Saturday, April 12, 2014

Farm Chores

The last few days have been taken up with farm chores

I mentioned previously that we have a fire blight problem with our apple trees.  The last two years I tried to control it by cutting off the infected branches.  I know that you are supposed to spray them with an antibiotic, but could never find it in any of the local Big Box stores.  I even called a landscaper, thinking I could pay them to do it.  Nope.  They recommended the death penalty - tear them out and start over.


I decided to give it one more try and went to Southern States..  The lady there was VERY helpful and told me they had the antibiotic.  I bought it and came home to start spraying.


You need about 1 1/2 teaspoons in a gallon of water.  That is enough to do our three apples and one pear.  They are not terribly big, partly because of extensive pruning of the affected branches.  I need to mix up a batch and spray every 3 to 4 days. 


The worst part is getting it in my face when trying to spray the tallest branches.  Not sure giving myself an extra couple of doses of antibiotics is a good idea.


I will spray until they start to develop fruit and then hope for the best.

Lee and I have also been cleaning up the barn.  This is a project we meant to get to before winter, but didn't.  Then is was winter and far too cold for that sort of thing.  Wrecking my sacroiliac slowed any outside chores.


But now I have no excuses.  We pulled a lot of stuff out of the barn and tossed it.  I saved a few things for if (when?) we have B&B guests with horses.  You never know when you will need an extra halter or lead.  There are a few things that need to be washed before we store them, like the horse blankets.  We are waiting for a sunny day so they will dry before nightfall.

We also have a lot of saddles and bridles we need to find homes for.  We plan to contact the 4-H to see if they can use them.  Or maybe a local pony club.  If you know of an organization that would use them, contact me.  I can sell them on craigslist if I don't find a worthy spot.


The biggest problem is the underground excavation going on.  Now that the horses are gone and we aren't there everyday with the dog, some critters have set up housekeeping under the stall mats. 


They dug in from the outside and spread the dirt and rocks all over the place.


Just so you know, stall mats are heavy. And ours are made from mining belts.  Super heavy duty.  And really long.  We had to use a hay hook to catch an edge and roll them back.  Then I brought in shovels full of the rock and dirt piled up outside and filled the tunnels.  Some went under two mats!  I stamped them down and replaced the mat.  It was a lot of heavy work and the plan is to drive down there everyday and wander around a bit with the dog to keep them out.

I need an owl.


On the plus side, the barn looks pretty good and the fields are greening up nicely.  I love this place.



  1. Wow, you did a super job on that barn! Do you hire out? I don't have a barn but I have a house I am moving out of. Would that work?

  2. Rebecca, for spraying Pat recommends standing up-wind when it's 3-5 mps...any higher will blow everything away.
    Barn is looking good, except for those unwelcome visitors.

  3. You should get a barn cat.
    We have a fungus on our blue spruces, apparently from last year's overly wet weather. I am all for cutting them down but my husband wants to try to save them.