Replacement Generator

July 9, 2011

Sonny

Saturday

We had been using a small underpowered 3500kw Champion generator as the backup generator for the last two years. We always had plans to replace it with a bigger one but just never got around to it until this weekend. The Primary generator is a 8kw propane Guardian and it takes care of all our charging needs for those long dark rainy weeks.

Generac 8kw

You see, nothing is the same living out in the boonies and living off the power grid.  We have solar panels for electricity, a primary generator but also a backup generator. Everything has to have a Plan-B to go with it.  Our heat is from out wood stove but we also have propane backup.  We have 4 wheel drive cars, and a backup 4 wheel drive tractor just in case the snow is too much. We have lights but have oil lanterns, Gas stove to cook on but we can also cook on the wood stove. We have Internet, Satellite TV and Satellite radio to know the weather. We even have multiple stove-top coffee peculators.  We even have a great refrigerator but we still built a root cellar.

It is just our way out here.  And to be honest, continue to learn lessons every day on PHF.


MAY GOINGS ON

May 8, 2011

Sunday

Linda

Wow, it’s hard to believe that we are already in the month of May and even harder to realize how long its been since my last blog entry. I have no excuses. Since the rain for the past weeks has put a damper on doing outside projects I have been spending my time doing a little Spring cleaning in the house. The walls and cabinets have been scrubbed clean of the winter wood stove residue and the glass of the inside windows is now gleaming. I washed the sofa slip covers and hung up Springtime fresh curtains. Now that those chores are completed I can spend most of my time outdoors where I really want to be.

There are so many projects that need attention here at PHF that sometimes its overwhelming. Sonny and I sat down and made a list of everything trying to organize it by priority. Not an easy task because it all seems to be a priority but as they say, “Rome wasn’t built in a day.”

Sonny took a weeks vacation this past week so that we could finish up the drain ditches, the wood shed addition, work on the garden, finish up the hog pen fence and about a thousand other things. Of course it rained the first part of the week and then he had a little mishap.

We had taken Festus, (Johns Truck) to Southern States Supply to get a couple of propane bottles filled. The tanks were filled and Sonny started to climb off the back of the truck when his heel got caught on the edge of the tow hitch. He fell like a sack of potatoes onto the asphalt and injured his right shoulder. I took him to the Urgent Care and the X-rays didn’t show any fractures, but his shoulder is still extremely painful if he tries to lift his arm too high. He will get a follow up done this week.

Sonny tried to get some things done, but trying to use a shovel or put the metal roof on the wood shed extension was out of the question, so was putting the green house back together. I am just grateful he didn’t break his neck.

We have four new additions to PHF. Yesterday we went to Two Lynnes Farm and came home with three Barred Rock hens and an Americana/ Cochin mixed hen. They are about eight weeks old and as cute as be. I can’t wait to see them tootling behind the rest of the flock but that will have to wait a few weeks. I promise to post pictures later. We also came home with some cabbage and brussels sprouts seedlings and two pint jars of Two Lynnes Farm Maple syrup. Can’t wait to try that!

My day has been a busy one. It seems as though it has taken me forever to put up the chicken wire around the bottom of the garden fence. The chickens weren’t free ranging last year but now they hop in and out of the large square openings of the cattle fencing like its a hop scotch game.

My fingers are soar from wire tying the chicken wire to the existing fence and let me tell you those raw, sharp ends of the fence can poke too. Wearing gloves just gets in the way so I will suffer the consequences of not wearing them. Now that the chickens can’t get into the garden I went ahead and planted the cabbage plants and two rows of Strike beans. Our friend Gary gave us some potato starts and I cut them in half so I can plant them tomorrow.

My fingers are soar and my hands are scratched, my back aches and my muscles scream but I feel good. I finally finished a job that needed to be done and the garden has its first plantings. We have four more beautiful hens that will give us eggs in a few months and it is a good feeling to know that we can feed ourselves. Well as long as the garden grows.


A WHEELBARROW AND A RAKE

April 11, 2011

Monday

Linda

Wild Violets

When you live on a farm you have to get work done while the sun shines and Pot Hole Farm is no exception. We had plenty of sun beams streaming this morning so I thought it was a good time to rake up the fallen branches and debris in the yard. A wheelbarrow and rake…what more could a girl ask for? With the warmer days and rain showers the grass has been growing like Rip Van Winkles beard. It’s time for the lawn mower to come out of winter storage to give the grass a well needed trim, but it won’t be today with a storm on the horizon.

I’m not the only one with this idea. When I rode down to the Country Store this morning to pick up some bread I saw two of my neighbors buzzing around the yard on their lawn mowers. It always reminds me of those clowns in the little car racing around the ring of the circus Big Top. I know I look like that too when I cut grass. No one goes at a slow speed.  We always have the mower in top gear cutting rows back and forth through the grass and making circles around obstacles. Sonny can lean down and pick up a stray dog toy and never slow up. I on the other hand would end up in the creek.

Of course I had my crew working with me today. Ruby, Moby and the chickens. The guineas were off working in another department, but I have heard rumblings of a strike. Those guineas are all union. Ruby pulled out more sticks as fast I could rake them up and the chickens and Moby inspected all my work. Slave drivers. I think I deserve a raise.

I think I better get the Quality Control Supervisors over here.

Looks like production is slow. Tell her to get a move on.

Break Time.


COOP CLEANING DAY

January 29, 2011

Saturday

Sonny

The temperature was in the high 30’s today with the sun peaking through ever once in a while.  Earlier this week Linda mentioned it was time to get the chicken coop cleaned out so today was as good as any.

Tractor Training

We used the bucket on the tractor to dump the poop and straw on the garden. This should help us out when growing season starts.


LAST OF THE SOLAR PANELS

November 26, 2010

Friday

Sonny

Last week we finally received the last of our solar panels.  The system is a full 3.7 kw.  I know that doesn’t mean much to most of you but when we originally designed our PV solar system I knew right away I would be “building” it in stages. We just didn’t have the money to get it all at once.

Although I don’t think we will ever be completely finished. Next year I hope to get a solar hot water system ordered and start that install. Right now we have a propane tank and I would rather let the sun heat the water and that would easy my wallet on buying propane.

I also may start thinking about either a small wind generator or a micro-hydro to help keep the batteries charged on the short winter days and the days of heavy clouds. We seem to only get some wind in the winter and our stream only flows when it rains – heck it may take both systems who knows.

I do know that next week will be time for a load of donkey manure for the garden thanks to John and Carol and “Buck and Doe Run”.


CHICKEN COOP SOLAR PANELS

November 16, 2010

Tuesday

Sonny

Chicken Power

Well the short days and lack of sun has forced me into action. We received our Harbor Freight solar panels and Saturday we got them installed and running. I only added a small lawn mower battery to the kit. Hopefully it will help the chickens think there is still light and help to keep their egg laying steady. Only time will tell now.


FIRST SNOW

November 6, 2010

Saturday

Linda

We have had our first snow dusting of the season today.  Large fluffy snowflakes fell like dandruff from the sky.  Someone needs to use some Head and Shoulders Shampoo up there.

Actually it is a tranquil scene to watch through our picture window.  Cold and snowy outside, comfy and warm inside.  The wood stove has a warm glow showing through its window and a Lodge Pot full of Great Northern beans simmers on the top. The aroma of the chicken broth and ham hock that season them scents the air.  It definitely puts you in a grateful frame of mind to have these few simple things… heat and food. Life is good.

First Snow of the Year


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