Thursday, January 12, 2017

Micro- Farming


We do what we call Micro - Farming. If you try to look up micro-farming you won't find much. So I would say what it means to us is we grow as much as we can on the little bit of space we have. Tomatoes, corn, squash, cucumbers  and peppers are some of what we grow. And then we raise a few animals.  In 2014 we had to sell all our animals due to my health problems. We are try to rebuild our little micro-farm. Our plan is to get more chickens and maybe a couple of goats. We are trying to decide what breed of chickens to get. We had the easter egg chickens. We ordered from  <https://www.cacklehatchery.com/easter-eggs.html> as day old chicks.


Cackle Hatchery® offers for sale the "Easter Egg" chicken, not the Ameraucana or Araucana.  Cackle Hatchery® breeding program objectives for the "Easter Egg" chickens are to produce chickens with a wide variety of feather colors, patterns and feather combinations of colors with a full beard under the beak and high egg production of colorful egg shells. The color of their egg shells vary from pale blue chicken eggs to dark blue to various shades of green and a few light brownish/pink eggs. The meat is delicious and it has a taste similar to quail. We do not offer a specific color variety of this breed; however we do breed for a wide variety of colored feathers and egg colors. The Araucana chicken and Ameraucana chickens have a number of different color patterns being worked on all across the USA and are being shown in poultry shows. The Easter Egg chickens are great chickens for backyards, chicken coops, larger chicken houses and for raising free range chickens






The "Easter Egg" chicken originally came from Chile in South America, discovered by the Araucana Indians. The true pure Araucana chicken is rumpless (tailless) , has a small curling tuft of feathers next to each ear and come in different pure color types.

The true pure Ameraucana chicken has a tail, full beard and comes in pure color types. The Easter Egg chicken is different because they have a full beard under the beak rather than a tuft and have a tail rather than rumpless and do NOT have pure color types.

I am not affiliated with cackle hatchery in any way but they gave me excellent service that I appreciated.

we also got a lot done on our coupe today.



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Friday, January 6, 2017

DIARY OF A SNOW SHOVELER

Funny Snow Shoveling Story

DIARY OF A SNOW SHOVELER

December 8 - 6:00 PM
It started snowing.  The first snow of the season and the wife and I took our cocktail drinks and sat for hours by the window watching the huge soft flakes drift down from heaven.  It looked like a Grandma Moses Print.  So romantic we felt like newlyweds again.  We love snow!
December 9
We woke to a beautiful blanket of crystal white snow covering every inch of the landscape.  What a fantastic sight!  Can there be a more lovely place in the whole world?  Moving here was the best idea I've ever had! Shoveled for the first time in years and felt like a little boy again.  I cleared both our driveway and the sidewalks. This afternoon the snowplough came along and covered up the sidewalks and closed in the driveway, so I got to shovel again. What a perfect life!
December 12
The sun has melted all our lovely snow... Such a disappointment!  My neighbor tells me not to worry - we'll definitely have a White Christmas.
No snow on Christmas would be awful!  Bob says we'll have so much snow by the end of winter, that I'll never want to see snow again.  I don't think that's possible.  However, Bob is such a nice man, I'm glad he's our neighbor.
December 13
Snow, lovely snow! 8 inches last night. The temperature dropped to -20F. The cold makes everything sparkle so. The wind took my breath away, but I warmed up by shoveling the driveway and sidewalks. This is the life! The snowplough came back this afternoon and buried everything again.. I didn't realize I would have to do quite this much shoveling, but I'll certainly get back in shape this way. I wish I wouldn't huff and puff so.
December 15
20 inches forecast for today.  I sold my van and bought a 4x4 Blazer.  Bought snow tyres for the wife's car and 2 extra shovels.  We stocked the freezer. The wife wants a wood stove in case the electricity goes out.  I think that's extravagant. We aren't in Alaska, after all.
December 16
Ice storm this morning.  Fell on my butt on the ice in the driveway putting down salt.  Hurt like hell. The wife laughed for an hour, which I think was very cruel.
December 17
Still way below freezing. Roads are too icy to go anywhere.


