Saturday, September 10, 2011
This Saturday our Mill had the Cabool Iron Club showing off their tractors and motors for free. The tractors were in working order and running for all to see at the mill. We also had tours of the old mill for everyone. We had over 100 people stop by and see the doings of our mill.
This evening my husband drove his car home from our shop and then ran into the house looking for me. He ran over a snake and needed me to ID good or bad snake. We ran up our gravel driveway and no snake. It moved from the scene of the crime. So we searched around the area and sure enough it was nearby hiding, a large copperhead still very much alive. My husband shot it several times, but it moved away fast up the hill. It struck out at us as we reloaded and finished the deed. This is the 2nd large copperhead we have had to dispatch on our property this week. These are very venomous and large snakes. This time I was wearing my hiking boots to protect my legs.
Friday, September 9, 2011
We have been looking to replace our useless Mountaineer wood stove that came with our house. It was not made with dampers nor air flow controls of any kind. It burns too much wood and takes an hour to start a fire. So we found a Jotul dealer not far from us. He sells the cast iron Jotul brand of wood stoves. They are well made and have 2 doors for wood loading. We picked it up in our truck and drove it home. We used our tractor to get it off our truck and onto our porch. We then pushed it into the house. It weighs over 400 lbs!
Now we are in the process of having faux stone and cedar put on the fire wall, removing the old stove and installing the new one before the cold comes. All of this takes time along with the farm chores. But using wood heat beats using central hands down. You burn old wood, the ash goes into the garden, the wood heats the house, everyone benefits. Our chickens roll in the wood ash, the garden thrives on the ash, and the old down trees keep us in fueled and warm all winter long. And we get exercise chopping and hauling the wood.
This is an oak tree that is at least 200 + years old. It is perfect for climbing and seeing the surrounding woods. It has survived the loggers, fires, winds, heavy rains and droughts of its life. It grows on my neighbors property now cleared from the overgrowth below it. Its roots are free again to grow for another 100 years. Its huge leaves can shade his restored barn and livestock once again.
Monday, September 5, 2011
Today was a surprise for me. We all piled into my neighbors truck to go to an auction. But the auction was very crowded and had low quality of goods offered. So we drove to the local hardware store to look for tools. We lucked out and found a lot of stuff on sale including air compressors. I have been wanting an air compressor for ages for rust removal and metal restoration. I look forward to using air tools and sandblasting stuff. The one I wanted was large luckily it did fit in my neighbors truck. He tied it down well and we drove the half hour home. Then he unloaded and moved it for us into our shop with his tractor. The last shot is of my neighbors tractor. He just put together an enclosed cab to his tractor. He will be warm and dry this winter. It is great having helpful neighbors out on the farm.
Since we mainly heat with a wood burning stove, having seasoned wood on hand is a priority for us in the Ozarks. Having the wood chopped, stacked, dry, mobile and handy is our goal. So this year my husband took wood palettes and made a wood holder to fit our tractor. The holder can hold several pounds of dry chopped wood. Next, the tractor can pick up the entire load and haul it to our house. There the wood remains dry, air can circulate and it is close to where we need it. No more falling wet wood piles around our shop and no more messy wood pile by the house. It is all chopped, stacked and mobile. We'll make a few more of these before winter sets in.
Now is the time to get ready for fall and winter in the Ozarks. Our days are in the 70's and the nights now in the 40's. Time for fishing out the sweaters and wool blankets and wood pellets for heating the house. We used about 30 bags last winter so we bought 100 bags this time. We hauled them home then transferred them to a palette onto our tractor to get them inside the garage. It took all day but we beat the rain and the cold front by taking turns unloading. Each bag weights 40 pounds. We got our workout for the day. Now on to the wood chopping.