Weed wars & Water ways

Since I could not cut more hay it was decided that I would spray weeds on Saturday.  The plan was for me to get up early and do this.  I did not get up early, I cooked and ate breakfast, learned from Annmarie that she heard the enemy, racoons, chittering through our bedroom window at 0400.  I suspect they were eating cat food from our back porch.  I have not seen them since our initial skirmish.

I had to call Mr Professional to get the side by side started.  He had not plugged the trickle charger onto the battery so it was low.  I used the external portable battery jumper and it fired right up.  I managed to put about 50 gallons on the ground before the wind picked up and it was time to stop.

It was only about 1030 so I got back onto the tractor, dumped off the manure forks and went up to the pasture flooded out the worst this spring.  I needed to finish the ditch I started last summer and since there is still running water and a mud pit in the middle I need to get the water diverted to my front ditch.  So I spent a few hours creating a ditch and a berm.  My hope is that if the back creek jumps the bank again it will hit the berm and get diverted toward the back ditch.  I did this in both fields, even if they get flooded out it only floods 1/3 of each field instead of 1/2-2/3 of both fields.  The water started to really flow once I dug down a foot.  I will keep working on the berm for the next 2-3 years until I get it 3 feet high all the way across.  I can then plant some grass on it to help hold it in place.  My poor right wrist was getting tired from making the bucket dig, then shake the mud out then use the bucket to push me back out of the ditch.  It was a very nice day.  This field looks much better, last year at this time the entire field was covered in 7 foot tall thistles.  I need to spray again.

On Sunday I did get up sorta early, I was out spraying weeds by 0600.  I realize in farmer time this is late.  I sprayed the barn lot, the ram pasture and all of the field I had just dug the ditch in yesterday.  I really needed to get the hay put up so I can let the sheep and this years eating cows up into the green fields.

With that thought in mind I just decided to give making hay bales a try.  I hooked up and started the baler up.  It took me an hour to get the first three bales made.  The first two bales I could not get packed tight enough and could not get the netting to wrap correctly.  It kept going around a single roller.  I forgot my pocket knife and luckily found one in the tool bag we made for the baler.  It was so dull I am pretty sure it could almost pass as a safety knife.  I also had to remove the packed hay from the pickup tines.  After an hour I managed to get the netting to wrap the third bale.  The key reason it was not working was I was going too slow.  If I drove as fast as the tractor would go and got the hay feed jammed up the hay packed in well.  We ended up with 50 bales of gorgeous grass hay.  The best I have ever made, unfortunately it was only 50 bales.   Annmarie, Mr Professional and I went out and picked up the 50 bales in 30 minutes then loaded them into the barn.  We took the border collies with us and they killed four vole while we picked up hay.  I would love to have them when I cut the hay but I am afraid they would get too close to the sickle bar.  There are hundreds of voles running around when I cut.

Mr Professional has been working on getting our lavender garden planted.  The ground cloth is in, grid laid out, drip line installed and then he takes out 5 gallons of soil and replaces it with premium soil and sets the plant.  I managed to kill about half the plants from forgetting to water.  So we have an order in for next year to replace them.  The tire rubber bark is working out great!  I am looking forward to seeing it all done and in about three years the lavender will be approaching full size.

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I also cut out part of the flooded fence and then used the box blade to flatten the area and get it all prepped for new fencing.  We will install another breakaway point in the field cross fence if the water should break through my new ditch and berm.  I am hoping to get that fence done in the next two weeks.  Their our two alpaca that need shearing this upcoming weekend.

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