Discussion in 'Homesteading' started by Dadio, May 6, 2016.
Congratulations! It's absolutely beautiful!
Thoughts and prayers with you and your family as you undertake this new beginning........
Sorry for your family's loss Dadio. Death is never easy, even if anticipated.
Good to hear that you're finally done with the closing. Now if the weather will cooperate, you can get started on those projects. Looking forward to seeing your progress.
It doesn't seem like our place yet. It's lovely there, quiet, lots of birds, a soft breeze under the maple tree, but it still seems like "the Kirschner farm" rather than ours.
I went out this morning to change that a bit. Sprayed a bunch of poison ivy by the gate, trimmed weeds around the machine shed and grabbed the old doors off the shed we'll be taking out. There are lots of stones out there, old foundation stones from buildings past and some that are just neat looking, there I assume because they caught someone's eye. One of my "someday" projects is a curved stone wall so I started making some piles that will be there when time and inspiration come together.
Love these old hinges. Might look good on a garden gate, I'm thinking. And the boards themselves would make some nice benches or something.
Below is a shot of why we are taking that particular shed down. It has a lot of insect damage.
Took another look at the log cabin. The tin they put over it was loose in the back, and I pulled it back to see nice solid walnut beams sitting on limestone pillars. The lowest course on that side is a good two feet off the ground and I saw no sign of rot. So good news there. I'll get more photos of it later.
Lots of small trees and brush that needs to be cleared out. I started dragging downed limbs and sticks over to a bare spot to eventually be burned. There are some smaller logs off a walnut tree that I've got my eye on as well, if nothing else I'll section them up and get the stored off the ground for some later use.
Thanks for reading!
Condolences on your loss...It's always hard....no matter what.....
Looks like a good start......
Sometimes before you get to do the fun stuff you have to do the less fun stuff. It's still satisfying. Took the day off to work on a water leak at my mother's home and managed to get that done before noon, so went home, took a short nap (I'm philosophically against naps, but biologically for them), and then ran out to the new place with some contractor bags. Lots of random crap in the machine shed, including actual cow crap - lots of beer cans, clothing from a previous tenant, broken Metallica CD's, a Sega Genesis machine, a single boot, random bits of wire and baling string etc.
Found a new friend...
Part of the results of a couple hour's work .
Measured the smaller opening that I'll be framing in for the conversion of that half to a workshop. Ironically the finished dimensions of the partitioned space will be about exactly the size of the cabin at the "old place" - about 14X30 instead of 14X24. Within the next month or so I'll do the footing work and try to get the place framed in by deer season in November.
The roundup I sprayed last week on the poison ivy by the gate has set it back a bit, but it's still kickin', so I'll hit it again.
Mini-Rant: I'm not sure what's happened but the tradition of tossing out "likes" but it seems to have faded since the conversion to the new website format. It might sound odd, but recognition that someone is actually reading and appreciating this means a lot to me and keeps me going with the photos and posts, and it's a little discouraging when only a couple seem to be following this at all. Well, Tx and Hunter and Gascozark: Thanks for reading and sticking with this thread!
I'm here darn it. I'm jealously reading every post. Keep up the good work
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Well, My avatar is a winter shot of our "Place"....and can feel every move, problem and job that has to be done....that you are going thru,.. to get to that magic "Place"...
So yeah, I "Like" your project.....
So many people "want to get their own, some day"....many never will, but at least by following your progress can enjoy it with you.
So, yeah still watching and enjoying ...and in some cases sticking my nose in,..... as well....
Press on.......and Thanks.
BTW I have an old oak door sitting next to my steps....was given to me as a gift, back in the day of attending many "Rendezvous"....Mountain man re-enactments as a door to our "camp town"....has many symbols and initials wood burned into it by people attending and visiting our "Town" .
Was told it was from an Amish outhouse...... No pic's...yet....LOL
I've spent the last couple weekends at the "old place" finishing the last of the drywall up on the gables with the help of my wife and son. We've been at the new place, which we've taken to calling "the farm", a few times, sometimes just walking or enjoying the view, sometimes doing a bit of mowing or weed whipping.
