One of the things that is becoming more popular is to take used construction equipment tires and turn them into livestock waters. The benefits of these tire waters is that they are cheap (or free) to acquire and very low maintenance to keep in operation. They will supposedly keep the water cool enough in the summer to inhibit the growth of algae, and warm enough in the winter to keep it from freezing. I plan to install some of these at ESF so I will let you know how they perform.
Back in the spring Greg and I made our way to Perry County, KY to pick up some tires of our own. There were plenty to choose from in this "little pile" they had. The biggest challenge was finding some small enough to fit on our flat bed trailer.
After picking four out we drug them over to the trailer and then "flipped" them up onto the bed. We ended up getting two 8 foot tires and two 6 foot tires.
We were able to lift the 6 foot tires up on top of the 8 foot tires and boom them down nice and tight. Those four tires was all the load we wanted driving back out of those mountains!
After these tires sitting at the farm all summer, Greg and I finally found some time to cut one of them. This was a job that we had been dreading as it sounded like a dirty, all day, kind of mess. I will say that we were pleasantly surprised that we got a big tire cut in about two hours. I will give credit to Larry Clay and Ron Shrout for giving us some tips and pointers to help make it go easier.
To cut these tires you simply take a reciprocating saw and cut your way around the edge of the tire. Sounds easy right?
Step 1: Drill a hole through the tire big enough to get the saw blade started.
Step 2: Start the saw in the hole and continue all the way around the tire until you remove the middle portion completely.
Notice the chain in the picture. This was used to hold some upward pressure on the cut so that the rubber would not cause the saw blade to get pinched. We moved the chain around the tire with us as we cut. We also sprayed the blade with soapy water to help keep it cool and cutting good.
It actually cut surprisingly well. We could cut around 2 to 3 feet before the blade would get too hot and break. By then we usually were ready for a breather too. It took us 8 blades to cut this tire.
Notice how we have moved the chain around the tire as we cut. This helped tremendously.
This tire was about 2.5 inches thick with steel belts all the way around. We cut it with 14 TPI metal blades which worked well. We are hoping to get this tire installed before winter. I will include pictures of that process once we get it completed. Until then, we have three more tires to cut.
September has come and gone in the blink of an eye, and it was a very busy month at ESF. You may have notice an absence of blog posts the past several weeks and that was due to my wife giving birth to twins on Sept 30th. I'm pleased to say that momma and babies are all doing well and are nestled in at home resting. And I am not going to lie, I am one proud papa! Meet Mason Samuel & Lawson Kennedy.
So back to the farm: At the end of September I renovated one of our hay fields. Byron Seeds, LLC partnered with us to renovate this hay field as well as one of the pastures (which will be done in the spring). This hay field was interseeded with two different fescues (10 lbs/acre) and orchardgrass and red clover (5 lbs/acre).
We used a 7' Great Plains drill from Southern States. Now we just have to wait and see how well the stand establishes...
We also made our first significant equipment purchase this past month. We bought a Woods 15' B180XW batwing mower from Central Equipment in Lexington. This will allow us, along with our spraying schedule, to better manager our pastures for weeds as well as keep the farm looking good. I am anxious to get out and do some mowing.
Greg has also been busy hauling some hay. Glen Aiken (USDA) had some two year old hay that was stored inside that he needed gone to make room for this years hay. So Greg has been hauling it from the UK Woodford County farm up to Eden Shale. I would like to thank Glen for his continued support and help to make Eden Shale Farm & Learning Center a success.
I will leave you with a few ESF sunrise pictures. A neighbor once told me, "You can't work all day if you don't start early".