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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 01-05-2014, 09:07 PM
TickFarmer TickFarmer is offline
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Not much new and exciting going on at the Tick Farm this week.

I thought I was liking the weather but it went and changed anyway. It was in the low 40s, sun shining and calm winds. It clouded up and the wind started blowing. Flakes started falling and next thing you know there was 4” of snow on the ground, winds were blowing 20 miles an hour and the temperature had dropped into the single digits heading on its way even further south.
We had been hearing about the Arctic Blast for a couple days so we were on the way back home before it settled in. There was snow and ice on the road on our way down, even though it had warmed up for a day or so after the last cool down. We go over two one lane bridges on the way. Both are at the bottom of steep curvy approaches and getting up the other side on icy roads might be a bit of a problem if you have to stop to let a car cross ahead of you.

Over the weekend we cleared a little more on the Homestead site. This time we wandered into the middle of the field (we are cleaning & clearing about 3-5 acres) and just burnt down wood. We also brought another load of wood down to the woodshed. That was split and the shed refilled to replace what we had burned over the past few weekends.
https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=622596784465510&set=a.1275767839675 15.19313.100001455836521&type=1&comment_id=2049915 &offset=0&total_comments=1#!/photo.php?fbid=622599251131930&set=a.6192611647990 72.1073741825.100001455836521&type=1&theater

Molly the WonderDog finally figured out that the heat in the Cottage comes from the wood burning stove. It was early in the morning and the fire had burnt down overnight. The stove was loaded up, breakfast burritos from the ice chest tossed on top of the stove to warm up. Evidently Molly was cold – she decided that the stove was her new friend and kept it company most of the day.
https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=622596784465510&set=a.1275767839675 15.19313.100001455836521&type=1&comment_id=2049915 &offset=0&total_comments=1#!/photo.php?fbid=622596784465510&set=a.1275767839675 15.19313.100001455836521&type=1&theater

We are still waiting for the delivery date of the new tractor. It should be showing up sometime during the coming week. Plans and material lists have been made to build doors and enclose one bay on the pole barn. Materials are planned to be purchased on Tuesday – the Old Fogie Discount Day at our local builder’s supply. It’s not much of a discount; 10% discount, 8% taxes… Still, it’s less cash out of pocket. Every little bit helps.

Ya’ll stay warm. It’s dangerously cold out there.
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  #82  
Old 01-20-2014, 01:49 AM
TickFarmer TickFarmer is offline
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This weeks Tale of Toils

It warmed up during the days, but with the warmth came the winds. After we left to head back to the City we heard that we weren’t the only ones off grid – a power pole blew down and there was a power outage in 2 counties.
Because of the heavy winds we decided not to continue with our normal slash & burn operation, the chainsaw needed a break from cutting up down logs and it was time to start the deconstruction of the original homestead house that has been falling down for the past 50 years.
https://www.facebook.com/jp.finn.9/media_set?set=a.619261164799072.1073741825.1000014 55836521&type=3&uploaded=5#!/photo.php?fbid=629429017115620&set=a.6192611647990 72.1073741825.100001455836521&type=3&theater

https://www.facebook.com/jp.finn.9/media_set?set=a.619261164799072.1073741825.1000014 55836521&type=3&uploaded=5#!/photo.php?fbid=629429050448950&set=a.6192611647990 72.1073741825.100001455836521&type=3&theater

We started on the back wall that was mostly down. Vines were cut, brush removed and a working space along the back wall made. Lath was pulled from a down wall section to become kindling for our fire, good wood put in one pile and the rotted stuff tossed into a much larger pile to be burnt on a less windy day.
As we pulled the frame apart we made several discoveries about the history of the house. We have been told that it was built around 1900 and abandoned around 1960.
It had a wood shingle roof when they had the kitchen fire. The rafters over that section were charred and scorched. The shingles were overlaid with tin sheeting. (Sheeting, not roofing). On top of that were 2 layers of asphalt shingles for a total of four layers of roofing. I expect the roof didn’t leak much – and it was impossible to figure out where any leaks that showed up were coming from.
When they replaced the living room flooring they picked sheet linoleum. Under the linoleum and above the tongue & groove pine floor was newspaper. We were only able to retrieve fragments, but we found an ad for a diner lunch – 4 or 5 things, dessert & coffee for the princely sum of 10 cents, another for them newfangled Rambler automobiles and even most of an article about four army paratroopers that were injured in a training accident.
As we cleared fallen debris we uncovered part of the front wall. Through the front door, pinned under the wall is a pole frame. Perhaps a bed or table frame? The legs disappear into the debris of the evaporated floor and are resting on the ground in the crawl space. When we get the wall off of it perhaps we can figure out what it was.
https://www.facebook.com/jp.finn.9/media_set?set=a.619261164799072.1073741825.1000014 55836521&type=3&uploaded=5#!/photo.php?fbid=629429003782288&set=a.6192611647990 72.1073741825.100001455836521&type=3&theater