Today after church I was in the mood for more of a bush craft oriented outing, so we ran by a local grocers on the way home to grab a steak for me to take out and shop their sales a bit. I loaded up my pack and the truck with some essentials (axe, old grills off a now discarded smoker, a billy for a brew, knife, tarp, etc.).
It's a short drive to the farm, and I pulled up under a large maple to keep the truck in the shade. There's the top off a harvested walnut that I've been eying for a carving bench, so I brought along the chainsaw but when I walked over to it I realized that getting that chunk of wood out was going to be harder and more time consuming that I had planned on, so that's a task for another day when I have some help.
Walked back behind the barn toward the southern border of the property to a little area dominated by honey locusts. It was apparent that the cows hadn't been here in some time because the grass was nearly waist high.
The area under the locusts was more bare due, I assume, to the relative lack of sunlight. The cow path was more distinct there and the somewhat sandy soil was fine for the small fire I had in mind. There were several broken or cut locust branches at hand for the fire that needed to be removed anyway. Those thorns, though, are no joke and required some care when handling. I did get tagged a time or two, but it was worth the effort anyway.
Locust is a tough wood but splits easily and burns hot. There was a cedar nearby with a broken branch that got the party started.
I used the Laplander and axe to break up those locust branches and feed them into the fire. It would be good to come back there during the winter and do a general brush cleanup, but even this small fire helped make it easier to walk around. There are several larger stones along a fence line and by the barn that will work fine in the stone wall I've been fantasizing about.
Momio sent me a text while I was out and about saying that I had grabbed the roast instead of the steak, but it's all beef and eats the same. I cut some slices off the roast, added some Montreal steak spice mix from the Infidel spice pack (gifted by Thom) and placed them on the old grill grates. There's something about being outdoors and the smoke of the fire that makes the food taste fantastic, and I enjoyed the small lunch very much.
Well, that's pretty much it. This is the kind of thing I want to get to, and there's no need to check off some task from a work list every week. The butterflies were out in force, and the flies and mosquitos didn't find me till I was putting out the fire and packing to leave.
Some takeaways: I need to get a tractor and blade and brushhog, and soon. This property is going to take a lot of upkeep and I have a feeling it could get away from me pretty quickly. I've got quite a bit of old cross fencing that isn't really relevant to our intended use, and that needs to be taken down. I'd like to settle on a spot or two for some bushcraft camps where I can set up a good fire pit, have some poles ready for tarp use or cooking tripods, and maybe with some trees for a hammock. This spot I was in might make a nice area for that with a bit of work. I don't have the hatred of honey locusts that a lot of farmers have around here but I'd like to cut back the small ones so they don't just take over.
My view for the day:
As always, thank you for reading!
Kinda like the name, "The Farm"......fits....
That last pic could have been a pic of the river bottom as I was brush-hogging today......But the fields are in soybeans this year....not corn and they are waist high.
Weeds look the same.
We got out to our "Place" on Friday.....haven't been out since the 25 of June......
Just lots of stuff this summer that kept us busy in the city....and everything DID get away from us.....LOL
Thanks for the pic's....keep them coming....
Congrats! Where did you end up buying?
Had a great Friday walk out at the farm. Walked through the bottom pasture and a bit further up the creek. In the course of a half hour saw doves, quail, wild turkey and this little promise of things to come.
I recognize the orange flowers of jewelweed, but don't know the plant with the red bloom. Thoughts?
Anyway it's out to the old The Place for some cabin work, so not sure how much I will get out to the new The Place, but this was a great end to a long work week. Thanks for reading!
Gotta say the locust with the thorns.....looks like "Hedge" Osage Orange......
Hunted around Sedalia, MO that stuff will tear you up.
Well, we have hedge as well, but the thorns on honey locust are in a class by themselves. I really kinda like hedge, but think I'll be going to war with the honey locust.
