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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: Equipment & Facilities

Happs Plowing A Chance to Share

Happ’s Plowing: A Chance to Share

by:
from issue:

Dinnertime rolled around before we could get people and horses off the field so that results of judging could be announced. I learned a lot that day, one thing being that people were there to share; not many took the competition side of the competition very seriously. Don Anderson of Toledo, WA was our judge — with a tough job handed to him. Everyone was helping each other so he had to really stay on his toes to know who had done what on the various plots.

The New Idea No5 Transplanter

The NEW IDEA No. 5 Transplanter

from issue:

The planting distances or intervals at which the water is released, is controlled by the gear and pinions under the shield near the driver’s right foot. The large, flat-faced gear should be so turned that the arrow on the back points straight up. The numbers on either side of the arrow will then be so arranged that the number 1, 2, 3 and 4 will be on the side of the water trip lever and will denote the various positions in which the Driven Pinion meshes with the gear.

Stationary Baler

Stationary Baler: Engineering and Evidence

Our friend, Mark Schwarzburg came by the office with an old wooden box he inherited from his great great great grandfather, Henry Schwarzburg. In it is a lovely, very old working wooden model of the stationary baler Henry helped to invent. Also were found, on old oil-skin paper, beautiful original engineer’s drawings for patent registry; and a brochure for the actual resulting manufactured implement.

Fjordworks Cultural Evolution Part 2

Fjordworks: Cultural Evolution Part 2

For more than ten years we cultivated our market garden with the walk-behind cultivator. This past season we made the transition to the riding cultivator. I really enjoyed using this amazing implement. Our current team of Fjords are now mature animals (14 & 18 years old) and have been working together for 11 years, so they were certainly ready to work quietly and walk slowly enough to be effective with this precision tool.

New Horsedrawn Minimum Till Seed Drill

New Horsedrawn Minimum Till Seed Drill

The physico-chemical degradation of the soils world-wide by so-called “conventional” farming methods is considered as one of the major problems for the world’s food supply in the coming decades. Organic farming systems, refraining from the use of genetic engineering and chemically-synthesized sprays and fertilizers, can help resolve this situation. However, a better protection of the soil is also closely linked to agricultural engineering. By that, minimum tillage or no-till seeding is gaining popularity among tractor farmers around the world.

Two Log Cart Designs from Canada

Two Log Cart Designs from Canada

by:
from issue:

The problem horseloggers face is reducing skidding friction yet maintaining enough friction for holdback on steep skids. The cart had to be as simple and maneuverable as the basic two wheel log arch which dangles logs on chokers. We wanted it to be light, low, with no tongue weight, no lift motor to maintain, no arch to jam up and throw the teamster in a turn, and a low center of draft.

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.

Shoeing Stocks

An article from the out-of-print Winter 1982 Issue of SFJ.

Laying Out Fields for Plowing

Laying Out Fields for Plowing

There are four general plans, or methods of plowing fields. These are: (1) to plow from one side of a field to the other; (2) to plow around the field; (3) to plow a field in lands; and (4) to start the plowing in the center of the field.

Haying With Horses

Haying With Horses

If the reader is considering the construction of a barn we encourage you to give more than passing thought to allowing the structure of the gable to be open enough to accommodate the hanging of a trolley track. It is difficult or impossible to retrofit a truss-built barn, which may have many supports crisscrossing the inside gable, to receive hay jags. At least allowing for the option in a new construction design will leave the option for loose hay systems in the future.

400 Hen Laying House

400-Hen Laying House

by: ,
from issue:

One of the hardest problems in successful poultry keeping is to maintain the vigor and health of the flock. Housing has particular bearing on this problem. If the laying-house is poorly lighted, has insufficient ventilation, or is overcrowded, the health of the fowls will be affected. The purpose of housing is to increase productiveness. In order to accomplish this the fowls must be comfortable.

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.

"Work Horse Handbook, 2nd Edition" by Lynn Miller

Draft Collars and How To Size Them

It is difficult to accurately measure a horse’s neck without fitting. In other words, there are so many variables involved in the shape and size of a horse’s neck that the only accurate and easy way to size the neck is to use several collars and put them on one at a time until fitting is found.

Basil Scarberrys Ground-Drive Forecart

Basil Scarberry’s Ground-Drive Forecart

by:
from issue:

I used an ’84 Chevrolet S-10 rear end to build my forecart, turn it over to get right rotation, used master cylinder off buggy and 2” Reese hitch, extend hitch out to use P.T.O. The cart is especially useful for tedding hay. However, its uses are virtually unlimited. We use it for hauling firewood on a trailer, for pulling a disc and peg tooth harrow, for hauling baled hay on an 8’ x 16’ hay wagon, and just for a jaunt about the farm and community.

Illusive Herd of Threshasaurus Sighted

Illusive Herd of Threshasaurus Sighted

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The Threshasaurus’s large size and curious nature may appear antagonistic, but they are mostly curious and largely non-threatening. Be careful when approaching, however, as they do have sharp teeth and many fast moving, exposed pulleys.

The Cutting Edge

The Cutting Edge

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In the morning we awoke to a three quarters of a mile long swath of old growth mixed conifer and aspen trees, uprooted and strewn everywhere we looked. We hadn’t moved here to become loggers, but it looked like God had other plans! We had chosen to become caretakers of this beautiful place because of the peace and quiet, the clean air, the myriad of birds and wildlife! Thus, we were presented with a challenge: how to clean up this blowdown in a clean, sustainable way.

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.

Permanent Corncribs

A short piece on the construction of corncribs.

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