Meanwhile, back at the Ranch….April 29, 2018

Let’s try something new- a synopsis of the week every Saturday or Sunday to show you what’s going on. So much of what we do seems mundane to me (do you want to see the wall we added to the chicken coop under construction? Or the tree we cut?) but if I show you a week’s worth of activity at a time, well, maybe it’s a little more exciting.

First, the weather is GLORIOUS!! We finally started seeing sunshine and days in the 50s and 60s a week ago Thursday. (It is Friday as I write.). When I left last Friday, there was quite a bit of snow on the ground, and when I returned home Monday, it was almost completely melted.

Today is in the 70s.  We have a young man from our church providing some muscle, so he and John are out getting hay from Ashley Creek Ranch.  I am hoping that 20 bales will cover us until the first week in July, which is usually when baling begins.

The goats are SO helpful. Boaz is supervising while Ruthie taste tests the new hay. The others are probably on the truck, head butting bales off the truck bed.

I am in the woods with the goats. Amazingly, with our upgraded 25 mgs of speed, I am quite a ways from the house, and still on wi-fi. Y’all for the longest time (until about three months ago) we had a whopping 1.5 mgs of speed, which is one of the reasons I did not launch this blog sooner.  It took FOREVER to simply upload a picture.  It is such a luxury to have enough speed to finally stream Netflix.  When you live as far into the woods as we do, you are way down the installation list for upgrades.

Belle takes her job of watching the goats seriously.

The goats are feeling unusually relaxed today.  What’s up with that?  Boaz and Momo have been lying down to eat, which they never do.  There’s enough new growth for them to browse that we can stand in one place for a while.

Look carefully; we seldom see Boaz lying down.
Momo wants to rest, but Boaz is goading him into getting up.

My personal project, begun this week and continuing into next, is raking up a large accumulation of pine cones and pine needles from our driveway and “landscaped” areas.  It’s an extra large amount because the snow surprised me by falling a month early last fall, and so I did not do my fall raking.  I like to rake a bunch of piles and then haul them off to the ravine.

Here are a couple of “before” pictures:

And a couple of “in progress” pictures:

We bought a new log splitter right before I left town last week.  We have unloaded it and ran it for the first time!  I am excited about this purchase, because now I can help split firewood. Up to now, John has been splitting it all manually.  It’s not that he can’t anymore, but we realized that having this machinery will help us get more mileage out of his back. We are both so happy to be able to split so much wood in a short period of time.  It can be painful for John to bend over to pick things up, so if we work together, he runs it while I bring logs to him, and then pick up and stack the split pieces.

It’s official–wood collection for next winter has begun.

Another by-product of the heavy snow is downed trees.  If  we cut and split them now, they have the summer to cure and dry out for next winter. One fell behind the shop at the edge of the ravine where we dispose of pine needles/cones, duck muck, sticks, and such.  Slowly it composts. John cut it up for firewood, and I hauled it to the woodshed.  We split it with the new log splitter!

Belle supervises while John shaves limbs off the tree before sawing it into logs.

As mentioned, after a winter hiatus, we resumed construction on the new chicken coop. A good aspect of not finishing it last fall is that we had the opportunity to observe the snow load from a winter of heavy snow, and we learned that we needed one more 4×4 support beam at the back to keep the roof from bowing.  Really glad we saw that before we finished the coop! We cut three panels to fit, and now we have the back wall in place!  Every step is so exciting as it looks more and more like a building.

Yes, we hung the back wall of the chicken coop!

So what does next week hold for us?  Rain, not unexpectedly, for a few days, so perhaps we may tackle an indoor project I have been waiting on.  Later in the week more sunshine, and hopefully, big progress on the new chicken coop!

2 Replies to “Meanwhile, back at the Ranch….April 29, 2018”

  1. Thank you for this insight into life on a “hobby” farm. Moving around and being outside—it’s the best. Amber

    1. I think of you every time I am engrossed in manual labor, so basically, I think of you every day!!

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