MONDAY

June 17, 2024

North Country Pioneer Days

North Country Pioneer Days. Organized by Cecil and Caroline Andrus on Rockfield Farm, Boulter, Ontario

read more...

TUESDAY

June 18, 2024

Avery Manure Spreader
from

Avery Manure Spreader

If draft animal power is your first choice, there are many models of excellent mid to small-sized, pull-type, two-wheeled, ground-drive manure spreaders that might be quite handy when used with a forecart. The Minneapolis Moline Avery is but one. Today there are Amish shops making spreaders new. And, across North America, it is still possible to find serviceable used spreaders at farm sales.

read more...

WEDNESDAY

June 19, 2024

Cob

Cob is a raw earth building style, free formed by hand. It is built and shaped like a giant pottery vessel. Only instead of coil, cob is shaped and stacked in carryable amounts as its Old English root suggests; meaning “a lump or rounded mass.” The clay has straw, sand and water added to it for strength, crack resistance, and to make it easy to handle.

read more...

THURSDAY

June 13, 2024

More Promising New Fruits

This very promising black cap raspberry originated on the farm of the late John W. Durm, 4 miles east of Pekin, Indiana, about 1895, as the result of a definite effort to produce a variety that should be both very hardy and resistant to anthracnose. It is said to be a cross between Gregg and Mammoth Cluster.

read more...

FRIDAY

June 14, 2024

Scientific American Supplement - Case Threshing Machines - Tongue and Shaft Supports
from

Scientific American Supplement – Case Threshing Machines – Tongue and Shaft Supports

Scientific American Supplement • Case Threshing Machines • Tongue and Shaft Supports

read more...

Summer Lizzard Days Sale!


Are you getting the SFJ Home & Shop Companion?

The Home & Shop Companion is a free weekly email newsletter. It features stories, handy hints, recipes, news, offers, projects, distractions and other stuff we think you’ll find interesting. The entire series is archived here on the website and is free to all to browse: Home & Shop Companion Archive.

SIGN ME UP FOR THE HOME & SHOP COMPANION!

Explore Small Farmer's Journal: How-To & Plans

Preventing Deer Damage

Preventing Deer Damage

Juhre begins with an appraisal of deer, both mule deer and white tail. If you’re going to outwit them, he says, you’ve got to know them: their feeding habits, their preferences, how high they can jump, how small an opening they can squeeze under… They are, he says, creatures of habit. So if you don’t want them in your garden, you need to set those boundaries early in the game. Once they’re used to snacking on the gladioli it’s hard to change their ways.

Unfermented Grape Juice

Unfermented Grape Juice

by:
from issue:

Two general methods are employed in preparing pasteurized grape juice; these are known as the hot-press method, which is the older, and the cold-press method, which is simpler and more generally applicable. The essential difference between the two methods is indicated by the terms employed to designate them. In the hot-press method the crushed fruit is heated and the juice removed by pressing the fruit while hot; in the cold-press method no heat is employed when extracting the juice. By the cold-press method clear, brilliant juices are obtained, while the use of the hot-press method secures a somewhat larger yield of dark, more or less viscid juice.

The Farm & Bakery Wagon

The Farm & Bakery Wagon

by:
from issue:

The first step was to decide on an appropriate chassis, or “running gear.” Eventually I chose to go with the real deal, a wooden-wheeled gear with leaf springs rather than pneumatic tires. Wooden wheels last forever with care and are functional and look the part. I bought an antique delivery wagon that had been left outdoors as an ornament. I was able to reuse some of the wheels and wooden parts of the running gear.

How To Build a Round Roof Building

How To Build a Round Roof Building

by:
from issue:

First you must decide what size of building you want, 28 – 48 feet wide and a length that is in 6 foot increments. The rafters are placed on 6 foot centers, with 2” x 4” purlins and steel siding/roofing. Let’s work with a forty foot wide foundation, easy to figure. The rafters are built out of 8 foot 1” x 8” boards. The number of 1x8s can be figured out by using the circumference. For a 40 foot wide building, figure a 40 foot diameter circle, which is 125.6 feet in circumference. Half of this circle would give you one layer of a rafter. So about 63 feet of 1×8 multiplied by 4 (because each rafter is composed of 4 layers). Each rafter then would use thirty-two 8 foot 1x8s. The end rafters really only need three layers.