One of our more interesting finds was a1-1/2” x 2-1/2” aluminum insert for something like a juicer or strainer with holes drilled in it to resemble a star. It has beveled sides with wear marks that show it was inserted in something and fine scratches across one face like that was the working edge. What made it so noteworthy was that we found it inside the kitchen door casing as we tore the door framing apart. I expect there had been quite the search for that thing.
Taking the building apart was also interesting. The nails were of fairly modern style – headed wire with both 2 and 4 sided points. They seemed to be oversized compared to what would be used today – most of the rafters and studs were nailed with 16 or 20 d spikes. We found several copper nails as well.
They must have had stock in a nail manufacturer, as well. There is no shortage of them.
The wood used to build the house looks like local lumber. It was all cut with the same circular saw; about a 24” diameter blade. My guess is that they brought in a mill and cut the lumber on site from the oak trees that were growing there. I’m not sure if it was on purpose or they were learning to saw the timbers but few of the studs and rafters are the same size. They vary between 1-1/2 up to 5” thick – and one rafter was 1-1/2” thick at one end and 5” at the other. The depths seemed to be pretty close to the same size. There were a few spacers tacked to the studs to even out the inner wall surfaces but not too many.
The laths for the horsehair (?) plaster appear to have been bought. They are uniform with a much finer saw cut surface.
We removed most of the back wall, a dividing wall and the roof framing along with what was left of the roof over the kitchen and front room. It was a start and a good break from clearing down wood while the winds blew. Now we have even more scrap wood to burn. No shortage of bonfires at the Tick Farm!
https://www.facebook.com/jp.finn.9/media_set?set=a.619261164799072.1073741825.1000014 55836521&type=3&uploaded=5#!/photo.php?fbid=629429067115615&set=a.6192611647990 72.1073741825.100001455836521&type=3&theater

Y’all have a good week and stay warm.
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  #83  
Old 01-20-2014, 08:11 PM
BIGGKIDD Male BIGGKIDD is offline
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Its always cool to tear into old buildings never know what you may find. Last one I did found an old orange enamel pitcher. It had part of a date on the bottom looked like 1920 but I'm not sure.

Keep up the good work.
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  #84  
Old 01-22-2014, 11:14 PM
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Woo. That sounds like a lot of work.
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  #85  
Old 01-28-2014, 01:11 AM
TickFarmer TickFarmer is offline
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Not nearly as much work as you would imagine, S2. We spend a good part of the time sitting and watching the fire burn down so we can toss more on it. Come on down and we will show you. (Bring gloves!)
We got a few things out of the house before it started to collapse and are collecting all the hardware that hasn’t deteriorated beyond saving, BK. As we pull it apart we are uncovering bits and pieces, too.

The persimmon trees claimed it would be a snowy winter. So far we haven’t had a great amount of snow but there is wind. Either it’s an artic front coming in or going out. The past weekend it was going out. Too strong for burning brush so we were back deconstructing the old homestead house.
Over the weekend we managed to knock down a section of wall and remove most of the collapsed roof across the back section. The wall was what we were most interested in – if left to fall on its own it would have landed on the wellhead. That would not have been good.
The well is just a corroded pipe flush with the ground; no headwall or pad, just a concrete block sitting on the ground to cover the end of the pipe. Now that it is not in danger of getting squished (or us while working on it) things will improve.
After looking at more of the wood coming out of the old house we are slowly changing its history. On several of the studs and rafters we have found what looks like saw marks for a pit saw on the edges or faces of the wood. Now we are wondering if there had been 2 saws on the ground. A mechanical pit saw to slab out the trees and then a circular saw to shape the slabs into lumber. It kinda makes sense…
The circular saw marks indicate a 24” (more or less) diameter blade. When mounted the thickest it could cut would be 10 – 11 inches. I expect powered pit saws were still pretty common even though they were much slower than a circular mill and might have been used to slab out the large diameter trees.
For those not quite sure what I am talking about, think a giant scroll saw using a six or eight foot long, 2 man saw, for a blade. Originally one guy stood on top of the log or platform and the other stood under it – in a pit - as they ripped the log into planks or timbers. Later they drove the blade with link on the face of a wheel to make it mechanically powered, but it still made a up & down motion, rocking slightly back and forth, leaving “x” saw marks on the wood.
Molly the WonderDog sniffed and smelled all around where we were working. I think most of the critters that were living in and under the house had gone to visit relatives and friends for the day while we banged and drug off chunks. But she stayed busy checking out where they had been. When it came time for the wall to come down she was busy. Too busy to come when called and then too nervous when she was yelled at to get out of the way. Finally she wandered off on the other side of the fire and with a “All Clear!” yell, the wall was levered over.
Crack, crack groan, Ka-Whomp! The wall hit the ground and Molly the WonderDog made it to the front porch of the Cottage in 3 bounds, tail wrapped under her belly and pointing the way.
When we quit for the day we had another small pile of 2x4s to be used on future projects (if we can get the nails out), a pile of unburnt scrap wood and a pallet covered with laths & shingles for kindling that should last a year or more. You can tell we did something, but it is just a start.