Beautiful place. Dove season starts here in September, and no limit on those collared doves.
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My son and I dropped off some excess building materials from the cabin project at the other property. After stacking the goods on a pallet in the machine shed we decided to do a little trimming. Zac worked the push mower and I ran the string trimmer. Unfortunately, I decided to tackle some giant ragweed with the trimmer, and while I knocked them down they had their revenge. So now I'm on the couch with itchy eyes and clogged sinuses and occasional, but spectacular, serial sneezing fits. Next time: Roundup and then a week or so later, loppers and a bonfire.
There's a lot of random stuff around the old home as well as tree limbs and rocks etc. I think I'm going to have to conquer one area at a time, weed eating and cleaning up, then some careful push mowing so that I can get it cleaned up enough to use the lawn tractor. Some of that will have to wait till it cools down some, though. Ninety plus degree weather sucks the energy out of me much worse than it used to.
"Ninety plus degree weather sucks the energy out of me much worse than it used to."
Dadio, I have come to the conclusion that acid rain and global warming are the major causes for my inability to do the things I could 40 years ago....Think about it, back then there was no talk of acid rain or global warming, and I could work outside all day...no problem. Heat, cold just didn't matter....and now I feel that the above mentioned conditions have leached some of my strength, turned my hair and beard white and caused my joints to ache....So, it seems to reason they must be the cause.....
Sounds reasonable to me. It might be cell phones, too. Or hybrid cars. All I know is I used to be the energizer bunny, and now I'm Eyeore.
It's all Al G.....fault.....Never mind....LOL
This is the oak door I was referring to.........The Door to Darrell's Town....Sadly alot of the wood burned names and saying are fading away,....as did some of the people that made them, back when...several have passed in 30 years.
I keep it displayed,.... to remind me of all the people and things that led us to this "Place"
getting rid of honey locus nearly requires slash n burn approach. any left standing will seed area in no time. good burning wood but it's nearly impossible not to get thorned at some point.
I like it, Buddy. It looks like it fits.
Do you have any children, nieces or nephews that help out around the property? Seems like a lot of property to manage on your own. Thanks for sharing.
My son helps out and my wife does as well. My daughter, well, not so much. Love her anyway.
Sounds like a nice place. I look forward to following. Thanks
Those that go for a" Place Of their own", need to remember it is their "dream and job to keep up"......not invited friend and family.
One must balance the "work with the fun"....Very easy to fall into the "pay for play" plan.
Some friend and relatives will and do help out and enjoy it.....many don't....and actually expect you to be the provider, tour guide, bartender, cook and maid....
Call may go like this....
"Hey Buddy?....are you planning on being at your place on, (fill in their available dates)...though we would drop by for a week.....BYW do you have the running water going yet?....That out house was a PITA."
My brother and wife are like this......and expect you to be there for their convenience and be entertained .....They haven't been here in a while....LOL
But on the other hand one BIL was my building partner, hunting partner and good friend.......Had his own key for the place.
Sadly passed way....and I still miss him.
Some buddies and my son came out today to help me catch up on some grounds maintenance and a bit of scouting for deer season. First order of the day was to take out a hackberry growing right next to the machine shed. We also took the opportunity to clean up some downed limbs and random brush. We had nearly 6 inches of rain last two days, so it was a good day for a small brush pile fire.
Some of the tools I have learned on this forum came in very handy. Grabbed some dead branches off a maple, sawed some straight and knot free sections and split them up. UCO storm proof matches and a quick fire tab got the split wood started and the rest of those maple branches got a fire going that dried and burned the green hackberry.
On breaks from mowing and trimming we ran out on the four wheeler to explore the place some more. I was very pleased to see several yucca plants near the cemetery. Eventually I will try to transplant some of those closer to the homestead. I saw some new little corners of the place that we'd not seen before.
The more we do out there the more it seems ours, if that makes sense. Very happy with the decision to make this happen.
To top it off, came home to a package I wasn't expecting till Monday!
