1. Dismiss Notice
  2. Official SS Poll: What do you do to eliminate bills / cut down expenses?
    CLICK HERE!
    (if you are logged in, this notice can be dismissed using the "x" to the top right of the notice)

    Dismiss Notice
  3. WW2 Rationing Recipes - Canadian and British - Featured Thread
    CLICK HERE!
    (if you are logged in, this notice can be dismissed using the "x" to the top right of the notice)

    Dismiss Notice
  4. SS Picture of the Week (POW) - Submit your Pics Now !!
    Click HERE!
    (if you are logged in, this notice can be dismissed using the "x" to the top right of the notice)

    Dismiss Notice

A Wedding, a New House, and a Farm

Discussion in 'Member's "Self Sufficient Living" Journals' started by SustainableAg, Dec 18, 2018.

  1. Jun 15, 2019
    SustainableAg

    SustainableAg Lovin' The Homestead

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2016
    Messages:
    91
    Likes Received:
    95
    Trophy Points:
    87
    Location:
    NE PA
    Okay, I completely broke my promise to not stay away so long next time. Whoops, sorry! I have been swamped with projects.

    To begin, the birds are all outside in a mobile chicken coop. I started them over in a treeline for fear of aerial predators. They just graduated from the treeline over into our front pasture. They are all happy and healthy.

    Our fruit plants are doing great. I actually picked our first 2 strawberries just 2 days ago! That is our first official produce on our homestead, which is a monumental achievement.

    The biggest chore right now is mowing. One day per week I mow, weed wack, and pull weeds from the 3 gardens. Another day, I mow our fenced backyard. And one other day per week, I mow the grass around the house with our tractor. My hubby also pitches in on one of those days to mow the grass down by the road, and will mow the grass around the yard with the tractor if I don't get to it first.

    I have been slightly disappointed at the prospect of not having a vegetable garden this year. The ground is too rocky to use a rototiller, and we don't have any other means of getting rid of the sod. I contemplated getting pigs to do the job, but we don't have the resources for that right now; and I still wouldn't be able to garden until next year.

    We have finally settled into a routine, and have met a few neighbors in passing. I have been wanting to be neighborly, but we just haven't had the opportunity to introduce ourselves. Today, I finally carved out the time in the late afternoon to bake some cookies for the neighbors. We started at an elderly neighbors house, and ended up staying to chat for 3 1/2 hours! It was so wonderful to learn about their pasts, and glean some information about farming from them. Needless to say, we didn't get around to any of the other neighbors today. However, the neighbor kindly offered to plow a garden spot for us. I have electric netting around the area right now, so I will have to go out there early tomorrow morning to move 264' of fencing. It is such a blessing to have kind neighbors.

    Not only did the neighbor offer to help us plow a garden plot, but he also offered to hay our fields for us. I told him that we would want to keep the hay, and would pay him whatever he felt was fair for the hay. Unfortunately, we don't have a barn to store the hay, and we would probably have around 300 bales to manage. However, we do have a storage container on the property. Has anyone ever stored hay in a conex box? I imagine it would be possible. A quick glance on Google points to yes. Would ventilation be a concern? :idunno

    Speaking of kind neighbors, we also learned who to avoid in the area. I like to form my own opinions of people, but I certainly do appreciate the friendly warning about who to avoid.

    Pictures to follow!
     
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2019
    sumi likes this.
  2. Jun 15, 2019
    frustratedearthmother

    frustratedearthmother Sustainability Master

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2012
    Messages:
    14,208
    Likes Received:
    6,323
    Trophy Points:
    403
    Location:
    USDA 9a
    Sounds like it was a great visit with the neighbors! It was kind of them to offer to plow. I have a large part of my garden in 30 gallon tubs that originally had cattle minerals in 'em. Most stuff is doing very well.

    Glad to see you back. :)
     
    SustainableAg likes this.
  3. Jun 15, 2019
    SustainableAg

    SustainableAg Lovin' The Homestead

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2016
    Messages:
    91
    Likes Received:
    95
    Trophy Points:
    87
    Location:
    NE PA
    20190610_101544.jpg 20190610_101702.jpg
    Our first produce! 2 lovely strawberries.