Y’all have a good week and stay warm.
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  #86  
Old 01-30-2014, 12:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TickFarmer View Post
So far we haven’t had a great amount of snow
TF puts it mildly. We've had so little snow this winter, we are now under a wildfire risk advisory.

It probably depends on the type of wood, but I've recycled some old buildings and the nails would break off before they would pull out. The old stuff is always nice wood, though. They only used clear logs; not a knot in sight.
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  #87  
Old 02-17-2014, 04:29 PM
TickFarmer TickFarmer is offline
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On our way down to the Tick Farm we stop at a little restaurant most every Friday evening. We have met most of the regulars and have become just another of the “family”. When we stop in we get all the gossip for the week; who had a fight, birthdays and anniversaries, how kids are doing in school (and all about the ones that graduated but won’t move out), interesting events at work and what is being planned around the area.
During the cold spell the power went out in the area around Sheldon. Without power the furnaces didn’t work and wood burning stoves went into operation. We were asked how we kept the water from freezing up at the Tick Farm. Seems the little stove didn’t keep their pipes from freezing…
For those that care, we just let it freeze. After we get there and the stove is firing away it defrosts and isn’t a problem for the rest of the weekend. We have a couple 2-1/2 gallon water jugs with spouts that we fill and take with us. They work like the frozen milk jugs you put in the cooler instead of buying ice – leave a little head space for the water to expand into and don’t worry about it.
In the ice chest lives a few cans of beer and some soda pop. When we get back they stay in there on the front porch. The beer is in case we have visitors. Always good to offer a beer, although we still have the same 4 cans in there since last summer.
The Farmerette drinks a miniature can or two of Mountain Dew and I have a couple little cans of Root Beer to drink with lunch if the urge strikes. During the past cold spell the root beer cans froze and exploded. I’ve had to clean the ice chest for the past couple times we loaded it up. The beer & mountain dew was unaffected, but the root beer cans became little round balls and then split at the seams.

The past couple months have been interesting. We decided to trade in our tractor for one with a backhoe attachment. It took forever to get it into the dealership, then they had problems getting it assembled and ready to send out. The repair department had it listed as lot stock, not a customer order so it sat at the bottom of the job order pile…
Finally, after a little complaining and maybe a heated word or two they had it ready to deliver it last Friday. The control block for the accessory hydraulics has to be reordered to be installed later, but otherwise it was ready to go. It was dropped off and the old tractor picked up on Valentines Day.
A little trivia for those (like me) that didn’t realize it, you have to have insurance on major equipment to finalize the loan. It gets more interesting when the land the tractor will live on isn’t your residence.
After a fast run down to the Tick Farm to try to beat the delivery driver and unlock the place, it showed up. The swap went well and we have a new tractor with a backhoe attachment for digging stumps, ditches, foundations and waterlines.
The fun began… It was delivered with about a gallon of diesel in the tank. The 5 gallons we have on hand was added so I could try it out. Three stumps got dug and piled for a Saturday fire as I got used to the controls and operation of the new equipment. The Farmerette showed up in the evening after work and we oooohed and awwwed at the bright red tractor that just barely fit into the pole barn. Should have made it 30’ deep instead of 24’…
Saturday morning we went to town to refill the diesel can. While adding fuel the filler cap slipped between the tank and body panel. Funny – there wasn’t a gap on the old tractor. It was an indication of how the day was going to go.
Out we went to the Field of Stumps. A couple more were dug up – ones with chain marks where we had tried and failed to pull last fall. Success!
Even with the subzero weather we have had the past month the ground is only frozen 6 – 8” down. That came as a surprise. As the day went on the surface became a mud field in the warm weather.
Feeling more comfortable we started on a clump of 4 hickory stumps about 8” in diameter. A trench 3 feet deep was dug all the way around them. Poking the clump with the bucket showed it was just a start – they didn’t even wiggle. Time for a break.
It was the Farmerettes turn to play. I went to move the tractor over to an open area with a dead stump for her to play with. Only there was a problem…
The boom wouldn’t lower. Or raise. Everything else worked. Good thing it was left it in the raised position when we broke for lunch!
Hydraulic fluid was checked and topped off. Still no movement, but everything else worked so we really didn’t think that was the problem. The manual was checked. No good ideas there, either.
Back into the pole barn it went. Now we get to find out how fast the warranty work can kick in. At least it worked for about 4 hours…