My clearing brush is waiting on flood waters going down.....always something.
My daily exercise walks around the perimeter are cut back by the water, as well.....but do provide exercise and updates on what is happening around the property when I do them.
Exploring is fun......you always seem to notice something you haven't seen before.
There is a small spring that empties into the creek. The flow isn't huge, but it seems steady and it is still flowing more than three weeks since we've had any significant rain. I don't have big plans for it, but I do think I'll clean it out, line it with stones and sand from the creek and build a dam to divert ground runoff from it. I also have memories of the land I lived on during much of my childhood that had a spring, really an artesian well, that was surrounded by mint, so I'll plant some mint and let that take over.
Here it is at present. Not the best photo but I think you can spot it.
I really like the mint idea. It adds a piece of you to the land. I think I might just do that myself. Thanks.
Ran by on the way home tonight to check on the place. There was a beautiful storm rolling in and I had to take the photo, even if all I had was the phone.
I love a dark sky. I especially love to site on my carport as a storm rolls in. The sky gets dark the wind blows and the temp drops. It's a true relief in the summer.
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The first harvest from the farm. Sonnio and I had hung some tree stands a few weeks ago and headed out the first morning of firearms season. Missouri has free tags for landowners so I took advantage of that, plus I bought a regular doe tag. I wa set up in a small grove of sycamores near the south edge of the property, close to the creek and in a fairly secluded clearing.
It didn't take long. I could see at least two deer moving on the other side of a line of trees heading toward my son's stand and the a couple minutes later a doe trotted into the clearing followed by a nice buck. They were feeding at about my 4 o'clock which had me trying to see through a small hedge apple tree, but finally the buck stepped out to where I had a good shot. He bucked and ran maybe 20 yards, uphill, and into some brush before I saw him go down. Aft waiting a while, my son and I headed up to find him and drag him back to where we could get the truck.
The left side is a five point, with nearly another point near the tip, and two points on the other. There is mandatory CWD testing in my county, and the Conservation officer said that he had likely been injured on the opposite side earlier, causing the strange rack. Anyway, I was very pleased to take a deer on my own land for the first time.
One of my neighbors came by sometime last week and brush hogged the pasture near the farmstead. Just to be nice. Can't beat that. And Zac had found some old farm machines while looking for a place to set up a ground blind. I need to take a weed eater out there to see exactly what is there, but it looks to me like a cultivator, wagon and hay cutter, plus some random wheels. Not sure when they stopped making steel wheeled implements, but I suspect it's been a while.
Oh, and a nice sunset
Congratulations on the nice "harvest".....another step in making the New Place truly yours. Nice find on the old farming equipment....the steel wheels and old implements make wonderful yard decoration....IMHO
My son took a button buck (mistaken for a doe) and we were able to host a couple nephews and a niece for hunting season as well. We're very pleased to kick off what I hope will be a long tradition in the family.
We've also made some more progress on the property. Momio and I went out with some stakes and string and blocked off the garden site and the location of the entrance gate and fence. She helped me take down a nice, straight gate off the east field and strap it down to the truck for the ride to its new location. Momio has been such a great partner and helpmate and I couldn't ask for a better friend. None of this would be nearly as fulfilling without her.
Anyway, my son was able to pick up a power auger on his trip back from his in-laws the day after Thanksgiving, and Momio and I picked up some boards and fence posts and hardware. Saturday and Sunday after church my son and I went out and dug post holes. Broke a handle off a new post hole digger (not sure what wood the handle is made of, but it didn't look like hickory). Fought a large root near the stumps of a osage orange/hedge tree that ultimately took a generator powered sawzall with a pruning blade to conquer. Some photos:
Zac with the auger. Old fence we're replacing is in the background.
The pesky root. The auger worked well for thumb sized roots, but this had it beat
We hid the H brace behind one of the slats. Zac's installing a lag bolt.
Old fence in foreground., There will be another row of horizontal boards below the three. And the gate's not yet attached.
