Gulf Coast Thanksgiving



  • Don't want no stinking turkey! Wild Caught Matagorda Bay White Shrimp, Speckled Trout and onion rings all fried up with tater salad and iced tea. Tonight the same thing but all grilled. Everybody be safe.
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  • Man I’d love to be at your house! I hate thanksgiving turkey and dressing never been a fan of either!



  • @bull81
    Already ate yard buzzard twice in the last week. We've done tamales, bbq brisket, and oysters before for Thanksgiving dinner. I'm no big hater of turkey it's just sometimes either isn't cooked right or the dang bird was just rank to begin with. Nothing worse than dry white meat and no gravy to help it. Dressing ain't supposed to have apples and gooey things in it either but some people clean their ice box out when they make it.


  • administrators

    That looks really good!



  • Looks like you won Thanksgiving! We waited until Saturday so everyone could be at the ranch. Turkey was perfect. Big roaster full of cornbread dressing with about four sets of giblets and sage, a huge tureen of giblet gravy, sweet potatoes, homemade punkin pie, green beans, and fresh brewed ice tea. The men cleaned deer until noon while the loves of our lives cooked. Every dish in the house was dirty when it was time to wash up. All the men went out to hunt with dishpan hands. I might not have been the only one who took a wee deer blind nap. Lee killed a big hog just before dark so supper didn’t get started until nearly 9:00. Men cook Thanksgiving supper so we sliced up a deer liver and the hog liver which we sautéed with onions and fresh elephant garlic from the garden. Cracklin gravy, mashed taters, roasted Brussels sprouts and a buttermilk pie the girls stirred up while we were hunting. Up until nearly time to get up letting all that settle, washing it all down with scotch so expensive none of us drink it the rest of the year. Back in the blinds 3.5 hours later. Pretty sure the better 3/4s are going to be driving all us home tonight. The boss isn’t getting much out of us Monday, that’s for sure.



  • @rr2241tx
    We were invited to have dinner at the ranch that adjoins my place in Frio County Saturday and had the traditional turkey and all the trimmings also. I forget what the head count was, around twenty I guess including four little ones. My wife made cornbread dressing and I ate dressing made from only white bread the other Mrs. made. Never had that before and the two older daughters said they never had cornbread dressing so I guess it was a new experience for both sides. One of the grandsons dropped a nice buck the evening before and the only evidence left was the head in the back of his truck that was getting some attention before the meal was laid out and after we ate one of the great grandsons of the rancher got to get behind a .243 for the first time down at the tank. Tender age of eight years old and the Momma made sure he had his ears and eyes protected under much protest of the kid. Around 4:30 they all headed to the blinds and we said our goodbye's. We watched a little six point buck that came in our field and one sounder of about thirty pigs that shot in about four hundred yards up wind from the barn right at dark. They have wrecked about twenty acres of the field but it's getting plowed this week. The other half is in oats that need some sunshine and a shot of fertilizer. I tried running my tractor with a disc to clean up the hog wallow but I almost get thrown out of the seat even creeping along in low range. Got Jimmy coming with his track rig if he's done thrashing peanuts, makes good time in the holes.
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  • @bigfoot Sounds like good times with the neighbors. Hogs got in our yard and tore it to pieces. They were considerate though and left us a path to the back door from the detached garage. Wind had everything hunkered down in the brush. Ended up spending Sunday night at the ranch waiting for the norther to blow through before breaking down the rest of the hog. That went well in daylight. Got back home just before dark.

    That tracked rig looks like he’s used to dealing with soft footing. Wish my old Ford was set up like that. Going to push my luck and overseed the coastal field Wednesday. Hope I don’t end up walking back to the house carrying my boots.



  • @rr2241tx
    You see lots of these around there. I think he can run around six miles an hour pulling a sixteen foot offset disc even in the hog wallers. It took over fifty hours to run over a hundred acres with my garden tractor. You ought to see the equipment these coastal farmers use, mind boggling.
    My tiny orange tractor:
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  • Hah... I'll take a picture of the equipment the flat landers up here run sometime.

