Monday, February 28, 2011

Winter Work on the Farm

As a farmer, this time of year I field the question, “so what do you guys do this time of year?” fairly often, so I thought I would try to share some of what keeps me busy during the winter. One of our main projects in the winter is fixing all the equipment that broke the previous summer. That way it is ready to go and break again next summer. Some of our bigger projects this winter are to rebuild the engine in the 8630 (John Deere 4WD). Last September it dropped a valve and beat up a couple pistons. We also had to replace the clutch in our 1974 Chev C60 truck, Find the internal oil leak and change the brakes in the 2240 (John Deere small loader tractor) We also have been working on all the regular maintenance on the other tractors and pickups.
As with every other day of the year, the cows still need to be fed all winter. When it gets really cold, I have the privilege of thawing frozen water troughs for them in the mornings as well. The Moose usually comes with me to help feed, but usually gets distracted by fetching a stick, or any other object she happens to find. In addition to feeding our animals, a lot of our hay customers also have animals to feed, so Dad and I load out hay several times a week. It takes a long time to get rid of 1200ton of hay a pickup load at a time. We spent a lot of time in November and December plowing snow to keep access to the hay open.
This winter we have also worked on restructuring the farm. In 2010 My Dad and I farmed separately and worked together, but keeping track of what is whose was kind of complicated. After talking with out accountant and lawyer, we decided to put both of our operations together and form TD Walsh Farms, Inc. It should be easier to keep track of books and things. That is most of the work related things that keep me occupied, and then there is hanging out with Erin and the dogs, church and small group, and snowmobiling. It is nice to have a more flexible schedule in the winter, makes up for some of the long hours in the summer.