Propagation by Means of Budding and Grafting Part 4

Propagation by Means of Budding and Grafting Part 4

by:
from issue:

Veneer grafting makes no incision into old wood, and all wounded surfaces are completely covered by the matching of the cion and stock. It is not necessary, therefore, to wax over the wounds, as a rule. If used in the open, however, wax should be used. So far as the union of the parts is concerned, this is probably the most perfect form of grafting.

How to Build a Spinning Wheel

How to Build a Spinning Wheel

by:
from issue:

When we first sheared our sheep, we were at a loss as to what to do with the wool. Unwilling to throw it away, we shoved it into a pillowcase under the bed until winter brought time for projects. We looked into buying a spinning wheel, but the prices were far outside of our range. I had read that the first “Saxony Wheel” was made in the 1500s by a woodcarver who undoubtedly had fewer resources than I do, even with my simple shop and few tools. Then, he had to invent the thing from the ground up, shooting in the dark, while I could look and copy from spinning wheels in the neighborhood. I am somewhat mechanically inclined, about average as a handyman, and I was able to come up with a design that is simple to build, simple and dependable to use, and takes up almost no space in the house.

Building a Shoeing Stock

Building a Shoeing Stock

by:
from issue:

I recently built a shoeing stock and thought that there may be some others who could benefit from the design information or gain some ideas for construction of a stock of their own design. All the time I’ve owned workhorses, and even saddle horses, frequent hoofcare has been one of these non-pressing tasks which often seems like it can be put off one more day or until the weekend. Then before you know it there are several horses needing attention at the same time. The task of catching up becomes more pressing and in some prolonged cases even seemingly overwhelming.

Is Your Horse Ready for Spring

Is Your Horse Ready for Spring?

by:
from issue:

Owners want the best for their horses as demonstrated by the amount of money they spend on feeds, facilities, tack, equipment and veterinary services and supplies. Therefore, it is amazing that some owners who want to do things right for their horses use them improperly. As spring approaches, thousands of horse owners are chomping at the bit to hit the trails and show rings. Whoa! A horse owner needs to wait a minute and take stock of the horse’s condition.

Patented Wagon Tailboards and Tailgates

Patented Wagon Tailboards & Tailgates

These images came as patent documents in a group of other wagon related inventions from the 19th century. They were sent to us by Journal reader and friend Gail C. Millard. We give hearty thanks. LRM

General Barn Plan

General Barn Plan

by:
from issue:

A general barn plan showing floor plan layout and an elevation view. Also a pedal-powered crosscut saw.

International Manure Spreaders No 1 and No 2

International Manure Spreaders (No. 1 and No. 2)

by:
from issue:

In order to get the best results both as to spreading manure evenly on the ground and to avoid heavy draft, the machine should be loaded at the forward end of the box first, and continue loading toward the rear until the cylinder is reached, being careful not to force the manure against the cylinder. This will allow the cylinder to start easily and the machine will draw much easier when loaded in this manner, the manure being more easily separated.

Horseshoeing Part 5A

Horseshoeing Part 5A

All shoes whose ground-surface is provided with contrivances to prevent slipping upon snow and ice are called winter shoes. These various contrivances are produced by several processes called “methods of sharpening.” All methods may be gathered into two groups, – namely, practical sharp-shoeing and impractical. Only the first will be considered.

The Woodfired Bottom-heated Greenhouse Bench

Cultivating Questions: The Woodfired Bottom-heated Greenhouse Bench

It took several incarnations to come up with a satisfactory design for the bottom heated greenhouse bench. In the final version we used two 55 gallon drums welded end-to-end for the firebox and a salvaged piece of 12” stainless steel chimney for the horizontal flue. We learned the hard way that a large firebox and flue are necessary to dissipate the intense heat into the surrounding air chamber and to minimize heat stress on these components.

