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Family Farm Day

It’s so much fun when the family comes down for a work day.  Of course we picked the hottest day yet this summer, and we had some equipment malfunctions that we dealt with in the hot sun, but what a great day we had!  The cooler was full of waters and drinks, we had subs from Publix, cookies and chips, and just made a great day of it.

We decided to start down in the pecan orchard at the North end of the property and start the process of cutting the grass next to the trees that the bush hog couldn’t get.  We used the Husqvarna 545fr (see the post about this cool piece of equipment here). Also in use was a pole saw, chain saw, and some good old-fashioned hard work and shoulder muscles. And a ton of poison ivy killer. Practically that whole lower pasture is poison ivy and some of the vines going up the trees are as big around as your wrist.

The before photo with the mounds of grass around all the pecan trees.

We used the brush cutter to clear around a lot of the trees. It was slow going. Between limbing-up the trees (where you take off branches at head level and down so that a bush hog can get under the trees to mow and cattle can freely roam under them for shade) and cutting the brush around the trees, it took a lot longer than we thought.

I figure we got about a third of the trees done, and I cut my first tree down with a chain saw! (I forgot to yell “Timber” although I did thank the tree for its service). We found out from the previous owner that these pecans were all bird-planted so there was no rhyme or reason to the planting pattern. As a result there are some that are really close together and need to be thinned out. Sophie and I went around with some pink tape and marked the ones to fell.

Brett’s Dad Mike and Brett working under the Pecans – the piles of brush are indications of our progress and what we need to chip in the future. Mike took a good bit of cut pecan wood back to his house for cooking and grilling once it dries out.

Having the Mahindra to run back and forth to the truck which was parked at the top of the pasture by the woods was invaluable, although it seems everything we needed was up top when we were down bottom. The Mahindra also got a new battery (which I crossed and sparked, darn it) but finally got it right.

Another huge happening was Sophie (12) got to drive for the first time. She did great and by the time we were done was offering to zip back and forth up to the top and get stuff at the truck and/or unload as necessary.

You can see she’s pretty nervous on her first try but I’m sure having a good time!

All in all we got a ton done, and probably have two or three more days of work in the pecan orchard to have it right, but it’s looking good!

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