Tuesday, January 29, 2013

An Old Tractor and a New Freezer

Droughts, floods, typhoons, hurricanes, and other forms of extreme weather have devastated crops since the beginning of time. Weather has always been a significant factor in food shortages and higher prices for everything from wheat and rice to fruits and vegetables to meat and poultry. Add the high price of fuel and transportation, and your family is now paying a lot more for food than you ever have before.

So how can you save money and eat healthy? Buy an old garden tractor and a new freezer! Do a search on Craigslist or your weekly swap and sell rag and your sure to find an old Cub Cadet, Wheel Horse, Bolens, Sears Suburban, or other pre-1980 garden tractor for less than $500. These old garden tractors were meant to really work, being made of steel and cast iron. Their simple design and dependability give them much more value than their higher horse power, stamped steel, disposable current lawn/garden tractor cousins being produced today.

Once you find that old garden tractor, do some web searches for a chest freezer. Depending on your needs, you could find a 10 cubic foot chest freezer for also less than $500. These energy efficient freezers are much more economical than an older freezer saving you money in electric costs.

So for less than $1,000, you can be on your way to food security and peace of mind knowing where your food came from. This one time cost can easily be made up within one year with the savings from your weekly or daily grocery store trips, including fuel costs.

There's a movement back to the land and gardening. Get your old garden tractor and a new freezer and join us!

Saturday, April 21, 2012

POR-15 Deck Paint

Last night I did the first coat of POR-15 on my 42" rear discharge deck. I used their silver color because it is the only one with a body filler mixed in with the paint. This deck has some good pitting here and there, so I thought the body filler was the best option. I will do another coat later today.

I will see how things look after the second coat. I may decide to order some of their semi gloss black if the surface is not smooth enough. I will post an update hopefully later today.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Restoring The Mowing Deck

Getting ready for this summer by restoring the underside of the rear discharge mowing deck. I will sand all of the rust off with my grinder with 60 grit paper. Once it's all clean, I will paint it with POR-15 that will fill in any of the pitting and make it come out nice and smooth.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Added another Wheel Horse to the herd

Two weeks ago I purchased this 1977 Wheel Horse C-120 8 speed with a mowing deck for just $180. As you can see, I had to rescue it from a long snowy winter. This is all original and all there - so it will be completely restored. Stay tuned...

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Raised Garden Beds 2011

Click picture to enlarge

Well some of you know that I decided to build some raised garden beds this year. Why? Simple. In Maine the growing season is short, and the raised beds allow me to start the season earlier and extended the season into late fall. With raised beds, the soil warms much faster than the ground allowing me to plant at least 3 weeks earlier. I can also extend my growing season by building hoops for some of the beds that will allow me to grow some more cold weather crops even past the first frost in November.

What I also like about these raised beds is how I control the soil and conditions. I layered the soil materials; first with hot fresh horse manure, second with 2 year old composted cow manure, and finally with fresh finished compost. I could actually feel the heat coming off these beds with my hands! Since no feet or tractor tires will ever touch the soil, it will never get compacted and stay very porous which will help retain moisture even through the hottest dry spells.

I built a total of 6 4' x 12' raised beds out of 2" x 12" hemlock, filled with a lot of resin to help slow the rotting process. By the way, never use pressure treated wood as the chemicals will leach into the ground and ultimately into your food.

Below is a picture of a raised bed that is full of potatoes!

Click picture to enlarge

More pictures to follow in future Raised Garden Bed updates...

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Chicken Coop Update

The "Ladies" have their new home. The coop has been painted and the 5 chickens have settled right in. They climb the ramp each night around 8pm and start to roost and come out about 530am each morning like clockwork. My two daughters joked with me the other night that they feel replaced by the "Ladies."

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Horses Haul Horse Manure 2011

Today was day one of the weekend horse manure haul from the farm behind me. Above is a picture of the 1977 Wheel Horse C-120 with the new Ark Loader along with the 1963 Wheel Horse 753 who had all the back and forth duties from garden to manure pile. That little 753 has so much power for such a small tractor!

Today I was only able to do about 8 loads of manure since I had to take my youngest daughter to an audition in Portland. Tomorrow will be a full day of hauling to all 3 gardens and of course the tilling. I will actually till each garden a minimum of three times due to the straw content of the manure so it really breaks down before planting time. Click on the pictures for a better view.