Why do I ask if you still use Bent Nails?
When I built my first barn,starting at age 15, we used bent nails. My brothers, sister and I would have to straighten the nails to use them. Most of the time 2 or 3 times until we could finally drive them into the boards so that they would hold together. It was very time consuming as well as added months to the job of just building the first floor of the barn.
The wood we used was also salvaged from old railroad car decking and siding. Those boards where hard as a steel, almost. Lots of times we had to pre-drill the nail holes to get the nails into the boards. Recycling is great, with a good blacksmith shop, you can recast nails.
Our Fathers plan was to complete the barn before winter. However, by the time we stripped the lumber from the railroad cars, straightened nails, dug and poured the foundation, Months had passed. Just building the first floor walls was a chore with such hard wood.
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Living Off Grid at extremely low temperatures can be a challenge, Keeping Electrical Power is Critical when your house uses Propane forced air heat. When the Sun doesn’t shine, we need to charge the batteries with a generator.
How Cold did it Get?
The first day of cold weather, I woke up at 4 am to check the temperature and battery charge. The Outside thermometer was pegged to the negative side. It goes to – 21 degrees. Our neighbor, who lives 4 miles north of us is usually about 4 to 5 degrees warmer than our house due to the wind and landscape here. He had 28 degrees below zero.
The temperature in the house was toasty 52 degrees! Not the warmest for most people, but a lot warmer that being outside. I turned the heat up to 60 degrees. Unfortunately, the house and 40 acres we are leasing while we build our farm does not have wood heat. The owners insurance will not allow a wood stove either. It has a pellet stove, but it uses more power than the gas furnace and does not heat the house.
Starting the Generator
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Winter is Coming
We have been doing our best to get the roof on the greenhouse before the snow arrived. Cold weather and high winds have taken a toll on our ability to get it completed.
Just a couple of weeks ago, we did get the very west wall cemented into place. It took another week to get the last post for the drive in door cemented into place due to cold weather.
Two weeks ago, we were able to cement the last upright post in place for the Greenhouse.
Cold weather, high winds and time restraints have appeared to be winning the battle in getting the roof on and complete before the first big snow.
We just could not get the last 2 rows of the roof pulled into place due to the wind. The temperature must be at least 50 degrees farenheit to set these 66 foot long panels into place. Too cold or too hot, and the tension will not be correct once it is completed.
Part of taking on a project of this size is keeping focused on the end result. We know that once the roof is completed, we can finish the sides, install the vents and get the water system and completed.
We have placed the top soil, compost, and Llama manure in the greenhouse already. We just got a “New to us” Troy Built horse rototiller to level the floor of the greenhouse also.
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Is comfort and organic sustainability achievable? Yes, but first of all, what does sustainability mean?
Sustainable Development Info. Com has put together some great resources taken from Wikipedia and other sources.
The need for a sustainable development became more apparent as cities began to grow and resources began to diminish in quantity and value. In the early 1800s, some people began to develop personal lifestyles that were conservative and took into account environmental issues.
It was at this time, when the industrial revolution was taking place, when many observed the advancements in technology were coming at a great price to the environment. American Henry David Thoreau is considered the first person to write about sustainable development circa 1854.
An eco friendly way of life does not mean that people must live without any comforts or have any less fulfilling existences. In most cases, it means to use only what is necessary instead of wasting valuable resources, but it does come at a cost. This can be viewed as payback for all the times that limited resources were wasted for no good reason
However, not all of us have wasted resources for no good reason. The Native Americans were and are good stewards of the land where “The Sacred Journey of the Medicine Wheel” is still practiced. Other countries and societies call this way of life permaculture or homesteading. It is not all about being completely self-sufficient, but Inter-dependent upon the members of a community. Read more »
The dream of owning your own business brings to mind time and financial freedom. Built properly, your business fulfills that dream. But your business could also become a nightmare of being “owned” by a self-purchased job.
I know the nightmare. I have created a Just Over Broke (JOB) when I purchased an existing business before. The results were not healthy for me or pretty for my finances. Working too many hours, getting into debt and living a stress filled life.
I will be sharing some of the major mistakes that myself and others have made and how to avoid them.
Building a business can be stressful. With planning and knowing that what you are about to build is your passion. You dream about farming, gardening and creating the life you want. You wake up in the middle of the night with Great Solutions for the business you want to build.
Reading, researching and talking to everyone who will listen about your business goals. Meeting others who desire to, or are living the lifestyle you are working towards. As an avid “Organic Food aficionado” you reject the chemicals, poisons and shortcuts that can damage the land and your families health. Knowing that you will continue to work toward the sustainable life until you have reached your goal.
You have the “grit” to continue your plan until your dream is fulfilled. Are you passionate about living the homesteading, farming or sustainable estate lifestyle? Let me share about the mistakes and solutions that I discovered on my journey so far.
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Learning about Cover Crop Water Evaporation science
We recently went on a 2 day (Coloradao State University) CSU Sustainable Cropping System Tour . CSU has an extensive science community dedicated to helping farmers of all sizes optimize their land. Both for crop products as well as taking care of the land we, as caretakers of the environment, have chosen to undertake.
The CSU Extension Crop Management Systems team hosts a Soil Quality & Productivity Bus Tour
This tour included training in Sustainable Cropping Systems (large farms, small farms and specialty crops, crop pest management & sustainable food systems). Also covered during this great tour was this valuable information where Soil quality and productivity are the primary themes but water use, storage, retention, and quality protection are essential for well managed soils. Specifically, we’ll be taking a close look at using cover crops and high residue farming systems practices on dryland and irrigated farms and at research stations across eastern Colorado. We’ll also learne state-of-the-art vegetable and agronomic crop practices under irrigation at Rocky Ford. Read more »