Tuesday, October 12, 2010

A Few Accomplishments

The great thing this October is  that the weather has been spectacular-- summery, sunny and warm. The downside is that such beautiful days lull you into thinking that winter is far off and there is no urgency to getting fall projects accomplished. We know better--we are trying to stay focused and get things done!

Last spring Rog, removed the four most deteriorated barn doors  in order to install new posts and beams to shore up the  sagging barn roof on the north side. After fixing the roof structure, we left the barn doors off all summer and had sort of a porch effect, but we need to be able to close up this end of the barn this winter.  Rog cut off the bottom foot from each door where the wood had rotted away and built new frames  around them.
I painted the doors  and together we hung them (they are HEAVY and  hanging them was trickier than you would think.)
I am so impressed with my husband's carpentry talents!  The barn looks snug and secure now.
While Rog carpentered, I mowed.  We had fenced off most of our front yard as pastures for the cows this summer.  It doesn't quite look like a manicured lawn anymore, but still appears pretty civilized when mowed.  With the cows and poultry doing all the work, I think we only had to mow the main part of the yard three times all summer.
Last year was our first  experience having cows and we fed them by putting their hay in the handy-dandy wire horse hay feeders that were attached to the loafing shed walls. This winter I have decided not to feed the cows inside the loafing shed.  They spend so much time inside then, munching away, and creating waste that must be hauled outside.  Mucking out the barn by hand come spring is back-wrenching, odorous work.

I have been keeping my eyes out  for some item I could creatively recycle for feeding the cows hay outside, but finally I just bit the bullet and bought a horse feeder from Fleet Farm.  The hay needs to be kept up off the ground or else they  trample it and soil it and waste a big portion of it. There is a  trough below the hay rack (intended for grain) that also catches some of the fallout hay and keeps it clean.   I like that this feeder  is heavy and sturdy enough that they won't tip it over, yet manageable to drag to a new site.  It didn't occur to me that LaFonda  would risk getting her horns tangled in the bars, but after a couple meals she has figured out how to avoid getting them caught.
The garden is nearly  cleaned out for winter. I cleaned up the tomato patch and burned all the  tomato debris  in a big bonfire. Rog dug up all the potatoes.  I harvested all the  peppers, melons, eggplants and squashes, including these overgrown crookneck summer squash that are now  more like decorative gourds.  We still have  beets, onions and Swiss chard growing, as well as assorted herbs.

We had to get a portion of the garden cleared out so that  two large trailer  loads of grass  clippings could be  dropped off.  A fellow down the road a couple miles brings us the clippings and dethatched grass from his estate every fall.  It makes wonderful mulch.


Toodie said...

You guys did quite ah bit. I soo very well know how heavy those doors are and getting them into the slider tracks is ah pain. My back hurts for you! I often wonder what folks do with the fancy gourds.

katiegirl said...

Good job getting so much done! The barn doors look great. And that's a nice hay feeder!