Another Illinois 'stead

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Re: Another Illinois 'stead

Postby boo » Thu Nov 21, 2013 3:43 am

mannytheseacow wrote:
DevilsBrew wrote:You wouldn't believe the number of people I encountered that didn't know what was possible, even experienced gardeners.


Post some of that here, D.B. I'm never amazed at how much I don't know! :lol:

I thrive on "learning experiences" (as Guy calls them)!! Post away DevilsBrew..
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Re: Another Illinois 'stead

Postby pa_friendly_guy » Thu Nov 21, 2013 4:56 am

It has taken me a life time to acquire those leaning experience's. Each one comes with a price, And I have paid them all, hopefully so others may not have to. ;) I hope someone will learn from my mistakes, and I have made a few. :lol: Well maybe more than a few in my life time. :lol:
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Re: Another Illinois 'stead

Postby mannytheseacow » Thu Dec 26, 2013 5:25 pm

64.6* is pretty good, considering a 72* difference between outside and in!
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Re: Another Illinois 'stead

Postby pa_friendly_guy » Thu Dec 26, 2013 6:05 pm

Glad you got it fixed and are able to keep warm. You are right, there is a HUGE difference between -8* and 64*. You are really bringing that temperature up. Stay warm this Holiday season. 8-)
Never doubt that a small group of dedicated people can change the world, indeed it is the only thing that ever has.
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Re: Another Illinois 'stead

Postby mannytheseacow » Sun Mar 23, 2014 4:53 pm

Well I'm several days late in this post, but Happy Spring everyone! It's been a long cold winter for all of us but things are starting to perk up. The lambs ears, clover, and lilies are starting to grow and we've had a couple days in the upper 50s. We're not out of the woods yet as it's only 23 today and still hitting lows in the single digits and teens.

Looking back over the winter I burned a heck of a lot of wood this year. It was such an unusually cold winter I have no way of comparing what the rocket stove did compared to the old stove as far as how much wood I burned. The house was a little colder but the heat was more even. I'm definitely not going back.

I've been splitting like mad but because I'm still burning it seems like I'm not making much progress. My wood shed measures 10' x 14' x 8' high. My goal is to fill that sucker full from ground to rafters this year. If my math is right that would be about 8.75 cords that I can fit in there. I'm at about 2 cords now... a long way to go.

Part of me thinks that I made it with the 6" rocket this hard winter so I could make due. If we can't be happy with what we have then how will we be happy with anything else? But then again, I have all the materials and the mold made for the 8", so I'm leaning that direction. This winter made me also think about the cold air venting my heat from the bench, too, as it drafts from the chimney, so I'm digesting that yet too. Along those lines, I'm worried about cutting another hole in my house for this wood burning cookstove. That's just more cold air coming in when it's not being used... We had 50-some odd days below 0 here this year. I'm curious to see how the perennials made it through.

Similar to George's awesome food forest I've got over a hundred trees, shrubs and vines going in this year but the ground is still too frozen to dig. Fences to build too, whenever the ground thaws. I can't wait to get going on it. I'm pretty much just tending the livestock these days and splitting wood. Seeing the robins return is sure a promising site, though.

I finally dug into some of my pork the other day, besides bellies and loins. I pulled a leg out of the freezer and thawed it. I wasn't sure what leg off of what animal but it turned out to be a Berk shoulder. 30 some pounds. I made 7.5# of sausage, 7.5# of Tasso ham, smoked the foot to put in some pea soup or cassoulet, 10# of carnitas for tacos, a pound or so of bones, and some random small bits for stir-fries. Delicious, all of it!
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Re: Another Illinois 'stead

Postby matt walker » Sun Mar 23, 2014 5:21 pm

Nice to hear an overall update Manny, I need to do the same. I too have been thinking a lot on the heater situation. I have never been warmer, but I too used a lot of wood and had some unacceptable cold spots in the house during the real cold stretches. I'm definitely going with a second unit, although holes in the house are a lesser deal to me.

I don't envy you having to wait to start here, but on the other hand I've put in 300' of new fence in the last 4 days or so, and I am whipped!
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Re: Another Illinois 'stead

Postby mannytheseacow » Mon Mar 24, 2014 3:56 pm

I really like building fences. Well actually, not so much building the fence itself but building fences really teaches you the nuances of your land. And there's nothing better than that feeling when you come in at the end of the day, you've got a new fence, and you're dog tired and sore from head to toe (in a good way). That's a good day.
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Re: Another Illinois 'stead

Postby matt walker » Mon Mar 24, 2014 4:42 pm

Yeah man, for sure. I'm on a major fencing mission right now, I finally figured out my style and am forging ahead with some long developing plans. Update coming soon.
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Re: Another Illinois 'stead

Postby mannytheseacow » Tue Apr 29, 2014 1:47 am

Finally finished fencing up another area around here.
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It's kind of hard to see what's going on here, but it's good meat goat habitat. Hard to photograph but lots of trees, scrub and rocky cliffs. Driving posts was a bear. Only had to dig about a dozen wood posts, the rest were metal Ts. Pound 'em twice and if they hit a rock move a couple feet and try again. Made for not the straightest fence line but it will work.
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I tried a different configuration recommended by Premier fence company. There's a bottom wire at the ground of barbed wire then a hot line 7" up with another hot line for the top wire. All other wires are spaced at 7".
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In several spots I was able to salvage old posts and old woven wire keeping my costs under $100 on this project. I had several old boys tell me to just tear out the old fence line and start new. I might regret it over the next few years but I salvaged as much as I could. At several points in the process trying to work with the old wire and posts was pretty frustrating. It's great having it done, though. We've got a couple weeks of rain here and then I'm planning to turn the herd out down there as soon as it dries up a little and the growth pops on all the woody vegetation.
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Re: Another Illinois 'stead

Postby Lollykoko » Tue Apr 29, 2014 7:44 pm

Manny, glad to hear that you got your fence-line secured. I hope it does the trick to keep your goats where you want them.
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