Chickens, Greenhouses, Consulting
via the Chicken Chick:
Absent supermarkets in the late 19th century, the average American family raised chickens as a matter of necessity- if you wanted fresh eggs, you raised chickens, if you wanted roast chicken for dinner, you raised chickens. While it may no longer be necessary to grow one’s own food, countless families around the United States want to, but are forced to wage battles against zoning departments and municipalities for the right keep chickens.
How did we get to a place where raising backyard chickens is illegal in many jurisdictions? Being an attorney, I have a theory based in the history of zoning law, which will be important to understand if you need to fight lawmakers for the right to keep chickens in your town as I have.
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.
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.
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:
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.
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!
- Benjamin Franklin