Oh my goodness. Farm maintenance never ends, does it? So I have been concentrating on farm maintenance since my husband went back to work and I am now job free. In many cases, it may also include those finishing touches that we never got around to, but are necessary to help our farm buildings last. For example, last post, I published the new stained calf barn. In addition to getting the red and white barn we always wanted, the two coats of stain seals the wood (and we all know that moisture ruins wood quickly) to make the calf barn last a lot longer and honor that time and energy we expended to build it in the first place. The same goes for our plumbing shed. We had only ever gotten around to putting a coat of primer on the shed which did not seal it very well, so I discovered this time it had to be pressure washed, scraped and sanded before I could re-prime, paint and trim it again to finally be sealed, as well as look the way it always looked in my head only.
Over the summer, my husband had devised a way to get rid of the Japanese beetles that he hated and feed the chickens at the same time, and I don’t think we have given you a picture of it before, so here it is. It simply involves a Japanese beetle trap and a tin pie plate filled with water.
We processed the rest of the Freedom rangers, this time freezing them as cut up chickens after discovering that our grown kids really don’t know what to do with a whole chicken (we will have to do some re-teaching). We decided to keep 8 of them because we need for them to scratch the cow pies in the pasture. Truth be told, it is also because one of the remaining chickens is one with a leg deformity that we call “Gimpy” and we have grown too fond of him. So, since we were going to have them at an older age, we decided to add a roosting pole and two nesting boxes to the chicken tractor. The roosting pole is being modeled by Gimpy who kept me company while I was installing it. The leftover bamboo pole made a perfect roosting post when secured by two screws so it won’t roll or get kicked off. I created a new tab that includes the making of the chicken tractor.
I repainted our farm sign at the mailbox. The wood had split so it needed to be put back together, which necessitated that it be totally repainted. I used my favorite appliance epoxy paint as a base with simply acrylic paint for the logo and sprayed a clear coat on top for protection. I think I must be getting better at painting, as I was much happier than the first time I painted it. No matter that I am an amateur painter, it works! As a friend said, I put out the bids for getting it done and I won!
I tried making this comfrey salve from a recipe I got HERE from the Prairie Homestead. We had comfrey growing, I just gathered some broadleaf plantain that God had graciously provided, (I had dried and shredded the comfrey and broadleaf plantain) and picked some rosemary to just throw in the crockpot with it. I tried it out on a Monday putting some on my left arm that had been in a lot of pain (I was wondering whether I had cracked a bone as it had been hurting for a couple of weeks). By Wednesday morning my arm felt significantly better, and I assure you, it wasn’t from resting the arm. I had been drawn to it after reading that it helped sciatica and I was actually wanting to make it for my neighbor, so we got together and made some. The rest, as they say, is history.
We got smarter and moved our electric fence so we can move our cattle from the front pasture to the back without having to herd them to keep them out of the flower bed. Those darn steer sure have a mind of their own! At least we learned that they like to eat daylillies and perennial collards. They have been out of the front pasture for a few days and it works like a charm. The grass was tall in the back, so we will give the front pasture some resting time. We are hoping for rain soon to help the front pasture grow.