While we were working a man stopped by to say he drives down the road all the time and had noticed the improvements, and said it was looking nice. We're glad to give the property the care and attention it needs. Lots and lots to do, obviously, including cutting more saplings and brush near the entrance, but the encouragement was welcome.
As always, thanks for reading!
Thanks for sharing....great that you are able to share the journey with your family.
Thanks, Tex! The dream I'm going for a home for my wife and I, and a stable place for the clan to get together for decades, hopefully generations to come. This might sound a little odd, but one of the motivations stems from being the only son of an only son and having only one son myself. This is how family names die off in an area, and I want there to be a "Stearns place" around here for a long, long time. To me, that's much more of a legacy than a name on a tombstone.
Love this thread - gorgeous pictures and thanks for sharing your progress. My husband and I have discussed doing something like this eventually so it's nice to see some insight into the work that goes into maintaining a spot that large and wild.
I also love the mint idea. One of my friends bought some property and they soon realized that the entire lawn had lavender mixed in with the grass. The smell was heavenly.
Great stuff; love the pics of the old stuff
Great stuff, buddy...and what a great place!
Interesting thing you said there really hits home with me. My grandfather had two brothers that died without sons. My father lost two brothers who died without children. I am the last male of the line.
I agree with your line of thought. A few years ago one of my grandsons and I picked out "the cabin spot" which has slowly turned into "the cabin". A small cabin in the woods on our place. It is still a work in progress, however the "I will be at the cabin" is now an often used phrase. For me the greatest joy has been in building a place the family can gather anytime they want to. Following your first "the place" thread as well as this one has been an encouragement to me to continue to work on making "the cabin" a place for the "clan to get together for decades". Thanks for sharing.
Long day at the farm yesterday trying to get some more fence up and stained/sealed before a cold, wet front pushes through. Managed to get two more sections of fencing completed, and have three to go. Even using the power auger, my back sure felt the day later that night.
I picked a Thompson product with stain and sealant in one, and I am pleased with the results. I was pretty skeptical initially because it was a purplish color right from the can, but it browned up nicely with a few minutes on the wood itself. I went ahead and sealed the posts themselves even though they are already pressure treated. I gave special attention to the tops of the posts where the end grain was because I haven't yet gone through and sawn the tops off at an angle to let the rain and snow run off. I'll do that at the end when I can run a line and get the tops even. Momio was a great help as always, even though she has been fighting a bit of a cold.
Ran into another neighbor who, as it turns out, works at one of the Midwest's best native plant nursery and seed provider. Seems like a really nice guy and he also owns a small sawmill down the road.
This was my first time hanging a gate, and I think it went well. I had to make a run to the local farm supply store for a longer 5/8 in bit, but it went up level and hung so its "default" position is resting against the far post. I had to bring it to a height that would clear the middle hump of the gravel driveway, so that was a chore but I'm pleased with the results.
Today we will go cut a Christmas tree with my daughter and future son in law. Hopefully a more peaceful day !
We've had some cold days and nights lately and I have been worried about getting the last of the fence posts in before the ground froze too hard, so Zac came down to help me. I don't think we could have waited another week, as the ground was pretty hard. The soil itself up on the hill is really very good. It's a loam, per the soil test, and about two feet deep before you get to a layer of clay. It is quite friable and looks rich; I'm looking forward to getting some trees and bushes in the ground in the spring.
We set the last three posts grinding inch by inch through the ground. The power auger again made a very hard job only a hard job. We held off attaching the horizontal wood slats until we have a nice relatively warm weekend sometime soon. That's a job I can do by myself if need be, and it can wait. I also used the chainsaw to trim up a large cedar so we could get the fence poles set beneath it, and then to take out the old fencing and cut some trees and brush that needed to be removed.
Best part of the day was working on the little campsite down in the creek bottom. I had a couple split logs and I cut up a fallen walnut up the hill to act as the base for a bench. We also drug down some larger stones to improve the fire pit. A few small twigs from the bottom of a cedar and the some dead branches here and there gave us the fuel for a fire, and we put it to use heating up some water for a warm drink on a cold day.
