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  #21  
Old 08-22-2012, 07:17 PM
TickFarmer TickFarmer is offline
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The continuing saga of how to build a homestead from scratch on a shoestring, while working on it a day a week…

Still no rain. When we left last weekend it was sprinkling. Evidently it quit as we were leaving. At least it has cooled down into the high 80s to low 90s, making it much easier to do actual work. The ground is still dry & hard so this weekend we cut logs that had been stockpiled. As I have mentioned the place had been logged off and all the limbs & tops left wherever they fell. As we clear an area we have been dragging the logs and larger branches that are solid enough to hold together into a pile to deal with later while we burnt the brush and smaller branches.
The punky logs were cut into 3 foot lengths to go into a bonfire whenever the fire danger drops, the solid logs were cut into stovewood lengths. Might have done a little more clearing – or at least cut down the three remaining trees growing in the future roadbed, but the chainsaw decided it had worked enough. The problem isn’t that the chain wears out, but it grows longer as it is used. After it gets too long to tighten enough to stay on the bar a link is removed to shorten it again. I can usually get about 3 links replaced before the chain needs to be replaced. This will be the second link to be removed from this chain this summer.
About half the stovewood pile was split and stacked in the evening. But fear not – we did dig on another stump, uncovering the top layer of roots to be cut later.
The twin fawns are wandering around without Mama Deer. They came to visit a couple times over the weekend. The Farmerette greatly enjoys watching them watch her. She talks to them and they stare at her, then go about their way. They are much more worried about the big bad truck parked in the driveway than they are about her…
And the tractor decided to spring a hydraulic leak. I suspect Mighty Mouse has been chewing on the return hose. All I can really hope is that it tasted bad enough that he will leave the replacement alone. That will be put on this coming weekend, the Good Lord willing and the creek don’t rise. No rain predicted so I’m not very worried about the creek, but it would be nice to see some water in it again.

All y’all have a good day. If the gates open stop on by. We usually have the coffee on.
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  #22  
Old 08-27-2012, 05:41 PM
TickFarmer TickFarmer is offline
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Default Another weekend on the Homestead

Last weekend we took 2 grocery sacks full of pears and half of them disappeared on Friday night, the other half on Saturday. Never saw who was eating them, but they must have liked them. They came from the pear trees that we have in town. Some are canned, some become pear honey, some go to the Old Lady Complex my Mother lives in and we have been taking the bruised and damaged ones to the Tick Farm for wildlife feed.
Also finally saw the Peradyactle! We had been hearing it for a couple years but this was the first time we got to identify what was making that noise.
We looked it up in the bird book and it is one of two possible birds – an ivory billed woodpecker (considered extinct but with a few unconfirmed sightings) or a pileated woodpecker. Whatever it is, we have a pair – one was right by the Cottage and another was answering a ways away…
But the biggest news was that it rained. Sprinkled Saturday, and then actually rained off & on all night Saturday night.
Our improvements to the place was pretty slim due to our watching the rain. Got a lot of enjoyment from that, but not much work completed. We did manage to get a stump out (not the biggest one), hung a shelf for the lantern (and several other things – it’s 2 shelves tall about 2-1/2’ long), put up a light over the cooktop and the Farmerette mowed the powerline so people can camp there over the weekend. That’s where we plan on having the bonfire, too.
All in all; another good weekend. They usually are at the Tick Farm. Still need that air conditioner out there, though. We always come back exhausted. It has to be the air…
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  #23  
Old 09-06-2012, 06:42 PM
TickFarmer TickFarmer is offline
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After reading what everyone else has been up to I feel like a slackard…
We got rain over the weekend. NOAA claims we had about an inch and a half between Friday night and Saturday. It was needed, badly.
Last weekend was also the Farmerette and my anniversary. To celebrate we took the weekend off (except for a little stump digging to check out the mud, and playing in the mud puddles to get them to drain into the mudhole pond a little better) and just enjoyed the Tick Farm. A friend and his family came out to camp – the first time for them in over 20 years, and the first camping experience for one of the daughters. It took a while for “camping” to sink in – it was just staying in a portable fabric house and hanging around outside under the awning while watching it rain for the longest time… But she finally discovered mud, bugs and critters foraging in the night. Campfires and stories along with the ever popular roasted hotdogs and marshmallows. Must have been enjoyable cuz she claims she will try it again, “sometime”.
Ron’s boys worked hard trying to burn the ever growing pile of trashwood we keep for campfires. That is the half rotted and smaller limbs that come from the areas as we clear out the tangles. Works well in the fire rings, but not what we want to use in the wood stove.
As we sat and watched it rain we reviewed our notes from over the past year. It was entertaining reading the “to-do” and then the “done” lists. I can verify that it takes much longer (and costs more) than originally expected to do everything. We have not gotten burnt out and labor steadily during the time we are there, but time for the Mushroom Factor needs to be included in every task.
Looking back, the only thing I might have changed was to build a permanent awning/shelter at the campsite rather than go through several temporary ones. We didn’t know exactly where it would best be located so it was a pole framed tarp shelter until replaced with an ‘on sale’ camping awning. As it turned out, the final location is almost exactly where the first temporary one was built.
Our main objectives were:
1. Parking area
2. Path to camp area
3. Outhouse
4. Clearing around camp area (and enlarging the path)
5. Clearing for roadway to the camp/cottage area, followed with compaction & gravel
6. Clear an area & Build a 12x20’ 2 room cottage
7. More clearing roadway (a turnaround area at the end of the gravel)
8. Build an 8x12’ storage shed
9. More clearing roadway (to where the tractor shed will be)
10. Clearing for a pole barn to store the tractor & implements
11. And where we are now – finish the roadbed down to the tractor shed area, compact & spread gravel so we can have the materials delivered for the pole barn – after we finish clearing for the barn.
Doesn’t sound like much, and would have gone a lot faster if we had actually bought a lottery ticket (and won) so we could have hired out the work, but we are happy with our progress, slow as it has been.
I’ll add a couple “before & in progress” pictures, including my poor old grey haired Mama tending the fire at our first years camp. While we were building the Cottage she was talking to a brother and told him that we were building her a Cottage, but she would let us stay in it until we finished our house… It’s been known as Mama’s Cottage ever since.




