Jan 07, 2015, 06:43 PM
Do you want me to log this?
For 40 years I'd dreamed of going home to the mountains of my ancestors, and homesteading of my ancestral land.
Here I am today. 40 years of Mother Earth News and Organic Gardening (now known as OG).
I've had so many plans over the years, and now I am here cutting out a survival = As I type this, it is 14 degrees outside and I'm heating 3 stories with a wood stove in the basement. And that consumes one heck of too much time = cutting wood every 3 days.
I've in the range of 50 acres, don't know for sure. The land was first settled by my ancestors sometime after William Penn surveyed the area in 1730. JEB Stuart lived about a day's ride by horse to the West of me, and I'm on the North slope of a mountain. The land has lain untended for 50 years and I'm carving myself a place in it.
This is the adventure for which I've dreamed for over 40 years. And I'm cutting myself a survival here.
Spring brings gardens, and I'm already working my butt off cutting wood, feeding the stove, and planning my gardens. Fruit trees to be planted, fruit bearing vines to be planted, and Square Foot gardening (AKA French Intensive) - now known as raised bed gardening to come.
I have to get through the cold, get thru the gardening, and through the harvesting, canning, storing, and all that hard work plus planning for firewood next year.
And here I am!
Do you wish a log of homesteading, and do you wish to offer suggestions which may benefit/help me along this evolution?
I say, let's get it on = this may help you as well. And, if it doesn't help me = hmmm... I'm not so obligated to TNet to continue a thread if there's no help in it for me
Let me know how ya'll feel, and please pop in with advice when it looks like I need it
Keep the faith!
Last edited by DeepseekerADS; Jan 07, 2015 at 06:48 PM.
Jan 07, 2015, 07:02 PM
Sounds like you have enough to keep you busy LOL. Thanks for sharing
God made man.. Sam Colt made them equal
Jan 07, 2015, 07:45 PM
I would absolutely have you log your homesteading activities.
Just tell me when to back off on rambling.
While a green piece or more can go on the night fire any moisture from unseasoned wood run for great periods of time,(depending on stove where most when sized right for areas being heated run efficiently around 350 degrees at stack a foot or two above stove) should temps hit sub zero you can have a stack freeze nearly shut from moisture freezing. Of course creosote a concern too. Stove pipe needs to fit into pipe below at joints so creosote does not track down outside of pipe. Stack or chimney inspection and cleaning a must a couple times a year. Wood ash can be reserved for lye making if clean hardwood ashes, or to raise ph of soil in garden. A little clean ash to layers of compost, And more! Not good for potatoes though as they can cause them to scab.https://humblelore.wordpress.com/201...er-thought-of/
Having enough wood cut a year in advance a feeling of achievement and insurance.
Keeping humidity level up is a plus when heating long periods of time. A pot of water on the wood burner should follow the heat through gravity to upper levels.
Part of your planning likely already hashed out includes what type trellis for grapes. Prepping area to grow first then adding trellis depending on type of vines and growers preferences. Getting long term trellis system in at start will avoid a redo down the road.
Last edited by releventchair; Jan 07, 2015 at 08:20 PM.
Jan 07, 2015, 08:30 PM
Good advice! I'm so overwhelmed by keeping the house warm at 10 degrees right now - but that is at this very moment.
I'm burning every darned thing that lays on the ground right now - the easy wood. Two chain saws, with one down at present - that's why I have two. I'm laying out my garden spots with CAD, and will be subscribing to Vegetable Garden Planner Vegetable Garden Planner Design Your Best Garden Ever - MOTHER EARTH NEWS for gardening vegetables, and from what I've read, it's well worth the $25 a year. That gives me companion plants, spacing, expected production, tips and tricks, and a good start at feeding myself.
I will survive, and I will thrive. My plan is a 5 year plan. This Spring and Summer, and then Fall, I'm growing (hopefully) enough to make the grocery store go away for the most part. And I plan a huge pile of wood for next Winter.
From a thin but rather out of shape dude a couple months ago, I'll be toting bigger logs next year.
And all those bad habits of laziness, inappropriate consumptions, and rather poor unhealthy life prior to this adventure - next year will be very different.
Did ya know that a finely tuned 140 sq ft, will feed a person all the vegetables he could eat for a year? That's possible! Thus the garden planning continues. What I lack most for that right now is the mulch, compost, and essentials I need for the gardens coming up around the first of March here. Those will have begun next week when the cold passes and I'm not so possessed by feeding the stove hourly.
Keep the faith, and the adventure will continue
Jan 08, 2015, 12:01 PM
Jan 08, 2015, 12:15 PM
Love it! I'm doing the exact thing myself right now, and the outside temp this morning was 5, but it was 40 in my place. I'm on 3 acres of rich bottomland that backs up to a National Forest mountain, and have the only year round spring on this side of the valley, about two miles to the other one, and mine is very robust. I'm a long time gardener, and already have my seed for this spring planting. I spent the summer and autumn getting this old place fixed up and liveable. Sounds like your doing it right, keep us informed with your adventures at real living, Cheers!!
