Saturday, February 12, 2011

Draining that Water...............

I spent yesterday up at the apple farm, doing several important tasks. First, four apple trees were replaced due to poor quality performance. Sometimes a tree just doesn't take. The week before I did an inspection of all the trees, and there were four that were clearly diseased and on the way out. Sure, they would have bloomed this year, but, root rot quickly infects the trunk of the tree, and soon it is struggling just to survive, let alone produce apples. When that was accomplished, using a tree graft solution, all the trunks of the trees were painted for protection. This action will prevent the trees from being so vulnerable.
The other project, as pictured to the left, was the installation of a "french drain" on the bank side of the site where the barn will be built. What I found after leveling the site was that there is a spring area where the water weeps from the ground. Maybe this will only happen in the winter, but nevertheless, the water needs to get drained away from the building. Using the Kubota, I dug a ditch so that a perforated flex pipe can be installed, which will be covered with drain rock, to assist water to flow away from the barn and down the hillside. While digging, I was amazed at the quality of clay soil coming out of the trench. It made me wonder if maybe there is a more steady year around flow of water, only a few feet below grade. I have decided when I fill the trench, I am going to include a two inch PVC pipe, which is rated as "drinkable", and try to capture some of this water, especially if it continues to flow even after the rains stop. Always looking for new water sources! I have now had the Kubota for more than a year, and I have about 30 hours of operation on the machine. I am getting more skillful on the kinds of moves it can make, but, every time I use it, I learn a few new tricks. So, although a complete beginner, I feel like I am getting more comfortable with this rather amazing piece of equipment.

Monday, February 7, 2011

A little help from my friends!

Sunday afternoon at the farm and this time around, I've got a little help. While I was pruning, grafting and planting trees, Silas was working on the Kubota, changing the oil, greasing and putting the correct pads on the stabilizer bars. The day was beautiful, though it rained during the night, but by noon there was nothing but blue skies and sunshine. It was a productive and fun outing!