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Small Farmer's Journal
PO Box 1627
Sisters, Oregon 97759
800-876-2893
541-549-2064
agrarian@smallfarmersjournal.com
Mon - Thu, 8am - 4pm PDT

Homemade Beet Grinder
Homemade Beet Grinder

Beet grinder.

Homemade Beet Grinder

by Ken Gies of Fort Plain, NY

This is my small beet grinder I built about 6 years ago. It has done nearly daily duty for that time. The beet fodder is added to my goat and rabbit rations which are largely homemade. Adding the pulp to the grain rations has aided me in having goat milk throughout the winter months. My beets are the Colossal Red Mangels. Many grow up to 2 feet long. I cut off enough for a day’s feed and grind it up each morning. Beets oxidize like cut apples. Fresh is best!

Homemade Beet Grinder

Half-grown mangel.

The beet pulp is mixed into grain rations with minerals and supplements added. The pulp is usually very moist so it makes the ground grains into a mash that the rabbits and goats seem to enjoy. The moisture helps hold the minerals and other ingredients in correct suspension so that all the nutrition is in every bite. ( At least that is the theory.) The rabbits still get a tiny bit of pellets but I am almost ready to drop them from the ration.

Homemade Beet Grinder

The machine is based on one of many internet apple grinders that use countersunk head screws as the cutter mounted in a wooden roller. Since a beet is a lot firmer and more fibrous than an apple, I opted for small plow bolts mounted in a metal roller. It is a small diameter flat pulley that I scrounged from somewhere and mounted on a shaft with roller bearings mounted in pillow blocks. The motor is a 1/4 horse 1725 rpm unit with nearly matching pulleys on the driven and driving ends. The diameter of the cutter head is nearly 4 inches, bolt head to bolt head. If you were to use a larger roller or make one from pipe, a larger pulley on the cutter head would help to gear down the speed for the little motor. OR you could use a bigger motor… but who would do that?

Homemade Beet Grinder

In the past I have made a number of rollers by using schedule 40 pipe and spacing it from the center axle with three or four bolts welded inside the pipe and then to the axle. Another way is to buy a couple of tin pulleys that just fit inside the pipe and weld the pipe to them while mounted on the axle rod.

I made the actual roller into a grinder by drilling and tapping threaded holes into the steel roller then turning in the 3/8 inch plow bolts until the shoulder snugged on the roller face. The feed tube is 4 inch pipe and the shear bar is a piece of 1/4 by 2 inch angle iron welded so that it is close to the bolt heads. The pillow blocks have some adjustment to them so I was able to set the roller tightly to the shear after welding it all up.

Homemade Beet Grinder

Large mangel.

The only improvement I would make is to fabricate a wider grinder roller. Then I would make the feeder housing fit close to the roller curvature. That way, no beet juice or pulp would get into the bearings and freeze the thing up in cold weather. There are no safety features on this rig. I use a broken hammer handle for a pusher. It is slowly being whittled down each day as the beet gets ground up and I bump the grinder itself. Fingers would not fair too well in there… Be careful and keep hormone fueled daredevils clear of the inside of this tempting little device.

Homemade Beet Grinder

Shredded mangel.

Innovate your hearts out and plan on planting a mangel patch this year. I grew a bit less than 300 row feet of beets here in central New York. They last from late fall to late spring when the grass starts. There are two goat does (one in milk) and two standard rabbit does and a buck, plus the litters that come every 10 to 12 weeks all winter long. The beets provide about half of the concentrate ration daily. The rest is mixed organic grains and good tender hay in quantity.

Spotlight On: How-To & Plans

Forging Rings in the Farm Blacksmith Shop

Forging Rings in the Farm Blacksmith Shop

by:
from issue:

Fabricating steel rings is a common task in my small farm blacksmith shop. They are often used on tie-rings for my customer’s barns, chain latches on gates, neck yoke rings, etc. It’s simple enough to create a ring over the horn of the anvil or with the use of a bending fork, however, if you want to create multiple rings of the same diameter it’s worthwhile to build a hardy bending jig.

Chicken

The Best Chicken Pie Ever

by:
from issue:

She has one more gift to give: Chicken Pie.

