Homestead

Chickens, Greenhouses, Consulting

If you ever have to cut down a remaining stump of a large tree you will encounter the problem of it pinching and jamming up your saw bar between the wood with its weight. Instead of having to use wedges to keep the pressure off of your saw you can use this awesome trick.

Learn how to sharpen a chainsaw blade by hand using a file from Master Shipwright Louis Sauzedde.

Tuesday, 16 February 2021 16:41

Growing Shiitake Mushrooms on Logs

Editor's Note: I've been growing mushrooms using the following method for a few years now.  If you are interested in growing your own mushrooms I would suggest Field and Forest as a supplier for your mushroom spores.  

My absolute favorite mushroom to eat is the shiitake. They are expensive to buy in the store, but the good news is that they are easy to grow at home. These flavorful and meaty delights are one of the most common mushrooms in the world and also the one with the most health benefits. Unlike any green plant, they have all of the essential amino acids. And they are  good source of vitamins. Shiitake mushrooms are great for building your immune system and are antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral. They are a powerhouse of nutrients and contain about 60% carbohydrates, 20% protein and 10% fiber. They are a good source of B and D vitamins which are tough to find in the plant world.

Tuesday, 16 February 2021 16:33

Is your chimney leaking?

These diagrams might help explain why.

Thursday, 09 July 2020 16:49

For Sale: Fresh Eggs

$3.00
$5.00 suggested donation

I recently ordered some materials to build a new chicken coop and wanted to share the basic list of items for those who might be doing the same.  I found that the biggest difference was the cost of the sheet metal roofing: Lowes wanted $38 and Home Depot $24 per sheet.  So that was the major deciding factor in terms of where to order the bulk of the lumber from.  Lowes had a few items in stock that HomeDepot was missing so I ordered a few things from Lowes with free shipping.  The main HomeDepot / lumber order cost $79 for the special truck delivery option.  

Homemade Chicken Coop:

  • Dirt floor construction
  • Ramps, doors, flaps, egg boxes to be made from scrap material

 

Below is the breakdown of my orders.

Great e-Book!  Written in 1921, these techniques were used to determine the gender of chicken eggs before they were hatched using nothing more than a strong 'candling' light.  The benefit of knowing the gender of the eggs is you can sell the male eggs as food and only hatch the females, which can then be sold as mature, egg-laying hens.  It is wise to raise a few roosters for trading with other farmers to keep your flock's gene pool clean.  

Wednesday, 05 December 2018 10:02

Sliding / Rolling Barn Door

This is a custom barn door that I built for our combination greenhouse / shed.  

My wife and I designed this greenhouse with Pocono winters in mind - a few feet of snow on the roof, sub-zero temperatures, etc. It’s a SOLID, well built structure.  Now that we've had our first snow, photo proof!  This came down as around 10 inches of heavy, wet snow.  

 

A few years ago, my wife and I decided that we wanted to build a greenhouse so that we could start working towards self-sufficiency while eating healthier food.  We also needed a storage shed, for storing garden tools, food for our livestock, bales of hay, and the like.  

I started researching various methods of building greenhouses, ranging from inexpensive plastic hoop tunnels to the pre-built kits made from metal tubing and glass panels.  I also reviewed storage solutions like shipping containers, pre-built sheds you can buy from major retailers, and amish-style pole barns.  

I had written a review of my berkey water filter when we first purchased it in 2014.  We have been using it nonstop, putting approximately 1 gallon per day through it from our city tap water.  If you refer to the photo, you can see the layer of fine sediment (dirt) coating the bottom two-thirds old filter.  Note that the filter was still working fine, the water tasted great, but the upper tank of the filter wasn't draining because of the clogged filter.  It was taking a full night to filter just 1 gallon of water.  After replacing the (2) filters, we are now filtering a gallon in less than an hour. 

Below is the letter that we sent to Berkey (and their response).  Enjoy!

Friday, 16 September 2016 09:05

Demonstration: 12 Volt Off-Grid Water Pump

I've written previously about my first off-grid solar power setup.  Now, I want to share the addition of a 12-volt water pump. 

Product Review: SEAFLO 12V 5.5 GPM 60 PSI Water Diaphragm Pressure Pump
I purchased this water pump so that we can pump harvested rainwater out of our IBC 275 gallon totes - uphill - to our plants.  I can plug the water pump directly into my battery booster, my truck, or another vehicle's battery.  I've heard that this will also operate when directly connected to a solar panel (no battery required) but I haven't tested this yet. 

  • “If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issue of their currency, first by inflation, then by deflation, the banks…will deprive the people of all property until their children wake-up homeless on the continent their fathers conquered…. The issuing power should be taken from the banks and restored to the people, to whom it properly belongs.”

    – Thomas Jefferson in the debate over the Re-charter of the Bank Bill (1809)