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Lazy Gardener's Little Town Farm

Discussion in 'Member's "Self Sufficient Living" Journals' started by Lazy Gardener, Jan 8, 2019.

  1. Jan 8, 2019
    Lazy Gardener

    Lazy Gardener Almost Self-Reliant

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    Location:
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    I'm starting this thread for miscellaneous trivia that is pertinent to my management of my little bit of heaven. Hopefully, this will keep me from hijacking other folks threads with my trivia.

    Hubby and I purchased this 4+ acre parcel of land in Central Maine 42 years ago. We built our own home with some hired help and a lot of family help. We are currently empty nesters.

    Approximately 2 acres of cleared land. My gardening style is BTE or Ruth Stout style of deep permanent mulch. Most recent efforts at taming the land include a hugelkulture mound, BTE orchard, and sheet compost garden. Soil in garden is excellent sandy loam with gentle southern slope. Natural soil is heavy clay with LOTS of rocks. High water table.

    Chicken flock: breeding goal: Produce a flock which is colorful in both feathering and egg color which thrives in my cold climate. Ground is frozen from November through mid April. Thus, my birds should have small combs. I occasionally bring in new blood with mail order chicks. Back bone of flock: Buck Eye roo and a few hens, Barred Rock, Dominique, EE, Black Australorpe, and a single Colombian Wyandotte. Flock is managed on DL in coop and run, fermented feed. Extremely limited in terms of free ranging due to heavy hawk predation. Successful broody hens and selection of eggs based on egg shaped gender selection produces approximately 60% pullets from every set with ~95% hatch rate. Extra cockerels are processed for the freezer. Housing: 10 x 12 standard frame coop, 500 s.f. run. During snow season, I can only use 200 s.f. of the run due to heavy snow load which slides off the coop roof. This area has walls covered with plastic, and a clear tarped roof over 1/2 of it. Interior temp of this "sun room" is about 20* warmer than ambient outdoor temp on a sunny day.

    Food preservation: HWB and pressure canning, occasional dehydration. (need to develop my repertoire and comfort with using dehydrated foods) We bought an upright freezer a year ago, and I'm LOVING the way that freezer has revolutionized the ease with which I can put a quick meal on the table. I also love using a vac seal unit. IMO, frozen foods last much longer and quality is preserved using this system.

    Gardening: About 2000 s.f. of total gardening area available to me, which includes fenced garden, HK, sheet compost, and tucking some plants into the orchard. I have an 8 x 8 Cattle Panel green house, and utilize hay bale cold frames and hay bale gardens. Trellising is accomplished with used swing sets, cattle panels, 2 x 4's with electrical conduit. Garden is fenced with CP.

    I love little building projects and outdoor "make it better" activities. Have built CP coop, green house, several chicken tractors, incubators, book cases with tiled tops, stone retaining wall. Biding my time till spring: growing sprouts for myself and the chickens, dabbling with hydroponics.

    *********************************************************************************************************************************

    This morning, I baked some potatoes in the wood stove. I also decided to try roasting some garlic in the stove. The top of the stove is just large enough for me to set a 2 qt pan at the back. I've been enjoying the use of the stove surface for cooking part of the evening meal: rice, veggies, and such.
     
  2. Jan 8, 2019
    Mini Horses

    Mini Horses Super Self-Sufficient

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    Location:
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    nice
    How close to town & neighbors? Just wondering - I'm about 1/2 from any of 3 neighbors closest...can see houses but, would be hard to "voice" anything to/fm them. It's fine! :) We could see things going on outside but, not who.

    Closest town 6 miles, small one but adequate. It has a TSC, Lowe's, chain grocery, Wal Mart, several fast foods & gas stations. Plenty of apartments, houses, a small hospital, etc.
     
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2019
  3. Jan 8, 2019
    Chic Rustler

    Chic Rustler Super Self-Sufficient

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    Sounds nice.
     