How To Keep and Milk a Cow

How To Keep and Milk a Cow

by:
from issue:

The family milk cow has followed the small farmer through the ages and lives on yet today. She comes in many colors, sizes and dispositions. As with any animal, she comes with the dignity of her own personality and characteristics. Every cow I have ever had or milked has been unique in her own way. Some I have loved and some, well, not so much.

McCormick-Deering Trailer Mower No 9

McCormick-Deering Trailer Mower No. 9

by:
from issue:

During the 1940’s, McCormick-Deering retrofitted its basic horsedrawn mower design to be pulled by tractors and added infrastructure so that two could be pulled, one just behind and offset from the other. Some of our Amish friends prize these “Trail” mowers for horsedrawn use recognizing that they are built a tad bit heavier. What follows is the actual Instruction manual, including set up notes, for that model. There are some mechanical tid-bits hidden in here that will assist the more avid shade-tree tinkerers.

Eighteen Dollar Harrow

Eighteen Dollar Harrow

by:
from issue:

This is the story of a harrow on a budget. I saw plans on the Tillers International website for building an adjustable spike tooth harrow. I modified the plans somewhat to suit the materials I had available and built a functional farm tool for eighteen dollars. The manufactured equivalent would have cost at least $300.

Cooking a Pig in the Ground

Cooking a Pig in the Ground

by:
from issue:

For years now, Larry has, without hesitation and with no reward, plowed those ten miles of gravel road and many miles of long private driveways. Two of our neighbors on the road, Bob and Gayle Baker, had the idea to do a thank you celebration for Larry this summer and, having heard my stories of remote Caribbean childhood memories, asked if I would cook a pig in the ground. I agreed with relish and it turned out delicious. Many folks have asked if I would share the recipe I used. I hesitated realizing that once I did there would no longer be a reason to invite me over…

Putting On the Ox Yoke

Putting On the Ox Yoke

by:
from issue:

Robert Porter, of Adamant Vermont, took these photographs of Olin Maxham unyoking his oxen. In reverse order, as you see them here, they are a good illustration of the procedure for putting on a heavy yoke.

Growing Sunflowers and Pressing Oil at Garden Scale

Growing Sunflowers and Pressing Oil at Garden Scale

by:
from issue:

I want to produce the three principal ingredients for my sesame whole grain crackers: hard red winter wheat flour, sesame seeds and sunflower oil. The winter wheat I have been growing for years. In 2023, I grew sesame seeds and also worked on a new approach to making sunflower oil. To make sunflower oil I needed a relatively low-tech and low-cost system scaled for human labor and small volume.

The Anatomy of the Farm Wagon Brake System

The Anatomy of the Farm Wagon Brake System

by:
from issue:

Historically, wagons were sold with brakes as an extra or special ordered, like extra side boards, heavier wheels and running gear, or a CD player. In some regions of the country that were hilly, like the south, local manufacturers would put brakes on every wagon. But if you were to order a new wagon from the Sears or Wards catalogue, the brakes were a special order.

Horse Powered Snow Fencing and Sleigh Fencing

Horse Powered Snow Fencing and Sleigh Fencing

by:
from issue:

We were planning on having our cattle out in a sheltered field for the winter but a busy fall and early snows meant our usual fencing tool was going to be ineffective. Through the grazing season we use a reel barrow which allows us to carry posts and pay out or take in wire with a wheel barrow like device which works really well. But not on snow. This was the motivation for turning our sleigh into a “snow fencer” or a “sleigh barrow”.

Lamb Slaughtering and Cutting

Lamb Slaughtering & Cutting

by:
from issue:

On account of their size, lambs lend themselves for use on the farm more readily than do other farm animals. They can be consumed in a short period of time and for this reason are not generally cured. Also because of the fact that mutton is a drier meat and does not contain much soft fat, it does not lend itself to curing as well as do other meats.

