In the Ditch

If you dig one ditch you better dig two cause the trap you set just may be for you.  Mahalia Jackson (I found this quote a while back and liked it, but I didn’t anticipate having a use for it.  It is attributed to Mahalia Jackson here, although I haven’t been able to trace it down to its source.)

Last night I had to bring a trailer load of whey out to the pigs.  It was getting dark by the time I made the run back home.  I changed my route to avoid a big puddle, but I forgot all about the newly dug waterline trench.  The trench is backfilled, but last week’s rain completely saturated the soil, which lead to this:

In the ditch
See, this is why we can’t have nice things.

Since I was cruising along in high gear, the tractor ran about fifteen feet before bottoming out.  I tried rocking it, curling the bucket, and locking the differential, but the backfilled dirt was too sloppy for any of those tricks to be effective.  This morning my neighbor Dave was kind enough to tug me out.  It didn’t take a lot of pulling, but if it weren’t for neighbors with heavy machinery I’d be in trouble.  Which leads me to thinking about how agriculture always needs to be something that happens in a community.  All of us in this neighborhood share a web of interconnectedness.  I’m the new guy, just five years here, but I can still see how we all depend on each other.  That’s a good feeling.  Especially when you’re stuck in a five foot deep mud pit.

4 thoughts on “In the Ditch”

    1. Yes indeed. With all our hills and especially when moving 6×4 bales across terrain, tipping is a concern. The new tractor is much more stable than the old top-heavy backhoe, but rolling is a danger never far from my mind when operating any of these machines.

    1. Right on. I lucked out with my choice of neighbors when I moved upstate. One has now died (he was in his 80s and a retired dairy farmer), but his brother still owns the property on the other side.

      My custom hay guy did a very similar thing last year when I buried a waterline through my hayfield/pasture. Only his tractor is a lot bigger than yours and it climbed out on its own, barely. I had a substantial rut to refill once he left for the day.

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