 Θ
Today the electricity was off for 4 hours.  We had to pile the blankets on to stay warm.  Nothing to do but stare at the wife and try not to irritate her.  Guess I should've bought a wood stove, but won't admit it to her.  Gee I hate it when she's right. I can't believe I'm freezing to death in my own living room.
December 20
Yippee the electricity's back on, but we had another 14 inches of the damn stuff last night.  More shoveling!  Took all day. The damn snowplough came by twice.  Tried to find a neighbor kid to shovel, but they said they're too busy playing hockey.  I think they're lying.  Called the only hardware store around to see about buying a snow blower and they're out.  Might have another shipment in March.  I think they're lying. Bob says I have to shovel or the city will have it done and bill me. I think he's lying.
December 22
Bob was right about a white Christmas because 13 more inches of the white stuff fell today, and it's so cold, it probably won't melt till August.  Took me 45 minutes to get all dressed up to go out to shovel and then I had to go to the loo.  By the time I got undressed, and dressed again, I was too tired to shovel.  Tried to hire Bob who has a plough on his truck for the rest of the winter, but he says he's too busy.  I think the asshole is lying.
December 23
Only 2 inches of snow today.  And it warmed up to zero.  The wife wanted me to decorate the front of the house this morning.  What is she, nuts?!!  Why didn't she tell me to do that a month ago?  She says she did but I think she's lying.
December 24
6 inches fell, but the snow was packed so hard by the snowplough, I broke my shovel.  Thought I was having a heart attack.  If I ever catch the son-of-a-bitch who drives that snowplough, I'll drag him through the snow by his hair and beat him to death with my broken shovel.  I know he hides around the corner and waits for me to finish shoveling and then he comes down the street at a 100 miles an hour and throws snow all over where I've just been!  Tonight the wife wanted me to sing Christmas carols with her and open our presents, but I was too busy watching for the damn snowplough
December 25 - Christmas Day
Merry Christmas! 20 more inches of the damn slop tonight - Snowed in. The idea of shoveling makes my blood boil.  God, I hate the snow!  Then the snowplough driver came by asking for a donation and I hit him over the head with my shovel. The wife says I have a bad attitude.  I think she's a real idiot.  If I have to watch "It's A Wonderful Life" one more time, I'm going to stuff her into the microwave.
December 26
Still snowed in. Why the hell did I ever move here? It was all HER idea. She's really getting on my nerves.
December 27
Temperature dropped to -30 and the pipes froze; plumber came after 14 hours of waiting for him, he only charged me $1,750 to replace 4 of my pipes.
December 28
Warmed up to above -20. Still snowed in. The BITCH is driving me crazy!!!
December 29
10 more inches. Bob says I have to shovel the roof or it could cave in.  That's the silliest thing I ever heard.  How dumb does he think I am?
December 30
Roof caved in.  I beat up the snowplough driver, and now he is suing me for a million dollars, not only the beating I gave him, but also for trying to shove the broken snow shovel up his ass.  The wife went home to her mother.  Nine more inches predicted.
December 31
I set fire to what's left of the house. No more shoveling.
January 8
Feel so good. I just love those little white pills they keep giving me. Why am I tied to the bed???



My father-n-law sent me this a few years back. don't know were he found it but it's funny.

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Tuesday, January 3, 2017

More Rain!!!!

Saturday, November 19, 2016 in my post titled Every Day Homesteading  I showed you photos of what our drought was looking like. Since then I think the good lord is making up for lost time, or lost rain I  should say.


 1/1/2017

 12/2017


I know this is a short post .  I have a lot rolling a round in my head, just haven't had time to write it all down.

Monday, December 26, 2016

The Tools We Use On Our Homestead

 This is a short list of tools and thing we use everyday here at Two Cedars Micro Farm. 

 One of the most valued tools we have on our homestead is a post driver, I have used a sledge hammer to drive post but never what you could call successfully.

 Ropes are very useful tools also. You just never know just what for, when, or why you'll need a good rope. 

 
A cable puller ( or what we called come-a-long when I was a young pup) has gotten me out of trouble many times.

 A good Garden Tiller is indispensable on a homestead. Ours get a good work out every Spring.

 A good dependable chain saw. Emphasis on dependable !!