The Milk and Human Kindness: Making Cheese

The Milk and Human Kindness: Making Cheese

by:
from issue:

Yogurt making is the perfect introduction into the world of cultured dairy products and cheese-making. You are handling milk properly, becoming proficient at sanitizing pots and utensils, and learning the principles of culturing milk. Doing these things regularly, perfecting your methods, sets you up for cheese-making very well. Cheese-making involves the addition of a few more steps beyond the culturing.

The Milk and Human Kindness Making Swaledale

The Milk and 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.

Planting Calendar and Other Diagrams

From Dusty Shelves: A 1943 calendar for seeding your vegetable garden.

Pulling A Load With Oxen

an excerpt from Oxen: A Teamster’s Guide

Blacksmithing with Pete Cecil Building a Fire

Farm Drum #29: Blacksmithing with Pete Cecil – Building a Fire

Lynn Miller & Pete Cecil talk about Blacksmithing basics, and Pete demonstrates building a fire in the forge.

A Horse Powered Round Bale Unroller

A Horse Powered Round Bale Unroller

by:
from issue:

We had experimented with unrolling the bales the year before and had decided to make a device that would let us move them with the horses and then unroll them. I used square tubing to make a simple frame with two arms attached to a cross piece which connected to a tongue. Small diagonal braces made the arrangement rigid and the arms had a right angle piece of square tubing on their ends which allowed a pin to be driven into the middle of the round bale from each side.

Horseshoeing Part 2A

Horseshoeing Part 2A

As there are well-formed and badly formed bodies, so there are well-formed and badly formed limbs and hoofs. The form of the hoof depends upon the position of the limb. A straight limb of normal direction possesses, as a rule, a regular hoof, while an oblique or crooked limb is accompanied by an irregular or oblique hoof. Hence, it is necessary, before discussing the various forms of the hoof, to consider briefly the various positions that may be assumed by the limbs.

Swallow

Rotation As A Means Of Blight Control

Every farmer knows that when a crop is grown on the same field year after year, it becomes inferior in quality and the yield steadily diminishes.

Homemade Cheese Press

Homemade Cheese Press

by:
from issue:

On the Gies farmstead we occasionally wallow in goat milk. From it we make our own butter, yogurt and cheese as well as drink some. This has prompted me to build a little cheese press to help with the extra milk. The press is made from inexpensive 1/2 inch thick plastic cutting boards used for the top and bottom plates and pressure disks, white pvc pipe, and a plastic floor drain cap.

Delivery Wagon Plans

Delivery Wagon Plans

from issue:

While the low down delivery wagon is an improvement, the objectionable features are increased. But with all those objections the low down wagons increase every year. Their convenience outweighs all other objections. They are handy for country delivery and are fitted up inside to suit either grocers, bakers, butchers or milk delivery, or a combination of the four.

How To Prune a Formal Hedge

How To Prune A Formal Hedge

This guide to hedge-trimming comes from The Pruning Answer Book by Lewis Hill and Penelope O’Sullivan. Q: What’s the correct way to shear a formal hedge? A: The amount of shearing depends upon the specific plant and whether the hedge is formal or informal. You’ll need to trim an informal hedge only once or twice a year, although more vigorous growers, such as privet and ninebark, may need additional clippings.

How To Get Into Farming With No Money

How To Get Into Farming With No Money

by:
from issue:

Let’s assume the beginning ‘farmer’ has absolutely nothing. Nothing but a will to farm and a reasonably normal body. The very first thing you must do is search out a farmer, preferably a farmer who farms close to the way that you want to farm. You must watch him, ask questions, do as you are told and learn everything you can. Very shortly you will be on your own and you will find that the more you learn now, the better you will be when you have only yourself to rely on.

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.

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.

Horseshoeing Part 3A

Horseshoeing Part 3A

An examination should be made while the animal is at rest, and afterwards while in motion. The object of the examination is to gain accurate knowledge of the direction and movements of the limbs, of the form and character of the feet and hoofs, of the manner in which the foot reaches and leaves the ground, of the form, length, position, and wear of the shoe, and distribution of the nail-holes, in order that at the next and subsequent shoeings all ascertained peculiarities of hoof-form may be kept in mind and all discovered faults of shoeing corrected.

Starting Seeds

From Dusty Shelves: A WWII era article from Farming For Security

Small Farmer's Journal

Small Farmer's Journal
PO Box 1627
Sisters, Oregon 97759
800-876-2893
541-549-2064
agrarian@smallfarmersjournal.com
Mon - Thu, 8am - 4pm PDT