Christopher Shepherd

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since Jan 30, 2019
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My wife,son and I working on a little farm.
N.E.Ohio 5b6a
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Recent posts by Christopher Shepherd

When you've worked outside all day on a nice 88 deg day and they cancel soft ball games, because the kids are too hot.  I wonder what they're going to do when it gets hot?  I'm thinking the corn and the sorghum really appreciate these temps.  Maybe I have c4 plant genes in my skin.
2 weeks ago
When your little boy says "dad, does it always wain when wewe doing chowes?". Yes son, in the spring it rains almost every day.  Now he is 18 planting, picking, and doing chores in the rain and doesn't even think about it.  It is a normal thing to him.
3 weeks ago
Welcome to permies Lisa!

Our quail are quite territorial too.  We have been calling all the over aggressive males.  If they draw blood they get eaten.  I don't know of anything to stop them.  Clipping their beak flat will help keep them from hurting others, but will not stop them from trying.

When I was young we had wild bob whites all around the farms.  We called the males in by whistling bob white.  The males always come in alone.  I often wondered if in the wild the males are solitary or not?
1 month ago
I really like the sander/sharpener idea.  I was thinking about a generator demo.  All them screws could hold a magnet.  I little coil and I bet we could make enough to light a light bulb. Maybe dual purpose, light a light to shine where you sharpen.  I'll try to post some more what could this week.  Thank you all for the thoughts.
1 month ago
Do you have things laying around and wonder what could it be turned into?  I'm lucky, because my wifey brings me home all sorts of things to work with.  Here is a place to post and see if others have some great ideas.  Here we go.

It turns real easy and the wood pulley is on a square drive.  It makes me think of something R Ranson would use to turn fiber into something useful.  Any body have a good Idea?
1 month ago
Hi Skyler.  Our honey locusts are just starting to bud out.  Our figs are still dormant.  Last year our figs didn't show anything until the second week of June.  We have had maples and chestnuts that waited until June too.
1 month ago
Thank you all for the great ideas.  I have been pondering this borrow thing a bunch.  In my area few people try to fix or do much of anything.  They just pay to have it done.  If I fix someones mower, they will ask me if I can fix their drier or well pump, the list goes on and on.  The handy person is a rarity today.  I will have a hard time telling someone no, when they want to try to do something.  This may be a way to get people more involved with permies.  A little try goes a long way.  

My wife got me an extra calendar to hang in the shop.  All borrowed stuff will now go on it.  I like the take a picture thing too.  I can always send the picture to them for a reminder when I need it back.

Then I started thinking, what if I started buying or fixing these old type tools just to give out.   I am known as a  junkologist and many people give me tools and broken things.  Anybody that wants to try to do something I can try to set them up cost effectivly.  I think with the right tools and a little skill anybody is able to make the world a much better place.

A couple weeks ago my nephew wanted me to weld something up.  He has a poop spreader and it is too big to get to my house to weld.  I was talking with one of my close friends and he mentioned he had a Lincoln 180 that he would sell.  He brought it over and I tested it.  It held a nice and smooth puddle.  He sold it to me for a great price.  I gave it to my nephew for an early graduation present.  I talked to his mom and dad yesterday and they said that he won't leave the welder alone!  He keeps welding things and is getting better.  Now he don't have to borrow one, and he is the only one in his generation that can weld other than my son.
1 month ago
Tools tools tools, why must I steal my tools back.  I don't know about you all, but a 17mm deep well is a popular socket to get borrowed.  I lent it out once and it didn't come back.  I couldn't remember who?  I was doing a brake job and needed one, so I bought one while getting pads.  Years later I was asked to help fix a truck and while laying on the ground I looked over and my socket was in his bolt tray!

Same guy different tool.  I lent him my bottle jack my father had got me when I was 16.  A year later I asked him where my jack was?  He didn't know.  One day I was in his garage helping him fix a ball joint on a truck and looked over in the corner and there was my jack.  When we were done fixing his stupid truck I walked over and got the jack.  I asked him where the handle was, of course he didn't know.  To this day I have a jack without a handle.

Another guy needed my 17mm and I gave him the cheap one.  It took 9 months to get it back.  

I am glad my wife got me the high quality deep well impact sockets when we were young.  As many people that have used them they have been through 10 lives. There is almost always one being borrowed.

My ryobi 18v 1/2" impact has been somewhere else for most of its life.

It took almost a year to get a tiller back twice.

My 311 chain saw came back missing the air box screws.

The old pull behind tiller came back with only a half of a rod.  The other half went through the block and got lost in the field.

Many of the borrowers are great though.  Some of them bring things back in a day or two, so it is not all bad.

When I can't find something my wife with her hands on her hips gives me that motherly glare and says" who did you loan it too?"

I need a sign out chart.
Maybe I should start a tool rental service?
1 month ago
Hi AnnaLea.  Don't worry, you are not the only one who starts things early.  I am with Mike on this one.  It looks like you will be fine as long as it does not freeze.  Last year in mid May my son planted 50 tomatoes plants!  Two days later the weather forecast changed drastically.  We put buckets on all of them.  It got down to 25 degrees and we lost them.  We are having troubles adjusting to the new 3 week shorter growing season here.  We now get hard freezes until June.  From my charts it started getting colder in 2005. We are just bull headed and don't want to change. My son started tomatoes in April this year instead of March.  We now have a sun room full of 8-10 inch tall tomato plants.  We have a long way to go until we can plant them.  Our ground is about 47 degrees right now.  We will get there soon enough.  Good luck and thank you for posting your nice greenhouse.
I have studied this for some time.  To me a chicken that eats eggs is missing something.  One thing I have noticed in most feed that it is 16% protein.  I think that is too low for my mixed flock of mutt birds.  This egg eating usually starts in the spring when food quality is at its lowest.  Corn that was dried by a grain drier is dead corn.  It was cooked to dry it and is no longer viable.  This happens in the fall.  Same thing with most commercially available grains.  They have been killed so the will not spoil.  By the time spring makes it here a 16% feed mix may only be 13-14%.  We started growing open pollinated corn many years ago for this reason.  We just pick the nicest ears and plant them in the spring.  Our corn is still alive until the chickens eat it.

Another thing I have noticed is when we start feeding greenchop or pasture the chickens.  The spring grass shoots are low in protein.  We have planted many dandelions and clovers in the chicken pasture so the protein is a little higher in the spring.  When we put chicken on pasture we make sure they have home mixed grains that have a 22% protein.

Calcium seems to be hard to get through to the chickens.  Plants typically don't give up or have much calcium.  We have been experimenting with cabbage and broccoli to see if there is a more nature way to get calcium to them without supplement.

These issues have been hard to deal with from a permaculture perspective for us.  We would like zero inputs from outside the homestead, but haven't figured it all out yet.  

1 month ago