 I always keep two sharp axes, a double bit and a single bit on hand for small limb removal and wood splitting. (Darcy loves to split wood) 

 

And everyday yard tools.

 

 What homestead could survive without a wheelbarrow and a utility trailer?   

 This is Darcy's toy, a band saw.

 Every homestead needs a drill press.

 Any guesses as to what this is? It's a shave horse. I use it to shape handles and things like that.

A good table saw.

 This is my work bench.

 This is a small homemade forge. it is made from a brake drum and a small blower.

And what homestead would be complete with out a scrap pile. I can't count the times I have scavenged nuts and bolts from this pile of scrap. And sometimes I might need a piece of scrap metal to mend or make something.

Friday, December 23, 2016

Our 1 Acre Homestead In East Central Alabama



Alabama is probably the easiest place in the US to homestead. The climate is about as mild as it gets. Summers are very warm but not overly hot, Winters are cold but we don’t have a lot of snow to deal with. During  the Winter months we try to catch up on a lot of everyday chores that get neglected during growing season.
Homesteading is not something I ever made a conscious decision to do. My grandparents on both my fathers and my mothers side of the family were homesteaders. Both grandfathers killed hogs and processed the meat. Both hunted deer, rabbits and birds. They gardened and raised their own food. Both grandmothers caned food and kept the family fed and helped with what ever the men folk needed and raised kids. Raising kids was a full time job in it self. My grandfather on my dads side had 18 kids.  My mothers had six brothers and sisters. Truth be known the women worked harder than men. Point being they passed there skills down to their kids. We never had a lot but we had all we needed, and never even knew we were poor.  
I love our little one acre homestead. We don't have to go to the extremes that they had to go through but we try to hold true to our raising. 
Darcy didn’t grow up in Alabama and didn't go through some of the things I did growing up  but to watch her work you would never know it. Since my open heart surgery she has had to take on most of the day to day chores. But it is common to see dirt under finger nails. She loves this little acre every bit as much as me. 

 The barb wire was stretched on the south side of the property  Thursday .  




We have decided to start raising chickens again so we are having to build coops again. My friend Mandel  let us have these frames all they need really is wire.  (thanks Man) 




This frame as you can tell already had a previous life as a coop We are just adding another frame to make a small (really small) chicken run. But we only need 3 or 4 hens for eggs. We've already done the hatching thing and we are over that.





Thats about it for now.

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

JUST A THOUGHT


There is nothing more relaxing than setting by a campfire or fire pit.
 I read a lot of blogs and watch a lot of YouTube channels where people are trying to start homesteads. They say they want to teach you how to become a Homesteader. As I set  here by the fire  I begin to realize that homesteading is not something that can be taught it's a state of mind. You can learn different skills and how to do different tasks but that’s not it. Homesteading is the willingness to put in the work to make a difference in your own life. You don’t have to own   a piece of land or own a single animal to be a homesteader.                         

A lot of people think that if they raise animals (chickens, goats, hogs, etc.) that makes them homesteaders. Or maybe knowing how to butcher and dress their own meat. Maybe they know how to plant a garden and grow their on vegetables. That is a great skillset  to have, but it still does not make you a homesteader. All you have to have is a determined mind set.  You have to make up your mind that what ever is put before you, that you can do it and  can do it in a way that will benefit yourself and your family.  The only way you can fail at being a homesteader is to give up on your self. When you get knocked off your horse you dust off the dirt and get back on. But  learn  why you were knocked off, don’t keep making the same mistakes. If something doesn't work one way dig in and find a new approach and try again. Like I said being a true Homesteader is a determined mind set. So don't believe it when someone writes in a blog  or you see a YouTube video on how to become a homesteader. Homesteading is already in your heart or it's not.           

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

The Heavens Have Opened Up


We got 2-8/10s then 1-3/10s and then 1/2 another 3/10s and today we got another 9/10s rain. We seem to be battling this drought pretty well with 5-8/10s rain so far.



Remember this pile of boxes



If any one ever tries to tell me wet boxes won't burn their wrong. We finally got to burn the huge pile of boxes that came from my brothers store. Believe me there was quite a few,

video

With all this rain there is almost nothing going on here on the homestead