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Farmette 1769

by Monica Melograna-Ward

Tag Archives: save money

We have been the proud owners of a 2001 Toyota Tacoma, 4-cylinder, 2-wheel drive, truck for 9 years now. It is a tough little vehicle. It has a towing capacity of 5000 pounds and can pull our 2 horse trailer filled with 2 horses. Our little truck can also carry a round bale.

The Farm Friendly Vehicle

The key is dryness. The truck cannot pull the trailer across mud. If it is really muddy it can’t even pull itself. The same applies to a round bale. If the bale is moist, you’ll need a tractor with a forklift contraption to move it around. But, if it is dry, and especially if it is placed in the bed of your truck so that it looks like a big wheel from the side, it can be rolled out.

Having two people helps a lot. My niece, Vicky-Marie, was here overnight after getting stuck at Charlotte International Airport due to fog. She was rewarded by helping me move the latest round bale.

I climbed up in the back of the truck. Then I turned so that my back is to the cab of the truck. I have zero upper body strength, especially with my neck damage, but my legs are strong and they can get a bale moving.

My niece used her arms. Youth has a way of giving you a surprising amount of upper body strength, even if you are a girl. And it doesn’t hurt that she is in vet school and has to deal with farm-style physical tasks.

Our property is slanted front to back and left to right. This gets difficult to deal with at times, but is a blessing in disguise for hay. We take advantage of the slope in that the front of the truck is higher than the back when we unload it.

If all else fails, you can get strong rope (we use leftovers from the electric horse area) and loop it around the round bale and then around a tree. Drive your vehicle away from the tree. The bale will magically end up on the ground.

If our bills weren’t eating us alive, we’d get a tractor. The older ones in working condition can be found pretty easily. They look like classic old cars, but are a very reasonable price. Eventually we’ll squeeze the money out, but for now, basic physics does the job.

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There is no way to count the ways in which all of us can do this. You have to be practical, since it all takes time, energy and some space. Every bit helps both our little piece of the planet and the whole world.

Ideas run a muck when you visit others with a similar approach to the day. Old buckets can be used as nesting boxes and tin tomato sauce cans can be used to start seedlings.

Our main chicken coop began with newly purchased wood, but the continuation has been produced with reclaimed wood. This is a great way to save money and the environment. If you’d like a consistent look, a bit of brick colored barn paint is low cost and does add its flair to your barnyard.

Our food is not wasted – ever. What does not go into the chicken coops, goes to the compost bins. Although the ducks are vegetarians, the chickens, turkey and guinea fowl are like vultures on just about anything that comes their way. After seeing them in action, I have no doubt that they are closely related to dinosaurs.

So, you can turn your table scraps into eggs. Many residential areas allow a small number of hens, but no roosters.

Fact

The great thing about chickens is that you don’t need a male chicken to motivate your hens to lay. Roosters are sperm donors only. The exception to that rule – we have one little guy (the smallest yet most aggressive to humans) that enjoys raising chicks.

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