BHM's Homesteading & Self-Reliance Forum

Posting requires Registration and the use of Cookies-enabled browser


Go Back   BHM Forum > Homesteading > Homesteading > Your Homestead

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.

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
  #1  
Old 06-12-2012, 10:40 PM
KarenBC's Avatar
KarenBC Female KarenBC is offline
Grand Master Pontificator
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Prince George, B.C., Canada
Posts: 1,392
Default Teapot Acres

How to start a thread about my own place? I guess just jump right in, and as we go along the pieces will fall into place.

Teapot Acres is my little piece of the world, 35 acres in northern British Columbia, about 500 miles north of the US border. The nearest city has a population of 80,000 or so, and takes about 25 minutes to reach.

Have been here since 1990, still renovating and making changes as the dream changes.
The house has been added on to by just about everyone who has ever owned it. The original piece is actually an old school house that was moved onto the property, likely in the 1950s.

About a dozen years ago we cleared some of the forest to make a 17 acre field. I never want to clear land again - have discovered that I'm not a huge fan of picking sticks & roots! Fortunately there are NO rocks on this place. If I find a rock I get excited and tote it into the yard to use.(2 miles down the road - people have rock piles - I'm glad they have them and not me!) The land is totally sand, and has a variety of elevations. It's really obvious where the glacier went through and cut grooves or left sand as it melted. Being sandy we need a good spring rain for the hay to grow. The field is in hay right now, and likely will be for a few years yet. With the cost of fuel I'm not to keen to turn it over. My neighbour & I have a deal where he takes the hay and I get a share of it. Gives me enough bales for my critters.

My goal is to be as self sufficient as possible. Right now I have some critters, and as I get the pens built, plan to get more.

Have raised meat rabbits for a lot of years. My favorites are the Flemish Giants, love how quiet they are. Running 2 purebred Flemish does, a Californian and a grey mystery doe, as well as a purebred Flemish buck.

"Big" livestock at the moment consists of a momma llama and her last year's daughter. Still on a learning curve with them, but have found they are easy keepers. I got them as an extra layer of "protection" to keep the wild things pushed back and away from the birds.

Lots of different birds, a laying flock of Amercaunas and a couple of Welsummers, with Wyndotte & Amercauna roosters.
Also have 4 guinea fowl, a pair of Blue Slate heritage turkeys, a trio of peacocks, and a pair of Toulouse geese.
At this time of year the incubator is going full tilt, with chicken, guinea & turkey eggs.

The bush comes right up to the farm on all sides. Across the road is a big parcel of "Crown" land that is all bush. Behind & beside us the land is owned by a tree growing nursery, but they have left the land around us in forest. The nursery & I share a fairly big pond/swamp at the back. It's far enough back that the mosquitoes don't get to bad. The west side of the property is where the 17 acre field is located, and going on from that is about 20 acres of bush that is reserved for future community use. It gets pretty swampy though and I'm doubtful it will ever be developed.
At some point in the past the road that goes past the house was relocated a bit. That left a very high "berm" between the house and the road. I love that! It's all treed in now, and sure cuts down the noise from the road (dirt bikes & ATVs make more noise than traffic). The other great thing about the berm, it also cuts out the "lookie-Lou" problem, people can't see in the yard at all.

Well there we go - started off! Will add some pics as we go along.
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 06-13-2012, 12:03 AM
kfander Male kfander is offline
Grand Master Pontificator
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Millinocket & St. Agatha, Maine
Posts: 1,979
Default

It sounds like you've got a pretty nice place. I wouldn't consider a bit of swamp land to be a waste, as it has its purposes too, particularly if you like to have some wildlife around.
__________________
That's my opinion and I'm sticking with it unless someone yells at me or something.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 06-13-2012, 02:14 AM
offgridbob's Avatar
offgridbob Male offgridbob is offline
Grand Master Pontificator
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 2,964
Default

It sounds great now all we need are some pictures. Also whats your elevation ? and what kind of wild things you got out in the bush that you have seen. And the name of your big town your by, I would like to look at my Canadian map and get a better picture in my head where your at.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 06-13-2012, 01:57 PM
bookwormom bookwormom is offline
Grand Master Pontificator
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Kentucky
Posts: 5,546
Default

