Episode 5 Farm Video Shorts

Around the farm in 6 second clips

In this farm video: washing a heifer, leading 4H steer, loading equipment for cattle show, No Mom, a steer gets loose in show ring, raking hay, bailing hay, hauling hay, taking clevis hitch off planting tractor

When a day turns on a dime

cattle tankLast Friday was one of those days that has a domino effect for weeks following it. Originally, I was taking the kids to a livestock judging contest. Bill was going to sew some water ways where we just had some tile and terraces put in. But before we left to our activities, our well went dry. Change of plans. We had not had rain since the end of June. So everything was getting crispy. It turned out the cattle got up and all started to drink at the same time. Taking the water away faster than the well could recover. We had to move the cows to another waterer. Which meant that we had to take down part of a fence and add a gate to let them in and out. The ground was so hard that when we were digging the post holes we had to add a bucket of water to soften the dirt. I should add that the temperature was a toasty 104 deg.

Still, we were going to have to haul water. The water spicket in town was broke down. The only other available water for us to use is our irrigation rig 12 miles away. That was too far for us to take the water wagon. So I ran to the farm supply store to get a truck bed tank to put in our Ford 350. On our way to the irrigation rig, the guy from town called and said we could get water from the spout that day but not for a few days after. We filled the water wagon tank. Hauled it to the cattle tanks and our cistern. It took an hour to fill the truck bed tank at the irrigation rig. That was taken down to the well where we moved the cattle to as a back-up.

You might have guessed that since we had a water wagon, we have been dealing with water shortage issues for a while (long while). The well here is not as deep as it needs to be. And with 50+ head of cattle, we need a more reliable water supply. The last 3 or 4 years we have had plenty of rain for our water needs. But as our herd increases so does the water required for them. This week we are having a drilling company come out and look at where we can place a new well. With harvest staring up at the same time, things will be interesting around here. So goes the way of a farm life.

house cistern


Caption This


Bill in round baler


What caption would you write here?



Putting Up Straw Bales


Baling Straw Video



When the 4th of July roles around every year, it also means it’s wheat harvest time which then means baling straw. For two hot days we baled straw into square bales onto rack wagons. Straw is bedding for livestock made from the stems of wheat after harvest. We store it in the hay loft of the barn for winter. William and Z took turns driving the tractor and riding the rack. Did I say it was hot?

Why Straw?

The stem of a mature wheat plant is hollow. This is good for wicking up moisture and for insulation in the winter time. It does eventually have to be removed as Z shows in the previous video Farm Boy and Tractors. Leave a comment on what you think of the above video. Thanks

Baling Straw

Moving Hay Bales

After baling the hay, the round bales need to be moved and stored. We do not have a shed for storage. So we line them up end to end on an old drive way. Moisture is the biggest problem with hay storage. This year we put the bales on pallets, keeping them off the ground to let air circulate under them. Then we added a long tarp that is tied down to protect from rain.


How to Make a Round Bale

We are making a big round hay bale with our New Holland baler. The hay is mostly alfalfa, orchard grass, and brome grass.


The next video will be how we moved the bales and store them.

Blue or Green Tractors

Our new/used blue tractor was just delivered last week. We traded two for one. And now have all green except for this lone New Holland. The bright blue really sticks out. I told William, “Its like when your purse doesn’t match your shoes. Just don’t go together.” He didn’t get it.

Do you have a mix and match line up of equipment or all one color?

Make Hay While the Sun Shines

Round hay balesI was going to start a series of posts today on putting up hay. But it rained. So we couldn’t mow. This got me to thinking about the old saying “Make hay while the sun shines’. I never had trouble understanding the phrase but some people do. I remember our minister mentioning it in a sermon. He didn’t know what it meant. I could be real cute and say that you make hay while the sun shines because you can’t make it at night (here in the mid-west). But I won’t be a smart a$#, this time. So what to do when you want answers? Google it, right. I mean, I have to check the authority to see if I’m correct. So what did I find?


Make the most of one’s opportunities while you have the chance.


This proverb is first recorded in John Heywood’s A dialogue conteinyng the nomber in effect of all the prouerbes in the Englishe tongue, 1546:

Whan the sunne shinth make hay. Whiche is to say.
Take time whan time cometh, lest time steale away.

Many proverbs exist in other languages, but this one doesn’t and it’s a reasonable surmise that the phrase is of English Tudor origin.

Of course, mediaeval farmers would be as well aware of the wisdom of not leaving it too late to gather one’s hay. Modern machinery and weather forecasting make haymaking reasonably quick and stress-free. Tudor farmers would have taken several days to cut, dry and gather their hay and would have had only folk rhymes like red sky at night to guide them. Forecasting the weather two or three days in advance wouldn’t have been possible, so all the more reason for them to ‘make hay while the sun shines’.         source


I love that old English. It’s so historical. And I must point out that it is still impossible to forecast the weather. The old weather proverbs are still better at predictions than those paid to do it. Anyway. So the answer to “Why make hay while the sun shines” is because it might rain tomorrow. That should clear it up for everyone.

As soon as it dries out and we get to putting some hay down, I’ll take some video to take you through the process. And I’ll show you our latest big purchase. I told William it clashes with the rest of them. Can you guess what it is?

Who Works Hard?

baling strawSometime a few months ago, I remember seeing a video taken in New York City about what the people there thought of farmers. Almost everyone said that farmers are hard workers. This is a stereotype just like the general opinions of doctors or lawyers. Though not a bad stereotype to have, I wondered what brought this generalization about and how true it is. I mean, does a farmer really work harder than the average urban worker.

I think it has to do with how farmers are shown on TV in commercials, shows and movies. Because how else would people in the city know what a farmer does? On television a farmer is always doing something; working on a tractor, feeding animals, or generally getting dirty. They are never in a suit and tie in an office on the phone.

So is doing manual labor mean you work harder than someone in an office?

What do you think?

End of hay season

Means putting things away. Remember the video of putting the straw up in the hay loft. The conveyor needed to be put away. It is stored in the center of the loft between the hay and the straw.

Pay not attention to Bella’s camo shirt and plaid shorts. She really is a very normal girl.