One Tractor, Two Friends, Three Hours, Twelve Yards

Spreading mulch is an overwhelming project when tackled alone. Bring in a tractor with a loader and a couple friends and an afternoon of sweat equity yields beautiful results.

Twelve yards is a lot, but not enough to cover the house, garden shed, and chicken coop beds, plus trees, vegetable garden fence line, and barn plantings. Four more yards are on order!

Next chore: getting out the spade and trimmer to cut in those crisp edges. I suppose we should have done that first, but I couldn’t resist the immediate transformation of fresh mulch.


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.

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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.


Mow, Blow, Scrape and Brush: Versatility at its Finest

By the time we returned from our “vacation,” the lawn, driveway and fence edges were out of control. The grass looked like it was a foot tall and the weeds were even taller.

It didn’t take long to tame the grass but what was left behind really should have been baled. We had grass clippings in huge windrows everywhere!

Mow’n Machine to the rescue again!


When we got our FZ22K we opted to also get the broom and blade attachments. We thought about the snow blower too, and may go back for that later. We wanted the broom to brush gravel back onto the driveway and clean up the concrete in front of the garage and shed. We also plan to use the blade to scrape manure in the pens and cattle runs.

One thing we didn’t expect was brushing grass clippings from the lawn. I’m not sure this is an “intended use,” but it sure worked and was certainly better than raking it by hand. The best part is the cows got to eat the grass when we brushed the clippings right into the pasture.

Maybe one of my entrepreneurial kids will design a mini round baler attachment for the Mow’n Machine next. Sign me up for that, too!

Just one tip: Don’t try this if the wind is blowing!


Share Your Tough Jobs

We all have jobs around the farm, ranch or cabin that we’re avoiding. Or, completed jobs that make us especially proud. We’d love to hear about the Tough Jobs you’re tackling, or avoiding, this summer. Just submit the form IMG_0330below and we may feature them here.

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.

There’s Nothing a Big Rock Can’t Fix

Growing up on the farm we learned to make due with what we had around us. Everything had a purpose or could be rigged to accomplish another task. After spending hours picking rocks in the field, they were placed in the fence row or ditch to become the treasure trove for later.

In 1979 I was so proud of mowing the massive front lawn.

In 1979 I was so proud of mowing the massive front lawn.

We would use those discarded rocks to block wheels on the wagon, prop open the calf barn door while hauling feed pails or plug up a hole dug by a snake/muskrat/mouse or some other creature we didn’t want to think about.

But I must say, my favorite use was when we were quite small. Little kids are always so ambitious and helpful. We wanted to help mow the lawn but we weren’t heavy enough to keep the blades going. My Dad would help us get situated on the mower and then carefully place – a big rock in our lap.

When kids mow you sometimes get crazy patterns.

When kids mow you sometimes get crazy patterns.

Now, I know that would never fly today but we were in heaven! The safety mechanism still functioned as it was supposed to and we got to help – the best of both worlds.

Today there is no need for a rock but with several acres of lawn to mow, the job can take three to four hours per week. We’ve always had a lawn tractor, several over the years, and gotten pretty good at maneuvering around trees and other obstacles.

This year our old mower was ready for semi-retirement, like any good farmer we can’t get rid of something that still runs. We decided it was time for a ZTR (zero-turn-radius) mower. We ended up with a Woods FZ22K with a 54-inch deck. Though we thought about the larger deck, we decided to trade size for agility.

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

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

I haven’t mowed in a long time – not back far enough to need the rock, but pretty close. Now I’m going to be doing it more often. It was so easy, and almost fun.

I was able to quickly maneuver around all my trees and flowerbeds and finish the whole thing in half the time it typically took. I even felt safer doing the ditches since this mower includes a seat belt and roll bar. It was able to handle the ditch grass that had grown way too long and get close enough to the trees to cut down on the trimming.

So I guess the rocks can stay in the field and the kids can find their own ride this summer – the mower is mine!