Another Illinois 'stead

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Re: Another Illinois 'stead

Postby mannytheseacow » Mon Oct 05, 2015 8:55 pm

It sounds like your biochar maker works much better than mine because I don't yield nearly that much. I'd like to see your set up if you have time to post some photos.

If I understand correctly, biochar will work in our soils just the same as it would in tropical soils, we just don't usually need what it does. It tropical soils (and temperate rainforest soils) the nutrients are all tied up in living things so they don't become available until something dies. Most nutrients are readily available in our soils so it's mostly un-needed. But if we have extra wood to use up, it sure is fun to play with.
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Re: Another Illinois 'stead

Postby wfwarner » Wed Oct 07, 2015 9:28 pm

your work and furniture have inspired me to get off my ass and get busy on my lodge.
Thanks for all the pictures. wish more would post pictures as they are an inspiration to all who would like to return to a simple way.
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Re: Another Illinois 'stead

Postby mannytheseacow » Thu Oct 08, 2015 12:52 pm

Thanks, Bill. Really stoked the things I'm doing are inspiring you. It was your photos of your cabin that got me off my duff to get this greenhouse built! I agree, it would be nice to see more photos on here.
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Re: Another Illinois 'stead

Postby mannytheseacow » Wed Jan 13, 2016 6:22 pm

I wanted to post an update on the greenhouse. The daily highs here have been around 10* and lows around 0*. Greenhouse highs about 65*, lows around 30*. So far everything is still alive. No heater in there.
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Re: Another Illinois 'stead

Postby matt walker » Thu Jan 14, 2016 3:14 pm

Geez Manny, that is amazing. Congrats man, that is turning out to be a giant success.
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Re: Another Illinois 'stead

Postby mannytheseacow » Sat Jan 16, 2016 3:36 pm

Thanks, Matt. I attribute some of that heat storage to being attached to the house and the double paned glass used for the greenhouse. I was really stressing in the fall about finding time to build a heater in there and then how I would have to be feeding a fire and splitting extra wood. Problem solved. Heater not necessary.
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Re: Another Illinois 'stead

Postby mannytheseacow » Fri May 27, 2016 1:42 am

There has been a lot of new things unfolding at the sea cow. I've been so busy I can't hardly get on here for updates and picture posting, but I'll do what I can now, and reassure you that there are many exciting things coming in the future.

My latest big project happened earlier this spring. I had a building in a lower paddock that I moved up near the goat shed. I disassembled it and moved it, reassembled it, added sides, and moved the feeder to the middle.... so now it's a half feeder, half hay storage. I can back right up to it and unload hay, and it holds about 70 small bales.
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Re: Another Illinois 'stead

Postby mannytheseacow » Fri May 27, 2016 12:05 pm

Sorry, that last post got cut short. So, the beauty of the building is that I don't have to trudge out to the barn twice a day anymore. I can do all my feeding from the back side of the feeder in the hay building. I used to have a pretty stupid setup for getting out there, too. It was an electric mesh fence that I would have to open to get through. I scored some gates and cattle panels on the craigslist and fixed all that. New easy access to both my orchard and the main animal yard.
Image

That's a nice cattle panel roof over the tractor, a la Tru and Nutcase.

The orchard has been amazing. I have almonds, apples, and raspberries already, just two years in. Lots of other fruit and nuts coming in slower. I put the whole thing on soaker hose this year attached to the IBC tank on the building so in dry periods I can just water by cracking the valve on the rain tank.

Earlier this spring while selling goat kids we got an offer we couldn't refuse on our entire goat herd. Silverflame, what was it you said about that little bottle buckling I had? Runty? Scrappy? Well we built our herd off that buckling, and used the herd sale to purchase more property. So we're free from ruminants right now, but picking up a flock of Katahdin lambs next weekend to fatten and sell this fall.

My wife and I have been doing a lot of planning. Short term goals, long term goals.... the new property is going to get us to where we want to be in 5-10 years, and right now we are living really well, and doing the things we need to in order to get to those long term goals.
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Re: Another Illinois 'stead

Postby matt walker » Fri May 27, 2016 11:02 pm

I love this update Manny, way to go on the goaling!! Dude, your place looks amazing. I love how easy the access is, and how tidy it all is. I know, it's new, it's like that, but.....you run a tight ship my man.
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Re: Another Illinois 'stead

Postby mannytheseacow » Sat May 28, 2016 1:10 pm

Thanks, Matt! That means a lot, coming from you. We've had some good examples to inspire us. The more tuned we get this place the harder it will be to leave it when the time comes, but there have been a lot of good learning lessons for the next one.
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