Ya’ll have a great week and try not to break anything.
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  #88  
Old 02-26-2014, 01:53 PM
TickFarmer TickFarmer is offline
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Some days are like that.
They came to get the new tractor Saturday morning. First they had to check to make sure the road pins had been taken out, even though a pile of half burned stumps was pointed out as being dug before it went on vacation and comments were made of the caked on clay all over the bucket and lower dipper boom. Low and Behold – it didn’t work for him, either. Everything else except the boom worked… On the truck it went.

The first chore of the day completed, we went on to number two; setting the stand and plumbing in the rain barrels. Nothing ever ends up quite like you had envisioned it. In this case we decided the stand could hold 3 barrels instead of the two that it had been built for.
Center legs were cut and installed and 3 barrels were tossed on the stand. I expect the center legs weren’t required but overbuilding is always longer lasting than just making the absolute minimum. As you can imagine, it was another half finished job. We only had fittings for two barrels…
Time for lunch! When I was in school I majored in lunch and minored in P.E. (the E. does not stand for Engineering or English). That, I managed to complete in a satisfactory manner.

Full and kinda rested we went on to Task Number Three; bumper boards in the pole barn. The tractor, with backhoe attachment, barely fits under the roof. It would be easy to poke the backhoe through the back wall trying to get it fitted in there.
There is this building term called “nominal”. On a drawing it says 10’ center to center. On the as-builts somebody takes a red pencil and writes Nominal under every dimension. That means it is really somewhere between 9’ and 11 feet, as built. All but one of the pile of 10 foot long 2x4s and 2x6s (nominal) had to be cut to fit. Of course, it was enough to make my arm tired cutting those boards with my 1980 era cross cut hand saw that needs sharpened again, but not enough to dig out the generator, lug it down to the barn, drive the ground rod that I keep saying I’ll put in and firing it up to make a few quick cuts, lugging it back to the shed and piling all the stuff back that lives on it cuz the shed should have been a double car garage instead of an 8’x12’ shed.
Let that be an easy lesson for you – decide on the size you think you need and then double or triple it. It will still be too small.

Task Four was to put the Buzzard’s Roost Tick Farm sign back up. It had been screwed to a tree near the gate while we were still clearing for a driveway to get the truck off the County Road. After only 3 years and numerous thunderstorms and periods of high winds it fell out of the tree. This time we put it on a post and planned to set it near the edge of the parking area we had hacked out for those that didn’t want to brave the driveway.
Ever hear of Wandering Rocks? Evidently we have a few.
My Grandpa was born and raised in North Carolina and learned about Wandering Rocks when he was a kid. Way back when the sun was bright and the birds were still learning how to fly he told me all about them. I might have been four or five at the time.
He also taught me not to swallow that chunk of Old Sparkplug he shaved off the little brick he always carried, although it cleans you out of any worms you might have. He also showed me how to graft grapes, but those are other stories. We were talking about Wandering Rocks.
Evidently Wandering Rocks emigrated from Ireland during the potato famine. They are related to leprechauns and gremlins, in that they are always trying to cause trouble.
After a suitable spot for our sign was picked out we started a hole. After it was down a foot out came the posthole digger and immediately hit a rock. So far everything was normal. A new hole was started a foot away. Soon we hit another rock. Back over in the first hole I noticed the rock was on the other side of the hole from where I first hit it…. Wandering Rocks!
The Farmerette went off a couple feet and stomped the shove into the ground a couple times as I rested. When she hit a rock a couple quick stabs with the posthole digger was made before that rock was blocking the way again. The digging bar was poked around to loosen up the dirt around the rock and then I rested as she poked the ground with the shovel to draw the rock over to the new spot. When she hit the rock there was time to get a couple more quick clamshells full of clay out of the post hole – enough that we could set the post. I didn’t say Wandering Rocks were real smart…
We set the post with AB3/ 1”base rock/crush & run, depending on what they call it in your area. It’s the rock as it comes out of the crusher and passes across the first screen; rocks, chips and flour. Tamped in 6” lifts (a shovel full deep all around the post) until you are just below the ground level and then covered with topsoil. The mixture of rock chips and rock flour sets up like concrete after it absorbs a little of the groundwater, but can be broken out with a rock bar if you want to remove the post later.

