Saturday, April 17, 2010

A Long Week On The Homestead

This has been an icredibly long week.  I apologizr for the lack of new material here, but, well, you know how it is on a homestead.

Some big weight has been taken off my shoulders.  For the first time since we started homesteading, 12 years ago, I have next winter's fire wood supply put up.  Yes, this is a first.  I can't stress the importance of this.  Putting up your winter's wood well in advance of the season, is not only a load off your mind, but smart.  Freshly cut wood needs several months to cure (dry).  If you cut a green tree, it will need a year to cure.  Double that if you don't split it.  Trust me, I have taken storm damaged, fallen trees, that have been down for a year and still had trouble burning it because it was still very moist on the inside.  Here's a tip, if you cut green wood, take the time to split it.  Do this at least a year in advance of the burning season.  On downed trees split it 6-8 months in advance.  For dead fall, you should split it a couple of months in advance, depending on how long it had been down.  Now I can go into winter knowing that I do not have to scape the bottom of the barrel for fire wood.  I will not have to feel rushed to cut more and anything I do cut, from here on out, is for the next winter.  This is a good feeling.

Another thing that happened this week is that we bought a garden/yard tractor.  We bought it used but in great working condition at a very reasonable price.  It is 20 horses of power and big enough to do some pulling with a 46" cut.  I had been cutting quite a bit of land with a push mower that took me, on average, three hours with another 1.5 hours for trimming.  With this new machine, I cut the same grass in 45 minutes.  It still takes me an hour, or so, to do the trimming, but what a time saver!

Then there are the animals.  My partner and I are looking to bring in some new cattle.  We are going to purchase two Dexter cows (pregnant) and one bull (for the butcher).  We are struggling with where to put them as my land is not enough and his is not fenced.  I have the use of some land but, it too, needs fence.  Other circumstances prevent me from placing them on the in-law's land, so we are contemplating a lease of a few acres, until we can get some fence done.  But, these animals will give us a head start on some plans we have for beef.  We are excited and nervous at the same time.  God will work it out, I'm sure.

This, on top of my full time job has kept me away from the computer.  That is not all bad.  I have a big week ahead of me, as well.  I have a couple of shop jobs (sharpening) i have to get done to begin the week.  Then there are some repairs that need to be made on the chicken tractors along with additions to them.  Ugh!

Tell me what is going on on your homestead, I want to hear from you.  Thanks for stopping by!

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