Friday, December 24, 2010
Thursday, December 23, 2010
But of course- I have been jealous. So below is proudly presented my very own #7.
The story doesn't begin here, but rather with my digging the wheels out of the frozen ground earlier this week. A guy down my street had this parked in his yard. It belonged to his late cousin Dick. At first he thought I was a scrapper, and after some lengthy talks, and helping him split wood, he decided to sell me the mower. I gave him what he got for a cord of wood, plus $25 extra for plenty of new in box knives. The only missing part is the outer shoe.
The story actually begins much earlier. His brother? used to live in the house below my great grandmothers, and my great uncle BD used to babysit them. These are old machines. There is a lot of history with each piece. You can even have an idea of the terrain they mowed by the condition of the machine. Oh the scars..
Here is my grandfather's machine. It is in pieces. Except for a missing footpedal and the two axel bearings worn out, the machine is in great shape. Just to tease my grandfather....Mine's not missing a foot pedal and my bearings aren't worn out. hehe
Here is the push bar, yolk, inner shoe and cutter bar seperated from the machine. I needed my brother to help disengage a pin while I lifted the piece off the machine. Notice the push bar is still attached. This was threaded out about 10 minutes later.
Every piece being taken off is getting a pink ribbon. Helps discern pieces from the two machines. I am mildly heating up the half moon and draft bar. These need to be threaded apart. All the pieces are being taken off for two reasons. #1. Most importantly, pieces like the one below are used to adjust lead, timing etc. when cutting. So the seized threads need to be loosened. Two- going to sand down and paint everthing. So apart they come. Rebuild- grandpa and Zac and Two #7's.
Monday, December 20, 2010
Sunday, December 12, 2010
This isn't the most up to date shot. The front of the house is completely sheathed, the east side is done up the the header, and the South side is framed and sheathed to header. Need to get going and get the whole darn thing covered up for the winter. It's just getting on...
I must have missed the joke?
Friday, December 10, 2010
Why corn is good for the cattle industry.
When you feed corn to cows, whether it is in the form of a grain or silage, you're supporting a whole array of industries. First to get corn you have to set aside acreage for the corn. This is going to take up an allotment of land from May until it is harvested in the fall. So your cows can't graze that area. When old man winter gets tired around here our snow melts away and our grass begins to grow, but if you're growing corn then you're going to get out there when the soil is workable and disc the piece in, and plant. So you have to purchase in your corn seed. Now you're supporting a seed company-Pioneer, Monsanto, Latham, etc. Now if you are going to raise corn, you are going to raise a lot of it. And you're not going to have the time to stoop over with a hoe and take care of the weeds. Instead you'll go and get an applicators license from your state authority, and buy in Atrazine, RoundUp, 2-4,D, whatever. So now to get your cow feed you've supported a large seed company (because you're running a large dairy now and you don't have time to be messing around with saving seed. Would you really want to risk next year's crop on your frugility?) and you're supporting a chem company. But if you're going to be feeding your cows corn, and taking up your fields and pasture with corn, then you're going to be keeping them corralled or housed all the time. Feeding corn and penning up your animals you are probably going to have more sick animals than you are used to, so we're going to go ahead and pick up some antibiotics just to be on the safe side. Now half the antibiotics in this country go to animals and not humans. With the milk cows we have now you can see why they might need a little help now and again. The average milk cow in a dairy operation lasts 4.5 years. That means she's born and bred to calf at two years of age. She has one full lactation, and calves again at three years, and four years, but at some time before her next lactation she didn't make the cut. She became sick, wore down from being such a high producer, her teet might have been split from being stepped on by another cow, or barn ridden mastitis or pneumonia might have got to her. Now if you're going to keep your cows in a barn or corral, then you might as well pack them a little tighter than you'd normally expect since you have the overhead of a building, fans, the concrete, the automatic waterers. We are here to mak as much milk per acre as possible. Milk is equal to money. In the 1950's a 20 cow dairy was considered large enough to provide a good living for a full family and a retirement. Today farmers with a herd of 200 are wondering where their next paycheck will come from. In the last three years good milk prices have been fleeting amid lengthy lulls. But what can you expect from an industry which will take all of the product produced, whenever. So to produce a gallon of milk from cows fed on corn and roughage, you need to support a seed industry, a chem industry, a pharmaceutical industry to make a single gallon. Now if you take a grass based farm.....that 1950's grass based dairy- you have cows that can sustain longer because they are larger assets on the farm, and are treated as such. They are consuming a diet fit for them. But the real problem is that grass is a farmer's asset. It comes up in the spring. There is no distribution of costs. The industry is largely self supported, and that is where corn comes in. Now support your local grass farmer- its like eating sunshine.