    You can't imagine how big everything is. @rhyno... take a picture of some of the stuff in your area... I'm sure it's just as big.



  • @bigfoot There's a lot of farmers and ranchers who did a better job of Strategic Birth than I did. The family land is worth more than it can produce in agricultural use within a dozen lifetimes...unless mesquite thorn futures really take off in the near future.



  • Here’s our highest HP Tractor, (9560rt) about 560 engine horsepower, it’s hooked up to a 13 shank disk ripper about 32.5’ wide.
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    This is what I’ve been in the last week from 6pm til about 4am, 8970 with a big ol Cummins, I think they were 400hp when they came out but it’s been turned up to ~450hp, 11 shank ripper about 27.5’ feet wide I think we were running it 22” deep this year. It’s also straight piped so it’s loud.
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    Then we demoed this Tractor, which is a newer slightly more powerful version of the one we have but ours was at the other shop. Not sure how big the disc is on it, but ours runs another 13 shank disk ripper, physically the biggest tractor we have. This is a 540 Case Quad trac, ours is a 535 and a bit older.
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    Our widest piece of equipment is this sprayer unfolded it’s 120’ feet wide, and it runs 14-15 mph in the field, or faster depending on how rough it is. You can get a lot done. I’m about 6’1” the tires are taller then me even in work boots.
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    Our planter was in the shed, we have a 90’ planter which is about the biggest you’ll find in this area, they make a 120’ planter but it’s a little too big for how we farm.

    Those are about the biggest items we run, not including the combines but those are pretty much all the same size anymore.

    Those big tractors are pretty fun to run.



  • There we go. I knew @rhyno would have the serious gear close at hand. lol



  • My favorite one to run is this one though.
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    Minus, it has to snow first. But it’s fun to run.



  • Yep, there's some massive equipment used nowadays. I haven't seen a Case like that around here not saying none of these flat land farmers don't have a couple behind the barn. I do know one thing, snow plows aren't in the shed waiting to be hung on down the coast. Rubber tire tractors are more common here but out west where my property is you see lots of track rigs and JD green is the common color. There used to be a bunch of rice farmers here but their water supply got shut off but a handful is left using private wells as a water source. There is talk of letting our canal system tapping back into the Colorado River but most of the rice farmers have sold their equipment and either row crop or moved on to cattle ranching. I have seen those massive planters in use along Highway 35 and 87 where it's flat as piss on a rock. No rows either, flat planted. Can be a disaster in a monsoon season like we get. A question for "Rhyno", is the soil where you farm sandy or gumbo? This stuff on the coast is black gumbo, goes from hard as a rock to muddy slush but around Bigfoot where my place is it's red dirt with some black land in it if you're lucky. When that red stuff gets dry it takes some horsepower to break it. They usually try to run a sub soiler prior to fall planting there. I don't see how my Grandfather farmed that place for years with a Farmall gasoline engine tractor. He had several hundred acres in cultivation and they hand grubbed the white brush out of a lot of it before they ever stuck a plow in it. Years later dozers were brought in and they pulled ship anchor chains between two of them and leveled the brush then pushed it up into piles and we burned it for years. Of course it was root plowed by dozer and I remember going out and picking up dead roots that kept turning up. Made good fire starters for the fireplace. At some time all the crop land was laid out into terraces to save all the runoff from rain but over the years the other guys that farmed it have plowed it back pretty flat. The first crop they brought in on the hundred acres there at the house was broom corn. A lot of hand work and my dad said he was still itching from that stuff when he was seventy years old. It must have been before 1940 when this happened. My dad was a little kid but remembered it. The last tractor my Grandfather had was a 40 20 John Deere, a warhorse compared to the Farmall's he had. It's still being used on another farm today from what I hear. The large part of our farm was sold and is now a coastal hay operation / cattle / hunting place that is part of a large ranch that adjoins it.
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  • Yeah, my 45 hp Ford would have trouble pulling the fuel wagon for Rhyno's rigs.

