Tag Archives: barns

Homestead Update 4/8/2018

8 Apr

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I had a new pole barn built in the back area of the homestead this past week. First, the truck showed up with the supplies. I was worried they would not be able to carry the material to the back where it needed to be but the man said “no problem. This forklift has wheels that rotate so it can move sideways.”

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Sure enough, he picked up the material, turned the wheels, and slipped right down the gravel path beside the barn.

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There is the opening I cleared out by the creek.

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The men laid out the square where the posts would be set then used a post hole digger attachment on a skid steer to bore the holes.

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They set the posts then used the skid steer to lift and place the steel trusses.

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Soon, they had it finished.

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And by soon, I meant REALLY soon. Those 5 young Mennonites had that 24X30 barn up and finished in three hours. I kid you not! It would have taken me and my three employees 5 days to do what they did in 3 hours, that is why I was willing to pay them $1900 to put it up for me. I am going to enclose the barn on three sides with my employees and myself, but there is no hurry on that.

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I already have two posts installed for the back wall and I am waiting for the concrete to set up and I will continue slowly but surely on the walls. I’ll keep you updated on my progress. Until then, keep prepping everyone.

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Homestead Update 11-8-15

8 Nov

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Last week I was working in my shop and due to the cooling weather, the Lady Beetles were coming in by the thousands! I guess winter is just around the corner.

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Although, here it is November the 8th, and we still have not had a frost. We still have tomatoes growing in containers in the back yard.

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This week I did manage to get my bathroom shelves painted and installed, ready to install my Prepper library!

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I also put up 8 more shelves in the new addition to my barn. I have two more shelves to put up then I will have 25 shelves, 10 feet long, two feet wide, for a total of 500 feet of shelf space. That will hold a lot of junk supplies!

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I noticed these large toadstools growing out of the mulch I spread around a couple of months ago. Someday I am going to learn how to identify some safe to eat mushrooms and see if I can get some to grow in the wooded lot in the back of the homestead.

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In the meantime, I am just going to hang out here and enjoy the mild weather and the fall colors until Old Man Winter gets here. Keep prepping everyone!

Homestead Update 10/11/15

11 Oct

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The weather has turned so cool, my barn kitties were all cuddled up together when I checked on them today. The leaves are falling from the trees, but they have no bright colors this year. I guess the drought we are having are just making them turn brown then falling off.

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I managed to get one of my projects completed and checked off of my list this week. I finished the field lines for my septic system for my bathroom in my shop/barn. That sure will come in handy this winter. There is no way I could have dug the trench for the lines without my backhoe attachment on my tractor. The trench is 2 feet wide and 3 feet deep, and the ground is hard as a rock. Even with the backhoe, it took a long time to dig. I had to drag the bucket along the trench digging up an inch or two at a time. That’s as deep as I could go because the ground was so hard.

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I planted some buck wheat seeds 3 weeks ago and it is blooming! I wanted to have something blooming for my bees to work before they quit for the winter. I’m surprised that buckwheat blooms so quickly. I slung these seeds out by hand and like PP, I got mine way too thick!

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I slung those seeds by hand, but I could have used this seeder I recently purchased. I used it to fertilize the grass up near the house and I used it to plant the deer browse in the back. It works well for something I paid less than $100 for. I had taken the seeder off of my ATV and I didn’t want to take the time to re-mount the seeder  just to spread the buckwheat, so I just used a bucket and slung the seed by hand.

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The crop year is almost finished, all that remains to do is harvest the crops and see if they are good enough for me to come back and work again next year. I need to take this computer into the shop and get some unwanted mal-ware removed from it. That is one reason I have not posted for 3 weeks. My computer is running so slowly, it has taken an hour to put up this one post. If I can’t get it cleaned up, I guess I will have to buy another one. Until then, keep prepping everyone!

Homestead Update

12 Sep

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The weather has finally taken a turn towards Fall, with cooler temperatures and lower humidity. I worked up a spot of ground in the back and planted some deer browse for the wildlife to eat this winter. I also put out some buckwheat seeds in this patch. I know it is late for buckwheat, but while I was at the bee keeper’s meeting, one of the old beeks showed me some pictures on his phone. He said he planted some buckwheat and after only 14 days later it was up and blooming and his bees were working it. So I decided to give it a try, maybe there will be time for the buckwheat to bloom and my bees can stock up for the winter.

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I started putting up more shelves in the back of my new barn addition. I need to put up one more shelf and add the front legs and I will be ready to start adding junk valuable stuff on them.

