Maintenance on a 32 Acre Farm

10Apr13

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Maintenance on a 32 acre farm is what it is; it’s a lot of work compared to a residential home. When you’re retired though, that’s your job. Besides, it’s a great way to stay in shape. (At the end of the day, I retreat to an Epson salt bath to get relief.)

The best way to keep on top of it all is to do it as you see it needs it. (If I walk past a gnarly weed, I pull it up.) We try and do a little something every day. I also have a pretty good “Honey Do” list. (I reserve that one for the tasks I cannot do.) I’ve also got my own task list for things I can’t get to right away. Eric and I agree to split the chores around here. He does one thing and I focus on something else.

Eric’s best tip is to do what uses the least amount of energy to get the task done (working smarter, not harder). The best example I can provide is, when cleaning the horse’s stalls, we stand in one place, put the wheel barrow within reach and rotate our body to go from picking up debris to putting it into the wheel barrow instead of doing steps to do the same thing.

Just to give you a rough idea what it’s like to maintain our farm, I have outlined most of our property maintenance. The garden is the most time consuming and laborious of all our maintenance tasks (but it is a labor of love).

1. House

  • After high winds, check roof and make repairs
  • During rain, note any leaks and repair
  • Maintain structure
  • Interior repairs
  • Maintain plumbing
  • Maintain sewage (we’re on a septic system)

2. House Grounds

  • Water
  • Maintain sprinkler system
  • Mow (the equivalent of 4 lawns)
  • Trim bushes and hedges
  • Weed weekly
  • Prune trees and bushes in November
  • Plant

3. Vehicle Maintenance

  • Cars
  • Tractor
  • Mower

4. Pool (not as much maintenance as we expected)

  • Run pump 3 hours a day
  • Clean/vacuum pool weekly
  • Maintain chlorine levels
  • Check ph levels
  • Drain overflow after rain

5. Barn

  • Inspect and repair any leaks to the structure
  • Maintain paint
  • Maintain plumbing
  • Maintain grounds
  • Remove debris

6. Pastures and Fences

  • Rotating the animals from pasture to pasture
  • When fields get a foot high, bush hog them (a mower that’s attached to the tractor)
  • Check fences after high winds and storms
  • Make necessary repairs
  • Edge the fences (keep weeds from growing onto the electric fences)
  • Fertilize
  • Seed

7. Horses

  • Making sure there‘s food; hay and grain
  • Making sure there’s water; in both their stalls and pastures
  • Groom them daily
  • Pick their hooves to help maintain health
  • Work them out daily (one day off)
  • Bring them in and turn them out (7:30am to 5:00pm)
  • Check them for ticks daily during grooming
  • Maintaining their stalls; cleaning them out every day and adding new bedding once a week
  • Periodic maintenance every 6 months, change entire bedding for new bedding
  • Vets once a year for Coggins and yearly shots
  • Farrier every 6-8 weeks for hoof trim (Summit does not have shoes)

8. Dogs

  • Feed
  • Groom weekly (a necessary evil for our hairy beasts)
  • Check them for ticks daily
  • Apply flea and tick every month during flea and tick season (April – November)
  • Vets once a year for regular shots
  • Make sure they stay around (that’s a lot of work)
  • Provide lots of love!

9. Vegetable/Herb Garden

  • Plan the garden for the year
  • Keep track of what’s planted
  • Plant during planting season (Spring/Summer/End of Summer)
  • Water (daily)
  • Weed (weekly)
  • Cultivate soil (weekly)
  • Check and maintain ph levels
  • Fertilize (as needed)
  • Mulch (keep on top of plants to maintain moisture and reduce bugs)
  • Plow once a year
  • Till for every planting
  • Protect the crops from bugs and pests
  • Fence maintenance
  • Harvest the crop (during the season)
  • Can/Freeze/Store
  • Rotate crops to improve soil and reduce bugs and diseases
  • Compost (before planting)
    – Add organic material to
    – Use in garden
    – Maintain by turning once a week
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4 Responses to “Maintenance on a 32 Acre Farm”

  1. 1 lavI

    Oh man that’s a lot of work you were making me dizzy reading it lol

  2. 2 Carol

    Whew! that made me tired just reading your list of running a farm, but Bill and I are old now, so just seeing your list was a workout……….Ha!

  3. 3 Georgia Paquette

    Ha Ha Ha…I thought you two were were retired? From the length of that list, I can see ‘retirement’ isn’t the right word 🙂


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