Discussion in 'Homesteading' started by Forestree, Apr 12, 2015.
Can do. I'll take some pictures tomorrow.
I hope this helps somewhat. The basic shape is an "L" of 1/8 inch thick, 3" wide angle iron. The bottom of the L is three feet long, with holes so that you can attach the lumber with carriage bolts. There are tabs on the back structure that attach to the three point hitch of the tractor.
Here is a link to plans for welding your own: https://www.bing.com/images/search?...608020517706859641&selectedIndex=0&ajaxhist=0
Burdock root in the fill for the raised beds.
My son, daughter and son in law came out to help Momio and me build more raised beds. We built three frames and on one of those used the rest of my small pieces of tin to finish. The other two are ready for tin, but I have to salvage it from the barn we are taking down first. That little tractor is as handy as a pocket on a shirt. Showed my son how to attach equipment to the three point and how to adjust the lean. This is all new to us and he is vertical interested.
Used the box blade to pile up dirt in what used to be the barnyard, and we had a couple other piles here and there. Both he and I had a lot of fun just playing in the dirt. Takes about ten scoops to fill those beds, and we were careful to choose the rocky and weedy stuff for the bottom layers and saving the best stuff for the top. I’ve got some pavers to put between the beds, and there is plenty of fencing that will be taken out when we build the house, so that’s something to look forward to.
Decided to see how much snow is still in bottom garden, 30 inches.
@Dadio Thanks for the instructions!
Will print it out and take to a welder.
I snowshoed in the two miles to my land to check on my sugarbush. I quit making syrup for various reasons but mostly because it became too hard for the amount of money it generated. I wanted to check on the buildings. I'm a little melancholy but also relieved too. Everything is still standing. One of my projects this year is to take down all the sap tubing.
Farming season as finally arrived and since i was out of town for work for the last 2 weeks I have many projects waiting for attention.
Today I made a trip to Peaco in Big Arm and picked up a yard of organic potting soil and 2 yards of peat moss.
I then rolled into my mom's greenhouse project where we worked on a 16 inch deep blue board thermal break and concrete block raised bed that is also functioning as thermal mass.
I will try and get some pictures later tonight. But we had an addition to the farm this morning. One of our mares has dropped a healthy filly. First one of the season.
Not only did I start hundreds of plants yesterday I also created a new perennial bed and transplanted a heap of composting worms into a new bin.
The bed is larger then it looks and the spacing of the plants should fill in to form a "forest" feel that will need little upkeep once mature. I planted 5 chive plants, 2 sorrel plants, 4 Alexandra Alpine strawberry, 1 Viking Aronia, 1 lavender, 1 Smokey serviceberry, 1 Crandall current, and of course a Siberian pea shrub to fix nitrogen in the bed.
I was working on a different bed and and after mulching I made 3 separate worm piles to break down the mulch. There were more worms in my bucket then I wanted to use on the bed so I started a new compost bin with the extra red wigglers.
Finished the rear bed in the greenhouse. The bed weighs over 2000 pounds so should help out tempering night time tempatures. The planting area is 16 inches by 15 feet. We rammed earth into the holes of the blocks to increase our mass and add structure. The front holes we lightly filled the last 6 inches with the thought of planting basil once the soil warms up. As of now I planted the bed with lettuce mix at micro green densities, should be able to start harvesting micro greens in a couple weeks and we will harvest all that is left a week before we plant tomatoes and peppers.
We added some more beds, now at six of the planned eight for the year. I had the day off, and it turned out to be one of the most perfect weather wise I can remember in a long time. Hooked up the brush hog for the first time this year and knocked down the broadleaf weeds. Glad I did. Trying to keep ahead of them this year. Momio and I picked up the material for the last two beds, so Lord and weather willing we will be done setting up and planting the garden next weekend.
Finished the last two raised beds, filled and planted them. That was a lot of work and some expense but we shouldn’t have to replace them for a decade or more. I have arthritis in my back and having the garden at a comfortable height makes it so much more enjoyable.
Made a few passes up and down the lane with my box blade to clear out the grass. I’ll need some more rock for it eventually but it’s solid and well drained. That box blade was a good purchase. I used it to scrape up the eighty or so bucket loads of soil for the beds out of the old barnyard area. It’s an ingenious design.
Garden is going well. It’s hard to keep up with the potato plants. We planted them in a trench and have already hilled them even to the depth of the bed. We will be adding straw and soil to hill them further. We need some rain, but the straw mulch is doing a great job reflecting some of the heat and keeping the soil from drying out.
That’s about it this week. Thanks for reading,
I tested a new tool. An Echo 58V lithium battery powered chainsaw. I cut down and processed two six inch diameter red maples on my lot here in town. The trees were poor quality overtopping some nice young oak and pine. A lot of power similar to my 52cc gas saw. I plan on carrying it in my truck and using it at my home. My gas saws are at my land usually. No gas fumes to smell or spill, and very quiet to run.
