RicelandMeadows


2022 Maple Season Excitement
February 21, 2022, 2:31 pm
Filed under: February 2022 | Tags: , , , , ,

February 21, 2022

It is time to make maple syrup! We get excited every year for this season. There is one heck of a lot of work to do before the liquid gold is poured on pancakes, but this labor of love makes me smile every year. This year we frugally upgraded our maple sap gathering tank. Our old tank was galvanized and had begun to show the wear of many years of use. We bought the tank used ourselves and decided it was time to upgrade to stainless steel.

We looked into just buying a tank specialized just for this purpose. In fact last year at the close of our maple season, we ordered one. The manufacturer contacted me in late December to inform us that the rising cost of “everything” had caused them to have to more than double the cost of the tank. The new tank would have cost $3500.00 dollars! We cancelled our order. However, we still wanted to replace our old tank.

In the fencerow at a friends farm, I spied this old, small bulk tank. We made an agreement and I bought the tank for the cost of scrap. My buddy, who is a fabricator and welder, helped me rework the old tank. We welded the lids all in place. We cut a hole in the top panel to allow for this stainless steel drum. We drilled holes in the drum to act as a strainer and fill port for the tank. The barrel sits on four legs in the bottom of the tank making it removable.

The legs that the barrel sits on also hold a baffle on each side of the drum. This baffle is welded in the middle section of the tank and will hopefully prevent the slosh that comes with a big wave. The tank attaches to the sap sled/cart with a ratchet strap. A couple blocks give it more stability. It is possible that I will have to silicone caulk the top seams, but time will tell.

This project, the tank, the fabrication and welding cost me $250.00 and a dozen donuts. Sure, I have some time and some gasoline for automobile trips, but I am happy with this new rig. It accomplished our goal of switching to easy to clean and sanitize stainless steel on a farmer’s budget!

Our excitement continues as we set the maple syrup pans, clean everything in sight, tap the trees and complete other various tasks that must be done before we receive our sweet reward. Stay tuned, we will be sticky very soon!



Little Wagon Project
February 5, 2019, 4:28 pm
Filed under: February 2019 | Tags: , , , ,

KMHybrid3

February 5, 2019

I am working on a project. I am replacing my big old style hay wagon, with a small more versatile one. This one will be pulled by horses with one of my forecarts. It is small enough to be able to get into small areas, including using my sap roads in the woods. I will use it not only for hay, but for all sorts of things including firewood.

The little wagon will also be a dump wagon. A cylinder will be activated by a hand pump.  I can move dirt, gravel compost and a host of other things. Then once I get to the place I want them, I just raise the bed and dump the material. This will save me time and effort.

My old hay wagon is very high off the ground, getting on and off, is a problem. A step will make it possible to simply climb up on this one with ease. It will be pulled by cart and horses, so I will have a seat. The dump handle will be in easy reach from the seat. Stake pockets will allow for any arrangement of sides.

I am even working out a design for the tailgate to have a small door like on a semi trailer. The little door will come in handy when I am hauling ear corn or grain. I can back up to the elevator and control the load that I am dumping. This is a fun project, nearing completion. I am very excited. Finished pictures coming soon.

KMHybrid1



Gated Community
March 23, 2017, 6:11 pm
Filed under: March 2017 | Tags: , , , ,

gates

March 23, 2017

After 18 years of using makeshift gates on my hog pens, we installed these new ones. They were made and installed by Ed Struna, Hickory Nut Fence company. I have known Ed for almost his whole life. I recommend his work highly. He installed most of the fencing around my farm as well.

These are “hog high” and “piglet tight”. I look forward to using them. So far, they work great. The latches are easy to operate. The hinges, latches and the gates themselves are heavy duty, but good looking. I am pleased with the purchase that I made. If you’d like fencing, gates or just more information, call Ed at Hickory Nut Fence Company 440-645-3889.