Those annoying washouts

Our wet spring and summer meant we had to repair the lane several times. The destruction from the last gully washer in July has remained… until today.

I used our Woods HBL rear blade, turned around, to roll gravel from the grass back into the lane and then turned the rig over to Tommy for the final finessing (I know the limits of my earth-moving talents).

Next, hook up the GS72C grading scraper, fill in the ruts with more gravel, and make it look like new again.

I get to do the grading part… I’m just killing some time while I wait my turn.

Away we go!


Beautiful! Beautiful! Beautiful!

We pulled it off! A trifecta of beauty at last Saturday’s wedding on the Larson farm: The bride was beautiful, the weather was beautiful, and the grounds were beautiful!

I can only take credit for the latter and even so, I need to share the credit with the friends who helped with the last-minute grading and mowing.

Add in some trimming, edging, weeding, and watering and we created a beautiful backdrop for the bride and groom… and their host, Bob the Dog.

The chicken coop turned alter was particularly befitting for Emily and Tommy’s wedding since Tommy is the one who renovated it from its dilapidated condition several years ago. Add in a whole lot of love and the ceremony came off without a hitch (or, I guess, “with a hitch” in the case of a wedding) and the bride and groom couldn’t have been happier, nor the bride more beautiful!

It is truly an honor to host the “once in a lifetime day” of those you love. We are blessed with a beautiful farm and beautiful friends and family… beautiful, beautiful, beautiful!


Wedding week kicks off!

The final week of preparation for the farm wedding kicked-off on Friday evening with a crew of family and friends packing burlap, tulle fabric, grapevine and twinkle lights galore! Of course, before any of the shed decor could go up, tractors, planters, and rotary cutters had to go out, followed by moving racks of parts, tools, and all the other supplies that make a farm shop efficient and a wedding venue unsightly.

We all agreed that hosting a wedding every two years is a great way to get your shop cleaned.

While most of the crew focused on the building, a few of us took to the grounds and kept the Woods FZ25D zero-turn mower humming and the Oregon trimmer/edger buzzing most of the weekend. And, the grading scraper made quick work of repairing the lane, which had washed from the deluge Thursday night.

I have a reputation for wanting the place to look “just so” and am blessed with friends who not only tolerate my “slightly obsessive attention to detail” but also appreciate a well-kept farmstead. Even better, they know how to use our tractors and tools to get the job done. Of course, sometimes the work is more delicate (like planting petunias), requiring only a willingness to dig in the dirt and an occasional break to pose with Bob the Dog.

Jess and Bob in Petunias

We accomplished more than we had hoped Friday and Saturday and by early Sunday afternoon, we called it quits until the final preparations on Thursday. While getting the shed and grounds ready to welcome 300 guests is an enormous amount of work, it is oh so much easier, with a posse of friends and knowing that at the end of a hard days’ work is a good meal, cold beer, and a lot of laughs.


End of Summer Jobs

As the summer is winding down and the kids are going back to school, we are all trying to cram in those last few projects. Tell us about the “Tough Jobs” you still need to tackle.

Tough jobs are easier with the right tools.

Mowing with the Woods Mow’n Machine is even fun.

Just submit the form below and we’ll try to feature them over the next few weeks. What a great way to help others learn from your experiences or gather suggestions on the best way to get those projects checked off your list.

“Tough Jobs” Checklist

Where has the summer gone!?!

With all the “Back to School” ads and deals, I know the days of my dedicated labor force are coming to an end. We’ve accomplished most of the tough jobs on the list, but some of the toughest are yet to come.

So far, we have repaired the driveway, rebuilt a fence, planted a neighbor’s food plots and reseeded a pasture area, mowed the grass, fence lines and front pasture and tilled the garden. We also freshened our flower beds, cleaned out and added pea gravel to the playground area and added a fire pit to the back yard.

I guess we’ve done better than I thought.

IMG_1598 IMG_1599 IMG_1607

Next we need to mow the pastures (again), clean out the cattle pens in preparation for our Fall Steer Sale, trim along all the fence lines and cut down the wild grape vines that would trap all the snow on our driveway this winter.

Next week we’ll be doing the State Fair circuit and then it’s the quick slide to fall. Be sure to post your “Tough Jobs” and visit us on Facebook to see more pictures and videos.


Photo shoots — why I love my job!

While my weeks are mostly filled with meetings, spreadsheets and endless email streams, a few times a year I get out of the office and into the field. This is one of those weeks. A team of creatives, engineers, product managers, and other assorted talent gathered at our farm yesterday to capture video and photography of the new Woods rear blades and landscape rakes.

As a marketer, I spend more time in a seat behind a desk than in the seat of a tractor, but photo shoots change all that. What’s better than promoting a new product? Actually putting that new product in the dirt!

Planning the Next Video Shot Planning the Next Video Shot

In the past two days, we’ve bladed dirt over a trench where the septic line settled, cleaned up edges along the gravel lane, and mowed a waterway with the new Woods RC-Series Cutter (when you’ve got a crew available, might as well capture as much footage as you can!).Both the blade and the rake are amazingly versatile, but we found more uses for the rake than I had originally imagined. We also cleared gravel from the grass (remnants from this winter’s snow plowing), smoothed small gullies in the sandy soil along the slope behind the new shed, and gathered rocks and sticks that had collected on a particularly messy part of the lane.

The nature of photo shoots is that you start a lot of projects, but don’t really finish them since you need to move to the next set-up for another shot. When the crew is done, I’m hoping to hang on to the blade and rake through the weekend to finish what we started. Afterall, the weatherman is predicting sunshine for  Saturday and Sunday and weekends typically offer more tractor time than desk time.

Potholes and Washouts

Looks like fresh gravel in just two passes.

The first job on our repair list was the driveway and it turned out to be the quickest fix of the year. Since the potholes were so deep we decided to use a grading scraper with scarifiers. This is the first time we’ve done that and it worked like a charm. We thought we would need to bring in several loads of gravel to get it back in shape, but a few passes with the scraper and the driveway looks almost perfect.

The scarifiers did a great job loosening the gravel base and the frame kept all the gravel where it was supposed to be. It looks as good as new!

We even had a friend stop by and comment on how great it looked. He has a new shed in a remote location and just added two loads of fresh gravel.

Though we’re focusing on jobs around our farm, we’d love to hear more about tough jobs you tackle everyday. Please send your projects and photos to and we’ll share some of them here.