The Property Next Door – It’s Ours Now

There is a 14 acre parcel next door to us that has a small cabin on it, as well as a storage shed. My late brother owned this property and he was the builder there. We ended up buying it and we are so glad that we did. Although he is gone, we have a little piece of him still right next door and I have to say, I am liking this.

This property has hayfields and a large enough pasture that we can have our friend’s horses out on the field. Our long term goal is to fix up the hayfields and go back to pulling the hay they were getting off this property years ago. We have been told that the Valley we live in used to pull in hundreds of tons of good quality hay. Over time, beavers have come in and dammed the creek. The fields have largely been let go but we want to change all of that.

 

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The picture shows the pasture in the middle and the hayfields behind the pasture. We own a small strip beyond that line of willows you can see.

Since we want to plan for the future, where Graham can stay home and open a hydraulic/mechanic’s shop, we’ve been thinking of ways to supplement our income while being able to enjoy being in the Valley most of the year. Selling hay will be just one facet of the plan.

 

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Graham did start cutting the field this year, but he really didn’t have the time. One of our Valley friends, who has hayfields of his own, agreed to come and take care of getting the hay off the lower field. He’s been cutting, tedding and baling over there for about 5 days now.

 

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I’m hoping when I get back to the Valley in a week, he’ll be all done and the cut field should look awesome. Then I can run over there on the quad and check it out. Apparently, he is pulling out a lot of the old thatch, which is great. We had thought Graham would have to rake the field this fall in order to get rid of the thatch. It would be a really nice bonus if most of this is taken care of, while this year’s hay is coming off the field.

 

Haying Equipment

We have always wanted to hay our pastures that are in front of our house, but we wanted to get the equipment a bit at a time. This was the best way we could afford to do it – we refuse to go into debt for our farm. I realize that a lot of farms cannot do that, especially the larger farms.

We really feel strongly that farming can be a quick trip to a money pit. The bigger the farm, the more equipment that is needed. The more equipment, the more expensive. The more expensive, the bigger the chances that equipment would need to be financed. we aren’t interested in owing the bank any money because we went into debt for farm equipment.

So, over the past year or two, we have slowly started buying the haying equipment as we could afford it. We started off with buying this awesome tractor that we found sitting on the side of the road on Highway 24.

 

 

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He looks pretty happy with his new (to us) tractor, doesn’t he?

 

 

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Later, we got a sickle bar mower. He will put this on the back of the tractor and it will do the actual cutting of the hay.

 

 

 

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Last month, we bought the hay rake. After the hay is cut and laying on the field, we will have to wait a few days for the hay to dry. Then, Graham will use the hay rake to turn the hay over, fluff it up and put it in a row.

Next up is the hay baler. We have a fellow on the Coast holding onto a baler for us. We’re hoping to get down there next week to pick it up. Around the Valley, haying is usually done around the 23rd or so of July. It will all depend on the weather, as we need a good 5 days or so with no rain, in order to get the haying done.

 

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So here’s hoping later this month, we’ll be haying part of our fields! Here’s a picture taken last year, when Graham was out cutting down some of the hay.