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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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  #81  
Old 08-16-2012, 01:12 AM
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We are still eating on that beef loin we bought at Sam's Club a couple years ago for $1.99/lb., and I thought THAT was high at the time! I may have to harvest some tree-rat, or something.
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  #82  
Old 08-16-2012, 01:19 AM
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1400lbs and you got 850 lbs---wow!!!
You really did well.

Will you get the bones also?
Fats?

My mouth is watering. Hereford is good meat.
So much of meat is angus here
and I amnot that crazy about it.

Congrats

annie
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  #83  
Old 08-16-2012, 02:44 AM
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Not to worry Patience, I think the pork this fall will be significantly less expensive.

Txanne, yeah for Hereford, 60% isn't bad. Yep, we asked for the soup bones and asked for tallow, but they don't do that. We've got so much going on that I didn't want to commit to having to render that down now either. Yet another benefit to someday growing our own, we can get it processed on our schedule, not someone else's.

I agree on Hereford beef. Growing up, Dad has a somewhat mixed herd most of the time, but pretty much always kept a Hereford bull. Keeping our own breeding stock, we usually had 3/4 Hereford, 1/4 Angus or whatever that went in the freezer. I don't recall ever really having any straight Hereford cows, probably because the hybrids usually perform better than straight bred stuff.

At the end of the day, that's probably the biggest reason why we grow as much of our food as we do, the way we do; I was spoiled with good food growing up and I'm not willing to compromise with the lesser quality stuff available in the grocery stores. Well, that and knowing how a lot of the commercial stuff is grown and handled. No thanks..
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  #84  
Old 08-16-2012, 11:34 AM
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You are so right about quality.
Most of the beef industry uses
the growth hormone to speed
up the time a rancher has to
feed and care of beef cattle.

Yuck!

txanne
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  #85  
Old 08-16-2012, 02:14 PM
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Twice now we butchered a Dexter bull. the guy who did the butchering for us said he never saw such meaty animals. I rendered the tallow and made soap. Half of it went to some neighbor. we both have enough soap to last a long time.

We have another bull calf, born on the place.

I would like to learn to cut up my own meat and rent a bone saw or the like.
We also found that our favorite meat is goat. and they are much easier and faster. born in early spring and butchered in late fall. Probably the cheapest to produce.

a while back DH bought some meat at Wal mart. I was upset at him, but it smiled and beckoned at him, so he could not resist. boy was that a mistake. It was awful. I guess a lot of folks have no idea what good food is supposed to be like.
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  #86  
Old 08-16-2012, 03:09 PM
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I've read a lot of good about Dexters, but have never had one that I know of. Personally, I'm wanting Highlands, based on what I read about their quality and the fact that they just look neat.

Other than just not having a way to hang and age them, I'm not too scared of butchering a cow. Actually considered having the locker folks age this one then bring it home in quarters and finish cut it myself. Again, the issues with available time and hot weather, so we figured we'd wait till next time.
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  #87  
Old 08-18-2012, 12:02 PM
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KG

I am of the old school--beef left to hang and age,is unbeatable.

The little Dexters are starting to show up here. They seem to thrive
on the bahia grasses--dont know how they will do the heat--as although
they are shorter,they are also thicker--time will tell,but they seem tough
enough.

Good luck--you work so hard--enjoy your progress on the Farm.

annie
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  #88  
Old 08-19-2012, 11:52 PM
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To tell the truth Annie, I don't really feel like I work hard, but I do stay busy.

Temperature has been down the last couple days and has really felt good. Thursday night we had 1.5" of rain according to Dad's gauge. Plants have really responded well to that.

Yesterday we spent the day working grapes and tomatoes. Reduced (4) 5 gallon buckets of tomatoes to about 6 gallons of finished pulp, ready for seasoning and canning. I think we juiced 75# or so of grapes and finished canning them this morning. Fortunately the grapes are about done. I think we've canned ~40 quarts of concentrate so far and over a dozen pints of jelly.

Today we did some outside work, mowing, weeding, etc. and got a big start on cleaning the chicken coop. Hope to finish that tomorrow evening.

Sweet corn should be ready to pick mid-week. We'll put up 3-4 bushels ourselves, my folks will probably take another 3 or so. That should leave a half dozen bushels to sell.
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  #89  
Old 08-20-2012, 12:13 AM
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Wow the grapes concentrate sounds great--fresh home-made.

If you do work hard its a labor of love huh?

Keepon keeping on--I come to read your progress--and say prayers for your adventure.