Saturday, December 4, 2010
Tuesday, November 23, 2010
“I wish you could have known him before.”
“Before it happened.”
“You’ll have to tell us more.”
“Before he changed. He used to be so different, amazing. There was something about him that used to just amaze people. He used to make people smile just because of who he was.”
“He’s made plenty of people smile. Wouldn’t you agree?”
“No. That is different. That became his character; a model he played. He really used to be something. He could make you laugh with a look, a witty comment, and he used to think. I remember how smart he was. He used to think all the time, about everything. Sometimes you’d think he’d never stop. I wonder, at times, what he would have done if it never happened.”
“If you could tell us, what did happen?”
“I think it was the war. I mean, I really don’t know. I say it was the war, but it could have been so many things, but I think that was it. Something happened, something made a change in him. You could tell he never could get over it.”
“When did you realize something happened?”
“Oh I don’t know. It started. I don’t know when. I think it was first in his eyes. Something that used to be so much of him wasn’t there. He’d stare off or he’d forget something and you could tell that it bugged him, but if he tried to think of what it was he couldn’t. We tried things, but nothing worked. He kept, slipping.”
“How was that on you, difficult?”
“Oh very. It was impossible. It tore me apart. It was like I was constantly looking at a shell. Someone that used to be my husband, but who wasn’t anymore.”
“How did he become how we know of him today?”
“That happened. I think he was coping. You know, we all cope. We all find ways to make ourselves different just to get by. The hunting, the repetitiveness, the funny language. I think it took him back to the war or a safety mechanism in some way.”
“Why the rabbit. What was the reasoning behind that?”
“That was pure marketing. He used to hunt deer, bears, moose, but none of those things they could put on the television to make funny. The rabbit was something they came up with, something you all found funny.”
“You sound unhappy, but wasn’t his fame something to be proud of?”
“Why should it have been? He never got past it. He never healed. His whole life became a repetitious episode. They had him strung up in pointless circles, said it was treatment, and it was all good and fine as long as everyone laughed when he pointed a gun and said wabbit. But I miss him. I miss my dear Elmer.”
NPR interview with the late Mrs. Elenoir J. Fudd speaking of her husband. Elenoir passed away in her sleep last Thursday at the age of 86. She is left behind with her three grown children, her orphan charity and the legacy of her late husband.
Saturday, October 30, 2010
Ralph came over and helped for a day. The day before I finished one knee wall, and most of another. He brought some staging, and we got the ridge up, and a few rafters. He cut all the rafters. I had never cut rafters before, and was hoping to get some professional help since I could very easily mess it up. I am surprised that it was all simple math and just pivoting your speed square. Still, he did a nice, clean job on everything so well worth it. Thanks Ralph.
I promise I didn't stand around like that all day.
This is what the house looked like at the end of Friday. You can see the framing downstairs that I mentioned, but more importantly, the beginning of what will become the upstairs and roof of the building.
And today! So a little background. I need to be at work by noon- and it is a half hour away- So I have from when I finish milking and chores to work on the house (delivering eggs is usually my one other necessity, which I missed one delivery this week, and it was an important one. =( So for me to get any real work done, I need to get my ass out of bed. So if I get up between 5 and 5:45 I am ok- anything later and I am late. I had 2 4:30 mornings this week, and hauled through them to get all the "prep" work done for Friday and Saturday. And it was worth it. Every tool we needed was there, ever piece of wood- well, almost every- Ralph was very nicely accepting of the fact that 1/2 the upstairs decking was still missing. But this Thur-Sat I got more work done than I ever would have on my own prior to having to go to work. Huray! So uptop- Grandpa, Zac, Harinder and Chris putting rafters into place. This was a big deal getting the help cause putting them all up alone is not feasible, and grandpa and I would take forever. Grandpa running the crew, and Chris, Haridner and Alex being superb helpers for the day- we got them all up.
