Thursday, October 23, 2014

My Typical Fall Day in Pictures

I finally got the garden completely taken down this morning. All the trellis and wire has been stored, taken down or stacked. All the sheet metal walkways were removed and neatly stacked up off the ground on concrete blocks. The hoses were all rolled up and tied. Stakes gathered up and tied.

I even remembered to save some more Tobacco seeds for SF!!!

Since I wasn't about to yank all those still very much alive Tomato vines out of there along with the Sunflower stalks the size of small trees I got the tractor out to brush hog. My plan is to fence the garden in this Winter and either buy a couple of piglets or let some of the yearling Sheep in there to nibble but you all know the Tomato plant argument so I needed to get rid of them. Personally I think it would make some good fodder but not totally my call.

Here's where the typical Fall part comes into play. My trusty old "best tractor ever made" Ford 8N wouldn't start. This is completely unheard of I have managed to start that tractor in sub-zero temps. It always starts. Then I looked inside the fuel tank and it was out of gas. Last time I used her was to rake some hay just a few weeks ago and I know I left her with at least half a tank then.

After piddling around and putting in some more gas I finally found the problem. The gasket along the top of the fuel bowl has disintegrated and it was leaking fuel. Luckily it was an easy fix but I had to run into town and take the bowl with me to get a new gasket.

Then I start brush hogging and I get done with the garden and then hit the spot where I want to plant Pumpkins next year and I hear this gawd awful clunk.

I knew I had cut the damned PTO shaft too short and when I put the brush hog down to it's lowest level I guess I just didn't have enough grip there and it split the female side of the shaft. Luckily I have a spare but I am going to have to shorten the spare and then replace it. Ouch.

So I didn't get to brush hog down the lovely Bluestem grass the State highway department has been blessing me with.

See all that tall brown stuff? That's the Big Bluestem Grass they been seeding along the roads now because of this enviro-freak back to native crap. It actually makes so so hay but the sheep won't eat it unless there is nothing else to eat. You can see how it is encroaching on my Fescue and Brome/Orchard grass hayfield. My plan was to brush hog this edge down today and hope the cooler growing stuff might make some headway against it until Winter sets in. Well the broken PTO shaft kinda put an end to that plan this afternoon.

Of course by this time Sandwich was out. AGAIN.

The Other sheep were busy browsing and paying me no mind though. 

115 who is absolutely no trouble at all was quite content as long as she wasn't in the Bluestem.

Seven was ignoring me. While my supervisor had beat feet for the nearest tree the minute I started up the tractor.

Piglet or Penelope doesn't like machinery at all. She will climb a tree to keep an eye on me and once I shut the evil load thing off come back down to make sure I am not slacking off.

Like I said it's been three steps forward and then a  step or two back all the time this Fall. And the damned grass is still growing believe it or not. I just mowed a few days ago (and broke my garden tractor which I fixed yesterday) and it looks like I am going to have to do it again soon. They are predicting temps into the 80's again this weekend.

On the plus side it looks like I am going to get yet another cutting off the Alfalfa this year. Five cutting in one season is almost unheard of.

As the sun was going down and I was putting my tools away I saw this little tree frog hiding on my tool shop door. Still warm enough for tree frogs I see.

Keep Prepping Everyone!!!!


  1. PP,

    Instead of cutting the grass again, let your sheep out to take care of it for you :P
    It's not just you having issues on getting things done during fall.

    1. Sandy - All the areas I ran the sheep in are not going to need mowing they ate it down enough to make it to Winter. The other areas are not really feasible for it. Either too close to the road or they would be in with my fruit trees. Besides another week and a half and they will be in the breeding pasture with the rams except for whatever ewes we are keeping anyway.

      The grass this Fall is more like Spring growth it's going so fast. All that off season rain we got recently I imagine.

  2. Hey, thanks for saving the seed I will give it a try, something to look forward to next spring. I wish that I could get a day working on stuff like you did, I have the same plan on getting a couple pigs as they will till up the garden and maybe they will destroy the morning glory jungle that I can only managed to keep under control for a few months.

    1. Sf - I am letting the stems on the seed pods dry a bit now so I can mail em in a plastic baggy without any moisture developing inside.

      I have the same thought about the pigs. I hope I can find a couple at a good price. Maybe if they root around in the garden soil they will dig up most of the morning glory/bindweed roots I have so much trouble with each year.

  3. We're 10 steps forward, 9 steps back at The Compound! We understand your frustration. We just got us some supervisors of our own. 3 semi-feral barn cats. You pretty much don't see them unless they come in for a bit of food and water. We have a rodent problem I'd rather they help me with, than use poison. Do your cats help you, or are they just for looks?

    1. Izzy - Oh a couple of them are convinced they are the mightiest hunters ever to grace the earth. In all fairness I have removed more little mouse bodies than I can count from them. They like to leave em where the wife will see them in her raised bed path and she screams for me to come and depose of the little corpses.

      So I know they do get some of them.

  4. I enjoy seeing the photos from that part of the world, and hope you have a more-temperate winter this year. We'd prefer to keep the cold weather up here.

    1. RP - Thanks. I would just as well you guys kept all that up there as well :)

      I can't keep up with that much wood cutting this year. I easily used three times my normal amount last Winter. It was horrible. This old farm house isn't the warmest thing but what made me use more wood was the fact that the wind was so cold it would keep the furnace thermometer from kicking on like it was suppose to. Only way I could have fixed that would have been to build a building around my furnace. Some of them come with buildings but mine didn't.

  5. I thought there was supposed to be a pretty young woman sitting on the tractor. Don't the two go together?

    1. It's amazing how fast they abandon you when your tractor breaks down :(


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