Sounds lovely. Say, does fireweed/willowrose and Meadow Sweet grow there? I miss it.
How is your growing season? Do you have wild blueberries?
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 06-14-2012, 02:01 AM
KarenBC's Avatar
KarenBC Female KarenBC is offline
Grand Master Pontificator
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Prince George, B.C., Canada
Posts: 1,392
Default

I don't mind the swamp land either kfander! I look on it as a firebreak, you are right, lots of wildlife there, and it will also prevent anyone from building behind or on the far side.

I think the elevation is about 2500 - I should know it off by heart being a pressure canner! Prince George is the nearest city. It's a pulp mill city, built where 2 rivers meet, being in a 'bowl' the pulp mill stink tends to collect "in town". There's an gas refinery close to the city too - doesn't help with the air. I'm very very glad to drive out of the city and get back to fresh air and quiet.

Well offgridbob - I haven't seen a grizzly, but one of my 2 "next door" neighbours had one on his porch a few years back. I also haven't seen a cougar, but they are in the area. What I have personally seen: wolf (on front lawn!), black bear, mule & white tail deer, moose, lynx, coyote and fox.

Not sure what willowrose or meadowsweet look like Bookwormom! We do have one willowy shrub that gets a wooden cone that looks like a rose - so perhaps that is what you mean? I often thought if those wooden rose cones were dried they'd be a nice addition to dried flowers. We do get wild blueberries, saskatoons (maybe serviceberry to you?), highbush cranberries, as well as bog cranberries (I need to find a patch of those!), and huckleberry.

The growing season is horribly short. We are Zone 3, frost free is about 70 days I think.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 06-17-2012, 01:53 PM
KarenBC's Avatar
KarenBC Female KarenBC is offline
Grand Master Pontificator
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Prince George, B.C., Canada
Posts: 1,392
Default

When the power slammed off at 4:30pm yesterday due to a cloud burst and wind storm - we had a mini test of our prep plans. The incubator has 75 eggs in it (blue slate turkeys, guinea, banty Amercauna, and regular chicken eggs) - so a lot of value there.

Several weeks back my son & I had discussed what we would do about the incubator if we lost power. Having had that discussion we both reacted right away. He grabbed the small generator and toted it over to the front of the little building the incubator is in. He has been starting the generator on the 1st of every month, so it fired up on the first pull.

While he was dealing with the incubator, I got the fire going in the wood cookstove and the kettle on. Then filled up bottles with the boiling water and pulled old socks over the jars. We have about 20 chicks hatched right now, they are between 2 days & a week old, and I didn't want them chilling. The bottles of hot water did the trick!

If we didn't have plans for the evening, I wouldn't have sweat at all, but we had tickets to see Steve Earle! What to do? The hydro company said the power wouldn't come back on til 8pm, and the generator had to be checked every hour.

Called up my good buddy, (some of the eggs in the incubator are hers), and offered her the tickets for the show. She & her hubby wouldn't hear of it. They "voluntold" their son to come and babysit the generator so that we could go (he's a great guy and didn't mind) Power did come back on just past 8 so he didn't have to make to many trips to refuel the genny.

This little test taught us that being ready (we had gas & water stored, firewood, flashlights, generator serviced) and discussing how we will react to a situation sure ratchets down the stress level. Having good people that will help is great too.

One question - the generator was difficult to start when it had been refueled, took a lot of pulling. But when it was first started and was cold it fired on first pull. So it's something to do with being warm still. Any suggestions?
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 06-19-2012, 01:14 PM
KarenBC's Avatar
KarenBC Female KarenBC is offline
Grand Master Pontificator
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Prince George, B.C., Canada
Posts: 1,392
Default Woodsplitter pics

One of my favorite chores is stacking firewood, love the smell of fresh split pine! A few years back we had a huge epidemic of Mountain Pine Beetles go through our forests in the northern part of this province. There are lots of pine standing dead and very dry, that won't last to many more winters, as the winds will soon be knocking them over like pick-up sticks.

