An escape-proof pig pen
I raised pigs in the past and had great success. (Giving pork away since I had too much) I was traveling a lot for work and the babies would get out and root up the neighbors yard while I was gone and my wife couldn’t keep them contained so I got rid of them. I want to make a concrete floor block knee wall pen for them separated so I can separate the male and female when I need to. Any suggestions? I would make a “pool” in the floor for them to keep cool. It will be covered also. How big for one pig (male) and a mother with babies. I would keep a few babies and sell any excess when they are old enough. Any suggestions?
I’d like to see adult pigs to have at least a 12×12-foot pen for each. A sow and babies could share this pen if it had a corner blocked off for a creep-away-from-mom area to avoid crushing and let them begin to eat solid food on their own. You could make your block walls only a block high with posts set in the concrete floor, up through blocks, set in the concrete to keep them from rooting under and use boards or stock panels for the fencing. Pigs are very strong animals who love to root; it’s their nature.
I don’t think I’d make a pool for them as it tends to get real messy real fast. Instead, spray the pigs down or spray the concrete on hot days and make sure they have plenty of shade. — Jackie
Canning fast-food chicken
I have recently made a deal with a fast food chicken restaurant. At the end of the day, they will put all unsold fried and broiled chicken in freezer bags and save them in the freezer for me to pick up the next day. I have been de-breading the chicken, cutting it up into pieces, and canning it.
I thaw it out in the fridge, keep everything sanitized, and pressure can the chicken. I make the stock from the bones of the chickens. I’ve pressured canned about 14 pints and 6 quarts so far.
My question: Is this a safe practice? (It sure is good and I can’t beat the price – free.)
Good for you, Kathy! Free is my favorite price. Yes, this is fine. If you’d eat there, the chicken is okay for you to hold in the freezer, thaw, and can up. — Jackie
I was looking at my 2013 seed catalogs today and notice the ads for the “grafted vegetable plants.” In theory it sounds good but I wonder what you think. The price is pretty high, too, and don’t know if the benefits would be worth the cost.
Fergus Falls, Minnesota
Sorry (seed companies), but I really don’t think grafted vegetable plants are worth the price to homesteaders. The photos of ungrafted vs. grafted plants are really misleading. None of my ungrafted tomato plants look at all like those shown! I’d think I was doing something wrong! As mine are super productive, I can’t see any reason to pay that much for grafted plants. In a commercial situation…maybe. A big maybe. They’re still expensive. — Jackie