Sunday was spent in the standard Sunday mode; admire our work, clean up and reload the ice chest and dry goods box in the truck and then wandering around pointing out things that we coulda/shoulda done until it was finally time to go.
We still need that air conditioner. Not one to make the air cold – we have plenty of that – but the one that makes the air refreshing so we aren’t so tired after our day of labor.

Ya’ll have a good week and keep reminding yourself – only twenty-couple days till Spring!
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  #89  
Old 03-09-2014, 10:31 PM
TickFarmer TickFarmer is offline
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It rained. It sleeted. It might have even spit a snowflake or two. The wind kinda blew and the sun shined. Welcome to Missouri.
We are between cold spells. When we arrived at the Tick Farm Friday evening we built a fire in the cottage to take the chill off, but it wasn’t really needed during the night. The sun shone and the temps were in the 50s during the day on Friday. It stayed above freezing Friday night but only warmed up to the mid 30s Saturday.
As with almost everything, after doing it several times things become a routine. We completed our Friday evening routine of unloading the truck, putting things away, filling the bird feed for the early risers, closing the gate, turning on the propane for the cooktop and starting the fire in the heating stove. Like kids on Christmas Eve, we settled in for the long wait for Saturday morning.
Bouncing out of bed at daybreak… well, that might be an exaggeration... crawling out of bed to turn on the burner under the prepared coffee pot we completed all the little tasks we could while we waited for the delivery truck. The tractor comes back today!
Stoke the fire, open the gate, heat the premade breakfast burritos on the wood stove, drink coffee and try to wake up, eat breakfast, feed Molly the WonderDog, refill the woodbox, drink more coffee, check the clock to see if it was still running, listen to “Tra-de-O” on the radio and guess at the answers to the trivia questions, drink more coffee and wonder if the delivery driver stopped for breakfast…
Finally he arrived. Not being his first trip he roared right past the cottage and down to the pole barn where it lives. He was unchaining it when I arrived to inspect.
Every tractor has its own personality. This one is going to be a problem – it matches me far too well. It wanted to set and warm up instead of firing up and driving off the trailer and out of the way so the driver could turn around and roar off on the two hour trip back to the dealer.
Note to self – make sure it’s completely empty before letting them take it. Like a teenage kid, it came back sucking fumes.
I let it warm up as I went to get the half full diesel can. While adding it I noticed a new sticker (there are a hundred pasted all over the thing!). This one said that pickup and delivery are NOT included under the warranty. I felt special – the inkjet printing was starting to run on the sticker from the light rain. I do believe they made that sticker just for me.
Off to test it out! The half dug stump clump trench sunk another two feet. It seemed to be working right but the clump of stumps weren’t coming out.
Immediate gratification! I’m pretty sure we are past the “Me” generation and immediate gratification has become a requirement. Instead of repositioning the backhoe I went over to pop an old and rotten clump of stumps out of the ground. The last one we did like that had all the roots rotted and we were able to pry the stumps up just using a pry bar.
This clump didn’t have rotted roots… So much for instant gratification.
After the clump was dug down about two feet one of the stumps broke off from the mass. After fishing it out there was a spot to get the bucket under the wad and with a little wiggling and jiggling the clump broke loose. Getting it out of the hole was a trial but after hooking it with the bucket and driving the tractor away it came up. It got pushed into the brushline with the loader, to be dealt with later. Somehow we didn’t think that 2 foot deep by 4 or 5 foot diameter clump of clay incasing the rootball would burn well…
The light rain had turned to sleet – little slushballs peppering my poor unprotected head. I used to have hair…
After pushing the dirt (mud) that had been dug out back into the hole I headed for the barn. On the way I made a little side trip and poked the first clump of stumps with the loader. It wiggled! It got poked again. It leaned over. Swinging around it was poked in a different direction and it came loose. After a couple tries to stick the loader under it the tractor went into the pole barn. The hole is too deep to get the loader under it and those slushballs were firming up. Time to quit for the moment.
The moment lasted until dark as the sleet turned back to rain. During the night it turned back into sleet and coated the truck. Somewhere in there it was freezing rain; the trip back to town was a winter wonderland. Ice cased trees and grasses sparkle in the sunshine.
With those two clumps out of the way we can drag out the chain and go back to pulling the smaller stumps. The backhoe attachment looks like it was a good investment. The second half of the field of stumps should be cleared out much easier and faster than the first half!

