Chronicles of the Long Shot Farm

Grading: Jeff’s Hidden Talent

We’ve probably had the simple “graderbox” for the tractor for more than a dozen years – Jeff used to help out one of his friends by leveling his driveway every spring, moving gravel into potholes.  But at the Long Shot Farm, Jeff started to get rather creative in using the grader, smoothing out old construction sites, covering tree stumps, spreading gravel in driveways and leveling tractor ruts after the spring thaw. 

But today, he completely annihilated a steep bank along our pond. The bank that could not be mowed, not even with the weed whip.  Not sure how he did this without rolling the tractor into the water – and I wished we had taken a “before” picture.  All we have is the “after” picture.   A huge improvement not just for looks, or access to the water and fishing, but for “mow-ability”!

Posted in DIY


All we did this weekend was work with mulch.  Except for one quick trip to Lowes, to get trellis posts, which were on sale at 50% off.  This sale only happens once or twice in the spring, so we had to take advantage of it.  Those posts are just sitting on the trailer near the grape vines for now.  Jeff will start marking off spots for the holes, and then use the post-hole auger on his tractor.  If the weather holds up, he’ll get started this week!

We probably used up over half of our huge stockpile of mulch – Jeff would scoop three tractor bucket loads into the smaller trailer, which we then pulled with the Four-wheeler.  We used pitch-forks and wide shovels to move the mulch around trees and bushes.  Lars and Tina tried to keep a running count of the wagon loads, but we lost track.  Our best estimate is that we did at least 15 loads since Friday evening.

All the elderberries, fruit trees and half the blueberry bushes are done. A few of the flower beds got some “left-overs”, they will need to get more later.   The weekend, as always, was way too short to get everything done.

Garden is Started!!

Rachel and Fiona came out
to help plant potatoes

Finally this weekend the weather was nice enough – and we had time – for Jeff to plow part of our garden.  We planted 4 rows of potatoes, some lettuce and spinach on Saturday.  Easter Sunday was rather cold and rainy, so we did not do anything outside, other than a quick run.  But the rain was good for the newly planted grapes as well as the garden.


Today, Jeff and Sam planted 20 lbs of peas – using the broadcast spreader on the tractor.  Jeff followed up with the disc, to help cover up the peas.   These peas take up about  “3 tractor widths”, according to Jeff’s measurements, and we now have nearly two thirds of our garden planted.

Vineyard Expansion

Our new grapes arrived today – actually, Zachary picked them up in New York State, where he had to travel for work and he drove them to Carlisle (via Ohio to pick up his family). Picking up the grapes eliminated the shipping rate, so we were able to get additional plants.

  • 240 Chambourcin grapes
  • 190 Concord grapes
  • 100 Vidal Blanc grapes
  • 30 Elderberry bushes
We had a lot of helpers:  Zach and Rachel, Jens and Grace, Sam and Caleb, Lars and Caleb’s great-uncle Bill.  We worked as a marking team, a digging team, a planting team and Jeff as “supervisor” and master pruner.  It worked out well, we planted all the Chambourcin’s and 130 of the Concord vines today.  Hoping to finish up tomorrow!