We use a gas powered cone wood splitter. It isn't fast, but I like the pace. With 2 of us, one manning the splitter and one stacking it's a nice pace (and much easier than swinging an ax)

The splitter is set up on a fairly tall table, so that a person using it is standing upright, sure saves the back.





Links to a couple more pics:
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v9...dsplitterC.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v9...dsplitterB.jpg
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 07-22-2012, 06:06 PM
KarenBC's Avatar
KarenBC Female KarenBC is offline
Grand Master Pontificator
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Prince George, B.C., Canada
Posts: 1,392
Default Goslings Hatched Today

The Tolouse goose came up from her shelter with 5 newly hatched goslings this morning. Cute little stuffins. The new gander is in full protective mode. I made the mistake of turning my back on him while I filled a small water bowl for the babies...the bugger nailed me in the back. He gets one free bite, being a brand new dad.

Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 07-22-2012, 06:11 PM
sissy's Avatar
sissy sissy is offline
Grand Master Pontificator
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 1,760
Default

Awww too cute.
Congrates, and I guess you'll be watching dad more closely from now on huh. Sorry he got you.
sissy
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 07-22-2012, 07:47 PM
bookwormom bookwormom is offline
Grand Master Pontificator
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Kentucky
Posts: 5,546
Default

so nice to get to share with others through their pictures. Thanks BCKaren. A gander can bite to actually draw blood. My grandmother always had a flock of geese. I like geese. thanks, goslings are so cute, but not for long.
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 07-22-2012, 09:05 PM
Txanne's Avatar
Txanne Female Txanne is offline
Grand Master Pontificator
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: SE Texas
Posts: 14,228
Default

Ohhhhhhhhh I love little things and goslings are one of my favorite.

You and place are coming along nicely.
best of luck--ya hear? LOL

Came back to add: I ran a 35 & a 45 tonner for 61/2 yrs.
Sat on a stump)) stool and split tons of wood for a wood Co.
Our butts were cut into approx:24 inches in length--and some
of them were of a pretty size diameter---Loved the job--if
that can make sense--

annie
__________________
TROUBLE RIDES A FAST HORSE
CASUS BELLI
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 07-24-2012, 03:11 AM
KarenBC's Avatar
KarenBC Female KarenBC is offline
Grand Master Pontificator
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Prince George, B.C., Canada
Posts: 1,392
Default

I'm not quite sure what a 35 & 45 tonner are Txanne - but sounds like something mechanical to split a LOT of firewood and quickly!


The experiment of planting strawberries in laundry tubs is working! The plants are much bigger and healthier looking than the parent plants in the ground level beds. The trick will be seeing if they survive the winter. Planning to mulch them pretty heavily.

Because they are a nice height to work on, and they are set up in front of the rabbit barn, I tend to pull out any weeds that are trying to grow right away.
We have a row of water barrels along the drip line of this barn - so it's easy to keep up with watering the strawberries.
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 07-24-2012, 11:33 AM
MotherCharlotte's Avatar
MotherCharlotte MotherCharlotte is offline
Master Pontificator
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Ontario
Posts: 895
Default

Those goslings are indeed adorable. "Teapot Acres" is a cute name, too - how did you come up with it?

You are fortunate to not have a "Lookie-Lou" problem at the front of your house - we do have this problem because our house is close to the road and isn't blocked by any trees - yet. We plan to plant as many as we can afford this fall.

Thanks for posting, Karen. I just love reading these types of detailed homestead threads.
__________________
"If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need." --Cicero
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 07-24-2012, 11:51 AM
KarenBC's Avatar
KarenBC Female KarenBC is offline
Grand Master Pontificator
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Prince George, B.C., Canada
Posts: 1,392
Default

Teapot Acres came about because I have a habit of hanging old teapots in the trees, spout down, for bird houses. Have been hiding them in the bush that surrounds the property. I rarely drink coffee...being a tea fan from childhood..so it just fit.

