It is amazing some of the things you learn when you work with old stuff. When we first moved to the farm one of the kids that was helping my father -in-law would collect old railroad tie date nails. I knew he had found a couple out on the farm but I never really paid any attention to it. As we build this Bull enclosure we are ripping down an old fence line and a few random railroad ties. About 50% of the ties are rotted off but the other ties are still good and are getting reused in the new fence. I have found two of the dated nails and managed to pull one out intact. The head popped off the other one. Annmarie looked it up for me when I came back inside. They were used to date the tie as there were several different methods to treat the posts and the railroad company wanted to track which ones worked the best. So this railroad tie is from 1929 and I put it back in the ground! I am hoping to get 100 years out of a railroad tie, truly amazing. A real testament to what living in a desert like climate can do for stuff. I guess that < 12 inches of annual rainfall is good for something.
I decided to do something about the front gate entrance. When you step in through the gate I always have to step to the side and onto some gravel I had piled up. Well that gravel is sliding down hill so I thought that creating a short wall would help the problem. I bought 25 blocks on Friday and got them installed two days ago. I am still not certain it is a good thing. It will keep the gravel from slipping as much but now I have to actually pick up my feet.
Bubba has been out for a few hours the last couple of days and has been filling the rock cribs. This is an essential task as I cannot move forward without them full. I was very clear that I wanted him to get them from the old rock wall to minimize driving on the hill. So yesterday when I was out working on the enclosure I had to finish topping off a couple of the cribs. I ended up crawling on top of the the cribs and moving rocks around by hand to get them to stack better. This made more space therefore requiring me to haul more rocks. I decided I would drive to the top of the hill and get some random rocks that were sticking out of the ground. I would eventually like to pick all of the huge rocks off of the hillside. As I drove past the old rock wall I marveled at how many rocks were still left. We had four rock cribs almost full and it looked barely touched.
Yet as the mistress took me up the hill i noticed what looked like a well beaten path going up to the top of the hillside. I knew i had only been up there a couple of times and could not have made that many tracks . I was right, Bubba decided that the extremely large pile of rocks on top were a lot less work. The rocks are all loose and you can just drive to one spot and load them up. Now this might upset the rock chucks that live in the pile but other than that no harm. If you look at the below picture the old rock fence is at the top of the shadow and the huge pile of rocks is at the skyline. Oh well, the grass truly is greener on the other side!
I went out and worked on the bull enclosure again until dark. This is cutting into my wife time. I need to just get it done so I can move on to the next thing, which is going to have to be the machine shop. All of my evening help was busy so I worked alone, I did three loads of rocks to top off cribs and then hung a gate over but the lamb shed. The gate only opens out toward the bull enclosure, it only went about 25% of the way in the opposite direction. I will need to remove some earth to make it open both ways.
I had to go get some woven wire but I my choices are severally limited as there are only three rolls left on my fencing pile. I managed to find two that will hopefully work. I will have to reuse the woven wire from the fence line I am tearing down to make the entire enclosure.
I managed to get the woven wire stretched over one section and will now just need to install the tamarack railing and it will be done!
Annmarie took these pictures out our kitchen window. We had some water issues and fertilizer issues this year with our boxes and had a hard time with some of our seeds growing. We have lots and lots of onions and potatoes. This is only our third year and we may have gotten it figured out. I still want to do the underground greenhouse next year. I think it would be amazing to grow fresh vegetables year round!