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Archive for February, 2007

National Farm Machinery Show

Sunday, February 18th, 2007

Just back from the National Farm Machinery Show in Louisville, Ky. It was a wonderful show. Too bad I couldn’t bring all that equipment home with me. I took lots of pics and posted them here. Anyone who enjoys this type of show should definitely make plans to attend. I believe they had one of everything. Tractors, Implements, Grain Bins, Sprayers, Feeders, Poultry Equipment. I checked out all the square balers and accumulator systems represented. I also found a great feeder for the goats. You can check it out at www.heltonplastics.com. Every tractor manufacturer I know of was represented. I took a few pictures of the Mahindra Tractors display. I took a shot of the 3 pt lift arms on the 7010. To me this is a selling point Mahindra is not advertising. The lift arms are different than on the TYM/Montana versions. Mahindra uses a lift arm which will allow much easier hookup and removal of the implements. Most things can be done from the tractors seat. If for some reason you needed to dismount, the remote lift arm controls on the rear of the tractor would be handy.

I picked up a copy of the Lexington Herald Leader while I was away and read that the Army Corp of Engineers is now considering lowering Lake Cumberland another 30 ft. If that happens it will really inconvenience a huge amount of people in this area. It will also put the lake out of reach of the intake pipes and float for Kingsford. We’re able to cope with the 680 ft water level, but another 30 ft will put the water out of reach. While nosing around at the lake to take a few snapshots of the low water I realized I had never read the signs that tell of the history of the area. I did not realize that the author Harriette Simpson Arnow was from this area.

After being away 2 days I’m further behind on farm work so I better go…………….Thanks for reading and check back soon!

Cold, Snow, and Puppies

Thursday, February 15th, 2007

Well the cold is back and it brought an inch of snow with it. I’m ready for spring. I think everyone here is ready. Yesterday we took a tour of a commercial hen house. I posted some pics here. I was impressed with how little labor is involved in taking care of such a large amount of birds. Everything is automated. I was pleasantly surprised that there was virtually no smell. The birds seem happy and healthy too. Now the only decision left will be is this right for us and this farm. That and can we borrow such a large amount of money.

The children are all feeling bad today. Mattie has strep throat and I’m sure the others will have it too. My mom has gone back home with my dad for a doctors appointment. I’m planning to go to the National Farm Machinery Show in Louisville this weekend so I’ll drop by to visit with them in Owenton, Ky. I’m going to check out the Mahindra display at the show and quiz the folks about upcoming new products.

I got some interesting pics of the goats yesterday. I see them doing crazy things all the time. Sometimes I don’t see how they keep from hurting themselves or one another.

Kenny (the contractor) is starting on the windows in the log house this week. I guess it’s a good thing my mom went home. I can see it getting cold in the house as he takes out the windows to replace them. We took Kenny on the tour of the hen house with us. He believes we can build one a whole lot cheaper than the projected figures from Cobb.

Still haven’t figured out what exactly is wrong with my truck. It died on me here on the farm a couple nights ago. After cranking until the batteries were dead I finally went and got the 6000. I used the jumper cables to get it primed with the lift pump and then hooked a chain to it and pulled it until it finally started. I used it today to feed and it never once acted up. I guess it’s got a ghost. Sometimes it runs fine and then others it will just refuse to run.

We got a surprise this morning about 3 am. Daisy, the kids’ cocker spaniel had seven puppies. I talked to the ex wife about renting the double-wide. She was excited about the idea. We’ll have to discuss it more when we get the log house all finished.

Well lots to do so I better run………….Thanks for reading!

Cold

Friday, February 9th, 2007

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Finally some warmer weather here in Pine Knot. It has been much colder than normal lately. I’m not sure some of you would consider teens at night cold, but the average temp here is nowhere near that. That means us farmers aren’t really setup to handle it. Everyday this week I had to beat the ice out of the water trough for the pigs so I could give them fresh water. The chicken fountains were frozen too, so I had to lug them out to the water spicket and use running water to thaw them and then refill them on a daily basis. The pond where the goats and cows drink was frozen over too. So I had to walk to the pond and break the ice away so they could drink. Same thing at the other pond where the horses drink. I’m happy to report that the 6000 started with no problems in this cold snap. I’m relieved because I was sure I would have to replace the battery after letting it run dead. I put out more hay for all the animals and threw a square bale in to the pigs so they could bed in it. The cold sure leaves me wishing for a cab tractor like the 7010 cab. I’ve got goats that have to play king of the hay roll every time you set one out. The kids would stand at the window and watch them while drinking hot cocoa. They say goats are so silly.

