Monday, June 2, 2008

life intrudes

Way back there, I promised a next post with deep meaningful philosophical delvings.

I lied.  Ok, didn't lie, I missthought myself.  (If you can misspeak, why can't you missthink?)  I thought I could, but my thinker didn't, and is going to stay there for awhile.

My reasons for temporarily abandoning the deep post- good questions and good speculations require full mentational power; right now mine are, perforce, focused elsewhere on two farm urgencies (on top of all the normal stuff.)

1)  We bought a new tractor.  It's due any minute; I'm writing this waiting for the freight trucker to call on his cell phone and say "I'm 5 minutes away".  

Stuff hardly gets more exciting than a new tractor, right?

Particularly this one, I think.  It's not a John Deere (already have one) - it's a Grillo.

Walking tractor.  With a 7.5 horse Yanmar diesel engine.  You can google them; I don't want to provide links here and have people wondering if I'm cahooting around.

There's a ton of Sussy (thank you Sara!) stuff to say about this walking tractor- a whole post's worth, at least.  We'll get there.  Major points- this is the machine we need.  Primary use will be mowing, with a sickle bar, for access to tree crops for harvest.  There are LOTS of other potentials; you can even get a serious hay baler for this thing.  And it's a diesel.  I can actually grow my own fuel for it- which is no longer trivial or ludicrous.

Very inciting, as Rudyard Kipling put it.

2) We've pretty much decided we're going to build a dugout sod chicken coop.  Quick.  We're still picking 6 ticks a day, per person, off each other, and 20 off Bruce.  Insane.  So we need the guineas.  They need lodgings.  We really need them to start chasing ticks in April- which means we've got to keep adults over winter.  It's cold here.  And, we're broke.  so...

Digging around on the net, the amount of hard info on soddy construction is slim- but not non existent.  Two things are obvious- it's a pretty forgiving technology; and if they're well made, and the roof maintained- they easily last 100 years.

So.  The tractor is shipped disassembled.  Gotta put it together, and not screw up.  And the chicken cellar needs to be designed.  Carefully, and thoughtfully.

Brain's busy.


Sue in the Western Great Basin said...

I know! Maybe the chicken house can be built from the box the tractor comes in! I know, I know, but I couldn't help it -- I love it when the solution to one problem helps solve other problems too...

I thought of this because I was reading recently how Henry Ford built the floorboards of the Model Ts out of the crates that transmissions or other parts were shipped in.

Good luck on these projects, hope you will post some photos!

DC said...

Greenpa, there's an interesting article in the most recent issue of Mother Earth News about farmers growing/producing their own biofuel. Various sources estimate that it takes from 5 to 30 percent of a farm’s land to produce enough fuel to make it completely self-sufficient. With your minimal ecological footprint, I'm sure you would be towards the low end of those estimates. The only drawback, of course, is that pure biodiesel starts to gel in extremely cold temperatures -- but you can still use a blend. Even if you just use a relatively small amount of biodiesel, it's worth the investment. I have a relative who makes it for less than $1 a gallon, with an initial investment (for hardware, buckets, etc.) of less than $100.

Tara said...

Oooooh...I am now shamelessly coveting a Grillo!

RC said...

I trust you are keeping the dog outside, and that he has a tick isolated place to hang. If the ticks go into their breeding cycles {they have so many nightmarish stages} lodged in the house in the cracks in the floorboards and baseboards then you will be wishing it was the good old days {like it is now} with a manageable amount of the buggers.
My adult kid and his wife are moving here with the baby and her dog and I already told them: TICKS! I better get the guineas up to speed too.
I am so sorry that you are dealing with these fiends. All I can say is that I am glad it isn't scabies.
I'm not joking at all. Having a house full of kids and furniture infested by scabies is just about as bad as it gets without firearms involved. Oh, yes, been there.
I just want to point out again that the dogs are tick magnets so you have to work on the dog all the time.

RC said...

Oh, and how about some photos of the new toy in action?