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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 PST

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: People

No Starving Children!

You’d never be able to harvest the broccoli or the hay or milk the cows or make the cheese if it were subject to government process. Not only are our industrial farms too big…

Loose Hay with Ryan Foxley

Loose Hay with Ryan Foxley A Farmrun Production by Andrew Plotsky

NYFC Bootstrap Videos The Golden Yoke

NYFC Bootstrap Videos: The Golden Yoke

I couldn’t have been happier to collaborate with The National Young Farmers Coaltion again when they called up about being involved in their Bootstrap Blog Series. In 2013, all of their bloggers were young and beginning lady dairy farmers, and they invited us on board to consult and collaborate in the production of videos of each farmer contributor to the blog series.

Farm To School Programs Take Root

All aim to re-connect school kids with healthy local food.

Richard Douglass, Self-sufficient Farmer

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I’ve got two teams of Belgians that power all the things on the farm. I don’t have a tractor, I don’t have a truck or anything like that. Everything must be done by them. I have two buggy horses that I use for transportation. I have a one-seater buggy for when I’m going into work or into town by myself and then I have a two-seater one for when I’m with the kids.

Kombit: The Cooperative

Kombit: The Cooperative

We received word of a new environmental film, Kombit: The Cooperative, about deforestation in Haiti — and an international effort to combat it by supporting small farmers on the island.

Ham & Eggs

Ham & Eggs

Max Godfrey leads Ham & Eggs, at Plant & Sing 2012 at Sylvester Manor.

Jacko

Jacko

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By the time he was 3 years old, Jacko had grown into a big size jack, 13 hands tall and 900 pounds, and was still growing. That summer he ran the singlerow corn planter and raked the hay, proved himself handier with a single row cultivator than a single ox, getting closer to the plants without stepping on them. Gradually he had paced himself to his three educated gaits to fill whatever job Lafe required of him: fast walk for the planter and rake, slow walk for the cultivator and plant-setter, and brisk trot for the buggy.

UCSC Farm & Garden Apprenticeship

UC Santa Cruz Farm & Garden Apprenticeship

UC Santa Cruz is thrilled to welcome applications to the 50th Anniversary year of the UCSC Farm and Garden Apprenticeship in Ecological Horticulture. The 39 apprentices each year arrive from all regions of the US and abroad, and represent a wide spectrum of ages, backgrounds, and interests. We have a range of course fee waivers available to support participation in the Apprenticeship.

Feeding Elk Winter Work for the Belgians

Feeding Elk: Winter Work for the Belgians

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Doug Strike of rural Sublette County is spending his second winter feeding wild elk in nearby Bondurant, Wyoming. Strike is supplementing his logging income as well as helping his team of Belgian draft horses to keep in shape for the coming season. From May to the end of November he uses his horses to skid logs out of the mountains of western Wyoming. I found the use of Doug’s beautiful Belgian team an exciting example of appropriate technology.

Typical Range Ride

Typical Range Ride

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I head up the steep trail through the rocks and sagebrush behind our house. The smell of dewy sage fills my nostrils as my horse brushes the shrubs along the trail, and a horned lark flits up from her nest on the ground as we go by. A mother grouse bursts into the air and does her broken-wing act (her strategy to lead a predator away from her babies, who are scattering out through the grass).

Great Oregon Steam Up

Great Oregon Steam-Up Bonus Gallery

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The best thing about the SFJ website is “unlimited real estate.” With each issue of the Small Farmer’s Journal comes the required agonizing over what to keep and what to sacrifice due to page space. What follows is a photo gallery of every picture we took at the 2016 Great Oregon Steam-Up. Why? Because we can! And, because there were a lot of interesting machines there that we are sure some of you will enjoy seeing.

Expanding the Use of the Heavy Draught Horse in Europe

Expanding the Use of the Heavy Draught Horse in Europe

“La Route du Poisson”, or “The Fish Run,” is a 24 hour long relay which starts from Boulogne on the coast at 9 am on Saturday and runs through the night to the outskirts of Paris with relays of heavy horse pairs until 9 am Sunday with associated events on the way. The relay “baton” is an approved cross country competition vehicle carrying a set amount of fresh fish.

The Shallow Insistence

…a life of melody, poetry and farming?

Congo Farm Project

Congo Farm Project

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I was at day one, standing outside an old burnt-out Belgian plantation house, donated to us by the progressive young chief of the village of Luvungi. My Congolese friend and I had told him that we would need to hire some workers to help clear the land around the compound, and to put a new roof on the building. I thought we should be able to attract at least 20 workers. Then, I looked out to see a crowd of about 800 eager villagers, each one with their own hoe.

Central Oregon Locavore Online Fundraiser

CENTRAL OREGON LOCAVORE NEEDS YOUR HELP! We at SFJ can relate.  Central Oregon Locavore is running a GoFundMe campaign, similar to our Kickstarter campaign earlier this year.  Follow the links to learn more about Locavore and to show your support. www.centraloregonlocavore.org www.gofundme.com/locavore Central Oregon Locavore works for an ecologically stable and socially just food system […]

American Milking Devons and the Flack Family Farm

American Milking Devons and the Flack Family Farm

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On a sunny early September day I met Doug Flack at his biodynamic and organic farm, just South of Enosburg Falls. Doug is an American Milking Devon breeder with some of the best uddered and well behaved animals I have seen in the breed. The animals are beautifully integrated into his small and diversified farm. His system of management seems to bring out the best in the animals and his enthusiasm for Devon cattle is contagious.

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