Category Archives: Ranch

Double Heart Ranch VFD

If you follow this blog you’ll know we have been working on a fire fighting trailer.  Well, it’s done.  Here is Hardy starting it up with Henry supervising.

It works like a champ.  If you are interested in volunteering for the fire department just let us know.

Bailing Hay

We are in hay production – our favorite time of the year.  With over 13 inches of rain over the last 70 days we have an amazing crop in the fields.  We’ll be bailing over the next several weeks.  This is top quality hay, no weeds which is why Hardy has a waiting list of people who want to buy some.

A Closer Look

 

 

 

 

 

 

Early this morning I noticed a herd of hogs in the pasture below the house.  As I took the picture I saw a boar running away from the herd and then return.  When I processed the images I zoomed in on him to try to figure out what he was doing.

 

 

 

 

 

 

As you can see he was chasing off a coyote that was trying to catch one of the little pigs!

Trailer Project

 

 

 

 

 

 

I am kicking myself because I did not take a “before” picture.  This is an old water trailer that was left rusting by the ranch’s previous owner – way over 20 years old.  We pulled it out of a junk pile, put new wheels on it, stripped the old paint off and just finished with a new paint job.  I’m guessing it is about 850 gallons.  We’ll add a pump this week and put it into service as Double Heart Volunteer Fire Department Unit #1.

Trail Ride

 

 

 

 

 

 

We had fun hosting a fund-raising trail ride yesterday benefiting the Highland Lakes Family Crisis Center.  We had a beautiful day, well-mannered horses and experienced riders.  A big thank you to our friends at Which Wich in Marble Falls for providing lunch and all the volunteers from the Crisis Center.

Zen and the Art of Fence Building

At the Double Heart Ranch we have one simple principle that guides our fence building projects – we don’t ever want to rebuild a fence.  So that means it has to be done right the first time.  Lots of effort goes into clearing a fence line, designing the layout.

The corner braces are set in concrete with bracing stingers.

The braces are carefully welded and then the wire is strung.   The strength of the braces allows us to stretch the barbed wire tight.

The barbed wire is attached to metal posts with wire clips set at exactly the right height for even spacing.

For wooden fences we have developed a unique building method.

These are sixteen foot rails mounted on treated posts backed by net wire.  At each point where the rails are butted up to each other, we re-enforce the joint with a steel plate.

The  plates are bolted through the rails and the posts so they cannot be moved or pushed out by livestock.  Note the seam is sealed.  The carriage bolt heads are attached to the inside of the posts so there is nothing sharp to harm the livestock.  We bolt on the plate side will be ground down to a smooth finish.

Our New Old Dump Truck

We are always looking for ways to improve our grazing for the cattle and clearing cedar where we have good topsoil is a never-ending project.  The trick is to get the ground clean enough after clearing so you can mow it annually to keep new cedar under control.  That means after piling and burning getting in with a rock picker and piling the rubble – but you still have to haul it off.  We have been working one 80 acre pasture for about a year and a half as weather permits and got it pretty clean except we were left with about 10 piles of rock and stumps.  We started to rent a dump truck for a month but then found this late 60’s AM General military dump truck.  We bought it for about what the rental would cost and so far have successfully hauled about 50 loads – about half of what we need to do in this pasture.  Dirty work, but it’s gotta be done!