Monday, February 1, 2010

Ready for Fall?

4 seasons no better than 3.
Extra Season Does not Help
With cooler nights and shorter days we all think of winter. Like you folks with yards to clean up and leaves to rake we farmers are no different. Thankfully I don’t rake leaves as my pasture is usually knee deep in Black Cottonwood leaves, but I do have much preparation to do before we have our blanket of snow. The corrals need cleaning, manure spreading and barns made ready for winter guests. All items on the ground around the yard need to be stowed away so we can push snow into piles and not get a flat tire on the tractor, when we still have the yard and lane to clear. Been there, done that!
To top it all we have about fifteen cords of silver birch all in tree length waiting to be cut and split then hauled and stacked by the wood stove. My excuse is I am waiting for cooler weather as its hot work. I have often wondered which produces more BTUs, the burning wood or me working up a “muck sweat” cutting, splitting and stacking it.
On our old ranch in Manitoba, Fall was always a mad rush, we had many more animals and more wood to cut, yet we always got finished in the nick of time, just before the minus 20 and blowing snow. The prairies you see have 3 seasons, Snow, Mud and Dust, so we did well to get every thing done in a shorter year. Here in BC we have the traditional 4 seasons, Winter, Spring, Summer and Fall, yet with the extra season how come its still a mad rush and I only just make it before the first cold snap.
You may well ask, is it just this guy, maybe he’s slow, or lazy. Well no, having talked with other ranchers and farmers and watched them from my pickup truck as I drive by, we all seem to be in the same hurry. So watch out for farm equipment on the road over the next while, and be safe. Trucks and tractors hauling hay, corn silage and manure to and from the field as well as livestock to market will all be about in greater numbers during the end of September and October. So if your commute to work or home is slowed up by one of our farm machines, just remember you had a good lunch and the guy in front is carrying your next one!

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