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  #24  
Old 09-07-2012, 12:15 AM
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krapgame krapgame is offline
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Sounds like you're making fine progress to me Tickfarmer. That list of chores is a lot of hard work, especially when you're doing it by hand. Definitely not a slackard in my book.

Congrats on your anniversary! Definitely a good opportunity to take some time to enjoy what you're working so hard for.

I kind of envy your approach. We considered doing it that way when we started, but eventually caved in to ideas of our parents. Looking back, I still kinda wish we had done it the way you are.

Enjoying reading about your progress. Please keep sharing your adventure!
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  #25  
Old 09-07-2012, 12:21 AM
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TF
An asideo you like your NOAA?
I depend on my a great deal here in hurricane alley.
Do you have it in the camp?
Good reception?

And looking good in camp!!
Thanks
annie
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Last edited by Txanne; 09-07-2012 at 12:22 AM. Reason: add
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  #26  
Old 09-10-2012, 08:07 PM
TickFarmer TickFarmer is offline
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We got the stump out.

Now that you are duly impressed I get to tell you that we didn’t do it. A neighbor was on his way to replace a washed out culvert and swung in and dug it up. Took about half an hour to get it out of the hole with his backhoe. (Massy M 50, for those that know the model numbers)
It rained Friday. Evidently it blew pretty well, too. We arrived pretty late and I commented that it seemed awfully dark; overcast and spitting rain. I was right; the electricity was out until Saturday morning. We didn’t find out until Saturday afternoon, though. We joked all weekend that they forgot us – we still don’t have any service out there.
The good part was that there was water in the mudhole pond. The remnants of last week’s hurricane must have gotten the clay saturated so it will hold water for the moment. It’s only a foot or so deep, so I expect it will dry up quickly, but it is a start. Shows that we sited it in a fair spot, too. Digging it out goes in the ever growing ‘to-do’ list…
Because we didn’t have to labor in digging a hole to China, we cleared a little more down by the Tractor Park. Only left 3 stumps that didn’t want to come out of the ground. All the others were ripped up by the roots and fed to the bon fire, along with the limbs, brush and down wood.
Now that the big stump is out of the way we can go back to roadbed construction. There are 3 trees left to cut and a few limbs to remove that hang over the roadway and the trucks will have clearance to dump and spread sub base and base rock. All I’ll have to do is smooth the roadbed out out and compact it. And then compact the rock. And dig a ditch. And… as you know it never ends, but we should be ready to start building the tractor shed before Thanksgiving.
Yes, Annie, we get NOAA, but not at the Tick Farm. For some reason we get a local radio station but are in a dead zone for anything else. I check when we are in town, both for the forecast and history.
Krapgame, thanks for the kind words. We decided to get an undeveloped place on purpose. Might have been a big step at our age, but we are enjoying developing it. I think it will be the alpha & omega; her first time and my last.