While I like the current little campsite, just down the creek another twenty yards or so is a nicer site, with a couple locust trees the right distance apart for a future bushcraft style shelter/bench and more flat area for a tent or tarp. Zac was very impressed with the shelter at the 88 Tactical meet, and we looked around for four smallish trees we can use to make a similar quad-pod. We ran out of daylight and the chain skipped off the chainsaw (I stupidly didn't return the combo tool thingie to the case last time I used it - an error I fixed as soon as I got home). In any case, we agreed to devote a day to just working on the campsite. Can't wait.
A few photos:
The entrance looks much, much better, and Momio was pleased with the changes, which is important to me. Sorry about the mediocre photos - my cheap cell phone was all I had with me.
Having fun looking at seed and plant catalogs and thinking about how to create some inexpensive and yet attractive raised beds. We want taller raised beds that people typically make, and I'm wondering if some wooden frames holding galvanized metal roofing panels will work. Also thinking about water catchment for that garden, and fencing, and gates down at the creek bottom, and......We'll see.
As always, thanks for reading!
This morning while Momio was wrapping presents and prepping for visitors, I took the opportunity to work on the entrance fence again. Nothing earth shattering, but the weather was decent for late December, above freezing at least, and that was important for the stain and sealer. Pretty much got all I can get done till spring when I'll tie it in to the rest of the fencing.
A reminder of the before
And the after
Just for my own memory, I used Thompson's Autumn Brown semitransparent stain a and sealer.
When I was done I ran down to the creek. Just beautiful!
Well I read through your "The Place" last week and just found this one this morning. Very nice property you have there, I especially like the creek areas you have pictured. I grew up having a simular sized creek to use and play in and miss having one now for my kids and myself. Congrats on being able to have such good land.
Got family in Marshall, MO. I live in Union, MO myself. Central MO is a beautiful place that is often overlooked by passerby types. I'd give my left *}>' to have a place like yours.
A very big congrats are in order to you for seeing your dream through.
The last few weeks have been expensive but productive. We hired some heavy equipment for the cleaning up the farmyard of old buildings, fence lines and unwanted trees. It's a big improvement and actually makes it more enjoyable to be out there. My son and I worked on clearing out the old hewn log cabin of miscellaneous crap that had been thrown in there. It looks as if it had been converted to store some sort of grain, with three partitioned areas. There was still a bunch of that grain on the floor that I snow shoveled out the door and a window. We burned some random lumber along with downed limbs nearby and got maybe halfway through clearing it out. I'll need to go back in with a sawzall to remove the partitions.
There is some nice lumber to be salvaged from those partitions in the cabin as well as some more in the barn. I've been going back and forth on keeping the barn but the more I look at it the more I like it. The roof seems in very good repair, and the bad areas of the walls don't seem beyond saving. Even the structure looks pretty good with only one vertical beam to repair, and it isn't load bearing.
The corn silo will take some work. It has what looks like years of layered feed sacks and decaying feed that it just hard to break through. I spent about an hour getting out what I could and never hit the bottom. It is a solid building with a concrete floor, but won't be useable till we get it cleaned out. I guess they just kept throwing the sacks on the floor and stacking new bags on top of it.
After about four hours of work, my son and I headed to the creek for lunch. The recent rain and snow left everything pretty damp,but we broke some dead hedge and honey locust from standing trees and used an upside down fire to get it going. I brought some deer steaks from the buck I took in the fall and we had some hot Earl,Grey from a thermos. It was a better lunch than I've had in a while.
I brought a metal bucket with a lid to keep at the base camp we've made down there. I'll keep some matches and tinder dry in there, and we can use it to gather rocks or wood or whatever else. A handy thing, a bucket!
Ice was just beginning to melt in the creek making for some stunning reflections.
A parting shot of the prep for the next fire, along with the RBB puukko.
Thanks for sharing.....I enjoy sharing your adventure....