Saturday, April 30, 2011

How often do you mow??

I mow about 15 acres of our farm. Part of that 15 I mow each time I mow.  Other parts, I only mow about every 2nd or 3rd time I mow.  Around the house I always mow, but the other side of the barn and the orchard and vineyard I only mow every 2nd or 3rd mowing.  Mainly I mow that just to keep the bugs and insects at bay so they don't eat on my grapes and fruit trees.

Yesterday, I finally mowed for the first time this year.  Others have been mowing since March.  Twice I had planned to mow, but it rained.  Then, on days when it was nice enough to mow, I had other things going on, or was out of town.  So, it didn't get done till yesterday.  I love to mow, I find it relaxing.  Of course I am on a rider.  Mowing that much would not be so relaxing with a push mower.

At first I felt bad I hadn't mowed.  But, after I went into town and bought the fuel, I felt a lot better about it.  I paid around $32 for fuel for the mower.  And, that didn't even fill it.  That filled all of one tank and part of the second.  Not to mention what I spent in diesel going to town to get the gasoline....I also didn't mow everything, as several spots were too swampy to mow.  I thought I'd give my husband a break this time.  Normally, I try to mow the swampy areas and each time I get stuck.  I used to have to come in the house and get him.  Now, he recognizes the change in pitch from the  mower, and just gets the truck and chain and comes to me, rolling his eyes as he pulls me out. 

For the last 2 years, I have mowed less, and let the front and east hay fields get a little bigger.  Considering the price of fuel, I think they will get a little bigger this year as well.  It will save fuel and we will get a few more bales out of each field.

If you drive by and see I haven't mowed...I'm not being lazy, I am being frugal...I think I will lower the blade to the lowest setting, and mow it every 18 days.  Last year I mowed it every 13 days.  The first year we were married I mowed it weekly....but fuel was much cheaper then.

I've tried to convince the husband we just need a goat, but so far, he hasn't bought into that idea.  He has ill visions of a goat standing on his car or truck, and that gives him the shivers.  So, until he gives in, I guess we will continue to support foreign Arab oil fields to have short grass, while we ignore our untapped underground oil stores here in the US of A.   Ever notice the countries rich in oil ride camels?  We get our oil from them and drive the gas guzzlers.....

Somethings not right about that picture, and the gas isn't getting any cheaper.

I've cut back on my driving about all I can.  I live in the country, so I can't really walk too many places.  I know it was my choice to live in the country and could move to town to save fuel.  But, remember, we are farmers. We grow your beef.  What we save by growing a majority of our food here on our farm probably equals half what extra we spend in fuel to get around as a result of living in the country.

I am showing my age when I say I remember when gas was 17 cents a gallon at McBrides gas station in Warrensburg MO.  During a price war, gas might even get down to 9 cents or 11 cents.   I also remember when it shot up to 72 cents a gallon when I was in junior high and went to summer camp at Ozark Christian College in Joplin.  My dad was so worried about making the trip because the gas was so expensive.  Ahhhh...the good old days.  You could mow the entire lawn for less than $3 then.

So, this homeschooling, penny pinching farm mom will be looking for other ways to save and cut back this summer, to compensate for the price of fuel.  Any ideas you want to share, post them!


~*~The Family~*~ said...

Goats only want to eat what they aren't suppose to like your hostas, snowball bushes and apple trees. However, to them, the grass always looks greener on the other side so you never have to trim around fences.

April said...

Actually, the fence and tree line is where I would stake them out on a "goat run". It is hard to mow the tree line and lots of poison ivy. I have heard goats love poison ivy.