My Plans

I’ve heard it said that when man plans, God laughs. When I hatch my
lofty plans, I would guess milk squirts out of His nose. Anyway, the
recent warm temps lead my mind to thoughts of spring which opens the
trap door to the panic room where I make plans.

I wrote last year about the greenhouse I built from old window sashes
complete with a Dutch-bucket hydroponic system. The hydroponics
worked great and we had a nice pepper crop and some tomatoes but we
need to make a few changes. First off, we need to built a separate,
lower shelf of Dutch buckets for the tomatoes as we need more plants
and they need more room to grow. I will also find a larger water
container that I can fill less frequently. Once the plants got some
size last year, I had to fill the container every three days. I also
plan to install a treated, wooden floor in the greenhouse for better

The big plans out in the pasture will be three portable shade
structures. The cattle hate high heat and humidity and hide in the
barn. I prefer they be out in the pasture gaining weight and so will
provide shade which I can pull from paddock to paddock. If the cattle
are comfortable staying near the area they eat, they will also
defecate nearby which will provide fertilizer as opposed to leaving
that precious stuff in the trees or the barn. I priced a portable
shade structure at around $16,000 which is a little more than I’d
planned to spend. As so many of these stories go, I called on Bryan
Steiger and he rode to the rescue. I found some plans from the
University of Kentucky and plan to build three portable shade
structures over at Steiger’s. I have received conflicting information
on the importance of shade in this area however I know for a fact
that uncomfortable cattle don’t eat very much. I also believe in
basic humanity to animals and cow comfort is my responsibility.

Plan three for this season is liquid fertilizer on pasture. Step one
of this plan involves performing my own soil samples. I’ve had soil
samples taken by an elevator before and the results didn’t arrive for
four months-too late to do any good. After I receive the sample
results, I will then apply the liquid fertilizer with a simple
sprayer and my four wheeler. I believe I will see better results from
liquid fertilizer as the plants should absorb some nutrition through
the leaves unlike dry fertilizer which must enter through the soil
then be absorbed by the plant’s root system. I’ve always said I want
to make farming as easy as possible and I see running around in my
wheeler spraying fertilizer much easier than hooking and unhooking a
spin spreader.

There you have it, three paragraphs sure to make God laugh. I think
they are good plans though as each of them is a product of personal
research and a lot of pencil sharpening. If nothing else, they are
plans-and when you’re sitting at a computer in February and teased by
fleeting warms temps-aren’t plans good enough?

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