I don’t know how many of you watch YouTube videos on a regular basis, but that is kind of my television. One of the channels I really like is Justin Rhodes. He and his family live in North Carolina and they are currently planning a cross country trip, in a bus that they are converting(I’m so jealous) and they need places to stop. I applied to be one of them. One of the things they wanted in the application is one minute video about the applicant’s location.
I needed to add a trailer to my YouTube channel so I killed two birds with one stone and created this. Let me know what you think. And if you do watch YouTube, please consider subscribing. Thanks.
I think I mentioned a couple weeks ago that it seemed like everything around here was breaking. First the golf cart, then the lawn tractor, it was getting bad. On the way back from our vacation I ordered a rebuild kit for the golf cart engine. That means there is a plan to get that back in action.
Once we got back I had grass to cut and I needed a quick way to make some headway. I put the finish mower on our big tractor and got to work. When I was done with what I needed to get done, I got to work trying to fix the lawn tractor. After taking the deck off and surveying the situation, it became apparent that the problem might not be as bad as I first thought. The spindle seemed like it was still ok, but the bolts attaching the spindle assembly to the deck seemed to have backed out. I was able to find some acceptable hardware, I would have preferred better but it was what I had, so I got everything put back together and the Cub Cadet is back in action. This is actually quite big, as it allows the boys to help me get grass cut. I realized when I was on the big tractor, I hadn’t really cut much grass this year, and that was just fine by me.
I made a video for the YouTube channel on the mower fix. If you are interested, you can find it here.
We are inching our way closer to being ready for pigs. As of now I am planning on picking up the pigs early next week. Things have been slowed down because a couple of the little ones have been sick. Even so, we are still getting some work done, the latest of which was getting the gate hung, pounding T posts in between the wood posts, and fixing the corner where the wooded posts were slightly too far apart.
The boys have been a big help. I do my very best to make sure I let them know when I am going out to do a project and to let them help in some way. Lately that has even included working the cameras for making YouTube videos. Always learning, teaching, or both(or at least attempting to).
It has been a dry summer, so much so that the grass hasn’t been growing much at all. Because of this the sheep and cow are currently eating hay and I will probably have to give them another bale soon. I’m not sure hay prices are going to drop so I wanted to get some hay now. I was able to find someone who could deliver 10 bales yesterday, so I pulled the trigger and had it delivered. Delivery was the best option for me, I could only fit four round bales on my trailer, if I really work at it so it would take me three trips to get the ten bales he was able to deliver. At over an hour and a half round trip, it was money well spent.
I used the tarp with which they transported our house. It kept the inside of the house from blowing away on the highway and is over 70′ long and probably 12′ feet wide. When they were leaving after putting the house together they asked if I wanted to save the tarps or throw them away, I definitely wanted to keep them so they have been stored under the house since then.
This should hopefully be enough hay for the winter. We currently have 13 bales, one of which I will give to the animals while the grass grows back, and if we are lucky we will get a couple more bales when they bale our field in the fall.
If you’re interested, here is the video of me moving it with the tractor.
While I was out working on the pig pen, I realized that some people may not know the different types of fencing I was talking about so I made a quick video. I am thinking of making it into a series, A Homestead Minute. Quick little videos that explain something that I probably didn’t know just a short time ago, that others might be interested in learning. Let me know what you think.
The weather has turned hot again. We had three nice days, lows in the lower 80’s with low humidity. Unfortunately we are back to highs near or into the 90’s with high humidity. All that is to say working outside is no fun at all in that weather. I am what you would call a sweat-er, and when it’s humid I sweat by the bucket full.
I have been able to get some things done over the last few days. I am getting close to having the pig pen ready for our piglets. I got the hog panels up and stapled to the fence posts. I still need to pound some T posts in between the wooden posts. I also need to hang the gate and strap a section of the hog panel onto that gate, but we are getting close. I hope to have a video of my progress up on YouTube shortly.
I also got a small start on getting a tree off our path through the woods. The boys and I went down there with hand tools and cleared out the area around the tree so I can get down there with the chainsaw and get that tree cut up. It has been on the path since late last fall, so this is long overdue. The boys really want it off there so they can take the golf cart through the woods. There will be a video on the progress on that project coming shortly as well.
Other than that it is mostly trying to stay cool and keep the animals as comfortable as possible as well. Checking waterers several times a day to make sure they don’t overheat. With the heat we have been using the pool almost every day, definitely worth the Craigslist purchase. It has also allowed B2 and G1 to become so much more comfortable in the water. They have gone from not wanting to put their faces in the water to being very comfortable, to the point where they are talking about joining their older brother on the swim team. It has been nice to be home, and not be re-packing for another trip. As much as I love traveling, and visiting friends and family, being home is really nice as well.
As I mentioned in my last post, when we were at my Aunt and Uncle’s house last weekend, the kids were able to ride quads. My uncle has really done a great job of creating a “school” for the kids to go through to learn all the ins and outs of riding and controlling a quad. I think he did it out of necessity for his grand kids, and it works just as well for his grand-nieces and grand nephews.
You need to be 7 to ride the quads solo, and G1 knew that going in, so she was really excited to be able to ride herself. She drives the golf cart around our property all the time, I have trained her on that, so the concepts of gas and braking are not new to her. This was evident in how quickly she picked up riding a quad. My uncle was impressed with her abilities.
The boys also got a refresher course on riding. B1 was a little rusty in shifting, but was able to knock off the rust very quickly. Once everyone was comfortable riding, we were off to ride around my aunt and uncle’s property. They have 40+ acres and have created a trail system for riding around it. I was able to get some video, it’s a bit shaky as I was doing it while riding, but it was a ton of fun. The last clip is me taking video off the back of the golf cart.
American Guinea Hogs that is. As many of you know I have been wanting pigs for awhile. The breeds that I have been looking at were Mangalitsa, American Guinea Hog, and Idaho Pasture Pigs. I ended up learning more about the AGHs at the Mother Earth News Fair and finding a breeder near me that could get me two boars and two gilts that are from different litters. I am going to buy them registered, so that I can sell breeding stock if there is a demand for it.
The plan is to keep the friendlier of the two boars, and butcher the other for bacon. Mmmm…. bacon. And other pork of course. One of the main reasons I decided on the AGH was that they pasture well, are a lard pig, and are significantly smaller than other even heritage hogs. An AGH boar will top out around 300 lbs, give or take, where many other breeds could be 600-800 lbs. The downside is that they get to butcher weight slower, but the taste is said to make up for it. They are included on the slowfoodusa ark of taste. I have put a deposit down on them and will be able to pick them up sometime in the next few weeks.
In the meantime I have listed most of our sheep and Oreo for sale. In fact, I will be calling someone back about Oreo later today. Selling her quickly would pay for the pigs, and make the pasture last significantly longer.
I am still trying to spend more time on the YouTube channel, and if you haven’t checked it out, please do. Homestead Dad YouTube. I am hoping the videos continue to get better and more polished, but it is obviously a work in progress.