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September 10, 2012: Manure Out, Hay In

Hay in, manure out. Back when we bought Raudi and Siggi home, eight years ago, I really had no idea as to what was involved in on-site horse ownership. Had I known, I would have reconsidered. It’s a lot of work. Now I do know, too late to change course.

Manure out – this afternoon we worked on yet another building project. Pete, understandably, is getting tired of horse building projects. This year alone -- first there was the new hay shed, and then there was the run in shelter. And lastly, there is the new compost facility. So, because he’s reached his limit, I’m giving him a hand.

I had previously taken apart the old stations and cleared the site. This took a lot of time. And together, we had done some foundation work. Today we finished the foundation, moving railroad ties and dirt, and making the ties level – and then moved on to working on framing.

I had never before paid much attention to the entire process of erecting a building, so I could not, up until now, say all of what’s entailed. I now have an idea – and I’m pretty blown away by Pete’s abilities as a carpenter.

This is follow through. I was the one who envisioned having a new compost facility

– and dang, it’s happening, with me giving an assist. I’m looking forward to using a fish hauler (a garden cart of sorts) and loading manure into it instead of buckets, and then emptying the hauler into the station. If I can just keep Pete enthused as I am, this will soon be a reality.

Hay in – I used to think the phrase “making hay while the sun shines” had something to do with good sex. I now know that it has a more literal connotation. It actually means move fast, and get that hay that’s sitting in the sun in a dry place. And this is what we did today.

A few days ago Pete talked with a local farmer on Saturday and he said that he’d be baling on Monday or Tuesday. After, we kept a very close eye on the weather, every so often talking about it, hope, hope, hoping it would hold. Saturday was sunny, though there was a rain shower in the afternoon. Sunday was the same, although it threatened to rain. Today was one of the nicest days of the year – sunny and warm, not a cloud in the sky.

The awaited call came at 5:04 p.m. Farmer says he’s baling. Pete hitched the trailer to our ’75 Dodge pickup, and I put animals away. (Dogs and horses were hanging out on the lawn.) We grabbed gloves, and were off.

I figured that the hay would be damp, mainly because of the frost. Pete hopped out of the truck and checked it –no, it was green and dry. I drove the truck and Pete stacked the hay. It was hard to see because the windshield was dirty – dog smut on the inside and birch tree residue on the inside.

We got 103 bales on the trailer and in the truck bed. We were only charged for 100 bales. So we saved $30.00. And because we picked the hay up on the field (as opposed to getting it out of a barn) it was $200.00 less than it otherwise might have been. $230.00 was a big savings for us.

It was 8 p.m. by the time we headed home. We would have celebrated our having gotten most of our winter hay, by stopping for pizza – but we had to get the goods in the barn.

We unloaded the trailer and truck in the near dark – I hurried because I had to tend to the horses. This included moving Hrimmi in with Signy, who was in the foal stall. When done, the new hay shed was chock full of fresh hay.

So, a very good day here.

Next: 276. 09/12/12: More on Raudiville