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53 Tons

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The 6000 has gotten an unusual workout this week. In the winter about all I regularly use it for is to feed hay for myself and neighbors. Not this week though. I have been working almost everyday on the drive to the double-wide. The last couple days I moved 53 tons of #2 gravel onto the drive. I believe I will need one more load to have everything covered good on the drive and to have enough to put a few around the entrances to the barns. It gets really muddy anywhere the animals gather up in the winter. At the ends of the barns is a soupy mess. Mud doesn’t bother the cows, but it is a breeding ground for worms. Goats are very succeptable to parasites so they don’t do well in moist places. It’s also hard on the horses’ shoes. It seems to suck them right off. Not to mention I hate walking in it.

Monday I noticed someone had used my tractor while I was at work. Turns out BJ had to feed hay to Mamaw and Papaw Staley’s cattle. Papaw said she did it like she had been doing it all her life. I told him it was just that she had a good teacher. Today I went and set out some rolls of hay to the same cattle. Same story where he has their cattle. Pretty much a soupy mess. They have rented my great uncle Fred’s old place and have about 25 head running on it. A few weeks back someone shot two of his cows. They must have done it in the night and just left them to die. There is enough loss in farming without such senseless things as that. The Staley’s have two fairly new John Deere tractors, but neither is 4wd so Papaw wants me to skid some logs for him in a week or two. I couldn’t understand why a fellow with two tractors of his own wasn’t moving his own hay so I asked. He said the one with a FEL had a hole in a hose and the other has a bad starter. I might add he has been waiting for parts on that starter for a week now. I kidded him that it was okay, my red tractor feeds a lot of green tractor owner’s animals. He said yeah – and the wheels are all good on yours. I couldn’t let that one go so I asked what he meant. He said when he bought his new Deere he hooked up his roller and headed to the field, and on the way one of the rear wheels came off. Couldn’t believe it. He also said that the dealer told him it was his fault, that the owner was supposed to check the tightness of the wheels. It bent the fender on his new tractor and everything. He said the dealer finally caved in and fixed everything, but the whole experience was certainly unpleasant.

I finally got around to replacing the light that was broken on the 6000 4WD. I really like how easy these tractors are to work on. Kind of a back to basics style. Not a lot of flash, just stuff that works. I noticed the replacement light is a sealed type. The old one wasn’t. That should help keep mud and water out. Sometime before summer I have got to do an oil and hydraulic fluid and filter change.

The progress on the house continues. I’ve put some more pics on here. We’ve got walls and windows now. They got all the new roof on too. I think it’s gonna be awesome when it’s done. We have found a deal on rough lumber too. I’m gonna try to pick up 2000 board feet of hemlock and 1000 board feet of cedar to use on the barn and the log house. I’ve got to pick up 140 ft of direct burial wire to run electricity to the barn. As a matter of fact I have a whole list of things to pick up at Lowes when I get the time to go. The electric company came and approved our permit for electricity. So we have power at the double-wide now. If I can get the septic hooked up, the heat and air unit put in, decks built, and the underpinning we’ll be ready to move in. Then we can start clearing land. That’s what I’m really excited about.

Well I better scoot ………..I have tons to do!


20 Responses to “53 Tons”

  1. Shirley Says:

    Looks like the house is going to be wonderful… anxious to see the progress

    Shirley from Kansas

  2. joelw Says:

    I’m really happy with it so far. I’ll keep posting pics as it progresses. It’s not easy to make improvements on these older log houses that still keep the same theme as it was originally.

  3. Zach Says:

    Hey Joel,
    Stick in there man, I grew up in a small town and hope someday to own a small farm to run on the side, cannot tell you how envious I am that you inherited yours, I am at a dead stop on how to afford even 20-40 acres to start out. I work as a cnc machinest and with my current income I will probably be 35 years old before I could afford land. You are a very lucky guy :)
    Zach

  4. Hillbilly-willy Says:

    As always – Looking good. When is expected completion.

    10-4 Willy

  5. phil williams Says:

    The wife and I really enjoy reading your blog and tracking the progress. We live in NJ and are in the process of buying 50 acres in WV. plan on rasing Boar goats. Its never too late to start a farm the wife and I are in our 50s and we are bringing my dad who is 83 with us. GOOD LUCK AND GOD BLESS. phil

  6. curator Says:

    This is a really unusual blog. It’s great to get a look at a life most people don’t live or even know about any more. I’m sorry about your great uncle Fred’s cows — what a wicked thing to do. I hope 2007 is a much better year for you and yours from here on out. Please keep blogging.

  7. Don Parker Says:

    I have been moving some top soil with my 2615 so I can identify with the front end loader workings. My “Mahindra dealer” calls it tractor therapy.

  8. Don Parker Says:

    I noticed on one of your photos where you were laying some concrete pipe. Ia that a box blade on your tractor in the photo? Did you use it to dig the hole?

  9. bridgett Says:

    I like your blog. I’m from up a holler way outside Ashland, KY and my family’s been farming the same 200 acres since the 1840. Now we’re just running some stock on the side, growing hay, and putting in what amounts to a really big deer feedlot that was supposed to be a garden. It’s good to see what you’re doing and good to know that others are hanging in there too. We just graveled our lane too — the backache from spreading it is a small price to pay for (mostly) dry feet.