Y’all have a good, safe and productive week!

Last edited by TickFarmer; 09-10-2012 at 08:09 PM. Reason: To make the picture work?
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  #27  
Old 09-17-2012, 02:30 PM
TickFarmer TickFarmer is offline
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We got more rain out at the Tick Farm last weekend. It was a real nice slow steady rain that made the weekend a real pleasure. Friday night we unloaded the truck and listened to the rain drumming in the downspout until I went out to wiggle it around so the rain would run down inside wall, instead of falling a couple feet and then hitting the side of the downspout. It’s really pretty surprising how loud and annoying that dripping can get.
Between Friday night and Saturday morning the water from the rainbarrel was transferred to all the various places we keep buckets of water and topping off the lizard and plastic pond.
In the spring, after heating season, the small plastic syphon pumps for refilling kerosene heaters go on sale. I usually pick up a couple while they are cheap and store them away in the shed. They are cheap and simple, but come in handy any time you need to transfer liquids. I think I paid a quarter apiece for 3 more at Wal Mart last spring. A piece of tubing will extend the pickup tube - and/or the dump tube - to make it pretty easy to move the water from the barrel to a 5 gallon bucket. One day I may put a tap and valve on the rainbarrel, but that’s a chore for some other day, if it ever happens.
Saturday afternoon the rain slowed down to occasional drizzles. Cabin fever had set in so we wandered around to see if there was anything constructive to do. After checking the water level in the mudhole pond and deciding that the tractor park stumps would be too much work for a lazy weekend, we went back to the Family Campground and built a fire in the large firepit. The fire needed fuel, so the Farmerette separated and stacked the trashwood pile that had been brought up in the bucket of the tractor. The stuff that might be firewood was racked while the really bad stuff went into the fire.
She tends to enjoy feeding the fire (and doesn’t want any “help”) so I got the ‘Tim the Toolman’ loppers to clear out some brush and low branches on the backside of the campground area. The brush and down wood was cleared out while the smaller trees up to 2” diameter were cut off a foot and a half above ground so we can pull the stumps with the tractor later. The small trees, up to 6 inches in diameter, were delimbed and trimmed back to be cut on a dryer day. The few larger trees will be left in place for shade in the expanded campground or orchard/pasture, whichever it finally becomes. I managed to clear out about 500 square feet of tangle while she made coals with the brush and trashwood for cooking the green rice with chicken in the dutch oven for supper.
Even though it sounds like it was just “make work”, it fits into the grand plan. The area between the tractor shed and the campground is planned to end up mostly cleared. We have been working from the tractor park up towards the campground; this time we went from the campground towards the tractor park. I think that area was originally pasture, or at least mostly open. Although there are a few larger trees, it is mostly 6” or smaller stuff.
We got just a little more rain during Saturday night. Sunday we cleaned up and headed out for the two hour drive back to town. It sure seems easier to drive down there than to come back.
Y’all have a safe and productive week. Stop by if you are in the neighborhood. Bring gloves….
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  #28  
Old 09-17-2012, 03:03 PM
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I admire the Farmerettes I can do it additude.
Sounds familar.

