Busy Days on the Farm


How many things can go on at once? That’s summer on the farm, busy, hectic, crazy. By the end of the month, color will start showing on the trees in the woods around the farm. Fall is on the way, and winter won’t be far behind. Everything that is a problem has to be fixed, and now.

Like, say, this busted water faucet at the barn.
Work is also going on to put in a new sewer line at the house.
It rained, stopping work yesterday and filling the ditch with water. Hopefully work can resume today.

The new hay feeder is mostly finished.
And then I got to drive the tractor!
Grading at the entrance to the alleyway, then moving rock from the rock pile back to the barn.
Moving rock is actually a little scary. Robbie and Rodney (my hired men) stayed right by me, watching where the bucket was all the time, not wanting me to make a mistake and tip the tractor. Which was just the type of statement that makes my brain blow up. (Remember my brother, he died on a tractor! I KEEP TELLING PEOPLE! nobody understands!) So I just moved one load and let them do the rest. I needed to milk anyway…. And make mascarpone and yogurt.

Meanwhile, back in the milking parlor, I had given it a much-needed tidying up and we got a fresh layer of rock down in there.
And also around the entrance to the alleyway and the new feeder.
There are still several more tasks coming up–cleaning out the spring pond in the creek for the horses, getting a new little gas stove installed in the house, getting firewood chopped, and more hay. And Morgan’s having a party here this weekend. I’m cooking a big pork roast and a bunch of other stuff.

It’ll all get done! Really! ::collapse::

P.S. I’m behind on mowing. Make it stop raining!

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Really Big Hay Feeder


I’m having a big new hay feeder built right by the barn! I’m excited about it because hauling square bales across the front barn yard in the winter is not a fun chore. As I’m approaching the three-year mark at this farm (wow, has it really been that long?), I’m still learning all the time what works for me. Initially, I kept the goats in the goat yard, adjacent to the front barn yard, but now I rarely keep them there. I mostly use it as a separation area for a calf when I’m milking Glory Bee. This winter, I’ll probably keep the calf as well as the goats in the front barn yard, though–to make it easier for me to move square bales.
As you can see in the above picture, the other hay feeder is all the way across the front barn yard. The new one is being located right outside the barn door.
It will be easy to toss the bales down the steps and get them right to the feeder.
No hauling heavy bales all the way across the barn yard. (Sometimes I use a cart. But still. It’s an unnecessary extra time and labor step. Especially when it’s 15 degrees.)
I’m all about making things easier, and simpler, and adjusting as I figure out what works for me. I’ll post more pictures of the process and how it’s being built. It will be fashioned to hold two to three square bales at a time, and to suit both goats and cows comfortably.

I’m excited! So is Dumplin.
Can’t you tell?

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The Slanted Little House

"It was a cold wintry day when I brought my children to live in rural West Virginia. The farmhouse was one hundred years old, there was already snow on the ground, and the heat was sparse-—as was the insulation. The floors weren’t even, either. My then-twelve-year-old son walked in the door and said, “You’ve brought us to this slanted little house to die." Keep reading our story....

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