  10. Diann Says:

    I had to say; I think you are doing a GREAT! You are teaching your children life long lessons that can not be taught in college. Your children see how determined you are to make there life good. In turn they will strive for the same in their lives. May the good Lord be beside you all the way. No doubt your children will be successful in life. Keep the faith!

  11. joelw Says:

    Hillbilly,
    There really isn’t an expected completion date. We’ve had the contractor jumping through hoops as it is.
    Phil,
    Boer goats are great. You’ll love them. Just keep them wormed. What part of WV you heading for? I have some friends in Moundsville.
    Curator,
    I’m glad you’re enjoying the blog!
    Don,
    Keep up the therapy! Actually I had the local feed store operator to dig a ditch with his backhoe. I just set them in and covered them up. I have a 7ft boxblade but don’t think I’ve even had it on the tractor but once.
    Bridgett,
    I agree spreading the gravel is a nuisance, but it beats muddy feet. I don’t think much of anyone is truly farming small any more. Used to be everybody was in it in some small way, but slowly they have mostly all quit. Atleast maybe we can work a job in town to keep the land.
    Diann,
    I’m trying that’s all I can say. I just hope they will have good morals and work ethic. I would also hope they can find a church where they feel they belong and they can say is their church.

  12. phil williams Says:

    Thanks for the reply Joe. We are headed for the parkersburg area sandyville to be exact. We are really looking foward to it. Im retired Army and an additional 10 years working construction in NYC. Ive reached the point where I just want a different kind of life. My wife grew up on a farm but I was raised in Hells Kitchen NYC. so the farm will be a challenge but I love a challenge, Im bringing my dad who was raised on a farm in Ireland the three of us cant wait. God bless you and the family. phil.

  13. Christi Johnson Says:

    I stumbled onto your blog today while looking at land for sale. I am rather envious as the happiest times of my life have been spent on a farm. I have lived in CT most of my life and my youngest is a senior in high school. God willing she’ll be in college next year. My dream is to have a piece of land of my own, a simple home and start my quarter horse/paint breeding and training business. The happiest times of my life have been working on horse farms. I have a great respect for the land God gave us. Phil, you give me hope as I too am in my fifties now and am awaiting making my dream come true. Please pray for me. Christi

  14. Jim Schoenborn Says:

    Yes, I love your article. On my farm I have all big and little red tractors. Why do so many farmers think green tractors are so great. I go to the implement shops and I see just as many green tractors as red tractors in for repairs. Have a great day.

  15. joelw Says:

    Christi
    Hang in there and make your dreams happen. Good to know some folks still appreciate the land. Isn’t it funny how some time with animals will make you forget all about your ills.

    Jim
    I like all tractors! Red, Green, Blue, Orange! I just know that a farmer doesn’t have a lot of money and the best decisons you can make involve value not color. I just hate to see someone brand brainwashed! Spend money on what gets the job done at the best cost regardless of color. Deere makes some nice tractors, but so does Mahindra for a whole lot less money.

  16. Marina Says:

    Man, I’ve been reading your adventures, and it just makes me pine with homesickness. I come from Vermont, and grew up with Agriculture, but now live in FL, and live on little better than a sandbar. I very much miss being able to spread out on some acreage (live in a city, my lot size being 75 feet x 100 feet), being able to grow things, having the animals.
    Someday, (if I win the Lotto) we will be going home to Vermont. I pray that every day, and am homesick for it almost constantly.
    I wish you the best of luck.

  17. scott Says:

    We live in Montana and ranch a small 340 acre lot.My wife is looking at a really good job there in Walla Walla and I went on realtor.com and did not see any homes with land ( none only 1 acre or less ) . I would still like to raise a few cattle but at this point 25 to 50 acres to be able to bring my horses .Do you know who I could ( realtor )call or if there is land for sell. Really could use help .
    Thanks, Scott

  18. Mary Droessler Says:

    I’m a 46 year old single mom farmer in Wake Forest NC who stumbled on your site-really enjoyed reading all the details of the day to day life you write about.

    Wish I had a red tractor-maybe one day! My big purchase lately was a whole house (and hot water) outdoor wood stove which has made heating with wood so much easier. No mess in the house, hot water as a by-product and the furnace can take almost 5′ long logs-anything I can hoist in it’ll burn. Fresh pine burns hot and any chimney fire is quickly burned away-and all safely outside.
    I had Boer goats, but they were prone to hoof rot. I raise Nubian and ALpine milk goats now and make cheese; I find the average meat goat buyer is just as happy to buy my extra males and females who don’t live up to my always rising standards of how much milk they should produce. Trying some new breeds of chickens-Welsummers that are supposed to have really dark brown eggs, and Gold Laced Wynandottes…egg sales are good and I could sell any I produce for an average of $4 a dozen. Take care and keep writing!-mary

  19. Lisa Says:

    Your kids are precious!
    Great blog about farm life. I’m trying to learn more about agriculture for my job, so this is a terrific resource.

  20. Deandre Paske Says:

    May 2011 always be good with regard to family and friends.

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