I'm Gonna Need a Bigger Crock

Last year’s attempt at lactofermented pickles was a resounding success, marred only by the whole not-making-enough problem. I ran out of pickles a few months ago, and I’ve had to make do with the soggy, vinegary, sorry excuses for pickles I can get in the store. A sad state of affairs indeed. Building on last year’s success, I went large on the pickle patch this year.

2014 Harvest Report

We’ve had a killing frost now, and so the book closes on the 2014 growing season. Literally. I have a book. I also have a computer, and being a geek, I used the data contained in my “Book of the Farm” to take a long, hard look at how we did. Here’s my harvest report spreadsheet: * assumes conversion ratio of 5 pounds fodder to 1 dozen eggs. We put up some pretty good numbers overall, with some disappointments – […]

Field-Expedient Corn Sheller

I lucked out on the corn harvest this year, and got nearly three 5-gallon buckets of ears. I have no idea what the translates into as bushels, but it looked like a lot to me. The problem with a lot of corn is a lot of tedious shelling to get it off the cobs and into storage. Last year, with only a few dozen stunted ears to process, I just pried the kernels off the cobs with the side of […]

Fuel Injector: That's proper broke.

Today was just another “Labor” Day on the Homestead. Instead of sitting around, eating cheesepuffs and celebrating pension shortfalls, cadillac insurance plans, and 30 hour work weeks, I commemorated the day like most Americans would have prior to 1882: by actually working. First up, the annual deep clean of the chicken coop was in order. We clean the coop monthly, but this was the *deep* clean: muck it out, hose it out, then scrub it down with a 10% solution […]

Finding a Better Way

TL;DR – I harvested 24 pounds of field peas on Sunday and nearly died from anaphylactic shock. OK, maybe I didn’t come close to dying, but I did lose two days of my life to the Benedryl I needed to keep me breathing and stop the itching. That stuff really knocks me out. The back story: I planted a whole bunch of field peas this year, and 120 days after they went in the ground, they were dry enough to […]