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Your Homestead Tell and show others with words and pictures how you built or are building your homestead and how you keep things going day-to-day. One thread per member, please.

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  #61  
Old 04-22-2012, 09:15 PM
macgeoghagen macgeoghagen is offline
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Daughter turns 1 soon. I'm making her a kiddie car. It is supposed to look like a 23 ford. The picture below shows the differences between "supposed to" and 'is". It will eventually be a bold bubblegum pink color. The rear wheels are covered up to keep from running over toes.
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  #62  
Old 04-30-2012, 04:14 PM
macgeoghagen macgeoghagen is offline
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one chick hatched last night. im hoping that the others will hatch over the course of the next day or two.
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  #63  
Old 05-01-2012, 01:22 PM
macgeoghagen macgeoghagen is offline
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Dun Macgeoghagen may move in 5 years. This decision is determined by the groundwater. Any place with undrinkable groundwater is no place to homestead. My reasoning is that any water you get through a pipe from somebody else is water that can be shut off by somebody else. Laws have no effect. Even if it is illegal for a municipality to cut off water, a "state of emergency" may suspend such laws, forcing people into water handout lines. Water from an outside source, whether it is a handout line or municipal water tower can be tainted by anyone with access to the source. There was talk in europe a few years back about adding lithium to the water supply to make people more docile. I am sure that authorities in the US are interested in controlling the citizenry through additives to the water supply.
If I am to move from a place, I must move to another place. Along with groundwater quality, there are many other factors to decide upon. Climate, sources of pollution, population density, racial makeup, crime, soil fertility, distance from "civilization",and previous use are all important factors to consider.
Groundwater: The land must have good water under it. It is important to be far from landfills, factories, power plants, and industrial farms. Each of these sources leak chemicals into the land that eventually make their way into the groundwater.
Climate: You need to live where the plants you eat will grow and the animals you eat will thrive. If i move to the frozen tundra, I can be guaranteed minimal pollution, but I won't enjoy it and the green beans won't grow.
Pollution is more than smoke, industrial chemicals and litter. There is noise and light pollution as well. I want to see the stars at night and hear the birds in the morning. If i am close to a city I will not be able to enjoy either one. I can control my own level of noise and light emmission, but not other people's. Thats not to discount trash. A pile of shingles, if left alone, will foul up the land under them. I don't want to buy a piece of land that is littered with old couches, beer bottles, and meth by-products.
I would rather not live near other people. Individuals are okay if experienced for short periods of time. But people are a problem. They inflict themselves on their neighbors. They vote. This is a problem because half the population is below average. Half the population is also more authoritative than average. Half the population is also more conceited than average. When these meddlesome idiots form groups, you get a government. It could be a town council, HOA, county commission, or whatever. I have lived in towns enough to never want to do that again.
Diversity is ok until a disaster. Once a hurricane hits, all that politically correct garbage goes away. People turn on each other, starting with the people who are different. I would rather not live anywhere that "kill whitey" is a viable reaction to a natural disaster or economic trouble.
Each environment has its own crime of choice and illegal drug of choice. I must pick a type of crime that I can either tolerate or guard against. For rural areas, the crime is breaking into outbuildings and the drug is meth. These two go together. It is easy to recognise a meth-head. The area I have chosen to move to is also used to grow cannabis plants. Those are mostly grown for export to the cities. Guns and dogs are decent protection against these sorts of criminals. They don't go after hard targets. They are looking for an easy way to get money. an unlocked door and a widescreen TV is a more tempting target than a lock, dog, gun, and an old weedeater as prize.
I'll want to grow food. It is easier in dark topsoil than sand or clay. Thats not to discount those soils altogether. Chickens can live on poor soil eating grass and scratching for bugs. The chicken poo fertilizes the ground. But some soils are just unfit to grow food in. If somebody thought it was a good idea to leave a trash pile of shingles, old paint cans, and plastic oil bottles; that soil is permanently unclean.
While I don't care for civilization, my wife wants to live close enough to a town to have access to shopping or the hospital. I see the wisdom in this. If somebody is wounded it would be more convenient to have a hospital within lifesaving distance. Road frontage is aso a factor to consider. If it has no road frontage, then there is a low likelihood that somebody dumped a broken appliance off a truck into a ditch.
You need to know what the previous owners used the land for. If it was an industrial farm then the soil is probably dead. If it was a hunting camp then there is probably minimal human impact on the land. A few bits of lead here and there won't kill you, and modern non-toxic shot is even less likely to poison your crops.