We are set to tour a local commercial hen house Feb 13th. I heard from a friend that a local grower had lost a whole house of birds. Not quite sure how that will play out. I questioned the production manager about it and he assured me they were disposed of due to salmonella. He says it was not the growers fault. He claims I have nothing to worry about – the company has only cancelled one grower’s contract since they started here and that was after a year of warnings and gross negligence. The county agent here called me with a phone number of a friend of his who quit extension service to become a grower. He said this fella will tell me the truth about the business. He also assured me that no one who has gone into business with Cobb here in the county regrets it. We’ll see! I’m going to investigate all avenues of it before making a final decision.

Since it turned cold, Kenny (the contractor who’s working on the house) moved inside and replaced the kitchen countertop. I’ve posted a few new photos, click here to take a look. He also started on the trim in the addition and did all the drywall and painted. My younger brother John Jr put down some nice hardwood floor in the added room. Everything is coming together nicely. We have ordered all new windows for the house. They are supposed to be in today. The last couple weeks we’ve spent in the double-wide leave me longing for the house and honestly kind of regreting choosing the double-wide over the house. Nothing wrong with this place it just doesn’t feel like home. At the log house I had basically an apartment in the loft. I felt comfortable there. Small enough I didn’t ever feel lonely, but big enough I never felt crowded. Plus the kids are spending more time at the house with my mom than they are here. They kept their rooms there and my loft room is empty. As crazy as it sounds I have considered asking my ex-wife if she would want to rent the double-wide. At least that way we could both be close to the kids all the time and I know she would take care of it. Kind of crazy to go back to living with your parents at 33, but hey whatever works!

Unfortunately my Chevy truck is on the fritz. The stupid thing will just die on you for no reason. It may go a mile or 30 miles then usually starts right back. I suspect it is the PMD (Pump Mounted Driver) on the injector pump. $389 new, wow that hurts! I’m seriously considering changing brands when I get it fixed. I have always been a GM guy, but I don’t think I will ever own another GM diesel truck. That kind of puts me in a bind though because I absolutely worship Trans Ams and I can’t see driving a Ford or Dodge truck and a completely opposite brand car. I’m sure Mustangs are fun to drive like TAs, but I like the T-tops and 6 speed tranny in the TA. Not to mention that thing still runs great at 187,000 miles.

We are in kind of a pickle at work. The dam (Wolf Creek Dam) that holds back the lake (Lake Cumberland) we get all our water from is leaking and the Corp of Engineers is lowering the water level below the intake pipes to reduce pressure on the dam. It has the whole community in an uproar because they depend on the lake for so much. Well it’s almost time to make the charcoal so I better go……….Stay safe!

For Sale

Thursday, February 1st, 2007

If anyone is looking to relocate there is 22 acres and an old house for sale next door. Very nice land. The house is older and I’m sure in need of repair. The neighbors were my grandparents’ age and lived there as long as I can remember. He pastored the local church and she was a cook for the school system. They have both passed away now and the children have decided to sell. I’d love to have at least part of it, but no way I can swing the $200,000 asking price.

Saturday was warm so I took the kids on a walk to the cliffs on the back side of our pasture. The farm is dotted with rock shelters. One set is known as the horse cliffs. The story is that civil war soldiers from the south used the cliffs to hide their horses. It’s quite a little walk to get in to these, but the children love to visit them. The warm weather also brought out the folks to install the skirting on the new double-wide. According to the weather forecast this is the calm before the storm. We are expecting an inch of snow tonight and temps in the low teens by tomorrow night. I guess winter is finally here to stay.

I used the 6000 4WD to set out 2 rolls each to the horses and the cows and goats. As soon as the weather lets up again I’m going to drag the drive because the rock is settling in and showing some low spots. My neighbor Joe Phillips who helps me in the hay called to say he wanted to buy some more hay for the horses he has. I only had 5 rolls that were of horse quality so I let him have them. Mr. Wisham also called needing hay moved and to tell me he is out of hay and looking to buy more. I told him I’d let him have 4 rolls, but I had to keep the rest for my animals.

Progress continues with the house. We’ve ordered a new counter top for the kitchen. All that is lacking on the addition now is the flooring and some trim. We’ve got cabin grade hardwood flooring ordered too. We are leaning toward replacing all the windows so the house will be easier to heat. That will cut into our excavating budget a little but should really improve the house.

I spent a while Tuesday chatting with the local county extension agent. We talked alot about what I could do with the farm. He doesn’t paint a very pretty picture for agriculture. He said if I want to make enough money to ever stay on the farm, chickenhouses is the way to go. He agreed with me that the area could use it’s own pumpkin patch since the closest one is an hour or more away. According to the figures being shown locally the cattle market is heading for a train wreck. I guess we’ll hold off until spring on any excavation because we cannot have any ponds on the place if we build chickenhouses.

I’ll post some pics of the progress and of the land for sale here. Hope this finds all of you well….

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