Sunday, May 21, 2017

November Hill farm journal, 30

It's been awhile since my last farm journal entry. We've been so busy with finals for daughter, son's graduation, his trip to Ithaca to find an apartment, and trying to keep up with the daily dozen+ things that absolutely have to be done no matter what.

November Hill is in full jungle mode right now. All the leafing out is done and while I am not thrilled with the heat of summer nor the insect pests it brings, I do love the privacy we have when everything is lush and full.

The vegetable garden is in, thanks to my husband, and although it's not as much as we've planted in years past, it is already overproducing lettuces and greens, and we enjoyed our first November Hill strawberries this year also thanks to him.

If the garden is growing, everything else is too, and the grass is no exception. The side strip, what I call the wildflower strip, is more than waist high. The mower needs a part and we've been too busy to pick it up. All that tall grass has gone to seed so I'm looking at it this way: we're reseeding using the natural method!

This is the first weekend in many that I've even had the hope of working on my to do list around the farm. I'm happy to say those porch screens are FINALLY DONE! I'm ordering my light fixture tomorrow. Reward on the way for what took far longer than I counted on.

Because I am woefully behind and some of my to do list tasks are easier done in winter, I'm going to need to reassess what comes next. Whatever it ends up being, it will be good to get started on a whole new project.

Our contractor is returning the end of the month to install the barn gutters and our farm gate. I'm looking forward to finally having the entire perimeter of November Hill enclosed, and even more am looking forward to the new perimeter fencing coming this fall. No more stressing about the neighbor's children's dogs. And Bear and Baloo can run run run once the perimeter fencing is up.

Speaking of Baloo, he is absolutely amazing. He and Bear are best buddies and as puppies do, he has doubled his size and is growing up so fast. I'll post a few photos later this week.

I want to take a moment to stop and write about how wonderful the new barn roof and shelter are. The functional cupola is making a huge difference on hot days. Our barn is sited well for cross breezes but when you combine that with our big fans and the cupola and barn shelters, even on the hottest days we've had the barn is very comfortable and there is air flow. We've also had rainy days and it is wonderful having shelters on both sides so all the equines have space to stand and watch the rain, munch on hay, and stretch their legs without getting wet. I am so happy we went forward with this big project.

My newest farm purchase is a mini-sized, chargeable electric chain saw. I can't handle the big Stihl, and there are so many things I can do with this little machine. It's charging right now and the first mission is to cut the wild muscadine, honeysuckle, and trumpet vines at their BASES underneath the front porch. I could spend the rest of my days walking around the farm and up and down our lane on our long strip pruning back the ever-growing jungle of trees and shrubs. I'm excited to get started on that.

A few things in our week to come: a fly sheet for Cody who is being besieged by bug bites, grazing muzzles for three small equines whose barrels are approaching the size of small tanks, and hoof trims all around.

It's almost summertime. Daughter is digging into calculus 2, son is enjoying a month and a half or so break before moving to Ithaca and starting his doctoral study at Cornell, husband is busy with his own projects, and I have recently joined a weekly writing group which is already making me very happy. Life is busy, life is good.


Grey Horse Matters said...

You really are busy. There are always so many things that need doing and not enough time. I'm sure eventually it will all come together. Be careful with that chainsaw! They scare the hell out of me, I always picture losing a digit or two.

billie said...

I will! It is very small and has a big safety guard thing as well. The good thing is because it uses a rechargeable battery I can only do a certain amount at a time, so can't get into one of my "I'm going to finish everything if it kills me" modes. I think having short spells of using it will make it less likely I'll get tired and clumsy.

Mainly it will save me having to use the little hand saw for some pruning that is just too much for me with the back and forth motion over and over and over...

Husband tried it out and cut all the huge vines under the porch. Which means all the things growing out from under there winding into everything imaginable will now wilt and die and I can just drag those out and compost them! I tell you, I am happy to be able to cross THAT off the list.