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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

Log Arch

Log Arch

by:
from issue:

The arch was built on a small trailer axle that I cut down to 3 feet wide and tacked back together. This was done so that I could keep the wheels parallel. I cut the middle out after construction was complete. I used heavy wall pipe from my scrounge pile for the various frame parts. It is topped off with an angle iron bar for added strength and to provide a mount for the winch and some slots for extra chains.

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.

The Tip Cart

The Tip Cart

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from issue:

When horses were the main source of power on every farm, in the British Isles it was the tip-cart, rather than the wagon which was the most common vehicle, and for anyone farming with horses, it is still an extremely useful and versatile piece of equipment. The farm cart was used all over the country, indeed in some places wagons were scarcely used at all, and many small farms in other areas only used carts.

The Milk and Human Kindness Stanchion Floor

The Milk and Human Kindness: Plans for an Old Style Wooden Stanchion Floor

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from issue:

The basic needs that we are addressing here are as follows: To create a sunny, airy (not drafty), dry, convenient, accessible place to bring in our cow or cows, with or without calves, to be comfortably and easily secured for milking and other purposes such as vet checks, AI breeding, etc. where both you and your cow feel secure and content. A place that is functional, clean, warm and inviting in every way.

To Market, To Market, To Buy A Fat Pig

Within so-called alternative agriculture circles there are turf wars abrew

Permanent Corncribs

A short piece on the construction of corncribs.

An Efficient, Economical Barn

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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.

Portable A-Frame

Portable A-Frame

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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.

The Milk and Human Kindness Making Camembert

The Milk and Human Kindness: Making Camembert

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Camembert is wonderful to make, even easy to make once the meaning of the steps is known and the rhythm established. Your exceptionally well fed, housed and loved home cow will make just the best and cleanest milk for this method. A perfect camembert is a marvelous marriage of flavor and texture. The ripening process is only a matter of a few weeks and when they’re ripe they’re ripe and do not keep long.

Farmrun On the Anatomy of Thrift

On the Anatomy of Thrift: Side Butchery

On the Anatomy of Thrift is an instructional series Farmrun created with Farmstead Meatsmith. Their principal intention is instruction in the matters of traditional pork processing. In a broader and more honest context, OAT is a deeply philosophical manifesto on the subject of eating animals.

Horse Powered Snow Scoop

Horse Powered Snow Scoop

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from issue:

The scoop has two steel sides about 5 feet apart sitting on steel runners made out of heavy 2 X 2 angle iron, there is a blade that is lowered and raised by use of a foot release which allows the weight of the blade to lower it and then lock in the down position and the forward motion of the horses to raise it and lock it in the up position. This is accomplished by a clever pivoting action where the tongue attaches to the snow scoop.

Homemade Ground-Drive PTO Forecart

Homemade Ground-Drive PTO Forecart

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As we start, consider a few things when building a pto cart. Are big drive tires necessary? Is a lot of weight needed? Imagine the cart in use. Try to see it working where you normally go and where you almost never go. Will it be safe and easy to mount or dismount? Can you access the controls of the implement conveniently? Is it easy to hook and unhook? Where is the balance point? I’m sure you will think of other details as you daydream about it.

Disc Harrow Requirements

Disc Harrow Requirements

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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.

Lightning Protection for the Farm

Lightning Protection for the Farm

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Lightning-protection systems for buildings give lightning ready-made lines of low resistance. They do this by providing unbroken bodies of material that have lower resistance than any other in the immediate neighborhood. A protection system routes lightning along a known, controlled course between the air and the moist earth. Well-installed and maintained, a lightning-protection system will route lightning with over 90-percent effectiveness.

Basic Blacksmithing Techniques

Illustrated guide to basic blacksmithing techniques, an excerpt from Blacksmithing: Basics For The Homestead.

Haying With Horses

Hitching Horses To A Mower

When hitching to the mower, first make sure it’s on level ground and out of gear. The cutter bar should be fastened up in the vertical or carrier position. This is for safety of all people in attendance during hitching.

The Anatomy of Thrift: Harvest Day

On the Anatomy of Thrift Part 2: Harvest Day

On the Anatomy of Thrift is an instructional series Farmrun created with Farmstead Meatsmith. Their principal intention is instruction in the matters of traditional pork processing. In a broader and more honest context, OAT is a deeply philosophical manifesto on the subject of eating animals. Harvest Day is the second in the series, which explores the ‘cheer’ that is prepared on the day of slaughter, and dives deep into the philosophy and psychology of our relationship to animals.

Book Review Butchering

Two New Butchering Volumes

Danforth’s BUTCHERING is an unqualified MASTERPIECE! One which actually gives me hope for the furtherance of human kind and the ripening of good farming everywhere because, in no small part, of this young author’s sensitive comprehension of the modern disconnect with food, feeding ourselves, and farming.

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