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Our local Feed and Seed store had these cats outside when I went to pick up my seeds for the deer plot. The owner said they showed up a few weeks ago and wouldn’t leave so he started feeding them and now they appear to have taken up residence at the store.

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I found another piece of roadside treasure this week. I was driving down a gravel road and spotted this measuring tape in the middle of the road. It worked out really nice since I had just broken the one I carry in my truck the day before.

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I was coming through an intersection in town and this auto accident had just occurred. This white car slammed into the rear of another car which then slammed into a pickup truck. The driver on the white car was probably texting and driving if I had to guess. Remember, Don’t Text and Drive!

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And finally, if you look at that bright spot in the middle of the picture, you can see an aerial drone. It was hovering around the local High School football stadium taking videos of the on-field action. I have seen drones on You-Tube, but this is the first in real life. It could hover there motionless for a while then shoot off in any direction. It reminded me of a Hummingbird! People are just now thinking up ways they can use drones to make money, but I don’t see the usefulness just yet. Although they might be good for scoping out the area checking for Zombies! Until then, keep prepping everyone!

Bees, Bees, and More Bees!

9 May

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These are the new shelves I built in my barn addition. You can see my new bee equipment on the shelves, mostly in those boxes. Last week, I noticed about 50 bees working around those shelves. I don’t know what they found so attractive, all of my equipment is new so it doesn’t have that “old bee smell.” Anyway, I had 3 of the cardboard swarm traps just sitting there so I thought “What the heck,” I’ll just bait one up and see what happens. Well, Sweet Thing called me Monday and said “you need to come home, you have a million honey bees flying around in your barn!” I told her she was lucky enough to see an actual swarm coming to a trap.

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I opened it up today after four days and this is what I saw. Lots and lots of bees! I transferred them over into a hive and I did smoke these bees although they really weren’t as aggressive as I thought they would be. They only really landed on me after I cut the comb loose and picked it up to put it into some empty frames. I didn’t get any pictures of that, it’s hard to work quickly and take pictures at the same time.

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After I put the comb frames in the hive, I dumped the rest of the swarm into the hive. The stragglers started coming to the hive immediately so I felt good that the queen was inside.

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I set the hive back on the shelf and the stragglers continued to come to the new hive.

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These bees are sitting on the front of the hive with their butts in the air, just fanning their wings. I read this is a signal to the rest of the bees “hey come on in, the queen is here, this is now our new home!” I’ll leave it here for two days then I will move it out to the bee yard. If this works out, it will be a free hive of bees for me. Yeah! Keep prepping everyone!

Homestead Update

6 Dec

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The crew finished my barn addition this week! I am looking forward to pulling some of my junk important accessories out of my main workshop and storing them in the new addition so I will have some room to work on some projects this winter.

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This is the additional 10 feet of concrete floor I had installed. I will put up an outer wall and insulate it so the wash room will be warm and toasty in the winter. I might put in another door closer to the side wall to make the washroom smaller so it will be easier to heat, I’ll have to do some figuring on that before I get to work.

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I did get around to trying the Augasons Farm long-term survival food. We tried the instant potato soup mix and it was about as expected but it had a strong onion flavor. Now, I like onion so it was not a problem, but it was just unexpected. We did decide it was too thick when prepared according to the directions, so we doubled the water and it was just right. We added some leftover English peas and it made a fine soup. You could mix this up and add all sorts of other ingredients and make different types of soups to have some variety with it. You could also pour it over rice, or pour it over chicken and bake it in a casserole dish for a hearty main course. We are not going to open any of the other packages, we are going to save them for when SHTF, but when it happens we will be prepared. Will you? Keep prepping everyone!

Fence Building

1 Feb

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I finally got around to finishing the part of the fence my neighbor paid to have done. I had to put a few more clips on the posts, but the main task was to hang the gate. We hung it up and got it perfectly level so I am calling this job completed and well done! You might notice the old barn on the other side of the fence, that is on the property the bank repossessed from my former neighbor. The neighbor said I could tear it down and keep the lumber if I wanted it. I finally got a chance to speak to a representative of the bank and he said the barn was not listed on the mortgage so as far as the bank was concerned I could tear it down. I went over and pulled a few boards off and I don’t know if it would be worth the effort because the planks are so dry rotted. The nails are stuck into the beams so firmly they feel like they are welded into the wood. When you try to pull the planks loose they just splinter. The beams are in good shape and I sure wouldn’t mind having those. I think I might give it another try this month if the weather will allow. Keep prepping everyone.