Y’all have a great week. Take time to enjoy the onset of global warming – I know I am more than ready to quit freezing.
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  #90  
Old 03-10-2014, 02:01 AM
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Txanne Female Txanne is offline
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I hate waiting on delivery people!!

Please excuse me I need coffee and a burrito--got hunger pains just reading your wait! :

We had that rare of rare ice storms---

Hang in there---Global warming IS on its way.
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Old 03-23-2014, 10:57 PM
TickFarmer TickFarmer is offline
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It really wasn’t really a long wait Annie. He was there by 8:30, but we were all a quiver with anticipation. It just seemed like forever. We discovered you can really miss equipment when it isn’t around.


It was a busy week last week and I missed the weekly update. Sorry.
That weekend was another wet one, with rain predicted for Sunday. I used to have a crystal ball and was able to predict the future. Then, when I was about 12 it rolled off the table and shattered on the floor. The future has been a fog ever since...
The winter was pretty dry. Remembering the drought a couple years back I decided we needed more water storage on the place. Instead of digging stumps we dug out the low end of the mudhole pond. At least that little part is now about 3 feet deep instead of ankle depth. If I do that about 10 more times I should have it all dug out. At least we quadrupled the mudhole ponds capacity with that little bit.
But first we finished off the rainbarrel hookup. Well, at least it’s hooked up. It will be finished later.
Rainbarrels front view
https://www.facebook.com/jp.finn.9/media_set?set=a.127576783967515.19313.100001455836 521&type=3&uploaded=4#!/photo.php?fbid=655325374525984&set=a.1275767839675 15.19313.100001455836521&type=3&theater
Rainbarrels quartering view
https://www.facebook.com/jp.finn.9/media_set?set=a.127576783967515.19313.100001455836 521&type=3&uploaded=4#!/photo.php?fbid=655333214525200&set=a.1275767839675 15.19313.100001455836521&type=3&theater
The 2” PVC piping is just press fit into place. We still need to locate some cheap valves for each barrel and put unions in the runs between barrels so they can be changed out.
It rained Saturday night and we woke up to a half full rainbarrel system on Sunday morning.
There are plans and there is reality. The plan was very good; the reality is that the rain splashes off the barrels and onto the porch. We will either need a roof over them, a wall between the barrels and the porch to catch the splash or plan on being wet if we go out the door in the rain.

This past weekend we filled all the buckets and watering holes from the rain catchment system. They are predicting rain twice during the week so we should be able to replace what we used.
When we arrived we noticed that the slip fitted piping leaks at the middle barrel tee. It is a slow leak; about a drip each 4 to 5 seconds. I guess we can live with that until we get the valves and glue the fittings together.
For anyone planning on copying this set up is warned that it is a Southern System. All you Yankees will go insane waiting for a bucket to fill. The flow rate is about ½ gallon a minute through that ¾” hose bibb with less than a foot head. J
Stumps came up left and right during the day. The Field of Stumps will need a new name before long. It is about 2/3s cleared and at the rate we were going it will be time to start cutting trees again soon. At least we will have to snag underground roots and pick rocks before we are done with it.
We started out where the Farmerette wanted to put the raised strawberry bed this spring. After those stumps came out she looked at the area and decided the bed would go better over there where that pile of poles (that need cut into firewood) are… After those stumps evaporated (but the pile of poles remained for another weekend) we moved over to the edge of the field and made it start to look like a field instead of just a wide road.

It was another good weekend. The goldfinches run the black capped chickadees off the birdfeeder. Titmice slip in, grab a seed and run before the goldfinches can beat them up as the downy woodpecker keeps his nose to the post hoping he can slip up for a seed.. Then one of the red bellied woodpeckers show up and everybody else heads for a limb to wait for them to leave. And the peradyctals (pileated woodpeckers) showed up to watch us dig stumps.