Annie
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  #90  
Old 08-21-2012, 03:52 AM
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Got the chicken coop cleaned this evening. Filled the manure spreader about 1/3, just about enough to cover a poor area on the three quarter acre patch that tried to grow oats this year. Not sure why, but since we grew sweet sorghum on the north side of that patch two years ago, that strip has been kind of poor. Personally I think sorghum depletes a lot of nutrients wherever it grows. Need to study more about that I guess.

I wish I could say we got the last of the grapes picked, but I can't. Picked another 25# tonight, will work them up in the morning. Definitely on the downhill run though. For some reason the vines were covered with little bumblebees this evening. Hundreds of them. They seemed to really be enjoying the grapes.

Scored a pretty good find this afternoon on a 10 hole nest box. Local antique guy had it. 50 bucks, looks to be really good shape and complete except for one nest bottom. I think I've got a spare that will fit. Now to get a building done to put it in.
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  #91  
Old 08-22-2012, 02:54 AM
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Annie: I'm pretty lousy when it comes to social skills, please don't take offense that I didn't acknowledge your last post. Really didn't know what to say, so a very heart felt "thank you" is the best that I can come up with. You are very much appreciated! BTW, I'm "enjoying" (really not sure that is the right word given the subject matter) reading your account of your travails in the Preparedness section. I don't know what you've yet to tell, but that you made it through what you've written so far is a testament to your strength. I appreciate you taking time to share it.

Picked up part of the lumber for the 2nd chicken coop this evening. Only got part of it because the treated lumber was so heavy. I don't think the poor truck would have enjoyed being asked to carry much more. I don't know what the new process is that they use to pressure treat lumber, but I'm not impressed. The stuff is so wet I joked about being pulled over on the way home for having a leaky load. Regardless, we've got on hand what we need to build the runners, floor and walls for the coop as well as frame up the new basement shelves. With everything else going on, that'll probably take a week or two. I'll make a point to take some pictures to post as we go.

Checked the field corn patch a little more closely this evening. I think we'll have a crop. A lot of corn that I'm seeing now looks decent on the outsides of the field but further in has nothing. Checked the center of our patch and everything looks OK. I'd guess that 70% of stalks have a fully developed ear. That's almost as good as open pollinated corn will do under the best conditions.

DW had a pretty rough afternoon today. She's been dealing with gall bladder problems for a few months now and controlling it pretty well with diet and supplements, but still has occasional attacks. She had a pretty bad one this afternoon. She'd already made an appointment for surgery in late October, after some seasonal things that she wanted to do were over, but I think she's going to try to bump that up a bit now. It kills me seeing her feeling poorly and not being able to do anything about it. Hope she gets this behind her soon.

Last edited by krapgame; 08-22-2012 at 04:19 AM.
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  #92  
Old 08-22-2012, 06:38 PM
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I've been offline/away since last week. You've made a lot of posts since my last visit, krapgame. And you've got a lot of work done! Congrat's on the successful crops in this difficult year.
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  #93  
Old 08-23-2012, 12:18 AM
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Thanks S2, glad you're back. Wish I could take the credit, but the fact is I just got lucky.

Just got in from picking and shucking a bushel of corn. Really good stuff. I wish I had an acre of it to sell right now, we could make a mortgage payment or two.

Mama Bear decided to reschedule her surgery for next week. I know she's anxious about it, but I'll be glad to see her get some relief. I'm not big on soliciting prayers, but any given for her well being would be appreciated. No need to make a fuss, we'll know.

Time to go work on some shelves.
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  #94  
Old 08-25-2012, 03:09 AM
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I wish you and her the best, as always. Hope this goes without a hitch.
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  #95  
Old 08-25-2012, 05:07 AM
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Thanks Patience! I'm sure it will be, but there's always a little apprehension. She went and had a cardio test today, just to make sure. Said it went really well, so hopefully there won't be any problems related to that at least.
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  #96  
Old 08-25-2012, 03:12 PM
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we got a few pods of grapes this year, wish I had something to barter for some.
prayers and blessings for you and your mommabear.
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  #97  
Old 08-25-2012, 05:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by krapgame View Post
Thanks S2, glad you're back. Wish I could take the credit, but the fact is I just got lucky.

Just got in from picking and shucking a bushel of corn. Really good stuff. I wish I had an acre of it to sell right now, we could make a mortgage payment or two.

Mama Bear decided to reschedule her surgery for next week. I know she's anxious about it, but I'll be glad to see her get some relief. I'm not big on soliciting prayers, but any given for her well being would be appreciated. No need to make a fuss, we'll know.

