Well our weeks are starting to blend together as we're in the final sprint to get done... cows start getting milked in the barn December 8th and there's still A LOT to do before then. Dan's been working long days... as in 18 hour days most every day this week and his phone rarely stops ringing as he runs back and forth around the barn answering questions for the concrete crew, robot installers, and all the other equipment folks who are getting their jobs done!
I'm sure I'll miss something that's happened this week in my review as I don't even always know what's happened... when we get a chance to talk it's usually been a need-to-know-to-get-the-next-thing-done basis. Not that you'll have any idea but somehow we didn't take a single picture on Wednesday... it's been busy! So here we go...
More and more concrete was poured. Alleyways & crossovers that need to get grooved (so they're not as slippery) are done as well as areas that will need equipment like barn cleaner and scrapers or feed bins. Once again our crew worked Saturday to get it all done! On a side note the robot installers (from the East Coast) were surprised that concrete was delivered on Saturday, but we weren't surprised 'cause it was a really nice mid-November day and I'm SURE we weren't the only ones desperate to pour concrete before the COLD comes!
Next up is all the work the robot installers have done, working long days as well! I won't even be able to tell you all that they got done because really I don't understand it all :) but I know they got things like the wash controller, milk line/pipes, safety gates, other gates, and lots and lots of other things done all related to getting the robot ready to milk the cows in 3 weeks!
And then all the little but not-so-little things that happened in the barn... the electrician and plumbers were around this week working on all their lists, which means we have in-floor heat & a toilet inside! Cold porta-potty be gone! A lot of the freestalls were hung up in the barn making it look even more like a dairy barn! The boot wash grate was dropped in making an even surface as people come in and out.
This is the third dairy barn that Dan's Grandpa Pete has helped install the freestalls as he helped in Dan's parent's barn over 35 years ago when it was built as well as at his original farm. This is the first set of free stalls the kids have helped install and we hope they don't have to install them again for quite awhile! Buddy Boy especially enjoyed helping both Daddy & Papa Pete and although his attention span was short was actually quite capable and helpful at putting the washers & nuts on the bolts!
And to top top off everything else since we're the first in Iowa to install the AMS Galaxy the state of Iowa milk inspectors all came for a tour and pre-inspection on Thursday spending much of the day here.
Inside the Guest House the mudroom/office wall & ceiling panels were finished up and then more and more layers of tape and mud went on the walls and ceiling. The really exciting stuff like stairs, texture, paint and more is on it's way!
Yesterday & today Dan was able to get his office/mudroom area set up with some stairs, cabinets & counter tops from his grandparent's former kitchen and a corner desk. The computer aspect of the robot will be installed Monday and Tuesday. When we stopped by today the kids had fun "helping" using daddy's tools.
I don't think things will be slowing down anytime soon with Thanksgiving and a short work week ahead we only have 2.5 work weeks before the cows are in! Although the week has ended it's also just beginning....
And I'm starting to recruit people to help during start up so if you have experience calmly handling cows let me know and I'll get you in the schedule!
Growing up a city-girl, after marrying my dairy farmer husband and spending a few years abroad, we came home to expand the family dairy farm and want to share our journey & farm life with you!