Outdoor water arrives

with perfect timing

For nearly a week we have had a superb outdoor faucet thanks again to Rev. Jim and one of his grown sons, Jake.

Jake prepares outdoor faucet

When we moved to this new location a previously installed faucet leaked in two places. Wanting to avoid pushing it to a gusher, I opted to fill buckets from the kitchen sink and haul them outside including up the hill to provide water to Bebe, Buff, Jack, Holly and Sonny—outdoor large farm pals.

Jake completes installation of new freeze-proof faucet

All this week with temperatures hovering around 100 degrees and higher heat indices (117 yesterday), oh how thankful I am to run a long hose out to three and just haul buckets from there to the Charolais bull and filly.

And Rev. Jim, who grew up in Arkansas and knows about farming, has been instructing me in best uses of fertilizer, i.e. for the garden, as well as helping me plan for planting seasonal grasses for rotating my horses and cattle.

Rev. Jim rakes equine manure for garden

This former suburbanite may one day be a real farmer!

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Rolls of hay protected

by a blue tarp

Improvised tie down

A large roll of hay lasts a week since the horses and cattle do not have any pasture on our new farm. For close to a year now the nutritional value of the hay we have been receiving has been minimal. Despite a reasonable price, the hay was a year old and had been left uncovered. In some cases, I had to remove half the outer hay to get to clean, dry layers.

Changing the animals feed to a higher quality grain to compensate for poor forage helped but was still insufficient nutrition. And at the end of each week I became anxious about where we were going to get the next roll of hay and what the quality would be. Each roll seemed to vary in the amount of waste.

Rolls of hay delivered

Through a gracious gift from friends Jimmie and Dee we received 21 rolls of freshly cut hay last week. Jimmie and Dee own a nearby farm where much of their land is in pasture. Without animals they just wanted the grass to be cut and hay not left in the fields which is what happened last year when a contractor cut and baled but never returned to collect it.

After a year with the hay left in the fields to rot, using a tractor but no spear Dee pushed the rolls off into outlying gullies and treed areas. Once again, it was Rev. Jim, their minister and mine, who put us together. For arranging to have their grass cut, baled and hauled, I could keep whatever percentage the new contractor would agree to share and deliver.

Grass cutting on Jimmie and Dee's farm

It took me a couple of months to get someone to do the work. Yet, in the end, 67 rolls were baled, and we received 21 rolls which will last us through November. More than likely there will be another cutting this summer.

Relief, joy, grace and hay abound.

Hay bale released

July has been

a busy month

Pulling poison ivy vine from tree

Rev. Jim and son Tom arrived early one morning and began stretching three strands of barbwire up the hill expanding Buff’s space among the trees and ground cover of pine needles. Buff did not have a clean, dry square-foot of ground before Rev. Jim and Tom went to work. After a very wet spring Buff’s previously fenced area was tramped down and muddy.

The men pulled vines from trees, helped remove large fallen tree limbs and did not leave until Buff was released into new quarters. By day’s end Buff had repositioned himself and sat in every corner, tasted the foilage and rubbed against sapplings, scratching his backside. A content bovine is he.

Buff tastes foilage