Disc Harrow Requirements

Disc Harrow Requirements

by:
from issue:

One of the most important requirements is disc blade concavity, that is, correct concavity. Further along we set forth the purposes of disc concavity. We feel it is important enough to devote the extra time and words in a discussion of the subject, because seldom is disc concavity talked about, and very few know that there is difference enough to cause good and bad work.

My Small Kitchen

My Small Kitchen

On March 1st of last year, I lost my best friend and hilarious sidekick, my joy, my precious mom, Betty Gilman. This issue features a few of my mother’s recipes that I grew up with. Mom was never a gourmet cook by any means, but her heart and soul was in loving and caring for her family. After meeting my Dad in college, she chose wife, homemaker, and mother over the accounting career she was pursuing at the time. Keeping a home and preparing a meal for her family was not only a necessity, but an expression of love.

Horseshoeing Part 1A

Horseshoeing Part 1A

Horseshoeing, though apparently simple, involves many difficulties, owing to the fact that the hoof is not an unchanging body, but varies much with respect to form, growth, quality, and elasticity. Furthermore, there are such great differences in the character of ground-surfaces and in the nature of horses’ work that shoeing which is not performed with great ability and care induces disease and makes horses lame.

HCL How Many Horses

How Many Horses?

by:
from issue:

One of the most frequently asked questions by aspiring teamsters is “how many horses will I need for my farm?” Judging from the following circle letter responses to this very topic, three horses – a team and a spare – would be ideal for a market garden, and four to eight work animals should be sufficient for a livestock operation, where a significant acreage of hay and field crops are harvested.

Making Hay with Horses part 1

Making Hay with Horses part 1

by:
from issue:

Sickle bar mowers are no high performance machinery and need a lot of maintenance, compared to disc and drum mowers, but are definitely the better mowers in my opinion. This is not only due to their low impact to the nature, but also due to the quality of their work. The knives cut the grass instead of knocking it off like fast rotating drum and disc mowers. A sharp cut lets the grass grow better again, thus optimizing the next harvest. In Luxembourg you can even get financial support by the Ministry of Environment when participating in a wide-ranging program called “maintaining the biodiversity,” as this mowing technology is recognized as environmentally friendly.

Van Brunt Plain High-Wheel Drills

Van Brunt Plain High-Wheel Drills

from issue:

Grain must not be left in box after seeding. To clean box, drop gates. Disks and other important parts of machine would be covered with oil or grease, and the machine put under shelter. Good treatment prolongs the life of your machine.

Portable A-Frame

Portable A-Frame

by:
from issue:

These portable A-frames can be used for lots of lifting projects. Decades ago, when I was horselogging on the coast I used something similar to this to load my short logger truck. Great homemade tool.

Horseshoeing Part 7B

Horseshoeing Part 7B

According to location we distinguish toe-cracks, side-cracks, quarter-cracks, and bar-cracks. Those cracks which affect only the upper border of the hoof are called coronary cracks; those which are limited to the lower border of the hoof are sometimes designated low cracks (plantar cracks); while those which are continuous from one border to the other are called complete cracks. If the crack passes through the entire thickness of the wall to the sensitive tissues underneath, it is called a deep or penetrating crack, in contradistinction to the superficial crack.

Selecting and Caring for Rope

Selecting and Caring for Rope

from issue:

Rope of one kind or another forms an essential part of the equipment of most farms. From clothes lines to hay ropes, from binder twine to halters for the livestock, ropes of many kinds and sizes are in constant use about the farmstead. Like any other piece of farm equipment, its efficiency and economy depends upon its suitableness as to size and quality for the purpose for which it is used, the load of work put upon it, and the care or abuse with which it is handled.

The Craft of the Wheelwright

The Craft of the Wheelwright

by:
from issue:

In these days of standardization and the extensive use of metal wheels you might think there is little call for the centuries old craft of wheelwrighting, but the many demands on the skills of Gus Kitson in Suffolk, England, show this to be very far from the truth. Despite many years experience of renovating all types of wagons and wheels even Gus can still be surprised by the types of items for which new or restored wooden wheels are required.

