I generally don’t like tractors.
They are loud, smelly, dangerous, burn fossil fuels… yuck.
Hubby, lives for tractors. They are strong, reliable, and extremely useful.
Why can’t we use horses? Please.
Well if I’ve learned one big lesson over the years, it’s that every tool has its use. And tractors are so incredibly useful on the farm.
I am very thankful for them and my husbands knowledge and skill with them.
Moving to Kawartha Lakes, to our own farm, is allowing us to make amazing changes to the way we raise our animals. One of the improvements we are always working on is feed quality. In the past, we have used a local gmo free feed produced from a fairly large feed mill in the Waterloo region. We have been happy with it but frustrated that it wasn’t exactly what we wanted.
Now we have switched to a small family farm operation that produces gmo free feeds with more diverse ingredients like oats, flax and peas. Everyone we have met and spoken to have been lovely folks and we are happy to support and work with them. Ralph, the patriarch and delivery dad, yesterday assured us they do not use pre-harvest glyphosate and asserted that nearly everyone does these days (boo!).
ASIDE: I guess it is fairly standard practice to now use monsantos round up as a full crop killing agent before harvest as it allows the whole crop to die and dry evenly.
So, with our new feed suppliers, new feed delivery and storage systems follow. Well. We broke our plastic grain bin during the move so that’s not an option at the moment. I’ve been buying by the bag, which makes SO many wasted bags ( they use plastic/ papers ones I haven’t found many uses for yet). We do have a granary in the barn but are not keen to start feeding the rodents and therefore rodent poop to our animals. Hm.
These guys deliver in totes; those giant bags the soil gets delivered to neighbourhood driveways in.
Andrew has a full time job, on top of farm and family, and cannot necessarily be here to unload these giant bags when they are delivered. So guess what? My imaginary super horse can’t unload them either.
I’m learning to use the tractor.
I got a quick lesson this weekend, unloading some hay bales from the trailer, and I think I did pretty well. Felt good. I just need practice and to gain confidence.
Delivery day was the next day, Monday.
Well, Andrew thought he’d be working onsite but there was a chance he’d be here to help me. I had no idea what kind of truck the feed was arriving on, how close it could get to my barn or even when it would arrive.
It snowed our first significant accumulation of snow,
What a glorious Monday.
We had just eaten through half of dinner when Andrew asked if I’d heard about the feed delivery. I totally forgot about it, what with all the snowman making and everything.
Sure enough, minutes later, a knock at our door.
Tractor trailer, parked on the road.
Totes on the front end loader nearly as heavy as the back end of the tractor.
Snowy, icy driveway on a slight hill up to the barns.
And very little traction.
Well Andrew got the feed mostly where we wanted it. He slid sideways up the driveway, spinning tires nearly all the way. It was kinda dangerous and scary. I’m really really REALLY happy he was there to unload this time. Whew! That was more than my beginner self could manage on my own. We were lucky.
The new feed looks great, smells great and the animals seem to like it. It’s in a meal form, not pellets or crumb, so it looks more like ‘real’ food- less processed anyhow.
We are constantly thinking of options to improve what we do and this is one little piece of the puzzle.
Thanks for listening.
If ever you have any questions, please feel free to ask.
More updates to come!
If you want to support us or plan to come out for a visit, please check out our gofundme page at
And you can help us get a ‘human habitation’ on the go faster than we could on our own, we’d love to have you out to visit.