Alex and Chris from ground hoisting up rafters. Alex showed up with a toolbox and a belt, which impressed me. Those two brought up all the rafters- think green hemlock, heavy, Harinder and I took them from the top. We stopped for lunch. I had brought a grill out, and lamb sausage, donuts, soda. Marianne showed up and cooked them for us.
And Tadah! Looks much more like a house now. Still a massive amount of work to be done, but looking possible to get sheathed/shingled before winter.
Tools. So I have a tool list. A list of items I would like to have. Last year I picked up the chainsaw- it is the same model my grandfather has had for the last ten years- it was pricey, but I waited for a deal and bought it new at cost. The chaps and helmet were not at a discount- you don't wait around for a deal on safety equipment, you buy them and thank them when your head is still intact. And the truck itself was a craigslist find- I needed a truck, and couldn't believe what I could get in my price range two years ago with this find. The flatbed is great. The comealong in this picture has long been on the list, and is the real showstopper. I search craigslist for my "list": jacks, welder, air compressor, horse drawn (more of wants than need on that one...) nail gun, torches, etc. and when one comes up- make and model and price- I go for it. This was a suggestion out of the Small Farmers' Journal. You know the tools you need, and the ones on your wish list. Now write down what you want, and what you're willing to pay for it. The comealong had to be cast and over 2 tons. This is a cast steel comealong that is rated for 6000lbs. So I can pull a good load with this thing. The big deal was that it was only $30 - not the 300+ the new cast or chain ones can fetch. It involved a late night drive to Hillsboro after work and back, but well, well worth it since sometimes I will borrow my grandfather's weekly.
But to end the post- This week, thank you Ralph very much, and the staging saved us today. Chris, Harinder and Alex much obliged, you kick ass. Grandpa as always couldn't do it without you. Thanks.
Friday, October 22, 2010
Monday, October 18, 2010
My place looking pretty in the fall.
Grandpa, Jack and I headed up to the Animal Power Field Days at the Turnbridge Fairgrounds this Saturday. I had a blast, grandpa enjoyed himself, Jack shook like a thin icicle laying loose in the back of a speeding pickup truck. It was cold. Rather the sun chose not to come out, and we were a bit nipply as a result. It was fun though!
I went to a horse drawn mower workshop. Jay went through the mower as completely as he could in an hour and a half. I didn't know anything about sickle bars. The class was a wonderful intro. I purchased Lynn Miller's book on mowers, and am amazed at the simplicity of this machine that transformed hay production, and the unbelievable joint complexity in its components. Previous to the fair I sent a deposit away for a rebuilt number 7 horse drawn mower. So excited about it now.
Wrapping up this post since I am really just killing time before I milk-
1. I am very proud of how much I pulled with Kristin last year, and as a consequence how much I learned. I still have miles to go, but it was great watching teamsters and being able to eye things I should mimic/work on.
Second when I got home grandpa turned to my grandmother and said "They all looked the same! The girls all looked like they all put on the tightest jeans they had and then went and rolled in manure before they showed up." and the guys they all looked just like you! Scraggly beards and carharts. Again, not sure if it was a compliment, but I didn't see where the complaint was. I guess it was hard to find me in the crowd, and probably distracting too.
Gonna go milk! Woo my ladies! Today- ordering rafters at Colby's- bunny bop in the am, working on house- framing in for windows- moving heifer and other young stock over to my place for winter.
Friday, October 15, 2010
Actually just tossing pictures up here for Maria. She got a Wesson's Honors Scholarship to work a couple bee hives over the summer at Colby-Sawyer College. I really like this last picture. If you look closely you'll notice the honeycomb does not come down to the bottom of the frame. We used starter strips of foundation at the top of the frame. Everything south of there is simply the bee's good work. Nice frame of bees: nurse bees, capped brood in center and a slowing, but still active laying queen. Maria did an awseome job this summer- relaxed and totally into the hive. Notice the lack of safety equipment.
