Thursday, April 26, 2012


Finally found a shed and was the first to respond to the ad on craigs list. The first step was cleaning up the area behind my shed to make room for the new "old" shed. We got some cinder blocks from my dads house and made a fire bit to burn up the old rotten lumber I had stored behind the shed.
Then I set those blocks to make a foundation for the new shed to sit on.
Me and a neighbor went to where the shed was, and took off the end walls and the roof so we could get it to fit on his trailer. And hauled it home.
Next step was to move the floor and walls into position. This was actually a lot easier than I thought it would be. Me and my son used some steel pipe borrowed from a neighbor to put under the skids and a couple boards to make a ramp up onto the leveled out spot.
Here it is sitting in its new home.
I need to patch a couple spots and get the walls & trusses back on. Then I got some galvanized steel at my dads house that we are going to use for a new roof.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Easter weekend work

Our new doe had a litter! Eight kits and all are doing well.

We had a fun and busy weekend. On Friday me and my son went out fishing for a couple hours in the morning. I was out fished by an 11 year old. He caught the only trout of the day. Saturday morning we left to go vist grandma. We stopped at our favorite place to eat when we go vist her. Then took a tour of Lincoln Caverns. When we got back to her house we took a short walk thru the woods and to an alpacca farm. We got an awesome Easter present from her, a pond kit. Sunday we went to Paps house loaded the truck with bricks for our patio and some cinder blocks to make a fire pit. The kids had a Easter egg hunt. Then we headed home.

On Monday we spent the morning working on the patio. Overall it turned out pretty good. I used a chunk of rubber roofing under the bricks to keep weeds from coming up thru the bricks.

Then we worked on the pond. It's not done yet, need to get some rocks to put around it to cover up the hose. It didn't take the robins long to find it. There were four that took a bath in it all ready.

The garden is starting to grow faster. The carrots are not up yet but the rutabagas and turnips are up. The plants we have under the grow lights inside are doing good. Should be able to put the broccoli plants outside to start hardening off next week.

We have a busy weekend planned this week. Friends coming down from New York for a visit. And its opening day for little league. Going to build a big fire pit and hope that its not to windy to use.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Pressure canner & planting

We got our pressure canner this past week, an All American.
We made a batch of beef stew yesterday. Seven quarts and five pints. I just had a pint of it for lunch and it turned out very good. Cant wait to try something else in it.

We have been busy getting the gardens ready. Got a new compost bin made. It will be used for yard/rabbit waste and then transferred into the other two bins when needed.

Our lettuce and radishes are doing good under the hoop we have set up. Planning on getting some more planted under here this week.

We got our eight pounds of seed potato's planted last week at the neighbors and helped him out with his garden.

Our carrots got planted this past Friday. We dug out trenches and filled them with our compost then raked the soil back over the trenches to make mounds. We got five different kinds planted. Hoping to use the pressure canner for some of these later this year.

Our new doe has been making a nest and has it full of fur. Hoping that later today she has a litter. We had to get a new buck last week. Ours got wry neck. The farmer said that there is not much to do for them when they get that but the meat is still safe to eat. So it being a meat rabbit and not a pet I decided to butcher him. Our new buck is crazy. He waits until the door to the cage opens and makes a run for it. He has gotten out twice so far.

I have been helping my neighbor re-roof his house in exchange for help building our new shed. We have come close to getting two off of craigslist for a bargin, but we we were not fast enough, both were gone before we got a chance to talk to the owners.

Lots to do this week before a small trip to visit some family for Easter.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Our weekend

We had a busy weekend and got to spend most of it outside in this beautiful weather we've been having.

Friday we made our weekly trip to the farmers market to buy our produce for the week. Spent some time in the yard & gardens working, cleaned up behind the shed and then built a fire and sat outside for the evening.

Saturday we had visitors and spent most of the day outside playing with the kids. Built a fire Saturday night and spent St Patricks day in style with some Irish car bombs & Guinness. I think my bar tender had a ulterior motive as she kept the drinks coming and then the talk turned to chickens and I mentioned we should maybe get some.