Ya’ll have a good week!
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Old 03-31-2014, 10:49 PM
TickFarmer TickFarmer is offline
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It was a busy weekend at the Tick Farm. It must have been; we both came back tired and sore.
Light winds and warm weather meant we finally finished burning the half burnt stumps left over from last weekend and a couple that were in the stockpile waiting their turn. As the Farmerette turned them into ashes I cut the pile of poles into firewood for next winter – or use during the Memorial Day weekend campout and celebration. Y’all are invited! No potable water, electricity or cell phone signal, but lots of places to camp.
The pile of poles was stacked where the Farmerette had decided the raised strawberry bed should go. Now that it is cleared out the logs for the raised bed might be drug into place, trimmed and stacked. We looked around for a good spot to scrape topsoil from to fill it but haven’t come up with the “perfect” spot yet.
After holding the chainsaw half a day (it doubles in weight every time you refuel it) I needed something easy to do. Out came the tractor and more was dug out of the mudhole pond.
About a third done on that project. The clay that came out of that hole went onto the path leading over to it. Then a shallow ditch was cut to direct the water off the slope and over to the pond along the path and driveway where the run off has been overflowing both and escaping to run over to the new pole barn. I really need to finish spreading gravel to raise and level the floor in that thing. Preferably before it gets completely filled up…
We are expecting rain during the week so maybe we will be able to see how effective the work was.

We do invisible work. The Field of Stumps has become a field that looks like it is being enlarged. The pole pile and a couple logs that were laying (in the way) on the side of the field are in neat stacks of firewood. Even the newly filled path over to the mudhole pond has been flattened and leveled.
I figure as long as it keeps looking like nothing is happening we are on the right track. Everything we do seems to be dropping into place. Nothing stands out as odd or unexpected.

Have a great week. The spring rains are on their way!
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Old 03-31-2014, 11:07 PM
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Your life there is a wonderful story.
Thanks for sharing with us.
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Old 04-07-2014, 09:33 PM
TickFarmer TickFarmer is offline
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No problem Annie. I expect it sounds pretty boring but we enjoy it.

Stump pulling and burning this past weekend. Pulled more than we could burn…
The field of stumps is shrinking and the opening actually looks more like a field now.
Even with a head high stack on the burn pile it takes time to turn them to ashes. We stopped piling stumps on the fire around 2:30 in the afternoon but they burned well into the night before ending up as a pile of charred lumps. Maybe we need to have a couple or three fires going at the same time?

It was interesting listening to a kid at work, though. Seems his Mom bought 20 acres of logged over woods and plans on using him for labor to develop it. Her plan is to rent a bobcat for a weekend and have him rough in a driveway and make a clearing to set one of those prefab houses. He asked how we are doing it.
Over to a little patch of overgrown woods for an example. I talked and pointed. He just kept looking more and more serious as I told him what we did. Later on during the afternoon he confessed that he thinks it might take a little longer than a weekend…
I did offer to let him come out to the Tick Farm and practice so he would be more efficient clearing brush, cutting trees and pulling stumps before he started on her place.

I also came up with a new market for the Ticks. All I need to do is put them in little plastic boxes suitable to wear as a necklace and market them as Zombie & Vampire Detectors. When you come across a suspected person all you would have to do is break the box and see if they burrow in and started to feed. If they don’t, then you have located one of the Undead…

Y’all have a great week!
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Old 04-07-2014, 09:43 PM
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Originally Posted by TickFarmer View Post
No problem Annie. I expect it sounds pretty boring but we enjoy it.

Stump pulling and burning this past weekend. Pulled more than we could burn…
The field of stumps is shrinking and the opening actually looks more like a field now.
Even with a head high stack on the burn pile it takes time to turn them to ashes. We stopped piling stumps on the fire around 2:30 in the afternoon but they burned well into the night before ending up as a pile of charred lumps. Maybe we need to have a couple or three fires going at the same time?

It was interesting listening to a kid at work, though. Seems his Mom bought 20 acres of logged over woods and plans on using him for labor to develop it. Her plan is to rent a bobcat for a weekend and have him rough in a driveway and make a clearing to set one of those prefab houses. He asked how we are doing it.
Over to a little patch of overgrown woods for an example. I talked and pointed. He just kept looking more and more serious as I told him what we did. Later on during the afternoon he confessed that he thinks it might take a little longer than a weekend…
I did offer to let him come out to the Tick Farm and practice so he would be more efficient clearing brush, cutting trees and pulling stumps before he started on her place.

