Ah, the joys of country living

So, my sainted mother had some work done to the barn. That work necessitated the removal of a portion of the fence line, and so now I get to rebuild a new fence line to replace the one that came down.

In order to support the end of the fenceline, as well as add a new gate into the pasture, you need to sink some pretty large supports into the ground. Around here we typically use old railroad ties that you can purchase at stores such as North 40 for exactly that purpose.

Slinging around 250 pound railroad ties isn’t very fun, but hey, I have a tractor. Digging the holes to put the ties into is a whole ‘nother world of suckitude. I spent the first hour of the day putting the auger onto the back of the tractor. I don’t think it had been used in years, so you had to grease up all the joints, find the pins, hook up the attachments, hook the drive shaft up to the powertrain, and then it was off to the races. Or so I thought. The soil in this part of the country is trash. Garbage. It’s clay. And we have a layer called “hardpan”, which sits just under the topsoil. Sometimes it’s a foot down, sometimes it’s a couple inches. And that auger just sat on top of the hardpan and spun. And spun. And didn’t move one damn inch of dirt. I put the bucket down and then used the hydraulic system to lift the front of the tractor UP so that I could put some force on the auger.

Didn’t budge the hardpan. Ho. Lee. Crap.

So myself and two other fine gentlemen spent all morning and a goodly portion of the afternoon taking a pick and a cheater bar to the hardpan, breaking it up so we could shovel it out. I haven’t done crap like that since I left home the first time. My shoulders are screaming at me right now. I’m too damn old for this shit. That’s why I have a tractor in the first place! Turns out I should have purchased a jackhammer. But we got the supports in, cemented and packed with gravel. I’ll be pounding T-posts into the ground starting on Monday, and hopefully by the end of next week I’ll be stretching wire and getting the pasture ready for the horses again.

Damn, I thought I was done with this kind of stuff.

1 comment

    • SteveF on October 14, 2023 at 6:48 PM

    Remember Mike Bloomberg’s remark in 2016 that “farming is easy, just throw a seed on the ground, water it, and you get corn”? Not directly on point for your tale of woe but close enough. The soi disant elites who esteem themselves too highly have not the first clue of what it takes to succeed on the modern farm or ranch. I’m pretty sure that a successful small farmer or rancher needs to know than does a fintech guy or a manager in a Fortune 500 company.

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