Slowly Buy Surely

Another early morning drive to Saint Marys from State College today. Was not looking forward to Farm work today as they were calling for some light snow, cooler temps and fairly strong winds. I can say “they were calling” as I work at AccuWeather and I know who “they” are πŸ˜‰

AccuWeather says…

Upon arriving most mornings at the Farm, I can figure I have at least one “to-do’s” from Mom and Dad which I truly am happy to do for them. Pretty much the least I can do for being stellar parents πŸ˜‰

Today’s task was pretty simple, but also came with some great results. Mom picked up some remote/battery operated spot lights for a set of pictures we had made for them as a Christmas gift. Turned out pretty well.

Nice looking bunch of folks

Once the inside tasks were done, out to the lovely weather I went. First task was the resurrect the “seige tower” as my boss at AccuWeather likes to refer to it. Last Fall I snagged it on the trellis wires in the big yard – was NOT paying attention and moving too fast at the end of a long day – and brought it down. It snapped the two back support bases and just did a number on it overall. And so it sat up there all Fall and Winter…to wet to move it down to the small yard for repairs. Our leasing Farmer moved it with his large John Deere so he could get in to harvest his corn. Glad it got moved, however it buried the jackstand so I haven’t been able to hitch to it with the tractor as it’s too low. To the rescue now that it was dry enough, I got the bucket on the IH to lift it enough to get the stand set high enough and…success!

Little Lift from the IH
Platform Ready for Transport

With the trailer back in the small yard, I could run the electric up from the barn and finish installing the new support bases for the scaffold. At the end of last year I trimmed about 3″ from the bottom of both tiers of scaffold so I dropped the height of the seige tower by half a foot. That will guarantee we never snag another trellis wire moving through either of the yards!

Siege Tower Back In Action

This time ’round, I accepted the help of my brother Mike and my Dad to get this thing reassembled. Somehow the last few years I’ve been able to do that on my own (NOT SAFE) and as I’m not getting any younger, thought it prudent. Additionally, we also will not be taking it down at the end of each season.

Old Keystone Road

We are blessed to have a series of roads that criss-cross the boundaries of the fields. These include the Sportsmans Trail, which was the old Keystone Camp road…and the OLD OLD Keystone Camp Road that is partically our driveway and then becomes a forest road essentially from the barn and it meanders up through our fields. Helps immensely for moving the tractor and implements around when the fields are very wet.

Large hopyard – fields are again soaked

We’re in that time of year when we need to get it to string the coir for the new season. Due to extremely wet conditions last Fall, we couldn’t safely get the tractor and siege tower in to cut down the coir from the season, so up it stayed through Winter. As I went back to assess how this year’s new shoots were doing in the Large yard, it was obvious again we’d be fighting the wet conditions, our high water table and the heavy clay in our soils, all of which keep that upper field wet. Looks like the crowning and weeding will have to wait til next week.

End of the Day

All in all, it was a productive day. Weather held off and looks like next time I’m up, I’ll be able to get at least the small yard crowned, restrung and ready to go.

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