Teamsters Roundtable 2001 Part 3

Teamster’s Roundtable 2001 Part 3

from issue:

One time I had a horse in there at the clinic and I asked Addy Funk to come out and take a look at it and I said, Addy, what do you think of this horse? And he looked it all over and I’m not sure but I think I had to ask him a second time what he thought about it. And all he said was, you can’t tell by looking at a frog how far he can jump.

Building a Roadside Market

Building a Roadside Market

Although roadside marketing offers an excellent sales outlet, advance planning is necessary for a successful operation. Such factors as the number of potential customers passing by the stand, available display and parking space, and nearness to water and electricity should be considered before building a roadside market. If these items are available or nearby, a roadside market is an excellent way to sell homegrown produce.

Doing Laundry Without Electricity

Doing Laundry Without Electricity

by:
from issue:

Laundry is one of those jobs that has been around since the dawn of time. The dawn of clothes at least. Electricity has taken a relatively labor intensive job and made it quite easy. All we need now is an automatic clothes folder. But when the power goes out and you are out of socks or you do something like me, crusade into off grid living, you need some alternatives.

An Efficient, Economical Barn

by:
from issue:

A well thought out, functional barn should be the center piece of any farming endeavor, horse powered or fossil fueled, that involves livestock. After building and using two previous barns during our lifetimes, I think the one we now have has achieved a level of convenience, efficiency, and economy that is worth passing on.

Farm Drum #30 Blacksmithing we Pete Cecil Basic Techniques

Farm Drum #30: Blacksmithing with Pete Cecil – Basic Techniques

Pete Cecil demonstrates basic blacksmithing techniques through crafting a hook in the forge.

Plowing with a Draft Horse Part 2 Harrowing and Seeding

Plowing with a Draft Horse Part 2: Harrowing and Seeding

by:
from issue:

Success in getting a satisfactory planting of a field crop will depend on two factors: achievement of a loose, smooth seedbed, and the care with which you set up and gauge the planting machinery. I will discuss both of these factors in this article. The only exception to this rule is if you are a “no till” farmer and control weeds completely with herbicides. This point may be academic however, because I don’t know of any horse farmers who are “no till” farmers!

Ox Yoke and Three Abreast Evener Plans

Ox Yoke & Homemade Three Abreast Evener Plans

by:
from issue:

Well, like the sign says… plans for building an Ox Yoke and for setting up a Three Abreast Evener for an implement with a Standard Tongue.

Tastes Just Like Chicken

Tastes Just Like Chicken

by:
from issue:

So you want to raise some critters that taste just like chicken? There’s no better critter than the chicken itself. Chicken has become the most sought after meat in the marketplace. Raising your own birds can save you a few bucks at the grocery store. Even more satisfying is the great sense of accomplishment that comes with raising your own food from egg to dinner table and providing this healthy meal to your family.

Marsden Ranch Hayrack

Marsden Ranch Hayrack

by:
from issue:

The Marsden Hayrack was likely built in the early 20th century and was used in various forms until the mid-60’s. Sometimes called a “basket rack,” it wasn’t glamorous, so few pictures exist. One from 1953 shows it in the farm yard and it still had its original wood wheels and running gear. By the 1990’s little remained. I was able to bring to my shop the front axle, hounds, sand beam, tongue and one wheel. Fortunately, I was able to get all 4 sets of skeins and boxings for the wheels.

Make Your Own Elderberry Taps

Make Your Own Elderberry Taps

A few years ago we switched from tapping our maple trees with metal taps to wooden taps we make. There comes with it a feeling of independence and self-provision. Most of the elderberry canes we cut come from a thicket in the very woods we tap the maples. There are more canes every year, availing themselves in case we need replacements for taps that broke. Be sure to only select canes with live wood. Don’t worry about the plants, elderberries are very tenacious and will grow more canes to replace the ones you cut.