    We have mostly hilly granite soil at the ranch and once bought a D8 dozer to try and address the brush problem. Danged thing wouldn't stay on top of the ground. There are potholes of powdery dust that won't hold up big stuff when dry and are essentially quicksand when wet. After several years of frustration and having to dig the dozer out with my skid steer loader my Dad sold the dozer and spent the money remodeling the ranch house that no one lives in.

    There was a really clean, low hour D5 with AC, U blade, three shank rippers and a root plow, riding on LGP tracks that looked almost new sitting beside the road at a hobby ranch on the way to our place. The owner obviously bought it to clean up the place and was ready to let it go for about the sales tax on a new rig. Better 3/4s baked me a chocolate cake instead. Probably just as well as it would surely now be stuck but good if she'd let me buy it.



  • @bigfoot a lot of sand, some heavier ground. A lot of sandy loam, none of it should really be farmed, if it wasn’t for irrigation it would all be pasture land and it should probably all still be that way now. Our heaviest ground was the lightest ground when I lived in Minnesota, part of the reason the potato guys like the area.

    We have a lot of Deere, the boss and his family use to own the Deere dealership in town, he’s got a few restored tractors from the 4010, 4020 era, and a fairly rare tractor with hydraulic front wheel assist that’s all original.



  • @rr2241tx
    My daddy would have said " I wish he had a feather stuck up his behind and I had the money that thing cost. We'd both be tickled. " Standing beside that thing of Jimmy's I could smell money and i think I'm wrong about the size disc he pulled on my place. Anyway, he made a sweet deal on his. It had a brand new out of the crate engine in it and after he had it a month or so discovered it was a year older than they represented it to be so he went back to the table for another round of negotiations and came out with some new equipment and another small tractor. My cousin has a D6 or 8, I can't remember what and a fairly new rubber tired monster tractor equipped with a skid plate used mostly for shredding and brush work. He has a big grader blade with hydraulic controls I guess a four way that he does road work with. His place is over three sections with lots of roads. I had a maintainer down there two weeks ago to do drainage work and still have to pay that guy. With the leather couch that's another fancy gun or scope. When it rains it pours.



  • @rhyno
    Lots of potato farms around Bigfoot/Pearsall. My Great Uncle had a 900 acre irrigated farm that he raised watermelons and cantaloupes on and various other crops that was real sandy. I guess they still run those old 353 Cat natural gas engines for the wells I don't know for sure. My cousin sold it and another big place after his death. It's mainly a potato operation now mostly red skin and white potatoes for chips. Big money crop around there and peanuts. They also grow a lot of winter vegetables, cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli and spinach. Stuff like that. Got some fat deer running around. I even have a cousin in Minnesota that has some kind of farm, Garden City Minnesota is where he lives on the side of a lake. Grandpa dry land farmed and if it wasn't for irrigation that Pearsall area would be all brush again. They've been talking about water allotments but so far nothing has happened. My dad bought an old John Deere B when I was in high school and I had the pleasure of rebuilding the transmission in my Ag Mechanics class. Popping Johnny's they were called. I used to start ours by hand sometimes. You could do it two ways, grab the finger grooves on the flywheel or take the steering wheel off and there was a place to stick the center of the steering wheel into the flywheel if yours didn't have the grooves. I have started both kinds but it's been a while. Open the petcocks on the cylinders and roll it to top dead center give it a spin and with luck it would hit without kicking back and breaking your arm. Shut the petcocks and you were ready to tear up some dirt. Our B came with a cultivator set up on it and we had an old pull behind shredder for it. I think we paid $800.00 for it, probably worth that much for scrap nowadays. Before I forget. What are the steel rollers that are positioned in front of the tracks for? Rock crushers or what?



  • I got to go, we're shooting today.



  • @bigfoot stalk stompers, with the new Corn Hybrids the stalks that are left after picking will eat up tires and tracks, so they just push them over so they don’t jab into them. Helps keep cost down on those big pieces of rubber.

