Today, as I sat here thinking of the upcoming holidays, I was reminded of the years harvest and that the farmers have finished bringing in their crops. The fields outside my window here are barren, corn stalks are all that is left and the grass is turning brown. The farm machinery is mostly put away for the season and the roads are clear of the slow traffic.
It is not funny when I think about it because there just wasn’t that much machinery on the roads this year. Even five years ago, there were just so many out there and now we are a dying breed. The farmers are disappearing; small farms can not keep up with the changing economy, the price of livestock is either outrageous or bottomed out; it is just too hard for most. It is mostly the larger farms and agriculture business that remain.
I wonder what is going to happen if the farmer no longer exists. Food will be so scarce and expensive that it will be hard for anyone to even obtain unless you are wealthy and that is a scary thought.
I enjoy gardening and would hate it if I could not grow my own food in the summer. I think we need to support our farmers and figure out a way to save the farms that are so much a part of our country’s history. This is just my thoughts.
It is definitly that time of year, mud everywhere. It is a nuisance to walk outside to the car or to the mailbox and have your feet covered in mud. It gets all over your car and it ruins your good shoes. But what can you do, not much.
Out around the barn the mud is much worse and it can become a problem. If you feed outside the barn the mud will just continue to get more messy and harder to get around in. It is hard on the cattle and hard on you. Then when it freezes the ground is so uneven that it is difficult to walk on.
So, what do we do? I don’t know about everyone else but, the one thing we do is move our feeders around every few weeks to keep the mud from becoming a problem. If it does become an issue, there are times when we had to just haul in more rock. There are some areas around here that I know are 10 inches or more deep with rock that has been built up over the years.
The other way is to feed on concrete but that can also get messy and pretty quick. Then you just have to clean, clean and clean. And if not careful, it can get pretty slick. I know that when it does get in that condition it can be hazardous. The concrete can be as slick as glass and a broken leg can happen pretty easily.
Another thing we do is drag the ground area around the feeders. When the ground is still muddy yet a little frozen, we pull the drag behind the tractor and even out the ground. Now, I don’t do this myself, but Al does on a pretty regular basis. He usually does this at the same time he puts out hay for the cattle and horses.
We do the same procedure around the hay feeders. They are easy enough to pick up with the tractor and move every time we put out a new bale. This keeps the area from becoming too much of a mess and the grass will grow back come Spring.
Everyone does things differently but this just might give you another idea. I do know that a drag is a must on the farm and an important part of our farm equipment. We have ours made from 5 old tires, halved and attached together in a triangular shape with a chain that hooks to the tractors hitch. It does a great job.
In todays economy we have to make use of all the things that we already have on hand. We just cannot afford to go out and buy new stuff and put it on our credit cards anymore so we must improvise. It is amazing what you can find around the barn, house or yard that you can make use of.
On of the things that we have started getting a lot of use out of is a drop sided wagon. (Look in the background of the above picture in the doorway of the barn, and you will see our wagon.) If and when we need to haul several buckets of feed at once but really don’t need the truck or tractor, it comes in very handy. A bale of straw or hay fits in it just perfect and you can pull it with you right into the barn. This little wagon can go places that other equipment cannot even fit into. It has rubber tires and maneuvers well. Having a bad back, it has became one of the farm supplies that I cannot do without. It saves me from having to carry feed out to the cattle because I can just load the buckets and pull them out to the feeders in the wagon, unload and dump. The stress and strain is no longer a problem.
Another item I have made use of is a hard rubber water trough. I placed it up next to the house under a downspout and now collect rain water in it. I have discovered that by using rain water on my seedlings and plants in my green house is better for them than city water with all the chlorine. I bottle it in milk jugs and plastic bottles and store it to use for my house plants all year round. It really works great. Even in the winter, I’ll fill the jugs and keep my supply stocked. I only have a problem if it freezes.
Look around, see what you can use out of all the things you already have. You may be surprised.
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We are a farm family and enjoy our animals and farm life. So talking about the farm and all that it requires is a passion of ours. From equine supplements to chicken coupes, we will discuss just about anything. Comments welcome.
If you do not live on a farm or if you have never been on a farm this question is not that silly. I was always told that no question is silly if you do not know the answer. To someone like me, the first time I was asked this, I was surprised. It seemed so funny that y0u wouldn’t know what is around a barn.
I guess the first thing most of us would say is animals. Whether it be horses, cattle, sheep, goats, pigs or whatever livestock we raise. Then, of course, there is the feed, horse feed, cattle feed, salt blocks, minerals and cat and dog food. Also, there is the hay for the animals to eat and straw for their bedding.
Then the next thing would be the equipment, such as, tractors, wagons, combines, disks and maybe plows.
Of course, there would be all the neccessities of farm life such as fencing supplies, shovels, rakes, pitchforks, manure spreaders, buckets, log chains, hammers, wrenches and all other kinds of tools.
It may be surprising what you find out around the barn. You might find lumber, where someone has been building something or horse shoes lying on the ground where they have just finished shoeing a horse, halters and bridles hanging and saddles on saddle racks in a tack room. There will be lead ropes and sorting sticks and sorting paddles used for herding the livestock. You might even find a skull or two of bulls or deer.
There is just no telling what you may find. I do know that a farm is a great place for a treasure hunt.
Any how, these are just a few of the things you will find on a farm, out around the barn.