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shop heat

One of the real treats in my life is a heated shop. I have a lovely collection of tools and workspaces enabling me to putter with woodwork, metalwork and a bit of mechanical maintenance. I am not great at any of it, but pretty darn good at solving the little challenges and opportunities life sends my way. I have spent some time turning my Jack-of-all-Trades persona into a way to make an honest living, but only at the wrong place at the wrong time. The Fixer business did not blossom, but my website The Fixer.biz is still kicking around as a place where I document some of my creations and share ideas I have come up with. I wish I […]

settled in to my domain

A main driver of my life is gaining control of my homestead, estate, working spaces and equipment. After each move from one to another, the list of urgent/critical projects is immediately followed by the crucial, then important and so on until I reach the settled in phase. In each case there is some marker that gives me the feeling I have arrived. Seven years into our Bunkhouse occupancy, I finally hit what I think is that marker. I am comfortable that I know what spaces I want to irrigate, have them relatively easy to wet and no longer have to disconnect hoses, move pipes and reconnect to run my mower around the yard. This evolved irrigation system will be reasonably […]

What are they distracting you from?

All the lamestream media outlets, including those dominating the Internet search engines agree that “abortion rights” and “gun control” are all you need to think about. As they pound on those drums, what is it we are not supposed to be noticing? What is it they are doing that we are not supposed to see? From FrontPageMagazine: Glazov Gang: 10k Dead Cattle in Kansas – Why? Connected to the controlled demolition of food and energy supply? From EnVolve.com: Rancher Warns Mass Cattle Deaths Are An ‘Inside Job’ Designed To Cause Food Shortages Experts are now warning that the sudden deaths of thousands of cattle may very well be linked to a diabolical attempt to cause mass food shortages in America, […]

wash and dry SD card

In this little How-To, I share my experience laundering a 16 gigabyte SanDisk secure digital (SD) card. The little buggers are 1″ by 1 1/4″, quite flat and capable of storing one hundred and twenty-eight billion bits of information. That number, along with that amount of data are both quite incomprehensible. How about 16 pickup trucks FULL of books? That is literally the amount of information can be stored onto this little card. That is to say, there is almost no space between the bits of data on them. A spec of dust could short out any of the circuits therein. I mention this to provide perspective on the following little tale. The Easter Egg Chicken Ranch attracted another […]

Farming Insider Warns The Coming Food Shortages Are Going To Be Far Worse Than We’re Being Told

by Tyler Durden Authored by Michael Snyder via TheMostImportantNews.com, The information that I am about to share with you is extremely alarming, but I have always endeavored to never sugarcoat things for my readers. Right now, there are shortages of certain items in grocery stores across the United States, and food supplies have gotten very tight all over the globe. I have repeatedly warned that this is just the beginning, but I didn’t realize how dire things have already gotten until I received an email from a farming insider that I have corresponded with over the years. I asked him if I could publicly share some of the information that he was sharing with me, and he said that […]

Chicks on the economic outlook

Today the third batch of chicks arrived at our local farm & ranch store. It will also be the third batch to sell out within hours of arrival. In normal years each batch lasts a week or more. The chicks are telling us something is very different this year. The guy in front of my was a first-time budding chicken rancher with lots of questions and needing to completely gear up. Others are tuning up existing flocks. The chicks say there are lean times on the near horizon.

Autumn on our homestead

With four days of rain predicted and reasonable certainty that both the summer and the Indian Summer are history, I saw this morning as my last chance to seed the areas my construction projects this year laid bare. I have been trying to buy or borrow a real harrow to work the seeds under cover, but nothing worked out. So I made my own along the lines of cheap, scrappy farm yard stuff. Old boards. Fence scrap. Screws. Chain. Ingenuity. It worked just fine. It has been almost a decade since I sold off my 20-year business, The Gentleman Farmer with tractors, implements, good-will and customer list. Our Bunkhouse homestead demanded a snow plow so I have a Polaris […]

Stone Soup Kitchen

TEOTWAWKI, The End Of The World As We Know It is upon us. We are in the early stages, but the normal we had a year ago will not return in our lifetimes. We had a warning in Spring and have been granted a short reprieve, but it would be foolhardy to squander the next month. Every analysis I read and see indicates The Change will get worse, soon… much, much worse, and frightfully soon. I share much of that at this website and will continue to do so. Meanwhile, most of us agree that we have at least one good month to build our pantries. Few expect supplies to be as plentiful and easily accessed past October. Hardly any […]

planting moon

The moon over the Idaho Territory will be full on Thursday, March 7th. Bob Cannard, my organic gardening mentor encouraged us to plant on every full moon. He did not touch on whether or not he believed it cosmically favored the plants themselves. His expressed reasoning was that it organized us to do regular plantings whether that was seeds, starts, bare-root, or transplants. Get something started every full moon and you will always have a good garden. From long before there were computers, televisions and electric lights, people on nature-driven cycles have called the first full moon of May, “The Planting Moon”. Whereas in some environments planting and growing year-round is possible, here our growing season is short, but […]

if an egg a day is good …

My wife cannot imagine breakfast without eggs. Even with her awesome wheat, nut, blueberry pancakes, maple syrup, bacon and sausage, there still has to be an egg on top. I cannot imagine a homestead without chickens. Even in a downtown tract home I had one. Now my flock is around 20. I feed them organic, non-GMO because we expect to eat the eggs and want a healthy product. I also supplement with a bit of oyster shell calcium and ample grazing space. The girls love it. Our springtime egg production is up to over a dozen a day. I will let a broody hen reproduce sometime this year to refresh the flock. After two years, production falls off rapidly, […]

playing in the mud

Sean called his Darby Adult Ed class “Mud Made Mankind”. He gave us a wonderful introduction to working with clay, glazes, potter’s wheel and much more. We found ways to mold clay that didn’t work. We found ways that did. He was a wonderful teacher, cheerleader and assistant. I entered the class with a specific project in mind. I didn’t care if was the only creation I made, but I was focused on getting this one done. As you can see here, we pulled it off… and I do mean WE … Sean was a big help in many ways. I have a carnivorous pitcher plant that seems to like its home, rewarding me with a fly-free laundry room […]

Spring full moon

My organic gardening mentor encouraged us to plant on every full moon. Not so much that it favored the plants themselves, but because it organized us to do regular plantings whether that was seeds, bare-root, or transplants. Get something started every full moon and you will always have a good garden. In Montana that assumes you have a greenhouse. We simply have too much winter cold to allow year-round outdoor plantings. What a blessed place I grew up in where we could. Lovely Nature was unfortunately taken over by lazy minds. Today, March 9th is a full moon. That is my trigger to consider planting something. Other signals from nature: The little budgies have returned to our neighborhood. The glaciers […]