You guys may have to take lessons huh?

annie
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  #29  
Old 09-17-2012, 03:24 PM
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Rain? Must be the pileated woodpecker. I remember my FIL saying, it is going to rain, the rain crow is calling. Heard that a hundred times. I prayed, dear God, please let me see a rain crow. what can I say, it is the pileated woodpecker, and it rains when he holleres. See, you proved it.

quote
We looked it up in the bird book and it is one of two possible birds – an ivory billed woodpecker (considered extinct but with a few unconfirmed sightings) or a pileated woodpecker. Whatever it is, we have a pair – one was right by the Cottage and another was answering a ways away…
But the biggest news was that it rained. Sprinkled Saturday, and then actually rained off & on all night Saturday night.
enjoying your saga.
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  #30  
Old 09-19-2012, 01:23 PM
TickFarmer TickFarmer is offline
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I kinda like her, too. She is a rare find, Annie. But what lessons should we be taking?
Not so sure that Woody the Woodpecker is the real Rain Crow. We heard him yelling all the long dry summer. It just took forever to identify what was making that noise. But we will keep an eye out for the real culprit for you.
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  #31  
Old 09-19-2012, 03:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TickFarmer View Post
I kinda like her, too. She is a rare find, Annie. But what lessons should we be taking?
Not so sure that Woody the Woodpecker is the real Rain Crow. We heard him yelling all the long dry summer. It just took forever to identify what was making that noise. But we will keep an eye out for the real culprit for you.
LOL No---misunderstood----you guys should be taking lessons from her.LOL
Sorry I must have not been clear.( It is an applause for her) Picking at you guys)

I love to see women step up.
Having done it my self and watching other women doing it---learning and becoming unafraid and providing for her family.

It makes it all worth it.

annie
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  #32  
Old 09-24-2012, 05:22 PM
TickFarmer TickFarmer is offline
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Another weekend at the Tick Farm.
The weather was nice as it turned to Autumn over the weekend. Crisp nights and warm days – my preferred weather. The new afghan the Farmerette completed las week was tossed on the bed and tried out. It worked great, although it may be a little more than will be needed once it gets cool enough to fire up the woodburner.
But then, that brings to mind the first night we used it. New stoves tend to burn the paint off of them so the first fire was pretty small. All the windows and door were open to let the smell out, and the stove fired up all day. Although it was around 30 degrees the Cottage was much warmer than being outside. We left a couple windows open when we went to bed and a couple logs were tossed in to smolder during the night. We snuggled up in the bed with a couple blankets and a comforter to snooze the night away…
Along about 1 in the morning we jumped out of bed, opened all the windows and stood on the porch as the steam off our bodies drifted off into the night. The logs had smoldered for a while, began to burn and then turned into a bed of coals as the temperature inside the Cottage rose to near 100 degrees… That can happen easily with a stove rated to heat 1000 square feet in a 240 SF cabin.
We arrived on Friday night with plans to dig 3 stumps and do a little dirt work on the driveway since the big stump was out. After we were done we had cut 3 trees and removed 5 stumps, along with burning most of the stumps, some trashwood and the smaller limbs from the trees. We left the last stump half dug in the driveway to finish later. The leaning tree at the end of the road will need to be cut, but that stump can stay in place as it slowly rots. We will have to go back and cut several overhanging limbs so the rock trucks can raise their beds as they dump gravel, but we are moving right along.



The first passes on the driveway cleaned it up nicely. The hole from the big stump was filled and compacted, using dirt that had been stockpiled from digging out the beginnings of the mudhole pond. That stockpile hadn’t been used to level and landscape around the cottage because it was full of rocks, bowling ball size and slightly larger. It worked well to fill the hole, though.


After that was done, the driveway from above where the big stump was to the last stump in front of where the tractor pole shed will be was scraped and leveled, widening and smoothing it close to the finished width. There is more leveling to be done, along with cleaning up the edges before the base rock can be delivered. We finally have a useable road down to where we are clearing for the pole barn that can be used by cars and trucks.
Like eating an elephant; one bite at a time. Work on it long and diligently enough and you discover the light at the end of the tunnel is getting closer.


