Friday, April 20, 2012

Fixing the mower and garden planting

A few weeks ago, before the rains came I was mowing the yard with my tractor.  It has a nice 54" mower deck.  Unknown to me there was a large stick in the grass.  I ran over it and it kicked itself up and got tangled in the belt.  That shredded the belt and bits of belt got tangled in all of the pulleys.  It's a mess.  The other day I bought a new belt for it.  The first belt I had lasted 8 years, the second belt - 1 year.  It's now on the third belt. 

Since I've been so busy my son-in-law said he'd come over on Saturday to put the belt back on.  There's a little more to it than that.  After feeling successful now that  I got the trailer put where it belongs, I spent three hours this morning pulling the shredded cordage out of the pulleys.  Seven pulleys had cord wrapped inside.  Five pulleys are cleared and one of the blades now spins freely.  The last two pulleys are attached to the two other blades.  One doesn't have any cord showing but it's not spinning freely.  It spins but I can tell there's still some on the inside binding it up.  The other pulley spins very tight.  You can still see cordage but it's so knotted that I can't get it freed.  After three hours I gave up for the day.  The problem I have is that I have to take off the bolt to then take the pulleys off.  I need to get under the mower deck and block the blades otherwise when I turn the bolt the blade just spins and I'm not loosening up anything.  But that'll either be for me to do tomorrow or son-in-law can do it if I haven't gotten to it yet.  The lawn is pushing a foot in height so this has to be fixed soon. 

If TSHTF and I wasn't using my tractor?  Easy, I'd stake out some of the sheep and they'd eat the grass down.  But for now, I'll mow and give the clippings to the chickens and sheep. 

I'm planting some of my garden plants today.  Some, like the tomatoes and peppers, are just starting to grow.  The weather has been warm then cold then warm then cold.  That's not good for the plants that like warm.  But it's supposed to be pushing hot this weekend so the tomatoes and peppers will take off and may be able to be planted out in the garden in the next week or so.

Tomorrow the ducks are supposed to hatch.  Hope this works well.  I've been gathering chicken eggs to put into the incubator next.  I'd like a bunch of chickens roaming in the front pasture and bug-out renter has asked for some new chicks.  They wanted to know if I was placing an order through one of the hatcheries this year because they wanted some.  No, I'm going to try hatching them myself.  They can have some of those.  The incubator will hold 40 chicken eggs.  If they all hatch there'll be enough for all of us and maybe a few to share. 

Got to get back to work. 

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