Monday, September 27, 2010
Wednesday, September 22, 2010
The house as it is now. Actually, I can breath a little. I am very far behind, but grandpa helped push boards for the subfloor through the the planer the other day. The Joists are now straight and nailed down. So actually I can start throwing those boards uptop, and start nailing them in. It'll be nice to actually tie the house together, and start to winterize it. The rafters will cost $530 altogether. It was less than I expected. I ordered 100 2x6's to frame in between the post and beam downstairs. It hybridizes the style of the building, but will make the finish work quicker and the insulation easier.
Not bad for joists. Grandpa and I cut them out, he milled them. I notched and threw them up. M.J came over to help one day too. It'll look nice with the second floor decking on. Hip wall and rafters soon too I hope, but that is still a couple weeks out. Haven't worked on the house much this week. Busy, chicken gutting, picked up cord wood, etc. and getting out of work around nine has been painful. But it is going well. Friday will be a big day.
In need of shave....at least there's half a smile there..
Well the meat birds are slowly coming to an end. I will have a lot more time when they are all finaly gone. The one benefit right now is that they are fertilizing a lot of field. Still have 250- so five weeks of slaughtering if I don't double up on a week or two. Still hauling water. Once the meaties are gone then the hauling won't be so bad, twice a week instead of 5 days a week.
( and just to throw a sales pitch in there, they are delicious. Believe me if it isn't pasture raised then it isn't chicken. Heck, if you order enough you might even get a date with a half shaven, slightly grumpy farmer guy. Or I can throw a grandpa/gramma or wife in if needed to seal the deal!)
Crappy shade shelter in front, but a hell of a nice picture of the field. These end of summer/fallish days make me dislike going to work. $igh.
Thursday, September 2, 2010
Got a couple students over to give me a hand today. They didn't like the idea of blocking up the carrying timber unless if more people came, so Kat and Dave came over, but by the time they got their my grandfather had showed up and pretty much said- put the fing thing up. God he's great.
Yesterday went to Durgin and Crowell for subfloor- not what I really wanted but the price was right. Then grandpa and I worked on the mill. He had cut out most of the joists- we loaded them, then cut 2x4's and 6's- reloaded onto my truck that night, unfortunately everyone left by the time I needed to unload the truck onto the house, but hey- all the joists are there, the timber is in place- one bathroom wall framed in, and straightened one wall. So straighten the other, joists go up. But I am going to bed.
Tuesday, August 24, 2010
Took Advantage of rainy day. Went and visited my brother up in Vermont. *sigh* I want to move to VT. Anyone want to buy a small farm in NH?
Played a couple rounds of golf at his course. He's the superintendent. Keeps his course nice. Greens are gorgeous. If you want to throw off his golf game, scuff your feet on his greens. See what happens...
Saturday, August 21, 2010
And then I started to get sad. I am not sure how to say how I felt, but I think loneliness is sitting in a dining hall after work by yourself eating a microwaved Kosher meal. I wondered if maybe somehow I could reKosher the little glorified TV dinner. Rewrap it in its odd plastic wrap, and place it back in the freezer. If I was a Kosher meal I would want someone to give me a second chance and wrap me back up like that morgue that sits next to the abandoned church that no one uses. Or maybe I am plastic wrapped already. It could be that I am at a stage in my Kosher meal lifeline where I am plastic wrapped and frozen. Or maybe I am thawed out, and have been thawed out for a while. I wonder how many people look at me and stick their tiny Kosher forks at my side dishes and pick apart the entree? I think I'll ask to go back into the freezer- morgue and church wrap and all; to take the time to see it over. To watch everyone go by and slowly grow old. I think frozen or thawed we still grow old, and whiny. We grow old and whiny sitting late after work eating an antiquity of orthodox culinary law that has been reduced to a three bay piece of microwaeable plastic, and whose contents quite honestly taste a lot like the dining hall food. (I don't think any of the cooks read this, and honestly by this point they would have stopped reading)
Elysium of the roofless. Hence my happiness at last.-S.B.