Sunday we took a trip to a local nursery to pick up a couple plants for the garden, baseball practice and then we hiked to the creek close to our house to try some fishing. I caught a nice sized rock bass on the first cast. Shortly after that my reel broke so we didn't get to do much fishing but it looks like a good spot and since it's close enough to walk to we should be able to get out and do some fishing this summer. The banks and trees are covered in plastic from the flood we had last year. If I see the property owner out sometime I'll ask if there is access other than walking down a steep hill that we could use if we clean up the area some.

Got a chance to talk to the neighbor who we are growing corn and potatoes with this year. We will be spreading compost in the field sometime later this week. We have onion sets and a few other things to plant this week.

Started working on a material list for the new shed, still not sure what will be happening with that project. Price is a big factor so we might go with a metal shed kit or enclosing the area with fencing and build a cover for the rabbit cages. Moving the rabbits out of the existing shed can't happen soon enough for me. Need the space they are taking up so I can start working on some projects.

The bar project is on hold once again. I do have the top of the bar now. So it will be a matter of finding time to start building. It's been so nice outside that when I get home from work and on weekends I try to spend as much time outside as possible.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Mead, from the winemaker's recipe handbook

THESE INGREDIENTS MAKE ONE GALLON OF WINE! It's easy to modify for larger batches, which we do after we've tried a batch once.

2 1/2 lbs honey
7 pts water
3tsp malic acid
1 1/2 tsp tartaric acid
1/4 tsp tannin
3/4 tsp energizer
1 campden tablet crushed
1 pkg wine yeast

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Bar update

I wanted to be done with clearing out the bar area of the basement by now,but things kept popping up that take priority over building a bar. Had to have some work done to my truck, birthday parties, family visits and running low on split fire wood. The firewood is now all split and stacked, and the next two weeks, for now anyway, seem to be not very busy for us. There's some rainy weather on the way, so that means I'll have time to get back to work in the basement. My goal is to have the bar side of the basement cleared out, the stuff put away, and to get started on framing the bar by Sunday. Wish me luck.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Spent Grain No-Knead Dough Recipe

(It only takes about 5 minutes to make the dough ahead of time)

6 cups All Purpose Flour
3 cups Spent Grains
1 1/2 tablespoons Yeast
1 1/2 tablespoons Kosher Salt
1 tablespoon Sugar
1/4 cup Oil (canola or olive) or butter or margarine
1 1/2 cup lukewarm, room temperature or cold liquid
(this can be water, wort, milk, beer, or a combination)

CAUTION: Start by adding 1 cup of liquid, then add a 1/2 cup and test the texture of the dough. It's better to add more water than to add more flour to absorb the liquid. Remember, the spent grain is going to be wet too.

Put all ingredients in a 6 quart bowl or dough bucket. Mix by hand or with a mixer.

Let the dough in the bucket sit on the counter for approximately two hours, until it has doubled in volume. Don't worry if you forget it overnight, as long as there are no eggs in it it's okay.

Once it has risen, put it in the fridge or a cooler overnight, or for at least 3 hours. If it's cold outside you can put it on the patio or porch in a cooler. You want it in 36 to 40 degree temps so it will get good and cold, and be easier to work.

You can keep this dough up to 5 days. After 5 days it will start to turn color a bit, but it's still okay up to 7 days. You can also freeze it.

When ready to use, take the dough out of the refrigerator and immediately shape into bread loaf, cinnamon rolls, pizza, or bread sticks. For all but pizza let the dough rise for 30 minutes, then stick into a hot oven (400 or 450 degree oven) to bake. Bread is approximately 30-40 minutes, cinnamon rolls 25-30, and bread sticks 20-30. Further notes about pizza coming soon.

Hope you enjoy! This recipe was from a local homebrew shop we frequent. Happy brewing and baking!