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Brian's and Nell's 20 year-old homestead  RSS feed

 
pollinator
Posts: 303
Location: northern New Mexico
57
homestead wood heat woodworking
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Good morning
Here is an update for our little homestead on the treeline near the top of the hill in northeastern New Mexico.

Around-our-homestead-reup-firewood-stash-Nov-26-18
Whenever I get a helper I go for firewood. I spent a good part of the day driving and hiking around our forest over the last week looking for standing dead trees which make good firewood for the ill-prepared.

Around-our-homestead-limbed-tree-on-eastside-greenhouse-Nov-26-18
This tree I've observed blocking the morning sun to our east facing greenhouse. I had thought about removing it, but decided to limb it instead. On one of the days cutting firewood my chainsaw was running poorly and after cleaning the air filter and mixing fresh fuel earlier I adjusted the high mix screw on the saw, wow what a difference.
I need a new chain and sprocket, but finances are lacking with our money going to the naturopath and related vitamins and supplements. I've been pulling old saw chains off the rack and refurbishing them. This is the first time I trimmed the racks on a blade. That really helped the blade cut big chips again. The racks are the nubs between the teeth and I heard they can get in the way after the blade gets cut back a number of times.  

Around-our-homestead-reup-firewood-Koi-pond-Nov-26-18
I hadn't had time to check the temperature in the pond but it looks like the hugelkultur mound and compost pile are keeping the water around fifty degrees. The temperature outside this morning was 18F, brrr, so far this is working better than everything I've tried to insulate the Koi pond in years panst.

Around-our-homestead-constant-maintenance-aquarium-Nov-26-18
There has been an outbreak of nasty algae possibly the dreaded Blue-green algae. So I need to clean the glass daily. With such extensive cleaning and all that is happening around here I hadn't had time to clean the outside of the glass. The fish look happy and that's what matters.

Around-our-homestead-ever-important-shop-stereo-Nov-26-18
I finally spent some time working on the trees around the yard yesterday mostly limbing scrub cedar trees damaged during the last hail storms. I spent some time in the shop and had the stereo blasting EDM. I don't know if I mentioned this, but if you haven't tried Google music you need to check it out. I don't know if it is free because we have Youtube Red or it is just plain free, but it is similar to Amazon music , Pandora and Spotify except there are no commercials! That is enough for me right there. There are stations, artists and search just like the aforementioned apps.  

Around-our-homestead-shop-reup-firewood-stash-Nov-26-18
twenty years ago while harvesting Aspen logs in the high country we also harvested twenty foot long tepee poles. I sold the best one to a friend who lost his in a fire and the rest not so perfect poles I've been using here and there. There were still ten here by the shop that were rotting so I cut some ten footers for under the new firewood piles and the rest went into the shop for that potbelly stove. hopefully after today when Nell gets the stitches out from extensive foot surgery I'll have enough time to start again thinking about shop projects, yay!  

Around-our-homestead-Buddy-are-we-going-for-a-walk-or-bisciuts-Nov-26-18
That's all folks
Brian
 
gardener
Posts: 5084
Location: Vilonia, Arkansas - Zone 7B/8A stoney, sandy loam soil pH 6.5
616
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Nice! Since I started a new silvopasture area I have been stacking up the fire wood too.
Sadly our standing dead trees become fungi homes within one week of death, so I leave them to rot and fall over.
The pasture build has so far provided 14 trees with trunks under 5 inches diameter, I like to leave the larger ones to be the shade providers.

I have around 20 large cedars that have to come down, these will be fence posts and front porch posts, the branches will end up as rain runoff diverters and property line definition bee homes.
 
Brian Rodgers
pollinator
Posts: 303
Location: northern New Mexico
57
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Thanks for your contribution to this thread  Dr. Redhawk.
Yes one of the great things about having so many of the invasive and fast growing cedar trees is the top quality posts that come from harvesting the main trunks, occasionally we'll get two or three, six foot fence posts from one tree. It helps to manicure the cedar trees a few years before harvesting. Since these trees are fast growing even in this arid climate we have been able to focus the tree's energy to making posts or just larger and thicker branches for firewood harvesting. The technique I've developed over the years is to use the tree itself to hold the wood steady and off the ground while I cut from the small end of the branch while moving down the branch toward the base. It's harder to hold the saw up in the air but it also keeps the saw out of the rocks.
I can't wait to start on the silvopasture projects here. I'll be working on my old tractor hopefully this Winter. Many years ago I bought from a junkyard a front end loader and began fitting it to my tractor, then the power steering went out followed by a series of frustrating smaller related problems. Between that and a series of problems occurring after I installed a new Pierce Arrow dump bed dump bed  on my bio-diesel powered  Dodge dually, the truck had fuel injection issues which were becoming quite costly and I also had to abandon that project as well. Grr.
Now however, since they are both still here waiting for me to get my act together, which may finally be occurring, I believe it is time to get busy with returning these great resources back to working order.
Nell and I both went to see the amazing  Dr. Lilly Blecher ND in Taos and wow. I'll add a thread into the private forums covering our journey toward great health.
Brian

 
 
Brian Rodgers
pollinator
Posts: 303
Location: northern New Mexico
57
homestead wood heat woodworking
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Good morning folks!

