Saturday, March 23, 2013


Janice and I went over and picked up a couple of new members to our farm family yesterday. We had purchased a handy dandy animal transport with a sliding door and attached it to a pallet with plumber's tape.
Being on the pallet was really handy when it came to unloading the two, one hundred pound pigs we purchased. Red and Blackie were really scared when we brought them home especially after riding in the back of the truck for a couple of hours, even if the front side of the transport was tarped to protect them from most of the wind. When I went out this morning both of them had snuggled into their bed, and didn't even want to raise their heads for a while.
 After calling to them for a little while, Red raised her head just to peak at me a little .
 Then Blackie raised her head a little, but neither kept their head up for long, it had been a hard day the day before and they wanted to relax and get used to the new surroundings. They had already eaten and had a little water, so were ready for a nap.
The new pigs were not the only ones being lazy this morning. We had left Flash and Dancer in the pasture last night and after Janice did chores this morning, Flash decided to lay down for a little nap.
 And of course with me walking around taking pictures and talking to the other animals, Grizzly decided he needed some attention as well, so of course I had to give him some scratches 
What do you mean our animals are spoiled!!!

Monday, March 18, 2013

Change of Plans

A few months back I put up some pic's of the area behind the shop that we needed to put up a retaining wall because the hillside was sliding in behind.
This was as sample of what we did to start and then winter came on and we had to stop our work.

We did get the posts and some of the boards up. I think that I posted some pic's on an earlier post. At that time we had planned on using this area for hay storage.

We finally got the rest of the boards up today but haven't finished the roof which we plan on extending out to the wall.

Don got some of the dirt moved around inside the area.

The wall is looking pretty good from here, but now we are going to use this area for some pigs that we just purchased. Had to put them somewhere.

So we put some pallets at the end between the shop and the wall and Don dug down some dirt in behind the wall to keep the pigs from digging out underneath.

The we put some wire down under neath the gate below and covered it with dirt so the pigs couldn't dig out from this end either.

Well we now have a new pig pen. Now all we have to do is get the pigs home, feeders and food and we are set to go.

Doesn't look to bad for a make shift, short term area for the pigs.

Saturday, March 9, 2013


Today was happy and sad at the same time. Our youngest son Jon brought one of his friends, Kevin, down to our place. Kevin was here to buy one of our goats, Daisy and her baby for this year.
This is the little buckling when he was first born. Since this picture he has grown some and been dis-budded. Kevin asked us to leave him a buck (not castrated) as he wants him to breed a couple of other does he had already gotten.
 Below is Janice holding the little guy and Daisy making sure her baby is OK.
 The Baby is only a day old and already trying to eat hay
The happy part is that Kevin is an animal lover and they are going to a very good home. Kevin and his wife have adopted three children along with three of their own. This will make lots of children to spoil the baby. Daisy is already a grade Saanan, which means she is half pure bred. Her father was a Registered Saanan buck. The Baby is a grade Nubian, Daddy is registered Nubian, so along with Mom's good blood lines any babies he throws should be good milkers. Daisy was giving one and a half gallons of milk a day last year.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Bee Boxes

I finally got started on the bee boxes today. Needed to get them painted and ready for the bees that we are getting in April. It wasn't too bad. I hung some hooks in the rafters in the basement.
Tied some balers twine around the boxes and hung each box. I tried to make sure that there was plenty of room between the boxes so they wouldn't touch while drying and gave me more room to work around them to paint.

OK, got the first coat on. Tomorrow the second coat and then the finishing touches. Will take more pictures of them when they are finished.

It worked pretty good.


The last of our babies for this year were born today. The totals thus far are Daisy, one buckling, Ghost, two doelings, and Brownie, two doelings and a buckling. SURPRISE! Brownie delivered three healthy babies with no problems.
This was the first of Brownie's babies born, a little doeling weighing in at 4 1/2 pounds.
The second of Brownie's babies born was the buckling and the heaviest at 8 1/4 pounds
Then came this Little doeling weighing in at 5 1/4 pounds, All of the babies have already started to eat and are healthy.
It's amazing that this year all of the baby's favor their daddy, Grizzly, so much. I suppose it's in his bloodlines.

