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Fall projects are off to a good start

The Eppich News: Good progress made with a major fencing job

The end of October brought us some much-needed nice weather. We were able to finish harvest, but it took a lot of fiddling around, trying some here and then trying some there. Finally the crop dried to a moisture level that we could handle. We took every truck and trailer that would hold grain out to the fields and worked on filling them with three machines. Gregory was happy to get to run a combine this year. Finally, on Oct. 26 we finished harvest.

There was no rest after harvest. Gregory and John got right to work working summerfallow. While the boys were out in the field, I started hauling the horses home and trimming their feet before winter.

In early November we poured concrete for the two watering bowls that we dug waterlines for and installed a year ago. It was a long day setting and levelling the forms and mixing and hauling the concrete. We finished the last one in the dark. It was supposed to get cold the next few days so we covered the concrete with an insulated tarp to help it set up properly. The next day it snowed all day.

From there we jumped right into the next project: building over two miles of fence. On Nov. 3 Gregory and I found the quarter markers, marked the edge of the road allowance and planned how to best go around and through the sloughs and brush.

A few odds and ends needed to be tended to at home, including more of Gregory’s summerfallow, then on Nov. 7 we got our crew together and started pounding posts. John and Joseph’s adopted grandpa, Barney Simon, worked on setting out posts ahead of us and clearing some brush, while I drove the post pounder truck and Gregory pounded the posts. The posts drove in well for the most part. The frost was only down about two to three inches. Gregory was able to get the posts through the frost by gently tapping with the pounder and then they went well. We averaged about half a mile of posts every day. It was cold and windy most of the time. We did get the truck stuck a few times. The lake is salty and so there is almost no frost along the edges and anywhere that is underwater in the spring. The posts pounded easily in these areas but just having the truck sit in one spot for a couple minutes was enough to have it go in as well.

The cows are still out on the native pasture by Landis. They have been doing well but when the temperature turned cold on us we had to start breaking ice for them to get a drink. It has been working well, since we’re over at Landis building fence anyway, someone slips over and checks the cows and breaks water for them. The water quality is much better this year than last year at this time so we’re hoping the girls can stay out at pasture until we get the posts pounded, some hay hauled, and the water bowls reinstalled.

About the author

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Heather Eppich is a young former Idaho rancher building a new farm and family with her husband and young son, near Handel, Sask. Contact her at: [email protected]

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