Top 10 Things to Do/Fix during December/January

So I was only going to list the top 10 things but there are quite a few more tasks worthy of being included on our list. It is easier accomplishing things on a farm with a short “To Do” list rather than looking over the entire farm, with all the gazillion things that need to be done, which can seem rather intimidating and cause one not to know where to begin in dealing with everything. If one was to look at a complete list of all the farm jobs it would be so easy to just sit down and want to give up, but if you make a small list of the most important jobs, then ONLY focus on the list without looking around, the farm seems manageable. (NOTE:  this farm being manageable is a perception and not reality.) List keeping is just common sense and something most of us practice in our daily lives so I’m not sure why I am making such a big deal of it here in the blog and Carl thinks we should keep our list private and not share it with the public but this blog is my journal and I like to keep notes of how our winter is spent.  Critical problems will arise during the winter requiring immediate attention, which makes our list dynamic and subject to change on a daily basis, but nevertheless I am going to try and maintain this list throughout the winter. During the summer we will retreat back to using our Farmhand software and the peg board with yellow stickies for tracking tasks.
26 – G2 Maintenance: The propagation house needs new plastic and the wood baseboards need to be replaced with plastic wood. (Completed: 2/16/2011)
25 – Horse Fencing: The horses are escaping their fencing so we need to fix it because our neighbor Alvin said they might eat his fertilizers which would kill them. Interesting… Our organic fertilizers wouldn’t kill our animals yet conventional fertilizers would. (Completed: 1/7/2011)
24 – Seed/Production planning for the 2011 season. (Completed: 1/5/2011)
23 – Greenhouse #1: Pull out spent plants and trellis. Seed cover crop. (Completed: 12/23/10)
22 – Winterize the barn and Greenhouses: a) Fixed Frozen Hydrants at barn in G4. b) Fixed a PVC T that broke due to freezing. c) Drained all the pipes to the barn apartment. We would have done this last week but this past Thursday was the first day above freezing.  d) make and can tomato sauce (Completed: 12/16/10)
21 – Greenhouse #3: Pull out spent plants and trellis. Seed cover crop. (Plants and pepper trellis Completed: 12/21/10)
20 – Greenhouse #4: Pull out spent tomato plants.
19 – F207: Cut trees and wood and remove from field so that we can put this field back into production.
18 – Perennial Berries: Cut trees and plow field that pigs rooted up.
17 – Pickup Truck Brakes: These have been broken since mid summer. We tried fixing them before taking the pigs to market but didn’t accomplish this so Alvin let us borrow his truck for hauling our pigs to market. (Completed: 2/1/2011. Took the truck to Cecil in Hot Springs but ABS system is bad. He disconnected the system because it is too costly to fix. We might need to invest in a reliable truck for farm use because now the oil light keeps coming on and we are nervous to haul farm supplies such as soil mix.)
16 – Market Van: Each time we start the van a fuse goes bad, which causes problems in preventing us from putting the van in Drive, but we think this can be fixed by replacing the dash light switch. Carl replaced this 2 years ago so we think we have another electrical problem causing the dash light switch to go bad. (Completed: 2/13/2011. Carl fixed a wiring problem so the van runs. Needs a spark plug wire because the engine cuts out when going up hill with a load.)
15 – M5500 Kabota Tractor: This tractor is the workforce of the farm and for the entire season of 2010, we spent I don’t know how many hours, trying to get the tractor started. We think it is an electrical problem.
14 – DR Mower: Needs a new Left Handle. (This is the handle that the gears are attached to.
13 – Heidi Ho (Our Farmall 1947 cultivating tractor): We need to have some welding done in creating some bars for attaching tines in fine tuning our cultivating.
12 – Chicken Coop: Need to fix holes in the walls that will prevent opossums, raccoons and other critters from eating our chickens at night. (Completed: 1/18/2011)
11 – Wood Shed: Need to put a roof on the wood shed that we started building last year. We will be juggling this project with the weather. (Completed: 1/4/2011)
10 – Greenhouse #5: Need to put the endwalls up. Will also be juggling this project with the weather.
9 – Barn Apartment Heater: This broke the night we were smoking our hams. Carl is looking into maintenance options. (Completed: 2/6/2011. had to buy new as they no longer make parts for old heater mostly because of our disposable society.)
8 – Cut Timber: Need to finalize our cut list for cabin/pavilion then begin tagging trees and cutting them to length so that we can pull them out of the woods.
7 – Grading: Need to have a cabin site and road graded by Alvin.
6 – Road Maintenance: We have quite a few downed trees blocking the roads around the farm and need to clear these trees so we can bush hog and more easily get around the farm. (Completed: 1/29/2011. A few downed trees remaining but we must move onto bigger and better projects)
5 – Greenhouse #6: Need to have Alvin fix the pad, then we need to layout the space, install batter boards and concrete the corner posts.
4 – Business Cards and Logo. We need to design a logo and make business cards.
3 – L45 Kabota Tractor: Something is up with the starter. It grinds when trying to start.
2 – Weed strawberries and remove row cover from the field. (Completed: 2/18/2011)
1 – ATV: Need to replace the starter and chain. It has been broken for probably 6 years and we miss this tool for moving our mobile chicken coop and general activities on the farm.

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