Thanks for posting, @RavenLoon. As you use it more, please keep us updated on how it works out for you. I really can’t see myself giving up my Stihl, but that’s a very interesting saw.
I also would be interested in hearing more about it.
So far I cut that pile and another pile about half that size on one charge. I cut that bottom piece which is 12" in diameter off the stump from the double tree. It loses power towards the end of a charge, not a sudden complete shut down like a lithium drill. It takes about a half hour for recharging the battery. Extra batteries are expensive, over $150 so I'm just using the one it came with for now.
I wondered how much spare batteries cost. That’s pretty steep. Thanks for sharing.
Last week I loaded my Craftsman mower into the trailer and mowed my daughter’s grass in town. Today I started to mow a little patch and the mower wouldn’t even whimper. Dead silence. Weird, I thought, she was running perfectly last week. Flipped open the hood and saw corn on top of the gas tank. Not good.
I took the steering wheel off and removed the cowling. Looks like the foundation of a rat’s nest.
I got the shop vac and cleaned her up good. Two wires chewed in two, two others gnawed.
So I spliced and taped and got it running without much of a problem. It shares a tractorport with a Mihindra and I got to wondering about it so I started it up. When I did, a big ole rat ran out of the bottom of it and up the tree right by me.
So, I have a rat problem. Not sure what I’m gonna do about it. I hate poison. We have lots of possums, squirrels, coons, and other things I wouldn’t want to poison. If I set traps I’d catch more squirrels than rats. A barn cat would most likely catch squirrels while the mice ran freely.
Well I have slacked on this thread big time..
daily haul.. up to a dozen a day
I agree about the poison and don't like it either. Rats and mice are common problems in rural areas and I can attest to the damage and headaches they cause. For rats I've used regular spring traps with great success by placing in the well traveled rat areas. There's lots of squirrels around the same areas and I've never inadvertently gotten one in a trap
Thanks for posting. I’ve also thought about putting spring traps out at night in places where possums can’t get to them. Squirrels aren’t usually out and about at night when the rats are partying. Since the mower issue, I’ve been starting both the tractor and mower everyday in hopes of scaring them away, a temporary solution at best.
After 3 years of tilling a big garden, I decided to stop and try a raised bed. I'll probably put one more to the left of it. It will yield a 1/8th of what I usually harvest, but it will also be 1/4th the amount of work involved. Mostly bell peppers, a few tomatoes, and some banana peppers for salads. The next bed will most likely be nothing but lettuce. Still have to put down bark or mulch to keep the weeds down.
I've gotten the new compost barrel built, a new raised garden bed built, & we've gotten the two gardens tilled (a 12x12 & a 20x20). The plan for today is to do a lot of planting, get as much of the garden in as we can. Oh, we've also built a pair of water barrels to capture water from the sump pump. We have an 88 gallon capacity which is easily filled by the sump pump in less than half an hour.
Resource run today. I had plenty of other tasks to accomplish but a friend wanted to know if I wanted sod he removed from his yard. No brainer for me, the top soil was trucked in from a region of the valley that is know for some of the highest quality soils in the country and it it full of roots, grass, and worms. Felt like work loading around 3500 pounds of soil by hand, and I have not even started unloading.
One more load to get. Lots of work but worth it. Once the life in the soil decomposes it will be time to grow micro greens and I will have the perfect substrate to grow them on.
Take two on sod loads. This time a got a little help from the kids.
Not much of a homestead but we got our garden in on Wednesday.
That's a potato box in the back next to the wife and kids. So far, it's doing great.
Try cotton balls soaked in mint oil, tuck them around the wire harness area, most mice and rats hate mint. It worked for a lot of the ranchers I dealt with in South Dakota, for their atv's and side by sides.
Thanks. They’ve gotten into my Mahindra now. It won’t even whimper. I need to figure out how to remove the cowl so I can rewire it. I’ll definitely try the mint oil.
I planted a few raspberries and a couple gooseberries this spring. Looks like I lost two apple trees last winter. One I planted last year and one was my oldest and most productive tree. It broke at the rotten base and the hares fed on it last winter. I plan to bud from a surviving branch one of the rootstock sprouts this August. I mulch the trees with leaves from the yard, also throw dog waste and wood ashes under the trees. I mow around the wild blueberry. I made a new bed for tomatoes this year and
maybe strawberries next year.
Came back from a week of vacation to an explosion in the garden! Everything had impressive growth due to warm weather and about 2.5 inches of rain. Since this photo we’ve added asparagus plants (my attempt at planting the corms didn’t work, so we bought one year old plants from a a local nursery). Also did a ton of weeding and mowing. Can’t say I love weeding but the loose soil and not bending over constantly greatly reduces the PITA factor.
We have three or four small squashes, several tomatoes, even more small cukes already set. Should have the first harvest of squash this week and cukes next week.
Also replanted a blackberry that something (squirrel?) dug up. Seems to be doing okay. One hazelnut died over the winter so I’ll look for a replacement.