    20190614_080549.jpg
    20190522_155558.jpg 20190522_155556.jpg
    Spotted a Fisher in the back pasture!
     
    sumi likes this.
  4. Jun 15, 2019
    baymule

    baymule Sustainability Master

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2010
    Messages:
    5,587
    Likes Received:
    4,297
    Trophy Points:
    353
    Location:
    East Texas
    Harbor freight has canvas carports that will work splendidly for storing hay.

    https://www.harborfreight.com/10-ft-x-20-ft-Portable-Car-Canopy-62858.html

    Friends of ours have one, the pipe frame inserts together. They drilled and put screws in to keep the frame from separating. They also ran a rachet strap over the frame and fastened the ends to twist in stakes in the ground so winds wouldn't blow it away. They put pallets on the ground and store their hay in it. They said that the cover lasts 2-3 years, then needs replacing.

    They are inexpensive and will get the job done until you can build a barn.

    [​IMG]
     
    sumi and SustainableAg like this.
  5. Jun 15, 2019
    SustainableAg

    SustainableAg Lovin' The Homestead

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2016
    Messages:
    91
    Likes Received:
    95
    Trophy Points:
    87
    Location:
    NE PA
    FEM, I originally thought about making raised beds, or doing container gardening. If I had the resources immediately available, I would much rather do that than pick hundreds of rocks out of a 30'x50' garden plot once it is plowed. I will probably have enough rocks to build a small decorative wall or path by time I've picked the most troublesome rocks out. I will probably pick rocks for years before it is a perfect gardening plot.
     
  6. Jun 15, 2019
    SustainableAg

    SustainableAg Lovin' The Homestead

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2016
    Messages:
    91
    Likes Received:
    95
    Trophy Points:
    87
    Location:
    NE PA
    I like that canvas carport idea! That might actually fix our tractor storage problem. Our tractor isn't very tall, once all of the attachments have been removed.

    We actually had a local contractor come out and give us a very competitive estimate on a small horse barn. We loved the price, but the contractor made some rude comments that made us uncomfortable. After doing some more research, I found out that the company had been reported to the Better Business Bureau for some sketchy business practices. Thanks, but no thanks.

    It is quite disappointing, because I would like to have the barn built before I start any fencing projects. We don't have a large budget to build the barn, so I have to hope that I can find another company nearby that is reasonably priced.
     
    Lazy Gardener likes this.
  7. Jun 15, 2019
    baymule

    baymule Sustainability Master

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2010
    Messages:
    5,587
    Likes Received:
    4,297
    Trophy Points:
    353
    Location:
    East Texas
    It would be a cheap alternative until you can do better. The thing is, you need it now, and this would do it for you.
     
    sumi likes this.
  8. Jun 15, 2019
    SustainableAg

    SustainableAg Lovin' The Homestead

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2016
    Messages:
    91
    Likes Received:
    95
    Trophy Points:
    87
    Location:
    NE PA
    I am worried about our pasture, because we have hundreds of buttercups that poked up over the last few weeks. That is not a plant that you want in a field where animals will be grazing. I honestly have no idea how to mitigate a buttercup infestation; especially spread over large acreage. Our neighbor said the field didn't have buttercups last year, but that doesn't help us this year.

    All of the surrounding farms are plagued by buttercups as well. From what I understand, once the buttercups are dried into hay, they are no longer toxic. I know animals will selectively graze around them, but that is difficult when most of the field is covered. I'm hoping our local Ag extension might have some further information.

    I've been trying to do more research about them, but haven't come up with much yet.
     
  9. Jun 15, 2019
    sumi

    sumi Sustainability Master Administrator

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2013
    Messages:
    6,930
    Likes Received:
    5,161
    Trophy Points:
    327
    Location:
    Ireland
    Congrats on the first strawberries! :) Soon you are going to have many, many more. The rock situation is a bother, yes... I spent years digging them out of one of my previous gardens. Going over the same patch every year. Someone told me rocks move around in the soil and will always end up where I don't want them, in the garden :confused: Strange! And disheartening! But we persevered. This year, why don't you plant some crops on containers? You'd be amazed how much you can get from a few tubs of potatoes, etc. I grew carrots, zucchini, strawberries and peppers successfully that way.

    Your elderly neighbour sounds wonderful! :) Bay gave you a great suggestion for storage, so nothing to add there and no advice on the buttercups, unfortunately... Hope you can find a "friendly" way to get rid of them.
     
    SustainableAg likes this.
  10. Jun 15, 2019
    baymule

    baymule Sustainability Master

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2010
    Messages:
    5,587
    Likes Received:
    4,297
    Trophy Points:
    353
    Location:
    East Texas
    What do your neighbors do to get rid of the buttercups?
     

Share This Page