Monday, March 4, 2013


The Drill Press I have owned for some time now is an old Clousing, that I purchased from my father in law for a very good price. The machine was top of the line when it was built, about a million years ago. The trouble is that as time has gone by the table, which by the way does not crank up and down, has been getting more heavy by the week, or so it seemed.
Time to upgrade the beast. I was lucky enough to get a Jet machine in a surplus sale from the University of Oregon at a reasonable price. The Jet Drill Press is 16 speeds and my old Clousing only 6 speeds. and the real reason I bought the Jet, it has a crank up table, score! Another reason to upgrade the Clousing and not just use the Jet is that the Clousing has a 5 inch Quill throw and the Jet Quill only moves 3 inches. Sorry I didn't think to get a picture of the jet prior to dis assembly.
The first thing to do was disassemble both machines and take some measurements. Rats, the stand pipe on the Clousing is 1/8th of an inch smaller than the Jet, This means that I will need to shim the hole in some way to make it a better fit.
 The above picture shows the shim stock in place equal distances around the collar that goes around the stand pipe. Then it comes to the actual cranking mechanism, they welded the strip gear to the stand pipe on the Jet so that needs to be cut away and ground down.
 OK, got that cut loose, but now it looks like I will need to add a shim of steel behind the strip gear as when allowed to go back against the stand pipe the crank slips. Another issue is that since they had the strip gear welded to the stand pipe, the table wouldn't swing away when needed.
This is solved by welding a ring on the bottom of the strip gear that will slide around the stand pipe and have a stop ring under that to stabilize it and a ring with a taper turned on the inside edge so it captures the top of the strip gear. The above picture shows the ring welded to the bottom of the strip gear.
The above picture shows the strip gear with bottom ring welded on but still needing the 1/8th by 1/2 inch steel strip welded onto the inside of the strip gear as a shim.
OK, I like this and it is working well. I also had to remove the toggle bolt that tightens the table collar, and grind down, in the groove so it would tighten enough to hold the table steady. Next get the head end of the Clousing off of the come along and install the idler pulley that will give me more speeds.
OK, so here is the update. I decided to just edit the last post, rather than creating a new one. This first picture is of the Idler Pulley I added so I could get more speeds from my old machine. I know the Idler is not level, the Iron was thinner where I drilled the hole, so it lets it lean. I'll work on leveling that later.
 This next picture is of the completed drill press, I am very happy with the results, or will be once the Idler is leveled.
 This picture is from the side of the drill press, I don't think you can see it from this view but the quill does not line up perfectly with the new table. This is alright as I plan on removing metal at the center of the table and installing a wooden insert.
As you can see I kept the old table and just left it down low, as more weight for a lower center of gravity. 


I was able to work on the strawberry bed again today without being rained on. In fact the sun even came out and I was able to get other stuff done after I finished the strawberry bed.
In the picture above I got the bed leveled out best I could and filled it with composted horse manure and kitchen scraps. This compost had been working for about a year. It took 4 wheel barrow loads to fill it up.

Got it raked around and looking pretty good.

I then added some boron to the mix. Strawberries sometimes need boron, but don't add too much. It doesn't take a lot.

I then added about 2 inches of peat moss and worked it all in together while picking out rock and breaking down the clumps.

The soil is looking pretty good to me.

I then got the strawberry plants planted and the cage put over them for protection.
With this cage I can still water them and they have plenty of room to grow.

I didn't have room in this bed for the new strawberries that I have ordered but I can make another bed for them when they arrive.

You can barely see the strawberry plant in this picture. When they start to grow and get a tad bigger I will mulch them with some straw. This will help to keep the soil moist during the warm days and keep the berries off of the dirt.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Getting Started

The weather was very cooperative today and I got a good start on the strawberry bed. In the picture blow, this is the original strawberry bed. Not very big. by the way the black thing coming out of the ground is a conduet that was buried going to the house when we thought the Internet dish was going to be located here.
Now I have the bed twice the size but it won't be quite as wide. I did that so I could work around the bed in stead of trying to do it all from one side which was quite challenging at times.

Now I have the strawberries dug up and separated. You can see the bucket in the corner with the strawberry plants in it.

I did some leveling and raking to try to get this area some what level. As you can see in the picture the driveway is going downhill to the right and the garden bed was doing the same thing.

Looks pretty good for now. On to the next step.

I got some old cardboard boxes out of the basement that needed to be hauled to the recycle and decided to use some of them under the garden bed. Last year the weeds tried to take over the bed.

I have picked out the boards that I wanted to use and with Don's help got them cut to the size needed.

I pieced the pieces together, but there is a division in the long boards and I had to do something to support these two boards together. So Don suggested I use a piece of steel strapping cut to length and then screwed into place.

Got it together and in place. Starting to look pretty good from here.

In the picture above you can see the steel strapping I used to hold the two boards together. The wood isn't the best in the world, but it should last long enough until it is time to dig out the berries and separate them again. At the right end of the bed it is still a little low so I will need to fill it in underneath the bed before I start to fill it up. I plan on working on it tomorrow. Today Don has to give a class on grafting at the library so the day will be mostly shot. Will keep you posted.