Rat got into my tractor. Guess I’m headed to town to see what a wiring harness costs. Several are gnawed too close to slice.
I’m not happy and I tell ya right now, these dang possums better get busy and catch some rats or we’re gonna be eating possum stew.
Weeded (it's neverending) and added two small trellises so the cukes have a place to go besides all over everything else. Picked the first cuke and a few more squash. Potatoes are insane, tomatoes coming along. Also, planted two blueberries and a peach tree. And the first cutting of hay. Could use some rain...
I have not posted in this thread in a while but I have been busy. First the garden is finally doing well after starting out the season in march abnormally hot several late frosts in april, dry for both those months, them rain almost everyday in may, the poor garden didn't know what to to do. Asparagus had an ok showing. Now lettuce and peas are coming in well. Potatoes, garlic, sunflower, sweet potatoes and gourds are all jumping. My apple trees pulled through the frost ok, my pears for the first time ever are not fruiting this year from it. Blueberries, black berries, and grapes are all looking good.
I purchase an 1974 cub cadet 129 this spring and have been fixing it.
I have been using it to mow down my 1st paddock..roughly two acres. It is in bad shape I have not run animals in years and the plan is to run sheep again next year and the entire fence needs rebuilding this year so that means keeping it clear
As animals go the laying flock is giving us half a dozen eggs a day, two hens have gone broody and hoping to get some chicks from them. As well I have been incubating some eggs in the homemade incubator with some pretty good success.
I got five hatchlings from the first attempt and have a dozen more eggs starting to.hatch now..I will see how it goes. The rabbit trio had 16 kits on their first breeding and one doe just birthed 5 more this weekend.
The 8 remaining meat birds I had just got rehomed in the freezer along with 4 rabbits of the original 16 kits.
One of the remaining 12 will become a breeder and the rest when the have enough weight on them will be going in the freezer as well.
I always seem to be missing soil. This batch was 25 gallons for micro green growth over the winter. I looked today and 3 oz of micro greens cost $8.99. No way I am buying any when they are so easy to grow.
The wiring harness for my Mahindra 3616 came in last week. A rat completely ruined a small harness and damaged the main one. The main one is $849, the smaller one is $108. I replaced the small one and spliced three wires in the main one. I was mighty happy when she started up. I took her for a spin and dig up an old tree stump. She works perfectly and has the pleasant smell of peppermint oil. All is well again out here in the weeds.
More garden stuff. I have a pile of pavers that I'm bringing out a few at a time for the path between the beds. Made a trellis for the grapes and berries. Trying to make long term improvements.
Last week I hauled rocks to put in a undercut bank so it wouldn't erode more and the bank wouldn't collapse. This week I pulled limbs from the creek so I can park my boat. I also cut about half of it up and my chain saw started overheating and shut down. Idk what's up with that thing.
It may be silly to ask but is your mixed gas proportioned right?
The dry weather had been rough on the garden, and the fields for that matter. Not t even sure it will end up worthwhile t get a second hay cutting. The creek is dry, just a few moist looking spots here and there. Basically looks like a poorly maintained gravel road. Tomatoes are doing well, as are the watermelons for some reason. Peppers and potatoes not so much. Onions are pitiful. This year convinced me that I will add a drip irrigation system once we live out there.
Time of year when we start trying to get the firewood collected for winter heating. I always love when my kids help out on their own accord. By far one of their favorite jobs is tossing wood out the back of the truck. Thou in this photo it is just my daughter working as my son could not help but baton with a 440c pocket knife of all things.
20 minute aerobic workout today. Trying to get the wood split smaller before stacking so come winter it will take less energy to make kindling to feed the rocket stove.
Sweet potato harvesting today. Not bad considering the very dry summer and no irrigation.
Also set out some mouse traps near the tractor and wheeler. I hear there is a spray you can get as well. I will have to leave into that.
does watching it snow count?
Worked today on renovating our nutrient trap gray water system. Ended up being a full removal as I had to move the tank for better access through the bottom door.
The tank has a tine shaft that goes through the middle of the tank. This allows me to remove finished vermicompost while all the surface feeding red wigglerd are not disturbed. I then turn the time shafts vertical and the top half of the pile drops into the bottom and I start adding more organic matter as needed.
I ended up using coarse Tree Service wood chip to the bottom half and covered in minimal pesticide sprayed barely straw out of Eastern Montana on top, plus a seed starter of 20 gallons of vermicompost full of worms and a ridiculous number of Sow Bugs.
Going to mulch the perimeter hedge with the vermicompost.
More firewood. Found a source for hard wood scraps. The Wood scraps are perfect for feeding the masonary rocket stove that heats our house.
Dragged out the last of my mainline from my maple syrup operation. So the woods are clean again.
Some people like to go the the gym, some are into Crossfit, myself i am a fan of farm fit. 3000 pounds of Wood chips unloaded toady. Very excited as it has been a while since I had a source for wood chips.
I hear ya always boggled my mind using electricity to excercise when you can do exercise and get something accomplished.