Friday, February 24, 2012

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Speaking of safety hazards . . .

It's ironic we were talking about safety hazards and OSHA yesterday.

Later that morning we were putting up one of the end pieces to the greenhouse.

Everything was going along smoothly. Blake fortuitously stopped by and helped at a particularly crucial moment.

And then the fun began. Nathan started pounding the support pieces into the ground using a metal picket pounder. With his full force behind him he smacked his own head with the darn thing. It was a hard enough hit to knock him to the ground and offer him a beautiful showing of stars.

He gave himself a whopping minute of respite and then was back to pounding more support pieces in place.

Until he smacked himself a second time in the very same place. This time blood started gushing down his forehead. My very solid, mature reaction was to burst into sobbing tears.

Incredibly helpful.

Through the heaves I ordered Nathan to the truck. I drove us like a banchee to a neighbor's house several miles down the road. (Thank you so much, Alexis!) She provided ice and water and the gift of decisiveness when I was in no condition to do so.

After a trip to an emergency clinic, three stitches and a medicinal ice cream cone, he's doing much better. Fair warning: helmets are no longer optional safety equipment here at BSV.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Farming: Not OSHA approved

There is a lot about this farming way of life I'm pretty confident OSHA would not approve. Like this for instance.

And though I do gasp now and again in startled wonder, I also hear some pretty hilarious stories from yesteryear.

For example: A new friend was recently telling us when she and her brother were growing up, they used to jump out of airplanes. Now I've done that too, but this was completely different. There was no parachute involved for these two. They jumped out of a flying crop duster onto sand dunes, and then proceeded to roll down them. For fun. She said they did endure a bit of "dune" rash--and that her mother was never ever told--but they survived just fine. 

It reminds me of my parents' lecture from high school. They said if I ever went skydiving, they didn't want to know about it ahead of time. I now totally get that sentiment. 

Baby girl: just tell me about it afterwards. Well that, and get a few snapshots in for posterity.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Pitching out

We're so grateful to have received some moisture over the past few days. First the snow and then some actual rain. When the land receives moisture, farmers in West Texas gear up to pitch out.

Pitching out is the term used to describe the act of restoring the pretty listed field to as much of its original state as possible. The taller the furrow the better the wind resistance. Moisture will often press the dirt rows down, decreasing their efficiency at combating the wind. If you don't pitch out, the rows will fill up with sand to the point that no row exists any longer.

This is the tool that creates those beautiful furrows.

Nathan spent several hours preparing the tractor and tool bar for the job. He's technically re-listing the field again rather than pitching out. Reason being, he'll get far greater height to each furrow.

It's not a terribly high-tech job to switch out tools on the tool bar, but it does take a few minutes. The metal V's below are what we typically use to pitch out. As you can see, they wouldn't give us near the same height as the listers do.

We hope to be pitching out frequently this year.