Saturday, October 19, 2013

Brush Bustin Time

Cooler nights and slanting Sunlight means it's time to start bustin out the brushy areas again. I am done with the front part of the barn and am now moving to the back. Once I clean out all the tall weeds (without worrying about snakes or ticks is always a plus) and cut out the weed trees hopefully the back part of the barn will be ready for painting next Spring.

This area is the entrance to my tractor's home. You can see all my swarm traps stored in there as well. This entire section is a real pain because it gets most of the runoff from the barn roof and being on the North side never really sees the sun. Eventually the entire area is going to get a covering of gravel but with all the ruts and such I decided to clean it out and spread around some of the wood chips I have. This will cut down on how much gravel I need to buy and hopefully build the area up so it won't be so mushy.

I tell you I am really impressed with how well the wood chips have been working for filling in the ruts I have around the place.

Here is the load of brush I removed from the area and placed in the back of the truck. A bunch of woody plants and old rotting boards. I then spread out the first ten or so wheel barrow loads in front of the tractor entrance to raise the area up some and make it easier to get the tractor in and out. The rest of the wood chips will be spread out with the Massy and the bucket.

This is what remains of the wood chips in the back. The area they are covering now had some super deep ruts that would fill with water after a rain. I brought in the first load of gravel (you can see the edge of it on the right) this Summer which runs straight out of the barn and into the hay field. Once these wood chips are spread out to fill the ruts I will have another load of gravel brought in next Spring. It should cut my gravel needs down by half or more which will save me a good $500.00 I figure.

Once I get to work on the rain storage system for the barn I hope to eliminate this runoff problem all together and only need to place the gravel within about 10 foot of the barn. The rest of this area I will spread the wood chips out to fill the ruts and then add it to the mowing routine.

The wife came down at about this point and started exclaiming how wonderful the dirt looked in my newly cleared area. I hafta admit it was some nice soil but I need every bit back there to combat the runoff problem.

These next two pictures are the inside of the barn. As you can see she is an old monster. It is rare to see her this empty as she will be filled with round bales up in that loft within the next week or two. I will also have to put away my garden tractor as well. I had the insurance lady out a couple weeks ago and she was very nervous about the barn. I told her I knew it couldn't be insured for the price of replacement as is so we settled on a price per square footage equal to replacement in a metal barn.

She has a few holes in her siding but I have patched up all the big ones. The second picture shows the East side with four stalls open and another two stalls on up past the dividing wall that holds up the loft section. You can see the double row of horizontal boards above the stall doors. I have yet to figure out what those are for. One of them is broken but short of adding a mini-loft over the stalls I just cannot see what purpose they serve.  Those support boards do work well for hanging my posthole digger off of and hanging deer though which is how that one board got broken.

I am almost finished clearing out around the barn now. One small section left and some larger trees to remove from the sheep's temporary pen and I can get her North wall painted and build my leanto awning for equipment storage.

Once a few more of the horses go on to that big pasture in the sky I will be ready to make this barn pay for itself once again.

Keep Prepping Everyone!!!


  1. Nice barn, glad you are keeping it up, so many are falling down around here including our own as I have no say in it.

  2. PP,

    Those wood chips did the trick with filling in the ruts. Will it be a problem if it starts raining again? Will the chips float off?

    Now that's a great barn, I can see it full of animals and hay now.

    1. Sandy - I haven't as yet had any that floated away. They seem to settle down and begin decaying pretty fast but I would guess in a hard rain that might be an issue.

  3. Replies
    1. RP - This one is one of the late 30's or 40's barns. Long and a single peak roof using steel. Luckily it still was built with local oak though which means it doesn't take as much damage from age.

  4. is that an old ford 8N tractor?

    1. Yes it is. I am hoping to get all the equipment needed to run the farm with an 8N. Not sure if it is going to work out or not.

  5. Great Barn. They sure don't build them like that anymore. Thanks for sharing. Oak after is just like steel.

    1. Rob - I almost killed my brother once trying to drive a nail into one of those oak studs.

      The ricochet came back at him like a bullet.


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