Tag Archives: homesteading

Chicken feeder

This is my second shot at this feeder the chickens did not like the first one and it was ugly. So here are the lessons learned.

1. Melt the holes in the tub. If you just cut them in the plastic has a tendency to crack. Also too big is ok, too small and the plastic will crack. You can fill the gaps with a little hot glue if the pvc is loose.

2. Cut a 4" 90 in half do not use entire 90 or 2 street 45’s. This assumes your chickens are as picky as myn are.

3. Cut card board to slope the bottom. This is optional but really helps if the feed gets low.

This one works well and cuts down on lost feed dramatically.

Fixing The vine

Grape rescue
When I moved in three years ago there was an ugly bush in the back. As I began to cut it down I noticed there was some wire and posts hiding in the bush. Finally I was able to see that it was the remains of a grape vine. I have four others on the property all different so I wanted to see what this one was. The first year all I did was remove the bush so it produced nothing, but I was able to find some heathy new growth over the winter so I pruned it hard and re strung the wires. The year after that it produced a small crop. The grapes were a concord but I had to leave them on until really late in the season almost to frost or the were not any good. Ended up loosing a lot to rot and fungus during the wait. I pruned it again over winter and finally had a decent vine. Last year again I go only a small crop but the grapes were good. I pruned it again this spring and I would say after three years the vines are back to good production. There are a lot of grapes and they look great I actually had to thin out this year. There are plenty for jelly and grape juice. So really I spent about 10 hours spread out over four years at my leisure to get back a forgotten grape vine. I have been bringing back apple trees and berries bushes for the last four years with varying success, and the locational massive fail, but think the grapes are my favorite.

Spring garden stuff

Today I cleaned and top dressed my garden boxes. The herb box had a bunch of early oregano and sage. The sage had just started to flower so I am a little late. I picked a bunch to dry. Last year I made a solar dehydrator it’s biggest benefit has been hang drying herbs. Saves tons of time! If you saw my dehydrator last year I added a black corrugated plate to increase the temperature. Others than that it stayed the same. It still needs a sunny day to get the job done, but it works faster now.

Natural dyed yarn

Natural dyes on wool

This is the results of my wife’s first round of natural dyes she has a lot more to try including poke berry and dyers polypore. This was marigold and black beans. I love the marigold. She also tried some butternut husks from out back, but she just did a little bit to get an idea of the color. As a side note the yellow hand spun was done on a homemade supported spindle.

Marigolds were from the garden it was a mix 2.2 ounces dry and 3.3 fresh. It produced enough dye to do 3 or skeins.

Making cider

Picked apples yesterday. Today I went to a friends house and we made cider all morning. This is my first time making cider. It was really easy, and so fun. His cider mill is beautiful and worked really well. We made about 28 Gallons. Enough for both of us to freeze, drink and ferment. It was really good cider and was a great morning…… I hope to do cider every season till I am too old to do it.