Friday, August 20, 2010
Tuesday, August 17, 2010
The property is supposed to be auctioned off in the not too distant future. After being completely logged- the economy tanked and the subdivision never happened. So now the current owner is in foreclosure- the back field was used as a landing. My grandfather said it was gravelled, and torn up. Imagine running your hands through the soil of a field that took thousands of years to slowly grow and instantly its gone. There is a wide gravel road running down the center of the main field, and every mature tree has been cut. The beautiful 18th century colonial is in disrepair and unfortunately degraded from neglect over the last few years, and for what? So that someone could strip cut all the trees and still end up in foreclosure? So those trees grew for the last 80-150 years so that someone could be broke after cutting them all down? So a trucker could have work for a winter driving back and forth to Canada hauling logs just to take advantage of an exchange rate difference? So that another farm can disappear in a withering landscape? So many times I am wondering who is left the winner as we scramble around in our hurried dashes; driving up route 11 to be late for washing dishes or for someone else to get up each day for work because they are telling themselves they only have 8 more years before retirement.
Retire now. Its just another suburb- a driveway for the missing trees.
Have measured out my life in coffee spoons
Saturday, July 17, 2010
First crop all cut as of a week ago. Hens working on the front field. Beehives need a bit of work. Taking all stupid plastic out of hives- need to feed to get 1st year hives going stronger.
Cutting Joistes tomorrow.
Tuesday, June 29, 2010
Tuesday, May 25, 2010
The injectible deet acts as a sub-molecule recepter on clatherine in the body. Clatherine is an ubiquitious bodily protein. By reenginering the deet to posess an EUI receptor (Engineered Univeral Ion Receptor ) that readily bonds to the positively charged clatherine, then the deet is thus able to spread through the fleshy, non-viscular, tissue of the human body. This means the deet will be present over the entire surface of the skin, and then repel insects without needing repetitive applications of the chemical via a spray or lotion.
Studies on lab rats and rabbits have sofar been positive with very few side effects. The two most common side effects seem to be a mild red rash just after injection on 3% of subjects. In less than 0.02% of subjects the bond between the EUI enhanced deet and the body's clatherine break down. Using phosphorescent EUI's, it has been found that some of the EUI deet to be found in the brain. It is believed, though continued study is being done, that the EUI deet may possibly mimic lysine, an amino-acid, that is capable of acting like a neurotransmitter and passing the blood-brain barrier.
Yo soy un mentiroso.
Saturday, May 22, 2010
Boom. with 2 inch rigid pole.
Gets tacked to 2x8 that is tacked to rim joist.
Stakes driven into ground and then nailed to boom.
Cement blocks for 'Oh Sh**' Security.
Add block and tackle.
Just keep lifting with 4x4s and slipping blocks underneath.
Tadah! walls lifted. Actually the boom blew right apart on the last wall. Didn't even say a bad word. grabbed my tie downs for the one ton, wrapped them around, and good to go. Although a quick fix is much like a quickie. It doesn't last for very long, and in the end only one of you is happy.
Some hens enjoying weather.
Apiary. 7 hives. One was an accidental split. 2 queens in package. The nuc E and I made raised its own queen. Sweet.
Wednesday, May 12, 2010
So now there are 7 hives over at my place. Two of them were supposed to be up at CSC. Unfortunately never fully got permission for the cows. (oh the cows in the previous post were top bar hives).
Anyways, I have never emptied a package before. So that was interesting- easy, but interesting. I was nervous the next morning because each hive still looked disorganized, but by the afternoon they were flying in and out of the hives, and at night had all formed nice clusters. Gonna remove queens tomorrow.
Saturday, May 8, 2010
Saturday, April 24, 2010
Wednesday, April 14, 2010
I got one hour of work in on the house today. I spent most of that trying to find the two foot square- finally I took every tool out of my equipment trailer, reorganized it. I think it was misplaced when we were all working on the house last time. I haven't had any other projects so that is all I can think of. Anyways, moved the boom, and Friday finishing that wall.
