The new year has brought our first snow on the farm. Not much snow, but first there was ice so the snow stuck to everything. It’s quite pretty without all the hassle of deep snow, so I have enjoyed it!
Elbie, John, and I walked around the farm yesterday and I took bunch of pictures. Here are my favorite:
The last one was actually this morning. It hasn’t gotten above freezing yet so things are still so gorgeous. It’s lightly snowing now, as if purposefully to freshen up any partly dewhitened areas.
Okay, I better update this blog before I lose the pictures I’ve taken of the slow evolution of the barn and farm.
We’re still doing tons of little projects and getting things sorted to suit us and the horses, I just haven’t been updating because I’m so busy now with work and everything. Our school is still virtual, so I am still teaching from home, but there just aren’t enough hours in the day!
Fall has officially arrived here in Missouri, so I clipped Syd a couple weekends ago. He is a furry beast and his hair gets so long and thick in the winter he really needs a fall trim to be able to stay in work.
Last year I hired a girl at the barn to do a trace clip because I believe in as little alteration (and as light of blanketing) as possible. However, by January his non-clipped areas were so hairy! So this year I decided to take everything off except the legs and head.
And I had to clip him myself.
There are some track lines and a few chunks and the lines along his head and legs are not straight edges, but he’s got short hair and will be more comfortable when working and when it’s not bitterly cold this winter. Already it’s in the mid to upper 60s this week and he’s glad to have only a light coat on instead of a giant ski jacket.
Before clipping, I gave him a good sudsy bath.
This brings me to the farm project update I meant to write about for this post. I love this wash stall! It’s bright and inviting.
I had to do a little cleanup to make it workable, but all I had to buy was some rubber washers, safety cross ties, and a milk crate.
It has warm and cold water, and the heavy duty rubber hose came with the place. Actually, so did the spray nozzle, but it leaked so I got some rubber washers to fix it.
The hose hanging bracket had been pulled off the wall but was still stored in the tack room, so I found some screws and rehung that.
I also dragged out the honeycomb mats that were already there and cleaned them. The previous owners had flat mats in the aisle, so I pulled those in for the back of the stall and rearranged the honeycomb mats to cover the metal drain.
I added a milk crate to corral shampoos and sponges and some velcro safety cross ties. In a pile of stuff left behind, I found a small bucket for baths and hung Leda’s chain lead from the existing bridle hook in case of a horsey meltdown. And voila! Ready for baths!
On Sunday afternoon I built a compost system fit for country life.
Well, John helped. A lot. Especially with nailing because apparently I’m incapable of starting a nail.
And he cut all the boards a couple weeks ago.
But I picked out the plans, masterminded the board cutlines, orchestrated the putting together, stapled the mesh, and just generally contracted the project.
So I’m going to say I built a compost system this Sunday.
We tried to compost in the city, but it never really worked. Now that we’ve moved to the country I refuse to throw kitchen scraps and other organic things into a landfill.
This 3 Bin system will have a bin for filling, a bin for sitting-and-degrading, and a bin for spreading in the garden. There’s also the pile of discarded hay off to the side to layer in as the “brown” to kitchen scrap “greens”.
The plans give lists of new lumber, but we had enough scrap wood between what we brought with us and what was left on the farm to build it without buying anything!
And somehow the whole thing (minus the cutting) took only a couple hours! And most of that was spent wrestling the green mesh that had been tangled in the blackberry bushes.
I need to update the blog with some more manure spreader news (spoiler: it’s here, it’s awesome), but I’ve been so busy with the start of the school year I just haven’t had the inclination to write it up. Soon though! In the meantime, here’s some pictures of random scenes about the farm.
More actual updating later this week hopefully. I must keep up with this so I can remember in 10 years what it was like when we first started!
This will be so awesome if the power goes out for an extended period of time. I won’t have to worry about the well pump not working! I may not be able to see the water buckets, but I’ll be able to fill them. Also, I don’t have to worry about a well running dry in the event of a drought. Both of these worries loom large in my memories of growing up on a very similar farm (but with well water).
However, city water also means water treated with chlorine. We have a water softener in the house, but the barn water is unfiltered.
The water in the fields is provided by auto waterers, which are amazing. Leda thinks they are SO FUN.
So they at least were drinking outside. But the fresh, chlorinated stall water? Not so much. Both Leda and Syd were water guzzlers at their boarding barn (with well water), so I found this alarming.
I tried offering a second bucket of apple flavored electrolytes (ew). I tried dissolving a peppermint in the water (ew). I tried kool-aid in the water (ew).