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playin in the dirt

Farmer Jon here - As we've been eluding to, there's been another large project underway at Open Sky Farm. This latest endeavor was an effort to bury waterlines out to the pasture so that we would have fresh water for the cattle that wouldn't freeze. Well it all started out about a month ago. I rented a trencher and talked a couple good friends (Aaron and Dave) into coming over to help. Well, by the end of the first day we had only trenched 180 feet and the trencher was broke. That 180 feet was from 6 hours of trenching. The ground was just so hard that we were barely moving.And I mean that literally. You had to stare at the tracks on the trencher to tell if you were moving. So that was weekend one 180 feet of trench, a broken trencher and a couple hand-dug, holes in the ground.

The place I was renting from offered them over the weekend but only charged you one day if you stayed under the allotted 8 machine hours. So my hands were tied to until the next weekend. And of course, when I called to rent the trencher again, someone else had actually broken the trencher and they recommended a mini-excavator instead. So, I was off to the races for weekend two. I had told my Aaron and Dave to stay home because I had some folks coming to help that I was going to test out as possible part-time/as-needed help around the farm. And guess what, nobody showed! So I had no help but that was ok because I was running the mini-excavator. Which was going about as quick as the trencher, it was just making a much bigger mess. Well, guess what (again), the fan belt broke on the mini-excavator so I was out of commission AGAIN! Two weekends in a row my equipment broke down on Saturday so I couldn't do anything the rest of the weekend. So I was forced to take a day off of work to try and get some work done. Luckily, we have such an amazing family that it just so happened that my mom and step-dad were wanting to come up to help. So we got a lot done on that Tuesday with Jerry running the mini-excavator and  Deb digging holes and running into town to get the parts that I needed. 

So that brings us to weekend number three. I talked Aaron and Dave into coming back out again and I was feeling good about the weekend. And guess what, it actually went ok. We had a few ordeals that took all day instead of 30 minutes but that's just how things go. So we got a lot done that Saturday and then on Sunday I was able to trench across the driveway and start pushing dirt back into the trenches. I took the min-excavator back on Monday with .1 machine hours to spare.

The pictures below are how the place looks as of yesterday. With the couple days of rain, it has become a huge mess. It also means there has been a lot of settling of dirt so I'm going to need more of it. So I may or may not be renting some equipment again. There's still a lot to be done but I'm cautiously optimistic that I can get most of it taken care of this weekend.

I even dug a shallow trench across the farmyard for the solar project. But I'll talk more about that later.

The Aesthetic Elevator  – (November 10, 2011 at 6:05 PM)  

Yeesh. Hope they didn't charge you for the full rental price.

Farmer Jon  – (November 11, 2011 at 4:18 PM)  

Oh they sure did. I started to argue but stopped myself. The landlord is reimbursing me and he's dealt with them before, so I didn't want to rock the boat. If he wants to take it up with them, he can. If it weren't for the landlord, I would have taken my business elsewhere after the first weekend.

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