Monday

All the Pretty Chickens

All the Pretty Chickens

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All the Pretty Chickens

Building a Pole Stacker

Building a Pole Stacker

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The design and construction of the pole stacker evolved. The original idea had the pole anchored in the ground. It was quickly understood that Kenny wanted to be able to move the stacker. We were fortunate to have Jim Butcher – our woodman – and Mike Atkins – our iron man – to add to a mix of ideas which allowed materials on hand and special pieces from neighboring metal worker (cousin) Todd Bergeron to fit together for an ingenious and workable pole stacker.

Let Down

LET DOWN!

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On all but one day I got more milk from 3 quarters with Ivan’s help than Ruby allowed me from 4 before his help. At this point in her lactation she has a ‘hold back’ capacity of about 6.5 lbs. on 3 quarters. So, it seems that if I milk her out solo and leave all the let down for Ivan, he is going to get about a gallon of very creamy milk held back special for him. Ruby changed my mind – no need to leave milk for the calf in the early weeks of separation. Mama has it handled – she makes sure that he is going to get his share!

Magner and Me

Magner and Me

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I was seventeen years old when I got my first copy of Magner’s Standard Horse and Stock Book. I found it hidden at the bottom of a box of old books at a farm auction and as I dusted it off and started leafing through the pages I realized that I had struck gold. Every other page seemed to be adorned with beautiful woodcut prints of horses and other livestock: over two thousand illustrations in all. More importantly I could see at a glance that the text was addressing many of the problems that horsemen and farmers encountered when handling and raising various classes of livestock.

Small Batch Farming

Small Batch Farming

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The chain link which broke was a number 41 roller chain, rather small. Checking the drawer I came up empty. Both Eric and Scout, on separate trips to the local hardware store, purchased repair links for me. Within the target size there are many variables. The repair links at today’s inflated prices cost around $3 each. When I got the right size and fixed the chain my daughter said “I can take the others back and get you a refund.” “Nope,” I said, “We’re farming, so I’ll put them in the drawer, somebody someday will be glad we have the right size here.

The Craft of the Wheelwright

The Craft of the Wheelwright

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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.

The Knepp Estate

The Knepp Estate

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The point is that the Knepp Estate is pioneering, they are trying it, and something is obviously working, although perhaps not everything as you might wish. But that is also the point, because we don’t know how to rewild, we don’t really know what a wild Britain was like, or could be like, even in small pockets. We don’t even know what conditions various species prefer because the baseline data was already skewed by people’s activity when the textbooks were written. So it is one big experiment, but fortunately it has generated enough interest and excitement that the changes are being studied in detail.