Sunday, April 8, 2012

Happy Easter!

It's been a busy weekend here at Honeyhill...

On Saturday, we got to try out the bush hog, and it WHACKS down weeds and brambles. If you set it too low, it's a pretty good plow. There's a section I scalped so well, I'm thinking we'll just till it and plant flowers.

But it is a BEAR to get it on and off the tractor, and I intend to make some unapproved mods to make that easier--pointing the lift arm pins in the other direction, mostly. They're so wide, I had to take one lift arm OFF to get it in place, and I'll have to reverse that to get it off again.

I started Saturday mowing down the grass around our 2 existing peach trees. We've lived here over 2 years, and have yet to taste a peach! But the Japanese beetle grubs have had a wonderful time! (Well, so has Sadie the dog--she discovered the wonders of fermenting peach juice, and it was all we could do to keep her away from the fallen fruit...) So after mowing the grass about 30 feet in all directions from the trees...

...we spread Milky Spore all around them. Lucky for us, the previous owners had left us both a lawnmower and a drop spreader...but after pushing them around, it was time for a break.

We bought the bush hog and the blade at Marlboro Trading Post, and they were so helpful, we went back and bought a Leinbach L7200 JR auger from them as well.

They even took a look at our "new" tiller, pointed out most of what was wrong with it, and GAVE us a can of ZAP45 spray penetrating oil. In short, it's a hunk of rust, but we might be able to get it to work, they said.

Well, the tiller end of the PTO shaft seems permanently attached. I haven't made any progress on it. But we got the telescoping shaft free (I danced around the yard, waving the freed piece over my head like Beowulf with Grendel's arm), and got the tractor end loosened up, including the bearings INSIDE the PTO connector (get a piece of 1.25"x.25" welding steel, and a hammer. Use your imagination). Soaking the PTO connector in kerosene for 3 or 4 days may have helped...

We greased the u-joints and topped off the oil on the bush hog, then mowed us a patch for our garden. That pretty much finished Saturday.

Easter Sunday began with a beautiful sunrise. Christ has risen!

We attended Easter services, and then went to pick up...


This afternoon I reassembled the tiller, greased the PTO, and checked the oil. It's ready to go, I think. Sometime this week, we will have tilled the garden.

Then we installed the new bees. This time, the queen is marked with a white dot, so she'll be easier to find. We have cleaned out the hives, and we're hoping first, to have bees that MAKE SOME HONEY this time, and second, to keep them alive and unpoisoned.

At least one bee went up each of my pant legs. I came back inside to write this blog entry, and at least one came in with me. Now I am experiencing phantom creepy-crawlies. No stings, I think.

And now Debbie is ordering fruit trees. We'll use the auger to make holes to plant them. We're getting more done this year than last--partly because Debbie is feeling so much better, and partly because we have more of the TOOLS we need.

It has been a VERY busy weekend here at Honeyhill.

Tomorrow is Sadie's follow-up appointment with the vet after her kidney failure in October. We'll let you know...

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