Went to Boston for a day trip over the weekend. Best friend N and his gf hung out with me for the day. We walked everywhere. We had a blast. I bought some dragon head fish for us to try. I opened the pack in their car- and it smelled to the high heavens. No one tried it. I brought it to work today and J. took it. She said she loved it. I tried a piece. It smells odd, but is crunchy and flavorful. We demonize foods to quickly if they don't fit into our cultural norms.
Monday, April 5, 2010
Problem two- not going to have time to cut out brush along field before everything leafs out. Solution- Wait until leaves fall off....next year.
Problem three- Need to work on that house project.
I did get into two hives on Saturday before we headed down to CT for a wedding. I smelled like smoke for a pleasant four hour drive. My hive is doing wonderfully. Full of bees, plenty of brood started, a lot of pollen stores, and tons of honey in the two deeps, and an almost completely full medium super. I am going to take the medium off when I get my new bees and give them a head start with it. I reversed the brood box on my hive. Then went over to neighbor's house and checked out his hive. His is also strong- Italians. I had a mixed hive, but a Carniolan Queen. I reversed his. He had a lot of burr comb. It took a while to pry apart the two deeps.
Baby bunnies galore. Need to keep breeding them. Rabbits are getting into a better/more humane/loving settup. I am glad I tried the community pen, and will revert back to that later.
Friday, April 2, 2010
Well Duh! If you sat down for dinner what would you prefer? A small plate of something delectable or a large bowl of something acceptable? Why the heck would we think any different for our animals?
Now with that said, we're feeding our animals what they should eat. Rabbits get hay, and grains (without distiller's biproducts mind you!) pigs get whey, soured milk, grain and whatever, chickens get grain, compost pile and 15 acres of field, but why are we farmers stuck into this silly mentality that it is good to give a lot to the animals?
I was just grabbing big bales because I thought they'd like to eat more. But in the end the cows are like me. They'll eat a lot, but they want to eat a lot of what's good.
Now with that said we're short on hay so they are getting whatever I throw down, but I would just like to note that I do not think that they really are any different than me in a lot of ways.
Monday, March 22, 2010
The picture below is a good picture of what was being lifted up- 3 posts with a continuous plate. They were all held together with a temporary heady, and some bracing boards. In all it was about 400lbs.
The block and tackle was attached to a temporary header, and well- just start pulling. There is a bit of mechanical benefit made with the two double pulleys, but still needed to use some blocking and levers.
Hot dog in the sock drawer, Marlene, come look at this, this boy's cheese 'bout slipped off his cracker....
But it worked! It took me about an hour and a quarter to get this up. I was pretty tired afterwards. I'd just keep levering up with a 4x4, and slipping blocking under the wall. Then I'd pull with the block and tackle, anchor the rope off, and then go back with the blocking. Eventually I got the wall up enough that I could just push it into place myself.
That was all last weekish. I had a week off from work, and unfortunately I wasted too much time with this obsession to get a 1 inch drill bit. Note: 1inch bits are actually 25.4mm, and the pegs I bought in Walpole from Scott N. are a perfect inch, tapered by a 32nd. Anyways, I ended up grinding down a speedbore and microned it till it was just under an inch. Fits tighter than a girdle on a freshening cow, now.
Yesterday I went to get the header knocked into place, and then to get the rest of that wall up. Grandpa and Marianne came by, so we got the rest of the wall up. It was a struggle with the 3 of us, and grandpa gave me a look like, "How the hell'd you get that up yourself?" The piece we picked up yesterday was about 400lbs- you want it up, not coming down on you. For the next wall I am going to have it all together and get a few to come down and make it an easier day.
The piece we got up Sunday. Joinery not bad, eh?
Full view of the framing for the East wall. All it is missing is the middle header, which I will drop into place after plumming the rest of it up, and pegging it together. Imagine all the bracing boards gone, and you'll have some pretty framing. All oak/beech with maple pegs. The post and beam will be exposed in the final product. Click for a detailed picture.
The joint looks nice. It will be snugged a hair tighter, and then will be pegged with 1inchx12inch maple pegs.