I work in a big office environment, where people tap away feverishly at keyboards for 8.5 hrs a day. It’s not quite an information services company, but IT impacts everything we do, and there’s not a single department in our building that doesn’t have a wishlist full of menial, tiresome tasks that could be … Continue reading Automation comes to Bellfern Homestead
With a favorable forecast, a three day weekend, and hip-high grass in the pasture, it was time to make some hay. I got home from an 11 hour workday Thursday and busied myself peening the 85cm (33″+) scythe blade I’ve dubbed the haymaker. Peening is the process of hitting the very edge between a hammer … Continue reading Making Hay by Hand: Year 2
My previous batch of hay got spoiled by rains while still in the field, although it did get used as compost and mulch, so not it was not a total loss. Last week, with a clear forecast and some time off from the day job, I spent two mornings scythe cutting and a half hour … Continue reading Better weather for hay making and ultralight bales.
Right now (in late May) we have a dozen (small) bales of hay in the barn. And we did it all by hand. Every step, from scything to stacking, with no tractor power. Now, one might ask, “why?” And, “is it worth it? And, isn’t it a TON of work?” As for the why, the reasons are many. … Continue reading Handmade Hay
Back in the day, pigs used to be let loose in the nearby woods to forage and fend for themselves all year, then harvested in the fall/winter. They were referred to as “mortgage lifters” due to the low input to high output qualities. Our woods are far away and there’s a creek in there with … Continue reading Shoulder Season Hog Keeping