Time to go work on some shelves.
Prayers said.
Thats a painful condition.
DW will be shucking corn and making jelly again before ya know it.

My prayers offered.

annie
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  #98  
Old 08-25-2012, 07:13 PM
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My DW has stomach problems. They are investigating her gallbladder, too. And DIL had to have her's removed in emergency surgery. That is such a troublesome, annoying ailment.

Tell your wife to be excited about the surgery, instead of apprehensive. Remind her how much better she will feel. It worked that way with DW's knee replacements. She was all anxious about the first one. But it felt so much better, she couldn't wait to get the second one done.
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  #99  
Old 08-26-2012, 12:37 AM
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Thanks for the well wishes everyone. With folks like y'all in our corner, everything has got to be alright.

BWM: trade, let's see; I like fish awfully well. Some good Kentucky Lake shellcrackers might be worth a jar or three.

Annie: Yeah, the last attack lasted a little over 12 hours and she was another day recovering from the exhaustion of it. Couldn't tell it today though by the way she's been working.

S2: I think she's a little of both. She's been on a self imposed, very restricted diet for several months now and I know she's looking forward to being able to eat more normally again. Especially pizza. Can't stand the stuff personally, but I think she could live on it. That was a point of contention when we first got married.

Today, the last of the grapes are now draining. I'll filter them tonight to be canned tomorrow. I've lost track of how many pounds of grapes were picked and quarts of juice were canned. Near as I can remember it was right around 300#, and I think we've got 45-50 quarts with another 6 or so expected tomorrow, plus jelly. That should get us through the winter.

The beef is home and resting comfortably in the freezer. Had to thaw one package of ground beef to make a hamburger for lunch. Pretty tasty. Looking forward to opening a package of ribeyes soon.

Another bushel+ of sweet corn picked, shucked and cut today. Will get about that much more tomorrow. Plenty more in the patch, but with the schedule this week not sure that we'll be able to get any more after tomorrow. Lots of fresh grilled corn on the cob for the week though!

DW has been hard at it in the kitchen today, canning several jars of tomato sauce and salsa, cutting corn, juicing grapes and I don't know what all else. The house really smells good today, but the kitchen is getting almost impassable from all the boxes of filled canning jars that need stowed in the basement.

Started framing the floor for the new chicken coop this evening. Mainly got the layout figured out and a few pieces cut. Tomorrow I hope to start getting it put together and have something to show.
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  #100  
Old 08-29-2012, 02:14 AM
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Kinda quiet on the homestead. Had a really good rain yesterday, something over an inch. Started on the basement shelves, mainly getting the layout worked out for how we want to do them. Should go together pretty quick now that we know the plan.

Spent the evening mowing the new property. Got about 2 acres of it mowed. I've been eying a spot that catches a lot of drainage as a possible pond location. Once we get that property fenced, if it has water it could be used as a self sustaining pasture if ever need be. The trade off is that we'd have to give up a considerable amount of the wood lot. The worst thing that'd be lost is a huge old sycamore tree where I used to target practice with my Dad a lot as a youngster. Lots of memories under that tree.. Gonna have to consider this carefully.

Have about half of the new chicken coop floor framed. Fairly pleased with how it's coming together so far. No pics yet, been working on it at last light and my camera doesn't do well without full light.

Mama Bear goes in for surgery tomorrow. If there are no surprises they expect about 30 min in surgery, ~2 hours recovery and back home by 4:00. I guess it makes me insensitive, but I'm planning a trip across town to get another load of lumber at some point while we're down there. Not much I can really do while she's in recovery anyway and it seems like a practical thing to do. May actually wait until she's released if she's feeling up to a side trip. I'll see what she thinks about it in the morning. I just hope that this takes care of her problem and lets her actually eat again. It's disheartening watching your DW eating cream of wheat for supper night after night because she's afraid that anything better will cause another attack.

Considering replacing one of our deep freezers with a newer model. This one was old when we bought it 22 years ago. Kept thinking it'd give up and we'd have a good excuse to replace it. No such luck. I put the meter on it a few days ago and at current electric rates it costs about $250/year to run it, compared to our newer one which costs about $45/year. Both are about the same size. Electric savings alone would pay for a new one in about 4 years. A more efficient model would also be easier to budget for a PV system, which is now in the planning stages for mission critical appliances. We're planning to put 2 freezers, refrigerator, outdoor wood furnace and furnace air handlers on solar, regardless of what it takes. The appliances and heating will probably be separate systems, because of the budgeting for winter usage for heating. Still very preliminary on this project, lots of thinking yet to be done.
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