Big Pencil Sharpener

I ordered a few fiberglass sucker rod fence posts and I set about installing them in the bale grazing pasture today.  I’ve avoided fiberglass posts because of the splinters, but I wanted to give a try to a few of these because I need a rigid post that also be hand driven.  I have some plastic-wood composite posts that are easily driven, but they sag and flex with any lateral pressure.  My first impression of the fiberglass posts is that they are strong and stiff enough to serve my purposes, but that they… Read More

This Is How We Do It

The nice thing about pigs is that they are pigs to the extreme limits of pigness.  They make no allowances for moderation or nuance.  Por ejemplo:

Wishing for November Rain

Instead we got snow, then 20 degrees overnight, and then persistent winds reaching into the mid 30 mph range.  Sunday’s snow started out wet, accumulating on the polywire fences causing them to droop to the ground.  By mid-morning things turned drier and blustery, causing the chickens to huddle in place on the leeward side of their feeder and a few protective hay bales.  Not much foraging going on there…  It looks like it is high time to move the chickens into their winter hoophouses.  If the December weather improves I can always… Read More

Riding the Paddy Wagon

Thursday we drove out to Westborough, MA to pick up our very own paddy wagon.  Actually it is a prisoner transport bus for highway garbage pickup details.  The plan is to strip out the seats and use the van for a delivery vehicle, with the cargo area outfitted with chest freezers and racks for egg coolers. The van is 16 years old, but with moderate mileage.  The engine and frame seem to be in good shape, but the bus floor cross-members are severely rusted.  My plan is to lift the body from… Read More

To Cover Or Not To Cover

…that is the question.  And it seems the answer is NOT to cover hay bales. This summer I put a lot of effort into preserving my bales by storing them under tarps, recycled billboard signage to be precise.  And I have to say that the tarps do a great job of preserving the hay.  The bales look as good as any hay stored in a building. I bale graze the cattle through the winter.  In my situation it is insalubrious getting the tractor out across deep snow drifts, steep slopes, and alternating… Read More

Hay and a Movie

Once again it is time to start laying out the bales for winter grazing.  Bale after bale, row after row, definitely not the most intellectually stimulating farm task, but cows gotta eat… Repetitive tasks aren’t entirely unwelcome, since they provide opportunity for contemplation.  Today I was thinking over the story of another farmer, one whose love/hate relationship with the drudgery of farming forms part of the storyline for the documentary Peter and the Farm (just released for streaming on Amazon and iTunes yesterday).  This film isn’t the usual farm documentary, being neither… Read More