Thursday, August 17, 2017

November Hill farm journal, 35

I have more adventures to share but wanted to check in about farm stuff today. We had several weeks without rain and the pastures became quite dry. This week we've had three good rains so things are going green again. The most recent rain came with a thunderstorm and the worst lightning strikes we've had in several years. Fortunately nothing was hit and the horses and donkeys came in to the barn and finished out their night under shelter.

Yesterday the gravel guy came and fixed the pothole in our driveway, as well as the drainage issue that was creating it. Our temps have gone back into the 90s so he brought the gravel earlier in the day but came in the evening to do the work. After my own sweat-lodge style chore session mid-day, I considered doing the same thing until this heat breaks!

Today my farm helper is putting gravel underneath the front porch to create a tidier surface under there. Once he's done with that I'm going to repaint the lattice boards and we'll put everything back together for now. I'm still pondering the cat space and how to do it.

He's continuing to clear the fence line, which is looking wonderful, and once he gets to the barnyard gate we'll move to the other side of the property to get the fence lines clear for the new perimeter fencing. That is I think going to be an easier job for him but it's all hard work and I'm grateful he's willing to do it in this heat. He prefers to start early and finish at 3. Most of what he's doing is in shade so that helps! But we're both ready for fall and cooler weather.

The gravel guy is returning this afternoon with a load of mulch to put on the path that goes from our back yard gate to the barn. That path was always a bit of a drainage issue when we get a lot of rain, but over time as other, higher areas have eroded some, it's gotten worse. He looked it over with me and said while gravel might make it tidier he didn't think it would do much to stop the flow of water. His thought was to mulch the area and stop the water, absorb the water, and maybe in the process help out the oak tree that's looking very sad in that same area. We are wondering if its proximity to the well is the problem - not getting enough water at the roots due to the well pulling from the water table - and he thinks maybe the mulch will create some water retention that might help. It's worth a shot. I hate to lose that oak tree but there's one ten feet up that is thriving, so if it doesn't make it, we'll use the wood for the wood stove.

He has a plan to mulch the path and create a bed where I can plant stuff or just leave it plain. I'll need to think about some horse-friendly plantings since I do let them in the barnyard! Any ideas are welcome. And we're thinking maybe slate stones on top of the mulch for actual walkway from gate to barn door.

This will get done today and then next week he's going to work on getting the arena topped up for me. Then we'll take a break until early fall when the horses are out of the barn. That project is going to be a much bigger one. We'll be clearing the shelters, stalls, and barn aisle out and putting in gravel, stall grids, and a layer of screenings on top of that. And creating more of a lip on each end of the barn aisle. Re-doing French drains at each end and then hopefully that will be that for many years to come.

My hope is that with fencing done in September and the barn work done early October, this phase of projects will be over just in time for riding and enjoying the season!


Grey Horse Matters said...

It sounds like a busy time at November Hill but you're getting a lot of projects completed. It's August and the temps are high and I'm sure it's humid and miserable to do much outside by you. We're not getting much done around here that needs doing. I can't wait for Fall weather so it will be more comfortable outside.

billie said...

The gravel guy brought the mulch at 7 p.m. last night and was here until 10 spreading it! Even then, it was humid and warm, but better than during the heat of the day. I'm so ready for fall.

Matthew said...

Everything around the farm is starting to take shape so nicely!

billie said...

It's so good to get some projects done!