    I only recently got to drive a two cylinder, for a buddies wedding. His grandfather bought it new, his dad overhauled it in highschool, and he overhauled it over the last year, we used it to shuttle the wedding guests and party back and forth.

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    Starting it is the same way, his dad said back when they used it on the farm they had to keep it running or they got a whooping since they weren’t the easiest to start. Only two speeds low and high, low was a nice easy walking pace and high was slightly faster, could hardly tell any difference.

    I think we would all be better off going back to those days with more farms and smaller equipment, but those days are gone, where I’m working it was a Family farm until the year before I started, the family had a big fight and they all went separate ways and my boss partnered up with a larger outfit. The perks are we get new equipment all the time. Unfortunately the bosses kids never had much interest in farming, had they he probably wouldn’t have done it and just downsized to keep it in the family. The family had built an pretty amazing operation, from farming a handful of quarters to around 70 quarters, kind of a shame it went the way it did.

    In this area most places are divided into 1 mile square sections and then into quarters, an irrigated quarter is about ~135 acres depending on end guns.



  • @rhyno .Stalk stomper, I'll be danged. I took that picture of my neighbors in front of my main gate after he stopped to do an adjustment on the track. He didn't like running his on the gravel road but it's a pain to move it with the haul truck. He put about seventy grand in his in track work after he ran it a while. The original motor got fried because of the long cowling on it cracked and the previous owner kept running it. It breathes through that cowling and ate a bunch of dirt before they realized what happened. He's had it patched and finally has used duct tape and flex seal to keep it going. They don't give those new hoods away either. He needs to take it to a fiberglass shop and have the dang thing beefed up. That's an old tractor you drove for sure, I bet it had iron wheels in the rear also at one time. I have some pictures of my mothers mother when they farmed rice in Houma Louisiana standing in front of some old iron wheeled tractors, pretty cool. Bet they rode rough but no flats. The large farms are the only ones left, some owned by huge conglomerates. We even have an Argentine owner here that bought the entire holdings of a big family group of farms. Still have a few family ones but I don't know for how much longer. Their kids are slowly finding other occupations that have a stable income and retirement. Kind of like the shrimping business I was in, going by the wayside.



  • @rhyno said in Gulf Coast Thanksgiving:

    kind of a shame it went the way it did.

    Greed is doing this to more and more farm/ranch families.



  • @bigfoot I like the tracked tractors, we rode all of our stuff so it’s hard on things, keeping the road speed down around 20mph helps. We usually try and throw talc inside the tracks along the midframe rollers as well when we have to go real far.

    I’ve replaced a couple of those hoods when I worked at the dealership, it was not a good design and a lot of them failed in various spots.

    The 20 series overall was a good tractor, the 30 series seemed to have a bunch of electronic issues early.

    The tractor did have steel wheels, but they got replaced, that would have been a real neat experience to drive with the steel wheel.



  • @rhyno Thanks for sharing. Love big toys. I used to build tractor barn up in the Panhandle in the early 70s when center pivot machines were all the rage. Lots of oil revenue for those guys got spent on turning big straight tractors into pulling toys.

    There were two basic styles of steel drive wheels: wide and flat with small grousers and skinny with tall, paddle like grousers. Neither one was really bad on the right ground but traction was inferior to lugged pneumatic rubber tires. What really sucked was driving on hard gravel roads. There were a variety of blocks that were affixed to the rear wheels for roading. We had an old JD tricycle and a single cylinder Oliver that both still had steel wheels. There was a reason tractor seats were on long leaf springs. Those things would make paté of your liver even on relatively smooth soft ground.

    I’m an old softy now, spent 6 hours broadcasting winter rye on the heifer pasture today with a Ford 4600 with 500# over foamed fronts and calcium sulfated rears. Nearly had to call 911 to get me down from that sorry seat. Dry summer opened up a lot of big, deep cracks in the black clay that 18 inches of rain in October didn’t smooth out. Might as well have ridden directly on the transmission housing.



  • @rr2241tx said in Gulf Coast Thanksgiving:

    Nearly had to call 911 to get me down from that sorry seat.

    hahaha! That had me laughing.