shot of them working a roll over.

I’ve turned the cows I bought out into the pasture and the horses don’t like it. I’m gonna have to figure something out to do with the horses. They will run the cows causing them to get hot which is not good in cold weather. It’s not a great concern while temps are what they are now, but if we get a cold snap it could cause problems. The pigs are eating like pigs. I guess that’s to be expected. I’ve got to check the signs and get them castrated before they get so big we can’t handle them.

We’ve almost got the electricity at the barn ready for the inspector. As soon as we get electricity there, the kids have made me promise we would get more baby chicks, ducks, guineas, and maybe some pheasants and geese.

Garett has been wanting some rabbits for a while now. Actually I promised him I’d get him some the last time I went to the stock sale. Our neighbor down the road had 5 he wanted to sell for $25 and when my friend John Bryant told me about them, Garett was close enough to hear him. Needless to say we have 5 new rabbits. By May we’ll have 55 if I don’t watch it.

One day this week I took a long walk and reflected back on all the memories I have of this farm as well as others in the neighborhood. I stopped and looked at my old IH 46 baler and remembered when the neighbors all used Massey Ferguson 35′s and 135′s, Ford Jubilees and 8N’s, International Harvester Farmalls, and the like to farm around here. I will never forget all the neighborhood kids getting together to pick up the countless square bales and stack them in the barn. The times were certainly simpler. The biggest farm I remember – now has a Federal Prison on it. The kids and I discussed the possibilty of fixing up an old tractor as well as refurbishing the 46 baler in the interest of preserving history. We will have to replace the 46 soon if we are going to do many more square bales. It certainly has earned its keep. I can only imagine how many bales that baler has tied and how many young men picked them up for extra money for school clothes or shotgun shells. I guess as a token of appreciation to the old baler, my new one should also be clad in IH red. It’s a shame what’s happened to the small family farm. I’m sure many people have been faced with the fact that they just aren’t making it on the farm anymore and sold out or quit. I don’t know that I would not have given up by now if it weren’t for the children.

The new shift at work isn’t as bad as I expected. I have a lot more time to work on the farm and it seems like almost as much time with the kids. I feel rough on Saturday and Sunday, but the boss said he plans to staff the shift a little different soon and give everyone the option of taking a day a week off. Since I have the most seniority I would get to choose my day first.

Well I’m sure there is something I should be doing…………..Hope everyone has a safe and happy new year!


9 Responses to “Progress”

  1. Don Parker Says:

    I enjoy reading your info. I am getting a 2615 delivered tomorrow. I am dealing with some terrace repair work, directing water, etc. Do you know of a good book or instructional text dealing with these tractor use issues?
    Thanks,
    Don in Bama

  2. Don Parker Says:

    Corrected email – please note
    Thanks,
    Don in Bama

  3. Linda Says:

    I’m a farm girl at heart living in the city of Seattle. I grew up on a farm in Iowa and am proud to say we had IH machinery. We go “home” every summer to visit and I can still drive a tractor with the best of them.

    Best to you and your family!

  4. joelw Says:

    Don,
    I don’t know of any books on the subject. Nothing better than lots of practice. The biggest obstacle I had to overcome was realizing that most times slow is better. Just figure out what works best for you and let the tractor do all the work.

  5. joelw Says:

    Linda,
    It must be tough being stuck in the city. Kentucky is an IH state. Lots of IH machinery rolled out of the Louisville KY factory. The plant closed in the early 80′s I believe. It’s great that you can still visit the farm. Is it still in the family?

  6. Hillbilly-willy Says:

    Reading some of your early articles about remembering the neighbors etc. I am older but remember the days when all of the neighbors got together and had hog killing. It was like a community picnic, with work going on. Keep up the good work.

    10-4 Willy

  7. Randy Krotz Says:

    I was inspired by those of you brave enough to have your own blog…so I started one of my own. My focus, as crazy as it might seem, is to educate individuals not from a farm on how food gets to their plate.

    Take a look and let me know what you think.

    Grew up in Kansas,…now in St. Louis.

    Randy

  8. lonelyfarmgirl Says:

    I just found this on accident as a link off of homesteadingtoday.com .what a great thing to read about! I didn’t know guys like you still existed. Ha!
    Its a shame they turned farm into prison. Emminent domain stinks. Here they are taking all the farmground for house additions. Buncha ugly cracker boxes ruining the landscape. I will continue to follow your story.

  9. joelw Says:

    I used to frequent homesteading today. It’s a great forum. I will have to get back there. It is a wealth of information. Lifestyles have certainly changed over time and so have men and women. Why can’t everyone be like grandma and grandpa used to be?

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