Our hay is in the barn, our wood is stacked in the woodpile. The last step to winter is putting fresh soil into the Pole Barn and re-shaping the land around the Pole Barn where water and ice pools in the winter. Our friend and neighbor Vince – one of my favorite big men in big trucks (he does not have a small dog) – came and is spending the day working on a number of things.
First, he is scraping out the pole barn and putting some gravel in.
Then, he is bringing a second load of grave (this with rocks) to create a new grade along the side of the Pole Barn so the water will flow down hill instead of turning into a mud bog for us and for the dogs when it rains or snows.
Then, he is moving the hay feeder and bringing some rebar to plant in the ground to anchor it, so the animals won't keep moving it when they scratch themselves or gather to it. It is heavy, but the sheep and the donkeys manage to move it around all the time, it travels all over the pasture.
Scott Carrino is taking our large pile of horse/donkey and sheep manure and Vince is putting it onto his old truck Sarge so it can fertilize the Pompanuck Farm gardens. Scott came over this morning, got a full load and is bringing it back to Pompanuck. Maria and I get a free lunch.
Vince is also planning to scrape out the dirt around the Three Sisters garden and dump some manure in there for next year for Maria. We need more space for corn.
Every August, Vince and I talk some farm management – Maria has absolutely no interest in this subject at all, and I love plotting the details of the farm – hay, water, land management, rotational grazing. Who would have thought it?
Vince is one of those men who moves the earth around, building a new water drainage system is not difficult for him. When Vince finishes today, we will be 100 per cent ready for winter. That always feels great for me, but it does require a good deal of planning and experimentation. We've been trying to get the dirt right out there for some years now, we are close.