I also came up with a new market for the Ticks. All I need to do is put them in little plastic boxes suitable to wear as a necklace and market them as Zombie & Vampire Detectors. When you come across a suspected person all you would have to do is break the box and see if they burrow in and started to feed. If they don’t, then you have located one of the Undead…

Y’all have a great week!
Anyone that thinks your sharing your life there is boring,Is on the wrong forum.
We never know what bits and pieces of info folks might glean from you thread here.

I just learned how to make Zombie jewelery. :

No just keep on sharing.Let the nay sayers bug off(pun intended)
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Old 04-11-2014, 10:07 PM
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Doesn't someone have a birthday today? :
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Old 04-13-2014, 08:38 PM
TickFarmer TickFarmer is offline
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The Buzzard’s Roost Tick Farm; a study in turning a patch of woods into a homestead, working one day a week and with very little money… by a really old guy (Yeah, Annie, there was a birthday) and his pretty young wife.

Phase one is pretty much done in the Field of Stumps. In fact we are going to have to rename it or end up like the guy that gives directions to “turn left just past where Jones’s red barn burned to the ground back in ‘98”…
At least there is a pile of stumps still waiting to be burned. As that happens over the next 2 or three weekends, we go to Phase Two; roots and rocks will be ripped from the soil. After the little field gets flattened back out from that operation it will be seeded. We are still debating on what to plant as a cover crop. I expect it will mostly depend on seed prices, although we are leaning towards grasses or grains. The primary crop use will be for erosion control over the summer.

The weekend was partly spent goofing off. Part was spent digging, pulling and burning stumps. And part was spent gathering morel mushrooms.
It’s just a little early for morels, but the preseason crop sprang up in the front yard. After gathering a dozen or so the Farmerette cruised the woods to no avail. She did find a tick, however. We are hoping for a good crop this year. Also saw the black snake (Henrietta) that hangs around in the woods. Had to have a conversation with that one and tell it to go check on the outhouse and tractor park for all the new mice runnin around. Didn’t seem to care, or listen for that matter.
The wild plums are all in bloom and the red buds are redbudding, showing off while the woods are still open. Most of the trees and brush are budding out but the leaves haven’t opened up yet. It’s still possible to see ten yards through the tangle.
The goldfinches have turned yellow again and the phoebe nest has reappeared in the porch rafters. No summer butterflies for us this year, either.
Last year we watched as the pair of phoebes built their nest, checked the eggs regularly and then pestered the chicks until they ran away from home. We also wondered about the lack of butterflies, until we discovered that was what they were feeding their youngins.
Didn’t have the heart to chase them away but, alas, only a few weeks and they were gone. Took the nest down and never saw them again until now.
Seeing signs of deer all over the newly created field but haven’t seen any. Hear turkeys in the early morning, haven’t seen any of them either. The barred owls, or hoot owls, as everyone calls them, are beginning to get frisky again. It’s their mating time. If you have never sat and listened to them, you should. The Farmerette got to listen for about 15 minutes one early morning and was very impressed. They make much more than just a whoo, whoo sound.

It was summertime last weekend, but they are talking about possible snow for Monday…
There wasn’t a fire in the stove and we even left the door open Saturday night for the first time this year. Kinda missed the stove – the coffee didn’t stay hot all day in the percolator and we had to use the stovetop to cook food. It will take a month before we get comfortable using it as a side table again.

Y’all have a great week!
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Old 04-13-2014, 10:03 PM
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Morels?! I've got to hit the woods. :-)

We have a pair of phoebes which return each year. They learn to tolerate us very well, living right above the porch. When the fledglings take flight, they hang around for about two days, then the whole family is gone.

I feel a special attraction to your posts, since we live so near each other. I can really commiserate on the weather.
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Old 04-13-2014, 11:47 PM
Pokeberry Mary Pokeberry Mary is offline
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Default how to get rid of the ticks

the guy we bought our place from had free range chickens he said the ticks were awful before he got them but they seemed to have eaten them all. I have to say-- when I was there I worked in the yard all the time and never had a tick bite. so just an idea for you. He had a coop and run-but he let them out during the day and they came home at night--probably lured by dinner.

Mary
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Old 04-14-2014, 08:59 PM
TickFarmer TickFarmer is offline
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They are claiming a freeze tonight followed with a wet warmup during the week. I’d be planning on a Saturday excursion into your morel grounds, S2. That’s when we expect they will be popping up all over.

We plan to have a herd of chickens after we move to the Tick Farm, but I expect right now we would just be putting out expensive coyote and fox bait. We wondered about getting some pea fowl, but don’t expect they would stick around all week waiting for us to show up for the weekends.
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