Sunday, May 6, 2012

"yea, it gets drier farther in"

 I spotted a sign by the freeway, "Round bales for sale", and called the number listed.  We dickered a little on price, and I sent Dan over with a truck and trailer to pick up a few bales.  On arrival, the farmer directed Dan to drive to the far side of the field.  Dan got stuck pretty close to the county road, but the farmer assured Dan that it got drier farther in. 
 The truck got stuck a few times on the way in, and the farmer helped by pulling the truck with his small tractor until the truck was hopelessly stuck.  Dan called me, and I came over, and looked at it, and decided that I'd either have to call a tow truck or bring over my big tractor to pull the truck and trailer out.  These pictures are after we've detached the trailer and pulled it out. 

Dan, what's the take-home lesson here?  "Don't take the farmers word for the ground; check it".  Yep.  Ok.  lets get it out. 
The big tractor made short work of the job, and since I had transported it to the farmers field, I used it to load the bales.  But look at the picture above.  To the right of the truck is a pretty substantial group of dandelions.  After looked at that, I looked carefully at the field we were in (that was probably where the hay was cut that we were picking up. )

I asked the farmer about it -- do you fertilize?  "I'm not allowed to", he said.  Why not?  "This is land that is owned by the natures conservancy, and they will not allow me to fertilize or till.  So all I can do is cut and bale.  "  So that explains all the weeds -- and the amount of grass.  On my fields the grass is about twice this tall.  This hay field looks green, but it's really farming theatre.  All of the fertility is being slowly cut out of it. 

So, what would you do if you were allowed to fertilize?  "I'd spread chicken manure.  On my fields where I spread it, the grass is much taller, and no weeds". 

Sometimes getting your truck stuck is a good thing.  After looking at this field, I think I'll buy elsewhere. 

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