Brittany-Adam-worked-hard-for-us-THANK-YOU-Both-Wed-Dec-5th-2018

Wow, yesterday! Brittany and Adam brought a log splitter and we ran it all day. Everything I had here is now split. One third is seasoned from last season, another third is from standing dead trees, so it isn't green so much as it is wet from all the precipitation from El NiƱo.    Nice writeup from NOAA . 2018-19-winter-outlook

The final third is "green green," as they say here abouts. I built a wall with the green wood. The idea is the wind often channels through this part of the yard, moving from south to north.  If you haven't seen windy.com I highly recommend it  Wind, our area  
Firewood-12-foot-wall-Super-Dryer-Still-needs-more-support-12-5-18
I'm thinking of only covering the very top. Perhaps I'll put one of those old Tepee poles along the sides and brace them at a angle down to the ground with posts? What do you think? I know the wind can rip down through here and I don't want to re-stack this pile.
Here is a windy screenshot of Las Tusas in the Sapello Valley.

Windy-Las-Tusas-Modified-12-6-18 Pain and pain killers are keeping me from attaining the smaller brush size to make a proper arrow in Linux's The Gimp image manipulation program. The gist of what I'm trying to show is the wind while predominately from the west as shown tends to flow around the mesa to the west and north through our yard, then back to west again.
How about some more pictures, I think my brain can handle that okay.

Firewood-wall-Super-Dryer-Still-needs-more-support-12-5-18
https://permies.com/t/93721/a/68639/Firewood-Oh-So-Sweet-Brittany-Adam-Brian-Splitting-12-5-18.jpg
Firewood-Oh-So-Sweet-Brittany-Adam-Brian-Splitting-12-5-18

Firewood-day-Brittany-Adam-Brian-Splitting-12-5-18
We received another little snow fall the other day. I was going to take some pictures, but somehow already I'm like "Meh, another beautiful snow."
I did go for a couple mile hike in the snow a day afterwards.
https://permies.com/t/93721/a/68636/thumb-Meh-Another-pristine-snow-Dec-5th-2018.jpg
Meh-Another-pristine-snow-Dec-5th-2018

Meh-Another-mediocre-snow-hehe-beautiful-though-Dec-5th-2018

Meh-Another-mediocre-snow-hehe-beautiful-though
I want to welcome to Brian's Morning Newsletter a gentleman I met yesterday. Welcome Bill Mann.
The radishes and garlic are fantastic. I hope we get to see you again real soon.
I definitely over-did-it yesterday. I still have more stacking to do, but I may take a break instead.

Wonky-Spinal-Lumbar-X-Ray-December-17
Scoliosis is still painful. I really need to get back into doing the stretches the physical therapy doc setup for fixing this spinal misalignment, doh!
Love to you all,
Brian and Nell Rodgers  






































 
Brian Rodgers
pollinator
Posts: 303
Location: northern New Mexico
57
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Back to the future-past
Good Morning Permies
I was looking for images I have stored of rocks and found a bunch of the creation of our indoor masonry 2600 gallon fish tank.
These used to be on my web site and when I shut it down the images I had here in the early pages lost those links.
One-very-large-rock-placed-for-pond-Jason-proud.JPG

We worked smartly and no one got hurt moving these big bad boys.

One-very-large-rock-placed-for-pond-Jason-provides-scale.JPG

Jason helped with the really large rocks. All these are being moved by hand using simple levers and firewood as rollers.

Final-outdoor-rock-work-looking-toward-exterior-door-Buddy-Boy

One-very-large-rock-placed-for-pond-cement-mixer-setup.JPG
rock-collecting-feeling-better-start-of-a-pile.JPG

Nature had the right idea about what I was planning.
October-Pond-rocks-balanced-looking-West2.jpg

Final-outdoor-rock-work-looking-toward-exterior-door-Buddy-Boy.JPG

rock-collecting-feeling-better-Sara-Nell-admire-third-load-coming-in

At this stage my wife was like,"what the hell are you building, again?"
Speaking of Nell,  every time we drive down our driveway I have been saying, "I gotta work on that road." Thrilled that I appear to be up and able to work again I have so may chores to catch up with here at the ranch and with that road repair I hadn't found the time to work on it. Abnormal amounts of precipitation have torn up the driveway making ruts and leaving more rocks sticking up as if seeking out low slung oil pans such as the VW Jetta possesses. Going over the driveway in the car is like a skiing a slalom course. Well yesterday I finally did a little somethin' somethin'. Today my back is talking up a storm. It turns out the condition called spinal scoliosis and picking rocks off the hillside and busting them into the ruts of the driveway aren't really copacetic. Bummer, because I think I was happiest when I was building that fish pond seen above. Oh well, at some point in the all too near future I will need to accept that I am 65 years old.
Yep, in a few short weeks I go on Medicare.  
Thank you Social Security and Disability and Medicaid you have provided the best health insurance I ever had.

Now today, my best buddy Jason is coming out so we can work in the forest together, just like old times. I can not wait and probably won't need to for long and he likes to start early.
I've marked about 150 mistletoe infested Ponderosa Pine trees to fell.
That's what we'll be doing. If you would like to join us please come on out.
Loveity love love
Brian  
 
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