Jan 08, 2015, 12:21 PM
And always remember: winter is coming
Jan 08, 2015, 12:54 PM
So that's what happened this morning!!!
Originally Posted by joncutt87
Fed the stove at midnight, and set my alarm for 0300 hrs. Fed the fire again, and back to bed - set the alarm for 0600. I've a good stove, an Englander with firebrick and a FD fan mounted on the back to blow the hot air up through floor grating. One idea I plan to explore at some point is a "rocket stove" - I'm thinking for the greenhouse I'm planning for the Fall, want to grow food essentially year round.
I had a friend who went to supermarkets hawking his veggies, and actually got some business that way - maybe if it's just a trade for essentials....
It was 3 degrees at 0300, and 4 degrees at 0600 this morning....
Jan 08, 2015, 01:26 PM
Tips for Small Fire Boxes | Hearth.com Forums Home
While no set up to heat with wood in this home; if I find an automatic draft that the Sotz cooperation used to build ,for a reasonable price it will get snatched up. Those barrel kits burned wood like smoking a cigg, from one end to the other. Dad built a cement block "hut" in his basement, added a plumbed water heater inner tank to heat his water and gravity fed the heat through a single floor register. Cooked turkeys on it occasionally. An uncle ran one too. About three inches of sand in the bottom and good to go.
My last stove build is in possession of an ex as well as the custom pole barn it is in. These sub zero windchills and outdoor work on the truck and plow sure make me wish an outbuilding existed here with a stove. I still have a prototype door and other stove parts I built about a decade ago. A C-channel welded vertically on back of door with a piece nearly covering top end and bottom end open to feed intake air to bottom of fire.
Draft is just a pendant shape with a handle to open or restrict air going into C-channel. Default, should draft cover loosen will be gravity closing draft.
Last edited by releventchair; Jan 08, 2015 at 01:56 PM.
Jan 08, 2015, 02:02 PM
Thanks! A new forum to learn things from!
Originally Posted by releventchair
Last night I was running it with the dampers open - wanted a good hot fire during the night for the temperature drops. I'm getting pretty good at managing the stove - heading into 2 months now of burning it. Most of my issues are related to the type of wood I'm burning. My Winter plan this year is "if it hits the ground, it goes in the stove". Next Winter I'll have wood stacked and be more organized with it. One thing that was fortunate for me is that the power company came in and dropped all the trees following the lines. I needed to clean that land up anyway, so that was the first place I hit.
Jan 08, 2015, 02:37 PM
L.o.l.. Burnin gopher wood. (Go fer more.) Been there...
Jan 08, 2015, 02:39 PM
Sounds like you have a good plan there. A greenhouse will be invaluable in growing vegetables year round. Solar and wind power could alleviate some of your electrical woes. As electric prices rise you can offset or eliminate(depending on the size), your electrical usage. A wind generator is easy to build and upkeep. If you have running water(spring/creek), you can build a hydroelectric system to also offset or eliminate your electrical usage. A rocket stove is the most efficient wood burning stove and can use even small twigs and pruning cuttings as fuel. Any stove system would benefit from a hot water recirculation system. Radiators can be placed in each room for added heat distribution. Many older schools and large businesses were heated this way, as a way to offset fuel costs. Most used coal or oil to heat with. Now most use heat pumps to heat with. Also you can heat water this way or with solar to eliminate electrical water heating. You can also heat your greenhouse during the winter with solar and pipe the excess heat into the house with a blower. Another option is to run a wood gas engine and supply electricity to your house for all your electrical needs. Use only heirloom seeds and save some for next years crops. Use plant scraps in composter or feed to chickens and livestock to offset feed costs. Use redworms or night crawlers in compost bins and in raised garden plots. Also make your own activated charcoal to help feed and revitalize your land. Mix 1 part charcoal to 4 parts compost, after the charcoal has aged outside for a month or two. Good Luck. rockhound
Last edited by rockhound; Jan 08, 2015 at 02:46 PM.
Jan 08, 2015, 08:59 PM
Deepseeker, sounds like you're having to work at having a great time. I used to enjoy doing such as you are doing now. Although it amounts to lots of work, it also gives you great satisfaction and enjoyment. Wish you the best in your endeavors.
Jan 08, 2015, 09:07 PM
SITE BRAVO DETAINEE
I like it!
Could we have a nondescript version of your past so we know where you stand as an outdoorsman?
Jan 08, 2015, 11:05 PM
Start using an axe or a maul to split some of that firewood. May hurt like hell for awhile, but it will get you in shape rather quickly.
Figure how many cords you'll need for the winter and then cut twice as much.
And when you have had enough of that look into building on of these. They work beautifully. No need to be up every few hours with one of these.
Your only limits are what your willing to do.
Learn to can and dehydrate food. Dehydrated fruits and vegetables will store for a long time.
Add a smokehouse to the list. Nothing better than cured and smoked venison. Smoked and cured trout is good too.
More will come to mind.
Mining is how I make my living. I turn mountains into dust on a daily basis.
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