Tuesday, April 27, 2010

It rained!

We’ve had about three inches of rain since Friday night. That’s nice. We haven’t actually had much rain since January. I’ve heard it reported that we had been about eight inches behind for the year already. GreenThis recent rain has really helped. Everything seems to have grown tremendously in the last few days with all the moisture. The trees are leafed out. It’s so nice to see all of the green.

Around here we enjoy several different flowering trees during the spring. The redbuds and dogwoods are basically done blooming now, although there are still a few dogwood blossoms hanging on. The royal empress trees (non-native) are blooming now as are the locust trees.

I’m late getting the cows out on grass this spring. They should’ve been out two or three weeks ago. I left them in the barn to help make chores simpler for my dad while we were gone last weekend. I’ve also had to get a little fence work done in order to put get them out. That is just about complete now. So, I ought to be able move them tomorrow. I’ll still feed them hay at night for a few days in order to transition them to their new diet. They will be thrilled to have fresh grass. Once they’re out, I’ll see about getting a couple of pigs to aerate the bedding pack in the barn.

CleoCleo is going to a new home. She’s almost four months old now and has grown very well. In anticipation of putting the cows out on grass, I thought it would be a good time to sell her. So, I put an ad on Craigslist last night, and she’ll be leaving an just a little while. She ought to make a nice milk cow in a few months for her new family.

I have a hankering to haul some composting material, but that’ll have to wait a day or two. It might be a bit too wet in the bottom right now. Maybe on Thursday it’ll be dry enough. . .

Thursday, April 22, 2010

First load with the new truck!

We spent a few days with Forerunner and his family, arriving home Tuesday evening after a GREAT visit. Yesterday, I had a few things to work on, but the urge to haul compost material was strong upon me. Have you noticed that composting has become ‘important’ to me? (We won’t call it an obsession – maybe a passion, though.) So, I acquired the necessary materials to build a tailgate for the new truck. Construction of said tailgate began immediately and was finished (except for paint) this morning. Ain't she a beauty?

As soon as I finished the tailgate and checked the rear end shifter on the truck, I set off to town in hopes of bringing home a nice load of material from the sale barn. I was not disappointed.

Unloading was easy.

Empty in a matter of minutes (except for the 2x6 Malchiah threw in the back after removing it from the material -- whatta boy!).

I was very pleased with the amount -- at least twice as much as I can haul with my other truck and trailer, and I haven't even built the side boards yet.

There's one more load to haul after lunch, but I'm wishing there was more. . .

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Increasing my hauling capacity

I brought home another piece of equipment this morning. I’ve acquired several things to make my composting endeavors more efficient. With my F250 and trailer, I’ve been able to haul about 5 tons of material per trip. Now, I expect I should be able to haul 10 to 12 tons per trip with my new truck:

manure hauling monster

It’s not brand new, of course. It’s a 1981 Chevrolet 2-ton truck with a 16 foot dump bed. I have to do a few things to it, like put on different tires (I have a source for some good used ones), build some extensions to raise the height of the sides, and construct a tail gate. I’m itching to put it to use.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

The joy of composting

Last Friday I made five trips and hauled in about 25 tons of cleanings from the sale barn in town. With the manure/bedding and sawdust I already had hauled in, I went ahead and put together two more compost piles (I already had one built).

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On Sunday morning, the piles were vigorously steaming. So, yesterday I took my camera with me when I went to do my chores so I could photograph the beauty of steaming compost piles in the early morning.
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Now it’s time to haul in a lot more material and keep building compost piles. We’re making a trip to Illinois later this week. So, it will be next week before I can haul more. It’ll be hard waiting that long. . .

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