Last edited by TickFarmer; 09-24-2012 at 05:27 PM. Reason: Fixing the pictures.... again.
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  #33  
Old 10-08-2012, 04:11 PM
TickFarmer TickFarmer is offline
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I didn’t get an update posted for last couple weekends, but we went down to the Tick Farm to finish digging the last stump in the driveway and do some road work 2 weeks ago. My Mother came down with us for that weekend, to supervise and get out of the Old Lady Complex she lives in.
We got the stump out of the ground and pulled over to where we do the stump burning and started on the road compaction. It had rained during the week so the soil was packing well. Both remaining stump holes in the roadway were filled and compacted, along with most of the lower half of the drive. We drove the truck down to the tractor park to take my Mother with us so she could crochet and watch us digging the stump. There wasn’t much cutting going on so we didn’t have a big fire, but the sun was shining and she had a half completed afghan to use as a lap robe. She enjoyed her visit, and reminded us several times that she needs a swing – a rope loop off a tree branch with a board seat. She has picked out several limbs that would work. I suspect there will be a swing out there before it gets too cold for her to move away from the wood stove…
This last weekend we started clearing overhanging branches (the ones pointed out that would work to make a good swing from) that overhang the road. They have to come down so the dumptrucks will be able to raise the bed and dump rock & gravel. I’d much rather they spread the rock than have to spread it myself using the tractor bucket.
The fourth limb trapped the pole saw in a crook as the limb twisted as it fell, breaking the pole six inches down from the head. I might have been able to pull it away as the limb fell, but I was standing on the tractor fender and there wasn’t much room to maneuver without falling off it. Better the saw than me!
After looking at the damage and trying to figure out what I could have done differently to keep the saw out of the way as it fell – definition of an accident: “That wasn’t suposta have happened!” – we moved down to the leaning tree at the end of the top half of the driveway. That tree doesn’t need the stump dug, but it leaned over too far for a dumptruck to get past. It also had a 10” diameter limb growing across the drive about 8 feet off the ground. Out came the chainsaw, on the fender again and the limb dropped easily. That was cleaned up with most of the limb becoming firewood and the small stuff going into the fire that was burning up the past couple stumps. Cutting the tree down was a little more work, but it dropped, trimmed and was pushed out of the way to become firewood later, opening the end of the driveway. Instead of turning that into firewood, after gassing up the saw and sharpening the chain, we went back to cutting overhanging limbs.
I am a trained OSHA Construction Safety Instructor, so using only approved methods and standards, the Tick Farmerette lifted me in the bucket of the tractor and we cut out a couple more limbs. Back on the ground the limbs were cut into firewood until the chain broke…
The fire was fed and supper cooked, clay turned to pottery was chipped off the root balls of the stumps in the fire and we pretty much quit work for the day. After putting two saws out of commission we figured we had better quit while we were ahead.
Sunday morning was spent with the monster loppers clearing brush & small trees at the top end of the overgrown area between the tractor park and the campground. I can tell we are making progress; you can now tell where the brush hog is setting at the tractor park through the remaining brush from where I was cleaning out near the campground. Can’t really see it, but the color can be seen.
I think we have decided that area will become a small orchard and garden after we get it all cleared out. It was put on the list of things left to do during this winter (on page 5). We have been cutting the small (2” or less) trees off a couple feet above the ground with hopes of pulling the stumps after we get enough room to get the tractor in there, or after most of them are cut and burned. There are enough larger trees (6”) that several will need to be cut and the stumps pulled to get the tractor back to where we are clearing. I’d like to get the stumps pulled before the ground freezes, but just getting it cleared for next spring stump pulling will be good.
The “City” week will be spent figuring out how to splint and repair the pole saw section, replacing the chainsaw bar and chain and getting wood loaded on the trailer for the porch roof. It will never get done if the materials aren’t on hand. For some reason there seems to be no shortage of things that can be done instead. Must be that air.
Y’all have a great week!
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  #34  
Old 10-22-2012, 03:55 PM
TickFarmer TickFarmer is offline
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Both saws were repaired and worked well. The last of the overhanging limbs were cut and several logs cut into firewood, along with a pile that was left over from when the saw chain broke. Final touches were completed on the road base and the week was spent locating a new quarry. The one we usually use shuts down for the winter on Labor Day and we have been running behind schedule this fall.
Last weekend was busy. We had rock delivered; 18 tons of 2” for some soft sections and then 45 tons of base rock to cover the stretch from the turn-around down to where the polebarn will go. There is also a 10 ton pile of base rock down there to be spread for the polebarn floor the next time we are there.
http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.125848637473663.18750.100001455836521&type= 3#!/photo.php?fbid=428252820566575&set=a.1770250790226 85.44565.100001455836521&type=3&theater
