Tag Archives: culvert installation

Homestead Update 1-31-16

31 Jan

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I am under my Doctor’s order to walk for 30-45 minutes every day. I don’t like exercise walking and I never have. It always seems like a colossal waste of time. The whole time I am walking I am thinking about all the other things I could be doing with my time. So, I decided since I HAD to walk, I would at least walk through the woods on the back of the homestead. I was walking down a deer trail and I saw this fresh buck rub on this cedar tree. I’ve always heard the larger the rub, the larger the buck. Well, this one must be a trophy because that small tree is between 3-4 inches in diameter.

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We are having some strange weather now. Last week the temperatures were in the teens with snow on the ground. Today the high was 74 degrees! I decided to replace this culvert that washed out a couple of months ago. The culvert ended up hung between two trees. I drug it back to where it needed to go.

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I placed it where I wanted it and covered it with some of the dirt I bought last summer.

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Last week I had to remove snow from the entrances of my bee hives. Today I noticed bees flying around all four of my hives. I lifted the tops and poured dry sugar on top of the inner covers. I hope they have enough honey to finish the winter, but if they don’t maybe they will eat that sugar.

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I finally took down this pressed fiber swarm trap out of a tree on the front of the homestead. I hate to admit it has been hanging there still, as it should have been removed the first of July. But surprisingly, the weather hasn’t affected it, and it seemed none the worse for being out in the weather for that long. I guess these traps are sturdier than I thought.

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This is a big pile of limbs, brush, and sapling trees that I cut down in the last two years. I noticed the pile was much smaller from settling down. I decided to use the front end loader on my Kubota to push the pile into a smaller concentrated pile. As I did, I saw a lot of nice compost underneath the pile. I was surprised those limbs were breaking down so quickly. I am not going to add any fresh limbs on the pile, I will just keep turning it over every so often. Maybe I will have some good compost I can use in the garden in a couple of years. So until next week, keep prepping everyone!

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Homestead Update.

25 Oct

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I have been trying to get my local dump truck driver to bring some dirt for a month and today he finally came through. He found a source of dirt from a construction site, and the dirt had some bricks and gravel in it so he gave me a discount. Usually he charges $100 for a load but this was only $75, so I had him bring 6 loads, which was all he could get. I needed the dirt to finish installing my big culvert so I could get to the back of our property. Those six loads will also give me a lot of left over dirt to use in the future on other projects.

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I finally had enough dirt to get the culvert buried so I crossed over and began to clear out a path to the back. I had to quit before I finished today, but I got within 50 feet of being to the back fence line.

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Oh, the truck driver also brought this load of stuff to me for free. They are constructing a new building on an old parking lot and they are digging up the pavement. This is a mixture of old asphalt and gravel and when the driver said he would bring it for free I said absolutely! I will use the gravel on the trail across the culvert, and pick up the asphalt chunks and lay it on the side slopes to help control erosion.

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Prepping wise, I discovered the carburetor on my generator was varnished up and it wouldn’t start. So I took it apart and cleaned it up, especially the needle valve and float. After a good cleaning it fired up and ran like a champ. Success! All this Ebola talk also got me thinking about our food supplies. We have enough canned goods to last 3 months, and we have some Mountain House freeze-dried stores set back for real emergencies. But I wanted to add some more and I discovered Sam’s Club has recently started selling long-term food supplies. I was not familiar with this brand of food so I bought a sample kit to try out and see if it is worth storing.

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Sam’s is carrying two different brands of long-term supplies, so I am trying them both.

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This is one of the packages in the plastic tub. You can see the best by date is Sept 2034. That’s 20 years! But if it doesn’t taste edible, it doesn’t matter how long it lasts does it? I’ll let you know how it tastes after we get a chance to try them out.

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I also bought a bee suit! I am going to a local bee keepers association meeting next week and I am hoping some kind soul will invite me to come look inside his hives. Maybe I can hold a frame in my hand and find some eggs and larvae. I would also like someone to show me the difference in pollen, nectar, water, and uncapped honey. Just in case I get an invitation, I wanted to have my suit ready. Keep prepping everyone!

Homestead Update

20 Sep

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I finally have a little time to start doing some chores around the Homestead as my workload begins to slow down somewhat. I had two loads of gravel brought in and I starting spreading some in the low spots in the driveways and putting the rest in some new places to make a new path towards the back of my shop.

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I also began installing the new culvert to gain access to the back of the homestead. I picked it up with the frontend loader on my Kubota and dropped it into the gully I need to cross. The place I dropped it was actually 5 feet downstream from where I really wanted it. The slope was too steep for me to be able to use my tractor to move it so I had to use the ole’ noggin and devise a plan. Now sometimes when I devise a plan it can be quite an adventure, but this time it went smooth as silk.

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I could not get into the gully with my tractor or even my ATV so I had to use manual force. The man I bought the culvert from said it weighed 800 pounds so it was not going to be an easy task. I was worried it would be too heavy to move, especially since it had come a rain after I placed the culvert in the gully and washed some dirt in around it. I used my handy-man jack to lift both ends and break the tension with the ground, and while I had the end up I wrapped a chain around the pipe. I used two more chains to reach a good sturdy tree and attached my manual come-along to try to drag it forward. I was anticipating having to use two come-alongs, one on each side of the ditch since the culvert was so heavy. But when I started cranking up that first come-along the pipe slid right along like it was on a greased skid! I never even had to strain to move it the necessary 5 feet.

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I then had a dump truck bring two loads of dirt which I spread over the culvert. I think I am going to use two more loads and hopefully that will do the job.

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I also had a truck load of rip-rap rocks brought in so I can seal the sides of the crossing around the ends of the culvert to help prevent erosion. I will have a lot of rock left over, but I have several plans to put it to use later. More to come.