I'll keep you updated on the methods and tools that i'll be using to determine where exactly to live.
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  #64  
Old 05-09-2012, 12:32 PM
macgeoghagen macgeoghagen is offline
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For me, the most enjoyable tool for finding a new place to homestead is a large wall map. The best maps provide up to date, relevent data. Political boundaries, rivers, forests, mountains, and cities are the most important. If you can find a map that also shows population density then that is even better. One can make clear overlays out of document protectors to fill in other data such as pollution sources and soil characteristics. David Imus made the best map of the continental US that I have seen.
http://imusgeographics.com/sites/def...120206-dpi.jpg
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  #65  
Old 05-10-2012, 01:32 PM
macgeoghagen macgeoghagen is offline
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If a picture is worth a thousand words, a map is worth a thousand lines of driving directions, a thousand pages of a travel guide, or a thousand reams of census data. When looking at a map of a far off country, I wonder what is there. When looking at the google maps satellite pictures of an area its like being suspended above the landscape. I can folllow a road or a river along the screen and imagine what it woud be like to take a motorcycle ride down that road or a canoe down the river. I can look at people's houses from above and its like meeting them. The stuff they leave in their yards and the state of their landscaping is like a biography. Street view is like being an untouchable, invisible peeping tom. One needs only ask "why is this so?" A boarded up old house with trees growing at the foundations while a fairly new double wide trailer sits in the back yard tells a story of working class despiration struggling to afford middle class comforts, A man who just doesn't have the energy or time to keep the house his great grandfather built from falling in around his ears. He probably works 12 hour shifts to keep his wife and kids in a livable house and is barely holding onto his land and his pride.
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  #66  
Old 05-13-2012, 10:55 PM
macgeoghagen macgeoghagen is offline
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I put the first coat of pink on the kiddie car. This link is to the photo bucket album. http://s1125.photobucket.com/albums/...0Kiddie%20Car/

Lump and Mr. Handsome no longer get along. Lump is a very dutiful rooster. He gives the hens first pick of everything to the point of starving himself. I pulled him out of the pen and offered him some of the bits of gristle and fat from my steak. He piled the steak bits together and called the hens to come eat even though they were separated. Mr. Handsome was at the bottom of the pecking order. He did not call the hens over to eat, but he always got last pick at feeding time. Lump ended up losing a lot of weight for his dedication to duty. Mr Handsome eventually tired of his position at the bottom and began fighting Lump. He was winning for a while, but was a dishonorable winner. He would chase lump around even after Lump was beaten and bloody. So I pulled him out and separated him. These roosters are surprisingly non-agressive toward me. Even with murder on his pea-sized mind, Mr. Handsome was easy to pick up and hold like a feathery football.
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  #67  
Old 05-16-2012, 02:23 AM
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CountryGuy CountryGuy is offline
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Read your posts from start to finish. Thanks! Excellent writing and love the humor you weave in. Also enjoy the photos as they really let us be there with you.

Very inspiring!
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  #68  
Old 05-18-2012, 05:42 PM
macgeoghagen macgeoghagen is offline
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I try to stick bits of humor in here and there. It makes for a more enjoyable read.

Moving Dun Macgeoghagen: scaling information.
A useful technique to use when picking a place to live is scaling information to the level that you are looking at. I like to go from big to small, starting at a global level.

On a global level, I will look at world maps. Not just the political maps that show colored blotches for countries and labeled dots for capital cities. I actually don't like those maps at all. They are useful for memorizing names of countries and their capitals, but nothing else. I will be looking at maps of things that matter:
Human factors: population density, degree of freedom, degree of stability, languages spoken, war, laws.
Environmental factors: Climate, vegetation cover, rainfall, pollution.

Starting at the global level eliminate countries that are inhospitable due to war, deserts, tundra, totalitarian governments, unstable governments(to a degree), dense population, or who speak a language that you don't know and don't intend to learn. For my purposes, I will also eliminate countries where I can't take my guns with me. I also want a long growing season.

