farming, Uncategorized

Quad Boss


When you look out across the road, to our pasture cut by the creek, you see a beautiful field of bright green and yellow WEEDS. As far as your eyes can see, weeds everywhere. I mowed them down and they came back. The horses won’t eat them. The donkey doesn’t eat them. They are taking over and the neighbors think they are beautiful.
They say the grass is greener on the other side, we have no grass. We have weeds.
There was grass, once upon a time. So I hear. Over grazing and under fertilizing took there of that pretty quick. The best time to sow grass seed is September, so I have a summer of weeds ahead of me. The pastures need to be disced, fertilized, sowed and watered. And rested.
Having 5 horses, a yearling colt and a possibly pregnant donkey is much better than 16 hungry mouths, but horses are grazing machines. They are eating, surviving machines. But not for weeds!
I mowed the high pasture yesterday, it really wasn’t that bad, I think I started early enough in the year. The pasture across the road is another story. It’s a jungle out there.
Sadie and I went to the dump today – finally. The old grill, a leaky toilet, three broken chairs, an old TV, a rusted feed trough, a roll of chain-link and a cabinet from at least the 70’s. Mom had at least 9 bags of trash ready for us, that went too.
We watched the toilet smash in the bottom of the dumpster, threw the chairs in after, and the glass on the cabinet broke into a million pieces like diamonds. The grill went last, it hung on for dear life but we conquered it.
We stopped to get gas, I began filling a 5 gallon jug for the 4-wheeler, and sprayed the stuff everywhere. Apparently Sadie had a hold of the hose, I missed the opening by a mile and wore the fumes all the way home.
As soon as I got the groceries in, we went off again to pay a visit to Rex Montgomery, who owns some of the most beautiful rolling green hills in the neighborhood. I backed the trailer up and we loaded 17 square bales of hay. It smelled like fresh grass, Spring air, dry hay and sunshine. I would have drank it from a cup if I could have.
Sadie and I got the hay unloaded in the barn and I hooked up the Quad Boss, our 4×4 bush-hog. I finished the front pasture in record time, Mom rode with me some of the way, then I went off to the next. We have 11 acres across the road, after the front pasture and the barn lot, the rest of the pasture is a large rectangle intersected by the creek.
I started on the section closest to the road, stirring up the horses to another grazing spot, before running over a big lump of hay string. It was almost 8:30 so I decided to call it quits.
After disengaging the blades, I drove over a step in the sidewalk to get a closer look.
Definitely hay string – and I was surprised at how badly the blades need sharpening. I think in the 10 months we’ve had it, we’ve sharpened them once. That thing gets a lot of wear, I probably should have done it before the weeds arrived.
Before I got the string off, Sadie shouted ‘fox!’
I jumped up and ran up to the chicken coop. Yesterday, in broad daylight, she saw a fox carry off one of my red hens. In broad daylight!
The ducks were standing at attention, the rooster was on guard and the hens were clucking to one another. I made a lap around the barn but didn’t see anything. I didn’t think I would – foxes are notoriously crafty. I set the live trap yesterday and caught Mama Cat. A fox wouldn’t be silly enough to end up in a live trap. All I can think to do is keep the flock up for a few days.
I got the string all cut off and threw it away. The mower, my boots and most of the 4-wheeler were covered in yellow dusty pollen I came inside to homemade tortilla soup, Sadie, my mom and happy Zoe.
You never know what can happen in a day on the farm, but I guarantee it will leave you with one big appetite.

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