http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.125848637473663.18750.100001455836521&type= 3#!/photo.php?fbid=428253423899848&set=a.1770250790226 85.44565.100001455836521&type=3&theater
In our free time, between trucks and after the rock was spread, we worked on putting up the porch roof. The frame wasn’t too bad – I bevel cut the rafters to length before we went down to the Tick Farm, so all we needed to do was cut the birds eyes and hoist them up to tie into the existing roof. The sheathing was really slick and it wasn’t easy staying stuck to the roof while the felt paper went down. But it was all done and is ready for the shingles to be laid.
http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.125848637473663.18750.100001455836521&type= 3#!/photo.php?fbid=428254010566456&set=a.1258486374736 63.18750.100001455836521&type=3&theater
Evidently I have used up the space set aside for pictures. I post them on Facebook to keep the family up to date on what we are up to. Hopefully they will show up here as well?
Looks like the fall rains were just enough and just in time to allow the leaves to take color after our summer drought. Y’all have fun and enjoy those fall colors.
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  #35  
Old 11-23-2012, 10:47 PM
TickFarmer TickFarmer is offline
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It’s been a while since I updated our adventure. Like the notebook we keep, updates come in spurts depending on our schedule and the weather. The worse the weather, the more downtime and more updates. In this case, the Holiday combined with a sudden cold snap slowed us down.
New goods at the Tick Farm include a manual hydraulic log splitter. Think a 10 ton bottle jack mounted on a I beam with a wedge on the other end. Drop a log on the rail, pump the handle and the jack runs the log into the wedge. Works a little slower than a powered one, but at less than 10% of the cost it splits logs quicker and much easier than using an axe or wedge and double jack. The Farmerette quickly split half a rick of the knotted logs that were waiting to be turned into firewood as we played with it. We agreed that it will be a valuable asset; under $100 purchase price and uses no off site power nor requires purchased resources.
http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.127576783967515.19313.100001455836521&type= 3#!/photo.php?fbid=436497656408758&set=a.1275767839675 15.19313.100001455836521&type=3&theater
We also delivered a new (used) picnic table that was destined for an untimely end in a dumpster. Other than being old and in need of a little maintenance it is in fine shape. There is always a need for more table space in the campground. Later I picked up its brother that is in need of a replacement board. That one is waiting its turn in the city sideyard and will go down after it is repaired and sealed.
Then, I came across a few pallets that needed to go away. Forty-two of them found their way down to the Tick Farm, with about 75 more waiting for their turn. I expect two more trips will be required to make all of them disappear. Some of them will become the walls for a small equipment shed during the winter. We are still making a list of possible uses for the rest of the pile and the ones to come.
http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.127576783967515.19313.100001455836521&type= 3#!/photo.php?fbid=439917346066789&set=a.1275767839675 15.19313.100001455836521&type=3&theater
We declared the Ent Wars begun. As you remember from the Lord of the Rings, Ents are most tree-like creatures that despise axes & saws. Armed with “Biter” and “Nipper” we attacked the Ent grove. It has been a bitter battle with wounds and fearsome cries from both sides, but the Ents seem to be retreating. Fortunately, there are no rivers for them use to flood the field, so we have hope for an eventual victory.
http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.127576783967515.19313.100001455836521&type= 3#!/photo.php?fbid=436390923086098&set=a.4363908997527 67.104197.100001455836521&type=3&theater
http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.127576783967515.19313.100001455836521&type= 3#!/photo.php?fbid=436391876419336&set=a.4363908997527 67.104197.100001455836521&type=3&theater
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It will be a small field, perhaps ¾ of an acre when completed. We are clearing down the side of the lower driveway from the campground to the tractor park. It may have been a pasture when it was settled, but has had 50 years to grow over into a dense thicket of hickory and oak.
The first weekend we cut and burned, leaving the stumps to deal with later. The next weekend had higher winds so the brush and limbs were stacked and burnt later as we continued the battle. Last Wednesday we were only there for the day to drop off the pallets and then excape to go by my Mothers for Thanksgiving dinner. After unloading and stacking them we tried pulling stumps. 25 to 30 of the smaller ones were pulled and piled for later burning. The small ones came up, but the larger ones are going to require pick & shovel work as we clear the field.
The Plan is to get the field cleared with most of the stumps pulled before the ground freezes for the winter. If we get enough cleared the ground will be prepared and planted to become the garden next spring. They are predicting snow & freezing rain for Monday. The winter weather may slow the Ent War to a standstill, but the campaign will resume in earnest.
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Old 11-24-2012, 05:55 PM
OzarksLady Female OzarksLady is offline
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"This content is currently unavailable" is what I see when I click on your latest links.
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Old 11-26-2012, 12:06 AM
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TickFarmer,
I really like what you are doing with your place. The cabin is great! Plenty of shagbark hickory there, from the photos, so no shortage of firewood. What are your long term plans for water? Well? Cistern, maybe?

