Tuesday, August 5, 2014
So Far a Good Damn Day
A couple of major projects took some steps to fruition today and so far this evening with roughly 30% of the polling stations reporting the Missouri Constitutional Amendments votes seem to be going the way I had hoped.
We rolled the old square baler out of the shed it's been rotting in for almost two decades today. All the initial parts we knew we needed are now in and the tire rims are repaired. We began putting some teeth back on the old girl and made sure all the fittings were grease filled and still operable. If everything goes as planned we should be square baling once again next week.
The line of grapes really started to take off the last few weeks and a couple of them have even almost made it to the top of the trellis so I can begin training them along the top. This will form the limbs of second year growth which the fruit will form off of next year. I was really starting to worry they weren't going to take hold or that the wind had damaged them too much but they have really grown fast recently.
The cutting crew is almost completely done with the original section I put them on to clear for me. They have even started eating that damned prairie grass crap that grows like something you would see in a jungle with sharp pointy leaves. It's called Blue stem grass and was suppose to be the dominant grass along the old prairies. Or so they say.
Whatever the case at some point around here the State and county started spreading it's seed around on the road edges instead of the good old Crown vetch that the bees like so much. Of course now it is making it's way into the hay field. Ya know there was reason the old farmers got rid of the stuff MoDot. I know the sheep will eat the stuff but it certainly isn't their first choice let me tell you. They have pretty much cropped everything else down to the ground now and finally started in on the prairie grass a bit. Another few days and I am going to open the entire section behind the barn up to them. They are not going to know what to do then.
In fact this entire sheep mowing experiment has proven so successful I am looking into putting fence wire around a couple of fruit trees to protect them and extending their range for next year.
At this point I have only three more major projects to finish to attain my complete sufficiency goal. Getting the chicken side of things up and going, which requires me to finish cleaning out the old burn pile area. I almost had that finished this Winter but then got busy with other things. Figuring out how much and what type of animal feed grains I need to grow and harvest each year for the sheep. Finally the last two phases of the water storage. Between my barrels, cistern and hand pump set up I can take care of human and garden needs even during drought like conditions however the 1400 gallon capacity will not cover the live stock or grain irrigation if it came to that. The entire barn area needs to have a catchment plan designed and installed and the farm pond needs repaired.
Once the last couple of projects are finished the Small-Hold should be about as self sufficient as any one place on earth could ever be. Of course we will never have an oil field, mines of any type and will always be dependent on any number of things for convenience sake, but in a pinch we should also be able to do without those things and produce by hand if we had to. Of course that would cut into time for other things.
Now if we just had a salt mine. I haven't figured out how to get around that one yet.
Keep Prepping Everyone!!!