Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Planting Grass

Last week we fulfilled one of Matt's items on his long list of "Things To Do".  We planted grass in the back pasture.  He has been working on this for a looooonnnnggg time.

When we first bought this land, it was covered in trees and brush. With one small sweep at a time, Matt pushed a bulldozer around until most of the brush and wanted trees were pushed down.  This process happened over several years.  There were many nights that I didn't see Matt until dark because he was ALWAYS out on the bulldozer.

Some of the trees Matt cut into firewood and the rest he burned.  You would think that burning the brush would be a quick way to get rid of it, but it doesn't happen so fast when you have to wait for burn bans to be lifted.  The piles of brush sat for a long time until Matt was allowed to burn them. 

Matt worked for weeks, maybe even months, cutting the wood into small firewood pieces.  He used his grandpa's old wood cutter, which I think gave him a sense of nostalgia and pride.  During the winter months we sold firewood by advertising on the local Country Store Radio.  We still have wood if you need it.

Two weeks ago, Matt finally finished clearing the land.  He pushed the last few piles of brush together and burned them.  He ran over the land one last time with the bulldozer to level the dirt.

Oh, and Matt had to do some work on the bulldozer, too.  I love this picture of him welding a cylinder for the bulldozer.

Two friends from work came over help Matt with the last preparations.  They drove their tractors with blades and tillers to till and level the dirt some more.  Matt doesn't normally ask people to help.  He really enjoys doing things himself, mainly because he's so darn particular about how it's done.  But I could tell he had an extra pep in his step when his friends came to help.  One of them even told me that they noticed his change in behavior at work after they said they would help. "He sure perked up the rest of the day."

Last Tuesday, Matt took off of work to finally plant his grass.  This grass will be used to feed our cattle and hopefully produce enough grass to sustain a few new cows, that Matt would like to purchase in the future. 

In the morning I took the kids to Mother's Day Out and Matt took the truck and trailer to Old Dime Box to pick up the grass from Hodges Hay Service.  When I came back home, Matt had already made it back and we had some helpers and observers.  Matt's dad came to help and my grandparents came to watch.  Matt's dad had asked them to come watch because I would be driving a tractor...history in the making supposedly.  Although according to my brother-in-law I can "drive the heck out of tractor."  It's nice to know I'm thought so highly of.

Here is the prepared pasture and the grass Matt has been working so hard for.

The first step was to keep the grass watered so it wouldn't die while it was on the trailer waiting for it's final resting place in the dirt.
To plant the grass Matt used a device called a sprigger.  He bought this sprigger at an auction in Sealy a few months back.  He had to do a few touch ups on it and he painted it black instead of it's rusty yellow color. 
Matt was ready to get the grass in the ground, so he picked up a pitchfork load of grass and dumped it into the sprigger.  He filled it about three fourths full.  His dad did this part for him the remainder of the day while he drove the tractor.
Matt was speedin' on that little tractor of his.  His reasoning was that supposedly the sprigger works better at a fast speed.  The sprigger has a blade that digs a trench, with another devise that allows some grass to drop in the trench, and then the red blades throw dirt into the trench to cover the grass up.  Matt made rows and rows of planted grass.  I do believe he was having a grand ole' time, even though he had to stop frequently to fix a part on the sprigger-ma-jigger.
I love this picture of Matt and his dad working on the sprigger together.

His dad even did a little posing for the camera.  He's goofy like that...that's why we love him.
 My job, other than documenting the day, was to drive the tractor with the packer attached.  Once the grass was planted I drove over the rows to back the dirt down to lock in the moisture.  It was fun, but made me very sleepy.  I get so sleepy driving for some reason, even when driving my car.  So going back and forth made my eyes very heavy.

After I packed it down, we were done. 
So basically, our field looked like this when we were done working for hours and hours.
Yep.  You can't even tell we were out there.  Hopefully in a few days we'll get some rain and see some grass poppin' through that desert land.

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