Saybian Morgan wrote:That's always the toss up, why does do it yourself rarely fit with the american way without big bucks to do all the work for you.
I dunno what it is about small scale commercial appliances that always seems to cost 1200-1800 dollars. I didn't want to preach about thresholds especially since we all come from different financial bracket's or better yet different tolerances for investing in ourselves. But that's really the issue, are you self honest enough to know your threshold when the juice of doing it yourself wear's off and you realize this is just hard bloody work and I your either still into it or you start to find loopholes to retire things to the backshelf and eventually to the dark alley's of craigslist. There's so much work involved that has nothing to do with your willingness to crank a handle, by the time you actualy have to crank the handle your at an 8 hour day. I've worked 16 hour days most of my life, and I can tell you i'm threw by the time the sausage is stuffed that I can't bother to twist it till the next morning.
In the grinding department I have an Omcan "american food equipment" FA22 it's a 1.5 horsepower grinder as I also do the dog's food and that means grinding bones. I supose if I didn't grind bones I could have spent half the money or got an attachment to a kitchen aid that would have eventualy broken the poor thing. It can run through about 80 pounds of meat and hour and run continously so it's really meant for big business, but i can't pay the butcher to 2x markup ground meat n bones just cuzz he has a tool that I don't n sit there paying him forever for raw food. With that aside i'd lock yourself into something electric and all stainless steel before anyone jumps into the forum to get you doing it manually.
I can do sausage stuffing with the machine, and that's what i been doing for the first 200 pounds of throughput and i'm already online looking for a dedicated sausage stuffer. I had no idea that once you grind meat and do all the mixings ground meat refuse's to be grabbed by the auger because air pressure back's up and the plunger refuse's to go down. NOT what I had in mind when i spent 1500 dollar, I thought it was the do all device of my dreams only to find out it does 1 thing well, try to grind apples and the only thing that comes out is juice.
Maybe you are the supra do it yourself engineer and you can bicycle the mofo out, but torque is hard to produce without wobble and with wobble comes failure's in the system. Bless the DIY'fer in all of us but you end up in prototype city for an indefinite duration. Just ask my portable rocket stove dehydrator that was suppose to take 3 days and ended up being 6 weeks. I'm bad with pulleys so I have a bias, just ask my compost sifter that throw's itself on the ground if I overload it.
So really so you don't get information overload you kind of have to give yourself a limitation, whether budget, time spent, or what will it take to overcome ones inability to persist. For some that may mean a motor, for other's it may mean more processing session's lower output to meet budget. So declare a limiting factor so we can get specific --> Id like to spend $$$$, I wouldn't like to spend $$$$ but I will if it's the most rational thing for my present and future self.
On the grain mill side of things, oh man I know the thread you linked all too well. I don't have any tolerance for plastic, and with that intolerance comes $$$$. But I can't stand "old school appearances with no value." Im not spending mega bux just to say somethings cast iron or looks like an heritage artisan show. I watched all the test I could find, decided against the conoiseur reviews that are quibbling about a micron of grain size results that require a $600 dollar price difference. I have my heart set on the motorized grainmaker after living the exhaustive process of manually rolling pasta, I can't in my right mind see myself hand grinding buckets of grain in a timely manor. It can be done, but I got better things to do like spend time on the forum's if this was the middle ages or I didn't live an overdrive simple life I'd have no problem with it. But I'm always wanting do things that burgeon on small scale commercial possibilities if I so choose so a few extra hundread dollar's to keep my initial investment in active use instead of sidelined makes all the difference. Fresh pasta is like another planet, fresh flour is supreme, I don't want to run a fridge 24/7 to make up for the fact we live without unnatural preservatives or we pretend were sustainable but we could never generate enough energy to store all of our self reliant items. So being able to whip up 5 pounds of flour on demand instead of having a grinding day once per month again has more to do with persisting with an item "our problem" than the item itself. I'm going to get old one day, and I don't want to give up these great moment's in life of love and care put into every drop we eat.
I like the people who make the grainmaker, they really ring true to when made in america meant something, and it's probably why if I'm spending extra on them it's better than saving a buck on plastic and it's not retarded like blowing cash on something italian because everyone says it's the best.
I'm a big stickler for alternative uses, so when i see but butter's flowing out of it I feel confidant it's a real appliance and not a 1 trick pony. It's not made to grind nut's but with a motor it's not going to bother me that it took slightly longer either. Everyones going to promote what they buy cuzz nobody want's to feel like an idiot, and everyone feels what they think is king. But coming from a family who consider's it a badge of pride to have no intrinsic skills and to aquire instead of create is the effigy of status, I've learnt the hard way as I move in the other direction. Tis never as peachy as you think, especially when doing things manually. hand mixing mountains of cold meat really takes it's toll on your hands but appliance guilt is what keeps me putting my hands back in instead of spending another 300 dollars on a mixer. But life goes slow and goes fast, and when it goes fast ideology's fall to the wayside, so if 300 bux keeps me mixing when i'm working fulltime instead of part time it's very cheap indeed.
I'm now probably going to spend the night going back n forth from video to article to video to see if manual sausage stuffing is viable for me. If I can't press tincures, honey, juices with it I'm gunna be pissed, and at the same time as I watch these people hand crank 1 sausage in 30 seconds then reload the canister every 5 sausages i start to realize 300 bux spent might get me nowhere. I'm dreading finding out the cost of an electric one as i'm plum sick of buying things, the hammer and pellet mill busted my credit card far into 2012.
I just wanted to credit you for some seriously sound advice! While in an ideal world, electricity wouldn't be required...power is, whether that's physical toils, mechanics, or...electricity. My hat is off to those individuals who live the dream of being off-grid and self-sustaining producers because that is quite an acomplishment, and a most noble endeavor. BUT, the reality is that until folks are willing to compromise/self-sacrifice their personal life enjoyments (or replace with farm chores) it's not attainable. It can be frustrating seeing the 'right' tools marketed at such exhorborant prices...but as has been identified in your post, I think you spoke truthfully...
My thought is to have (6) 1 acre paddocks with a couple pigs, a couple cows, 10 or 15 chickens, and a couple lambs all in at the same time in a single paddock and just rotate them from paddock to paddock every so often to feed. Is 1 acre enough space for that many animals? For how long? A week? a month?
Kathleen Sanderson wrote:
Gwen, I don't know if a scythe would work for what you are talking about. When I said you could get precise with a scythe, I meant like next to a fence or around trees, that kind of thing.