  4. Jan 8, 2019
    Lazy Gardener

    Lazy Gardener Almost Self-Reliant

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    Unfortunately, I'm kind of at the corner of a trapezoidal lot, with a house across, directly behind. (with orchard and chicken yard tucked up against the property line on that side.) Houses to East and West are not in sight. Dead end road 1/4 mi. long. Neighbors are nice, mostly keep to themselves. Neighbor across street is an other reason why I can't freely free range. 'Cause, everybody likes to visit Bob. He actually doesn't mind the chicken's visits, and enjoys the crowing of the roos. But, I don't want my hens getting into his garden.

    We're 1/2 hour from any decent shopping.

    BTW, my wood stove roasted garlic is absolutely awesome. Baked potato smothered with garlic, chili and cheese for lunch.
     
  5. Jan 8, 2019
    wyoDreamer

    wyoDreamer Almost Self-Reliant

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    We have neighbors right across the road from us - the MR was born & raised in our house. The other neighbors are 1/4 mile away. We are in a farming area - small farms though, not mega farms.
    The MRS from across the street frets every time our guineas fail to show up for more than one day to eat the sunflower seeds that she spreads for them under her bird feeder. She loves to see them and talk with them.
     
  6. Jan 8, 2019
    wyoDreamer

    wyoDreamer Almost Self-Reliant

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    We had the power go out once in Wyoming while my sisters were visiting. Stew with biscuits made on the woodstove for supper, yum! They got a kick out of it.
     
  7. Jan 8, 2019
    Lazy Gardener

    Lazy Gardener Almost Self-Reliant

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    During the "big ice storm" we lost power for 13 days. I'm thankful that we have alternate heat source. But, we still had to lug water in. That was not a fun time. After that storm, we bought a generator. But it is pull cord to start, and I am not strong enough to do so. The generator allows us to keep the fridge and freezer running long enough to keep food from spoiling, and allows us to run the deep well pump. So, as long as we have gas available, we can weather any storm.

    I enjoy cooking on the wood stove. When we built our house: we moved in on Jan 28th. At that time, all we had for heat was the wood stove. Neither of us had experience heating with wood, and our wood supply was frozen and green: had to knock the ice off it before we could burn it! Plywood floors. No sheet rock up on walls yet. Water plumbed in from well, but no further. Minimal electric. It was the build as you have money and time plan. Kitchen amenities: electric fry pan, crock pot, sawhorses and a sheet of plywood for counter and table. Bathroom amenities: spackle bucket, and a sheet of cardboard across the doorway for privacy! We were the only house on our road (great for privacy) but it meant that hubby had to plow the road.
     
  8. Jan 8, 2019
    Mini Horses

    Mini Horses Super Self-Sufficient

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    YUM!! :drool


    Sounds like a good plan for building. Also sounds like it was very secluded then.

    I lived in mine without quite a bit but, way more features than you describe. :D Our building codes required a lot and I hired contractors for framing, electric and plumbing. But, I assure you I lived in it before the occupancy permit was issued. No stove or frig but, small ones in the little camper I was living in - me & a little dog. Soon as I got power it was inside sleeping on a mat. June & an A/C!! We do a lot of things to achieve our goals.
     
  9. Jan 8, 2019
    Lazy Gardener

    Lazy Gardener Almost Self-Reliant

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    Good thing it was secluded. Showers were taken on the front step with a bucket of water poured from tail gate of the truck!

    We had very little in the way of building codes, no inspections required. We got away with a lot b/c my dad was a building contractor. He fronted the money to put in the well and septic, frame and close in the house. Then we took out a "construction loan" to pay him back, and continued the completion from there. We lived off hubby's income, and all of my income went towards construction costs until I quit work to raise kids. Our loan was 15K for a 15 year term. $88.66/mo!
     
  10. Jan 27, 2019
    Lazy Gardener

    Lazy Gardener Almost Self-Reliant

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    milkmansdaughter and Beekissed like this.

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