Looks like I will be staying in the US.
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  #69  
Old 05-27-2012, 02:53 AM
macgeoghagen macgeoghagen is offline
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I have had 19 eggs in an incubator for almost 3 weeks. One chick hatched out half an hour ago and is bumbling around and working on getting fluffy. Several others have pecked holes in their shells. The 21 day mark is tomorrow afternoon, so the rest have plenty of time to get out.
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  #70  
Old 05-27-2012, 05:53 PM
macgeoghagen macgeoghagen is offline
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http://s1125.photobucket.com/albums/...agen/chickens/
videos of chickens
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  #71  
Old 05-29-2012, 12:43 AM
macgeoghagen macgeoghagen is offline
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Now that the chicks look like they will all survive, I can count them. There are 6 black copper marans and 3 red game mix. Its just under 50% hatch rate, but many of the eggs I put in the incubator were over a week old. They are all reasonably healthy. They eat, drink, poop, and play. I uploaded two more videos to the album at the link above.
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  #72  
Old 06-12-2012, 12:05 AM
macgeoghagen macgeoghagen is offline
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Chicks are 16 days old today. They have grown their primary wing feathers. The black copper marans have also started growing their foot feathers. Videos at http://s1125.photobucket.com/albums/...agen/chickens/
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  #73  
Old 06-12-2012, 01:29 AM
mo4pintn mo4pintn is offline
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I thoroughly enjoyed reading your thread from the beginning. Thanks for sharing with us. Look forward to continuing to follow your thread.
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  #74  
Old 06-19-2012, 11:38 AM
macgeoghagen macgeoghagen is offline
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Oddly enough, I'm contemplating a move to TN. What do you think of Jackson county, TN?
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  #75  
Old 06-19-2012, 10:57 PM
macgeoghagen macgeoghagen is offline
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The georgia jungle is full of food, at least the part where I live is. Blackberries are in season. Blueberries are ripening. Some type of wild grape will be in season closer to fall. Pecans are small and green, but will be plentiful this fall. In the meat department, there are squirrels and deer. There are also woodpeckers and cardinals for those who prefer fowl.
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  #76  
Old 06-30-2012, 04:21 PM
macgeoghagen macgeoghagen is offline
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Mr. Gamecock is dead. That is certain. He died from a combination of things, being aggressive, budget cuts, space requirements, breeding himself to obsolescence, and a .22 rifle.

he has been marked for death for some time. He was to aggressive for his own good. Changing his drinking water was always a fight. Collecting eggs was a pain, as I didn't know when he would figure out that my hand was within easy reach.

I have 16 chicks who will need space. There are 9 juveniles and 7 fluffballs. Three juveniles and 3 chicks are Mr. Gamecock's offspring. The 9 will need his house and his covered run to keep the hawks off. The 7 will need the hutch that the juveniles are in now. It involves cleaning everything with bleach and applying shell flour.

Since he has offspring, I no longer need him. That is where the .22 comes in. Not only is Mr. Gamecock a vicious ruffian, he is crafty. He can outwit a blanket, net, box, or whatever it is I try to catch him in. So I shot him. I got some of the winchester small game hollowpoint .22LR. They go in, but they don't come out.

Mr. Gamecock got one last crow, then I shot him off his perch with a shot to center body mass. The .22 expanded inside, destroying all his internals. Mrs. Gamecock was quite upset about it.

I caught her later and put her in a cage. She spent the night caged in the other chicken house. I let her out this morning with the other chickens. Lump and Mr. Handsome(who get along now) were both very interested in her. The hens were not. They ignored her for the most part.
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  #77  
Old 07-06-2012, 01:25 AM
macgeoghagen macgeoghagen is offline
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When moving to a new place, human intelligence is an important factor to consider. Not the IQ of the population, but what people are like there. What do they do on saturday night? where do they go to church? how do they vote? are they hostile toward newcomers? The information is out there if you look.

Find their town newspaper. You can usually get a good feel for the local area by reading the police blotter and letters to the editor. also the calendar of local events is a good way to see what they do for fun.

Read the craigslist ads for the area. the things people try to sell says a lot about a community. Don't forget the personals, but remember, these are the town losers.

Find the phone listings. This can tell you what types of businesses are in the area. White pages dominated by a single last name are a warning sign. Such places are likely to be hostile to newcomers.

Check the real estate listings. landandfarm.com is my favorite due to the advanced search features. The pictures can tell you a lot about what types of land people are selling.

the 2010 census data is public. This can tell you population makeup and density.

voting records are public. check the county and precinct for the area you want to move to. look at the district representative's website. look at the county political parties' websites. Move to a place where people who vote your way live. Check for a local libertarian, constitution, or Christian party. The degree of influence a certain party has indicates whether or not the population is politically active and which way they lean.

Last edited by macgeoghagen; 07-06-2012 at 01:31 AM.
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  #78  
Old 07-11-2012, 03:59 PM
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That's a great read, Dun, and you've made some good progress. You've inspired me to chronicle our homestead.
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  #79  
Old 07-11-2012, 09:27 PM
macgeoghagen macgeoghagen is offline
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The chickens must have been watching univision. Their habits resemble a mexican soap opera.

Lump and Mr. Handsome hate each other. Mr. Handsome chases Lump away regularly.

One of the hens is broody, but has no eggs to sit on.

The black copper marans hens hate the red hen. They chase her away from food.

Neither lump nor the red hen are allowed in the chicken hutch. they end up sleeping on the woodpile.

All hens are missing feathers on their backs from Mr. Handsome's attention.

I pulled out the broody hen and both roosters and incarcerated them separately. Hopefully it will get the hen over being broody and allow the other hens' feathers to grow back in.

Maybe I should start video-taping them and getting voice actors to add spanish dialogue.
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  #80  
Old 07-11-2012, 11:49 PM
macgeoghagen macgeoghagen is offline
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i will probably read your chronicle when you put it up. I have never been to Missouri.
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