I hate my generator. There, I said it. My generator is a great big old Briggs and Stratton branded Generac – 13.5kW surge, 8kW running, 240/120V. Big, heavy, and LOUD. It ties into a subpanel I had installed while we were building the house, knowing that not having a way to pump the well was not a good idea for a homestead. The generator powers the well, plus the fridge and deep-freeze, the furnace and air handlers, and a few […]

A Driveway Gate at Last

A decade ago, when we were building this house, my dearest wish was to have a gate on my driveway. I don’t know why – maybe it was just my latent paranoia talking to me. OK, maybe it’s not that latent. I finally decided to start work on the long-delayed project this weekend. Brother Harold stopped by to pitch in on the roughest part of the project – the digging. As I may have mentioned once or twice, we have […]

About a year ago, I decided to get a real manual backup for my submersible well pump. I had fiddled around with a homemade thing, just a sump pump foot valve on the end of a string of PVC pipes connected with threaded fittings. The idea is to take the well cap off, stick the string down into the well, and push up and down until water starts coming out. It works, but it’s quite a workout, and all you […]

Chickens Go Mobile

I finally got my chicken coop converted into a chicken tractor: I originally was screwing around with making my own chassis, and went so far as to actually put together something that looked a little like a horse racing sulkie. But there was no way it was going to be sturdy enough for the coop, and I finally just bit the bullet and made a trip to Harbor Freight for their smallest trailer. It was on sale, and I had […]

A Better Firewood Bucking Stand

Processing firewood sometimes seems to be a never ending activity around our homestead. It really is a year-round process, but the crunch time is in the spring as we get the next season’s wood felled, bucked, split and stacked. I’ve been looking for ways to improve the process, and I made a change this weekend that I really think is going to pay huge dividends.┬áIn short, I built a better bucking station. This is the way I used to buck […]

A month or so back, I made the vow to stop stalling on important projects just because I can’t stand the idea of spending money to buy a pre-built solution when I clearly have the skills to do it myself. To that end, I decided to spend the $400 or so on the OEM motorization kit for our Country Living Grain Mill. I added it to the cart, and even bought some Amazon gift cards with cash to pay for […]

Quick and Easy Fencing with Cattle Panels

Our dog Gambit is a Border Collie. I’m told that’s the smartest of all dog breeds. Unfortunately, nobody told Gambit. To be fair, he’s really just exuberant. He loves to play, and he’ll take the shortest route between where he is and where he wants to be to play with us. Unfortunately, in a front yard occupied almost entirely by gardens, that can lead to some “misunderstandings.” Gambit’s habit of running straight through my raised beds, coupled with the occasional […]