Relative Something

*this* John W. Hays' take on things and experiences

Posts Tagged ‘moldy hay

Satisfying Progress

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It’s not all that hard, but oh, so satisfying to finally buckle down and give home equipment the annual maintenance inspection it deserves. Yesterday, we did that for our variety of carts and wheelbarrows.

Just like so many manuals often instruct, periodically checking bolts for tightness, adding air to tires, and greasing moving parts proved to be a well-deserved exercise. I found one missing a nut and one had lost both nut and bolt. As is usual in the spring, all tires needed air, but one tire was practically flat.

With our wheelbarrows in renewed shape for heavy duty, we put them to work hauling things and old, moldy hay out of the hay shed.

 

It almost looks like new and is prepped and ready to receive any hay that may be warranted for feeding the horses before our pastures have sprouted eight new inches of spring growth.

Just like taking care of regular maintenance on equipment is well advised, periodically giving barn and hay shed a thorough going over is worth it whether or not you have the incentive like we are currently enjoying. The effort uncovered several wasps nests we were able remove, which will force them to start over from scratch.

The progress of cleaning up the hay shed was even more satisfying than the wheelbarrows. That’s an excellent motivator for the next target of our attention: the barn.

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Written by johnwhays

March 29, 2021 at 6:00 am

Repurposing Decay

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Old, moldy hay bales and piles of downed tree limbs make for excellent raw materials to build a natural barrier along our property line. As I’ve written before, it is one of my favorite dual accomplishments to clean up and declutter while also creating something functional out of the otherwise unwanted items.

This morning, the snowflakes are flying, right on the predicted schedule, in stark contrast with the surprisingly pleasant warmth and calm of yesterday afternoon. My thermometer showed 64°(F) late in the day yesterday. This morning it is 30-degrees colder.

Taking full advantage of the nice weather while I had the chance, I finished getting rid of all but two of the old bales from our hay-shed and moved them into position along our property border.

Those bales have served as the base layer on pallets for several years, taking the bulk of the ground moisture in the protection of the many stacks of bales piled on top of them. In that time, the twine holding the bales tends to break down, making it an unpleasant adventure trying to move them.

I spent many extra minutes tying added twine to hold the moldy bales together just long enough to relocate them to my growing natural berm. Interestingly, this was the only time on our property since the COVID-19 outbreak that I have needed to wear a mask over my nose and mouth. I would hate to get seriously ill from breathing mold when lung treatments are all focused on keeping coronavirus patients alive.

The branches from the large pine tree that tipped over during the winter made for excellent added structure, upstream to the bales, allowing me to get rid of the pile we temporarily stowed beside the driveway that snowy day when I had to cut up the tree so I could plow.

I’m finding it a great inspiration that I can use branches to develop a natural fence of growth sprouting over and through the tangled skeleton of dead trees that are so plentiful in our woods.

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There is a never-ending flow of tree trunks and limbs transitioning from having reached for the sky to laying on the earth. One season, Cyndie and I worked to pick up all the dead wood and drag it out to be chipped or burned. Months later, when it looked like there was already an equal amount of new dead limbs on the ground replacing what we’d cleared, we realized how much actually falls. It was beyond us to keep up.

Now that I see the wood can be simply moved to the barrier I’m building –instead of needing the added work of chipping it every time or sawing it up to be split and burned– there is a better chance we can develop a tidier forest. At the same time, we gain much-needed material to improve the development of our natural barrier.

It’s a win-win!

Just my kind of favorable outcome.

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Written by johnwhays

April 12, 2020 at 10:09 am

Rambling Randomly

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Late Sunday afternoon we got the horses fed, ushered Delilah outside to her kennel and then set out toward the far side of the twin cities from us, to the far side of Lake Minnetonka, joining our friends Barb and Mike at their house for the Superbowl game. It seems like it should be too far to go for a short evening visit, but spending time with them proved more than worth the drive. Plus, it being a Sunday evening, there was minimal traffic on the road and we made excellent time. It inspires me to avoid letting the drive interfere with staying connected to friends.

It’s now well over a year since we moved from the suburbs to farm country and I have finally taken the steps of transferring to a local doctor and dentist. I scheduled appointments with both for checkups next week. The transformation is becoming ever more complete. Now, if I could just learn to recognize good horse hay when I see it.

We have a number of bales that are moldy. We have a lot to learn about hay. Right now we are dealing with the accumulation of bad hay that we can’t feed to the horses. Online searches haven’t easily revealed any brilliant descriptions of what to do if you discover your stored hay is moldy. I don’t know if we need to get the bad bales away from the good ones. The most common suggestion is to use moldy hay for mulch in gardens. Maybe I need to advertise that we have garden mulch for sale.

While I was outside moving firewood up on the deck and splitting logs by the wood shed yesterday, Delilah was freely romping in the snow and exploring our woods. Eventually, she appeared with a kill clenched in her jaw. I have no idea what kind of animal it is –or, was. It is interesting to witness her demeanor change when she gets possession of a dead animal. Instinct seems to take over and she slips into wild carnivore mode. When she comes back in the house, I get nervous about the way she looks at the cats.

Gutter and soffit replacement resumes on the house tomorrow. I have made their work a little easier by clearing the most recent snowfall off the eaves and away from the vents at the peak. It had gotten so deep that our vents were covered completely. I haven’t heard anything from the builder who ordered our replacement window, but that should be arriving sometime soon. As much as I want to see progress there, I think it would be best if gutter and window replacements don’t overlap.

I’m back at the day-job 3 days a week now. I think it has me rambling randomly to process Wintervale responsibilities in my head so there will be some room for work related thinking that needs to happen. Don’t know if it will help any, but I see the rambling as a valuable exercise, regardless.

Written by johnwhays

February 4, 2014 at 7:00 am