Raise Them Right!

The garden beds that is!

We spent February preparing our gardens for spring. The weather has finally been so nice to get outside and get your hands dirty!

We have added some new raised beds thanks to some old salvaged tires and broken feed trough my husband found and placed in the garden. Raised beds allow me to amend soil quickly for growing and contain crops that may spread like mint or asparagus. I also think they are cute! In total, we added four raised tractor tire beds and one old feed trough (that sprung a leak!) bed!

Both setups had to be slightly modified before use. For the tires, Bryon cut the top rim of the tire off so we could fill up with dirt/ soil and work it. Otherwise the lip of the tire would cover a good portion of opening and would limit growing capacity. In addition, I have short arms and I don’t want to reach that far! He had to use a 4″ grinder to make a hole in the top of the tire rim and then a sawzall to cut the rim off. The top we removed I will use later to go around the base of sapling for the soon-to-be peach & plum orchards. For the old trough, he used the 4″ grinder to simply cut out the bottom. We did counter sink the trough purely for aesthetic purposes!

Now to the down and dirty- filling all these up with soil! First, we placed cardboard in the bottom for worm food and some weed control. Next we need soil. You can’t just add dirt because it will get too hard and hold too much water. You can’t add straight potting mix because it’s too light and will drain too fast. I prefer miracle gro raised bed soil. I got burned two years ago with an off brand alternative so I haven’t really ventured out much with other options. I’ve been sticking to what I know works. Originally, I wanted to completely fill each one with bagged soil but that wasn’t feasible. I didn’t realize how much dirt was required for each tire until I did the math.

For all you math/ algebra students that ask “when am I going to use this in real life?”

The volume of a cylinder is pi (3.14) x radius (squared) x height.

One tire measured 4 ft diameter (2 ft radius) x 2 ft height so…..

3.14 x 4ft x 2ft = 25.1 cubic feet

As seen above each bag covers 1.5 cubic feet for $8.98. (25.1 / 1.5 = 16.7 bags for one tire x $8.98 per bag = $149.96)

Now I have 4 tires and one trough so we are talking about $800 dollars of dirt ! WOW! Nope!

Luckily, Bryon found us a cheaper option!

For $140 dollars he got a dump bed trailer load of half top soil and half turkey manure and mushroom compost mix! BAM! With some to spare!

So we layered the raised beds with a layer of topsoil then turkey manure/ mushroom compost then the last layer was of my raised bed garden mix. I used two bags of the miracle gro to each tire and the trough. Now filling them up was a little “tire-ing” but we got them all filled! Now for the fun stuff! Planting!!

We planted a few cool weather crops!

Side note: we never use up the plastic knives in the set so I repurpose them in the garden!

Lastly, we used old hay to mulch the top!

Now we just wait for stuff to grow! Can’t wait to eat and share all our goodies !!

Overcoming life’s little HERDdles

Farnash Creek Ranch added a new mare to the herd last week! Maisie is a 10.5 year old sorrel quarter horse with experience cutting and working on a large cattle ranches.

We think she will be a great addition to the ranch and will be an enormous help with ranch work such as roping calves, pushing cows, sorting and of course trail riding the ranch to check fences of course. We are so excited to have her here! The other horses aren’t so excited, although, she seems eager to be friends with them!┬áThe first day out in the pasture together they tried to run off and leaving her!

She wasn’t far behind …..

“Hey guys wait for me”

They eventually gave her a good sniff down but still they did not trust her! She still had to prove herself. I wasn’t sure she would be aggressive enough with the other horses because she was so docile under the saddle. She works so smooth off subtle cues like seat placement and leg pressure. I am a terrible rider and if she can follow my cues she must be good! I have never picked a horses hooves so easily. I gently touched her leg and she graciously lifted her hoof and held it there. I didn’t really even have to hold the hoof. I still get nervous picking hooves and she made it feel so natural.

After the second day out in the pasture with them she came in with a few bite marks and was much more cautious of the other horses.

She was especially cautious of Cisco. He is the biggest horse we have and he has also been the low man of the totem pole since his arrival over a year ago! I guess he was determined to get off the bottom of the hierarchy!

Bryon wishes he would run that fast on cows! He isn’t all he acts like on this video! He is a sweet shy lover except when someone new is around! Sometimes it is the shy ones that are the most fierce! He still gets an concessional bite by Sugar tho!

Rodie the undisputed ring leader also tried to get his intimidation in on her! The first day he ran her off from the hay ring. By day two, she wasn’t having anymore of him taking her food. We sat on the fence and watched Rodie go quietly into her stall after he had eaten all his food and tried to take her food. Within three seconds she had run him out of her stall. He tucked his tail and headed off the the hay ring! Now I think they are friends! Or friendly at least!

“I sorrelly apologize for taking your food”

This morning during feeding Cisco was also still trying to get a little intimidation in on her. He put his giant golden head in her stall and just showed her his teeth. She snapped back at him and let out the loudest “NEIGH” I’ve ever heard! She is standing up for herself! It won’t be long and she will find her place in the herd!

Horses are herd animals for safety reasons. There is strength in herds. Being part of a herd provides them safety and security in the wild. There are more sets of eyes and ears to look out for danger. There are more horses to protect the young horses from predators and dangers in the wild. This herd mentality is instinctive for them for this reason.

Humans are also part of herds. Many different herds. We have work herds, family herds, friend herds, online herds, etc. Unfortunately, we often have trouble integrating into our herds as well. There are many reasons why integrating into herds are difficult. Generally though it is simply that it is something new and no one knows what to expect or who to trust. There will often be bite marks and scars that will be left behind but ultimately there is strength in herds. We must get past all the hurt and move forward because there is support in herds. Just like Maisie we have to stand up for ourselves and be herd – (he he he) Herds are the support systems we rely on to protect us from the wild world of dangers. Love your herd and find peace and strength in whatever herds you can be apart of in this life. Embrace all the members of your herd and celebrate their strengths and encourage them in times of weakness.

“No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main” -Ernest Hemingway For Whom The Bell Toll per John Donne

For heaven’s sake don’t be like chickens they try to kill the new one to the flock! DON’T BE A CHICKEN!

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