The Milk and Human Kindness Making Swaledale

The Milk & Human Kindness: Making Swaledale

by:
from issue:

Swaledale is one of the lost British cheeses, nearly extinct, along with other more obscure farmstead cheeses which were dropped because they were not suited for mechanical cutting – too crumbly. Too much loss. I dug the basic method out of Patrick Rance’s wonderful book of British cheeses and I’ve made it for years. I love it, everybody loves it, it’s a perfect cheese for rich Jersey milk, it takes very little time and trouble to make, it’s easy to age, delicious at one month, or a year.

Building a Shoeing Stock with an Update

Building a Shoeing Stock, with an Update

by:
from issue:

Following publication of the original article on building a shoeing stock, I received numerous phone calls and letters from people across North America about getting a set of plans or drawings for the stock. I never had any printed plans or drawings when I built the shoeing stock, only sketches and ideas. I recently took the time and made a couple of drawings of the shoeing stock and included dimensions of the major components.

Pulling A Load With Oxen

an excerpt from Oxen: A Teamster’s Guide

Horseshoeing Part 6C

Horseshoeing Part 6C

The expression “corns” is applied to nearly all bruises of the pododerm of the posterior half of the foot, with the exception of the frog, which are apparent to the eye as yellowish, reddish, or bluish-red discolorations of the horn of the sole and white line. The surface of the pododerm (fleshy leaves and villi) is chiefly involved, and almost without exception there is rupture of small blood-vessels and an outpouring of blood between the pododerm and the horn.

Getting Started Behind the Plow

Getting Started Behind the Plow

by:
from issue:

Leo initiated the circle letter discussion on plowing in their very first letter. Already familiar with turning ground with the sulky, he asked for tips on taking the first steps behind the walking plow. The following advice may not be complete, but it is unique in that it combines the fresh impressions and lessons of teamsters who first put their hand to the plow this past year with the seasoned experience of those who have been walking the furrow half of their lives.

Hotbeds

Hotbeds

by:
from issue:

A good deal of the success with hotbeds is due to the careful selection of the manure. Cold manure, like that of cows and pigs, should never be used because it will not heat. Horse manure is best, but in this case at least one-third of the bulk should be straw. If pure manure is used, it will pack too tightly when firmed, so that it will not heat. If possible, the manure from grain-fed, straw-bedded horses should be used.

The Milk and Human Kindness Caring For The Pregnant Cow

The Milk & Human Kindness: Caring for the Pregnant Cow

by:
from issue:

Good cheese comes from happy milk and happy milk comes from contented cows. So for goodness sake, for the sake of goodness in our farming ways we need to keep contentment, happiness and harmony as primary principles of animal husbandry. The practical manifestations of our love and appreciation are what make a small farm. Above and beyond the significant requirements of housing, feed and water is the care of your cow’s emotional life, provide for her own fulfillment. Let her raise her calf!

Just for Kids – Summer 2004

Just for Kids - 283 - Summer 2004

The Cow That (Almost) Barked • Side Show Stunt • Penny the Piglet • Rhyming Riddles

Somehow Hopeful
Sea-Agri Solutions
Sanborn Mills Farm
Livestock Conservancy
Art of Working Horses
Midwest Leather
Haying with Horses
Ryan Foxley
Scottish Blackface Breeders Union
Nordell
Heritage Shorthorn Society
Training Workhorses Training Teamsters
Heritage Livestock Canada
DAPNet
North American Suffolk Horse Association
Mules and More
Shoptalk
I&J Manufacturing
Rhona McAdam - Larder
American Cream Draft Horse Association
Midnight Star Breeders
Leather Crafters Journal
White Horse Machine
Horsedrawn Tillage Tools
The Harness Book
Canadian Organic Growers
Midwest Ox Drovers Association
Doc Hammill
Work Horse Handbook
The English Shepherd Club
Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Alliance
BJ Omanson - Stark County Poems
Schaff mat Paerd
Purebred Dexter Cattle Association