Yesterday we transplanted 5 comfrey plants into the goose pasture. I've been reading up on comfrey (and taking the "experts" warnings with a grain of salt). Apparently it's used in Japan as livestock feed, and geese love it. I had one plant, but a posting on a local gardening website brought a fast response from a lady who lives close. She already had the plants dug up when we got there. Which makes me think that perhaps this stuff grows very easily (read that as being invasive).

Dug big holes and put a few shovelfuls of llama poop in the bottom, in went the comfrey. We had 3 big pieces of concrete wire, so made that into huge tomatoe cage type things to protect the comfrey from the geese until it's established.

I had trimmed the plants down to about 4" in height so the plants didn't have to try and support all that growth. Had a laundry basket of tops. Brought those inside and stripped off the leaves - that gave me a dishwashing basin of leaves. Washed 'em up, and put them through a hand crank onion grinder. Then stuffed them in a quart sized jar and covered the ground comfrey with olive oil. Going to leave it sit for 3 days or so on the counter, then squeeze & strain off the oil. I think it should be a good healing oil.

It's quite pretty in the jar:

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v9...reyCompote.jpg

Last edited by KarenBC; 07-26-2012 at 01:40 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 07-24-2012, 09:27 PM
S2man's Avatar
S2man S2man is offline
Grand Master Pontificator
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Central Missouri
Gender: Male
Posts: 1,126
Default

That jar looks great, Karen. I'm sure it will be some good healing oil.

I put in comfrey in the orchard last year because of both its animal-feed and medicinal properties. Its hanging in there in the drought... I offered a bit to the chickens; some liked it and others turned up their beaks at it.

Yes, I read "invasive" can be a term for comfrey, but only if you try to eradicate it. Apparently, trying to cut it out just causes it to sprout from the root cuttings. I've not attacked mine with a hoe yet, and they have not spread at all. I'll try chopping the soil around it this fall and see if I can get it to spread a bit.
Reply With Quote
  #16  
Old 07-25-2012, 12:23 AM
KarenBC's Avatar
KarenBC Female KarenBC is offline
Grand Master Pontificator
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Prince George, B.C., Canada
Posts: 1,392
Default

Glad to hear you are growing comfrey too S2man! Let's compare notes as we go along, sounds like we are growing it for the same reasons. I gave the new transplants a good soaking tonight.
Reply With Quote
  #17  
Old 07-25-2012, 11:33 AM
KarenBC's Avatar
KarenBC Female KarenBC is offline
Grand Master Pontificator
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Prince George, B.C., Canada
Posts: 1,392
Default

I didn't leave enough headspace in the jar of comfrey & oil! Last evening I went to check on it, and oil had spilled over onto the shelf and dribbled down to the next shelf. Fortunately they were wood shelves and appreciated the oil. I never thought about the leaf bits absorbing the oil and expanding. In a quart jar, I'd leave 1.5" headspace next time.
Reply With Quote
  #18  
Old 07-26-2012, 01:35 AM
KarenBC's Avatar
KarenBC Female KarenBC is offline
Grand Master Pontificator
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Prince George, B.C., Canada
Posts: 1,392
Default House Entrance

Found this plant stand at the free swap-shed today. I grabbed it up mighty quick!

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v9...PlantStand.jpg (bigger pic)

My son's old boots made perfect planters.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v9...otPlanters.jpg (bigger pic)


Added a grab bar to the left side of the stairs. My granny is coming to visit soon!

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v9...ntEntrance.jpg
Reply With Quote
  #19  
Old 07-26-2012, 09:42 AM
MotherCharlotte's Avatar
MotherCharlotte MotherCharlotte is offline
Master Pontificator
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Ontario
Posts: 895
Default

I always like a red front door - it looks so welcoming.
__________________
"If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need." --Cicero
Reply With Quote
  #20  
Old 07-26-2012, 11:24 AM
KarenBC's Avatar
KarenBC Female KarenBC is offline
Grand Master Pontificator
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Prince George, B.C., Canada
Posts: 1,392
Default

Thanks Charlotte. I painted all of the house doors red, and some of the farm building doors too.
Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

All times are GMT -2. The time now is 10:44 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
© 1996 to Present. Backwoods Home Magazine, Inc.