I didn’t know how proud I’d feel the first day we had our equipment down at the farm and we could actually do something besides cut trees and haul branches. Not that I mind that work – as hot as it’s been and with as much as there is to do, we had to start somewhere! But 45 acres with a chain saw, pole saw, and a brush cutter makes for a lot of sweating and not a whole lot of feeling like you get a ton done. It takes a lot of time.
It’s why I was so happy to get the tractor there with the bush hog. The pasture has been absolutely getting out of control. It’s beautiful – long lush grasses that wave in the gentle breeze- but above the knees and hard to walk through, and a haven for ticks and chiggers and spiders. It was time to mow and begin the mulching process back into the ground, in preparation for the burn we’ll do this winter.
If you look at the property from above there are really four pasture areas that have a total mowing area of about 15 acres. The South pasture 3.67 acres, with the well; The East pasture 3.91 acres with the pecan trees, the North pasture 1.68 acres which borders our neighbors and the pond, and the center pasture, which is the largest at 5.42 acres and is in the middle of all four.
Of course we tackled the center pasture first. Who knew how bumpy land is on a tractor and how much the bouncy chair engages your core muscles? Brett was sore this morning after all the jostling around. I think at one point he hit a bump so big that he hit his head on the A/C vents. Yes folks, the tractor has air conditioning AND a radio. What a blessing in the middle of July’s weather!
As for the mowing implement, we chose a BB84XD Rotary Cutter. It is huge. Cutting width is 84″, but overall it measures 128″ by 90″. It takes a big swath out of the grass in short order. We got the one center pasture done Sunday in about five and a half hours, so with our inexperience, we’re cutting about an acre an hour. In this pasture there is a lot of turns involved, and a lot of trees to go around so we think it took a little longer than it will next time.
I figure the East pasture, with the pecan orchard will take a while as well because of the maneuvering around the trees as well. I also figure that as we do this longer we’ll get faster and more efficient.
As for me, yesterday on the farm, I did a lot of things. Mike had his truck and with Brett on the tractor I was on the side by side. So I tooled over to the pond, checked out the ducks, found a turtle and a frog, and picked wild field grasses. I dragged a tree with the chain and marked all the stumps in the Pecan orchard so Brett doesn’t hit them with the tractor. I visited with family that came down to see the farm. It was the first day in two months I haven’t changed out of my sweat-soaked clothes before we left to go home.
All in all, it was a good day.