Your humor about the place is infectious. Our daughter lives in a similiar place, and talks about the semi-wild critters there. Deer that come up to play with the cat. They have a coy-dog, half German Shepherd, and his coyote Dad comes by to check on Junior regularly. The cat has friends among the chipmunks and brings some in the house to play. THAT is a riot!

You might still get some winter wheat sowed in the new garden patch. That would make some nice green manure for next Spring to plow under. Like you don't have enough to do.....
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Old 11-28-2012, 12:48 AM
TickFarmer TickFarmer is offline
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Thanks, Patience. We expect to finish out the cabin in the spring. This winter we will put in the bedroom ceiling so we don’t have to stare at the insulation all night, but the finished floor will have to wait until we can take out the woodstove for a couple days. It’s a small cabin but plenty big enough for us.

We have been kicking around solutions for water. We have an untested well that we are using for wash and irrigation water but do not have a pump. Rainwater is caught and stored in plastic barrels, but we have been taking potable water with us when we go to work on the place. The well will be pretty far from where we will build the house so I suspect it will remain irrigation with a drinking water well drilled near the house.

I made a 2-1/2 gallon well bucket that we are presently using to draw water from the well. Plans for developing the well change often as we get another hair brained idea. Today we are wondering about installing a pump powered by the generator to fill a smal second hand aboveground pool and then using a pitcher pump to fill an elevated tank from that.

I expect we will not run out of firewood anytime soon. After we clear this field, we have more road to make and then a clearing for the house, barn, more fields… Somewhere in there I need to make a path suitable for at least the tractor inside all the fence lines, as well. We have been discussing cutting and stacking the wood to cure as we clear and then starting to sell it next fall. There are a few larger trees, but most of it is small; 3-10” diameter. I haven’t found a market for poles, but if anyone needs an axe, shovel, scythe, hammer handle, or just a walking stick they are welcome to come by and pick one out. Be advised that you will get the whole pole – tops, branches and roots, and it is a “you pick” operation.

Winter wheat? Well it is certainly wintery today! It was 17 whole degrees above zero when we got up this morning. But I think that might have to wait until the stumps and roots are pulled before there will be any hope for putting in a crop.
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Old 12-03-2012, 02:59 PM
TickFarmer TickFarmer is offline
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Back to stump pulling at the Tick Farm. The stumps are just feet apart and it is a solid field of stumps. We had wind so clearing was postponed because we have made brush piles before – and took almost a year to finally untangle and burn them. My advice is to burn as you generate them. There is always something else that needs done – “Later” never comes.
With an armload of brush/limbs/trimmings restricting your vision it had become quite an obstacle course, complete with shin knockers everywhere. It wasn’t even easy to walk through without a load. For the first batch the tractor was used to pull the smaller ones, but after they were farther away than the chain would reach we were back to pick & shovel, axe and pry bar to make a path large enough to get the tractor into the field. It took 5 larger stumps to be removed to be able to snake the tractor back into the clumps. The after lunch cleanup was to pull another dozen small stumps, and then try to fill all the holes dug with the spinning wheels on the tractor.
As we cut trees and pulled stumps a discussion was ongoing on what trees to plant. No, not in the field we are clearing; we pretty much know what we will plant there. Missouri Dept. of Conservation has a tree farm with bare root seedlings at a very reasonable price. We are thinking a minimum bundle or two (10 each) of filberts and one of pecans. We are still undecided about adding choke cherries, paw paws and mulberry this year. mdc.mo.gov/node/4011
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Old 12-03-2012, 03:14 PM
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I don't envy you clearing brush Tickfarmer. Slow going, hard work. I vaguely remember Dad clearing about 12 acres of woods like that when I was really young, by himself one winter with just a chainsaw and a B John Deere tractor. Didn't see much of him for several weeks that year.

You're right about "later never comes." I've been guilty of that for several years and have been paying for it more this year, trying to address all those things that I'd do "someday." Always ends up being way more work the second time around than if I'd just gotten it done in the first place.
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