Tag Archives: homemade

Handmade Home Project

north east house view

click to zoom in

Grandson’s handmade house project is off and running again this year after an infusion of cash received from his income tax refund check. Grandson’s house project is a multi-year project, but, in the end he will not have a 30 year home bank loan to deal with. This project is being bought and paid for as cash and time allows.

The plan. My original plan called for the concrete slab to be 51 feet 2 inches by 30 feet 2 inches. As with many concrete form-up jobs, things did not go by the original plan. The slab was actually closed to 50 foot 9 inches on one side and 50 foot 7 inches on the other. What the heck, what’s 5 or 7 inches one way or the other. Grin… to late to be overly concerned the concrete is poured and cured.

Concrete slab was poured and red iron steel frame up work was accomplished last summer(2016). Wall height is 10 feet from floor to the bottom of the roof sheeting with a 4 in 12 roof pitch. This year(2017) Wall sheeting, roof sheet, trim, windows and outside doors will be in place in another weekend or maybe two weekends.

southwest view of house Once dried in, grandson can work in a dry environment and begin interior framing of room walls and doors. Installing electrical wiring, plumbing for bathroom, washroom and kitchen.

Note: Carport project is on hold until son-n-law and grandson complete drying in the house project.

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Fall Gardens

The official start of summer is still 9 day away, however if you plan to plant a Fall garden, now is the time to select your Fall garden plot and ready it for planting. It is also near the time to plant your seed to establish seedling transplants.

New Fall garden site selection.
The major consideration for garden placement is sunlight. All vegetables require some sunlight; the most popular vegetables require full sun. “Full” sun means at least 8 hours of intense, direct exposure. If such exposure is not received by crops such as tomatoes, peppers and squash (vegetables that contain seed), the plants grow spindly, they have weak stems, drop blooms and are generally nonproductive. Shade in the afternoon (after 3 p.m.) is wonderful; shade in the morning is acceptable. There are vegetables which produce passably in the shade. Generally, those crops such as greens, broccoli, cauliflower, root crops (carrots, turnips) which do not produce a fruit with seed will yield sparingly in semi- shaded areas but even these crops will do better in a full sun condition. Crops such as tomatoes, peppers, squash, beans and cucumbers may not produce anything if grown in the shade; plants will grow tall and spindly. The production potential of the garden’s most popular vegetables depends solely on the amount of direct sunlight they receive.

Turf grass MUST be removed. Don’t think that you can dig or till this existing grass into the garden soil and get rid of it. Even a well-tilled, pulverized garden soil will contain enough bermuda grass sprigs to cause troubles for years to come. New garden areas are doomed before they begin if all bermuda and other lawn grass is not completely removed BEFORE tillage begins. If a raised garden is being considered, sod should be removed BEFORE additional soil is put into the prepared frame.

Chemicals applied to the grass to kill it rather than pulling it out. There are several brand names which contain the weed and grass killer glyphosate. These include Roundup and Kleenup check ingredients on label for the term “glyphosate” and follow label instructions for application rate.

Quick (30-60 days) maturing vegetables are: beets (1 1/2 feet) FT; bush beans (1 1/2 feet) FS; leaf lettuce (1 foot) FT; mustard (1 1/2 feet) FT; radishes (1 1/2 feet) FT; spinach (1 foot) FT; summer squash (3 feet) FS; turnips (1 1/2 feet) FT; and turnip greens (1 1/2 feet) FT.

Moderate (60-80 days) maturing vegetables are: broccoli (3 feet) FT; Chinese cabbage (1 1/2 feet) FT; carrots (1 foot) FT; cucumbers (1 foot) FS; corn (6 feet) FS; green onions (1 1/2 feet) FT; kohlrabi (1 1/2 feet) FT; lima bush beans (1 1/2 feet) FS; okra (6 feet) FS; parsley (1 1/2 feet) FT; peppers (3 feet) FS; and cherry tomatoes (4 feet) FS.

Slow (80 days or more) maturing vegetables are: Brussels sprouts (2 feet) FT; bulb onions (1 1/2 feet) FT; cabbage (1 1/2 feet) FT; cantaloupes (1 foot) FS; cauliflower (3 feet) FT; eggplant (3 feet) FS; garlic (1 foot) FT; Irish potatoes (2 feet) FS; pumpkins (2 feet) FS; sweet potatoes (2 feet) FS; tomatoes (4 feet) FS; watermelon (1 foot) FS; and winter squash (1 foot) FS.

Using your Spring and Summer garden site. Once the decision to have a fall garden has been reached, a gardener must take action drastic action. You must pull out some of those plants that have been nurtured from “babies” in the spring to monsters now. This takes courage and faith! It is recommend that all plants, weeds included, be removed except okra, cherry tomatoes and pole beans if the foliage is healthy. Large-fruited tomatoes may have some small ones still hanging on, but unless you have at least 20-25 good-sized fruit, pull them out, make green tomato relish or chow-chow. Pull the old plants up and discard them. Give them to the garbage man. Don’t try to compost insect and disease ridden plants.

The two charts below are for planting Fall crops in zone 7.
You will need to adjust your planting dates to suite the USDA zone you garden in.

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Little Garden Big Savings

A home gardener can do a lot to lessen their supermarket food bill. Whether it be using containers, hot beds, cold frames or green houses. Home gardeners can produce a lot of fast growing healthy herbs, root and green producing foods all Fall and most if not all Winter as well. hay cold frame

You can grow many crops in containers and cold frames such as lettuces, chard, radishes, turnips, beet roots. There are many cold loving plants that will serve your food needs. Do it, plant a few seeds, the only thing you have to loose is a few seeds in your experimental containers or cold frame gardens.

A few pots and a south facing window and your in the container gardening business. Almost all herbs and many green and root crops can be successfully grown in larger pots.

The only limit to what and how much you can container grow is your imagination and willingness to give it a try.

Waste Not – Want Not

Studies in the U.S.A. and the UK have found that the average family sends up to 1/3 (33 percent) of their food budget to the land fill needlessly. The main cause is people in general don’t understand what that little Best used by date stamped on food packages really means.

Best if used by date Does Not mean that the food has gone bad and is unsafe to eat after that little ‘Best used by date. What it does mean is the Length of time food retains most of its original taste and nutrition.

EXAMPLES OF SHELF LIFE:
Recent scientific studies on dehydrated food have shown that food stored properly can last for a much longer period of time than previously thought. This research determined the “life sustaining” shelf life to be the following:

Dry Food Item Shelf Life
Wheat, White Rice, and Corn 30 years or more
Pinto Beans, Apple Slices, Macaroni 30 years
Rolled Oats, and Potato Flakes 30 years
Powdered Milk 20 years

U.S. Army study. If a product is correctly processed, it should remain safe until opened or the seal is broken. The U.S. Army has found that canned meats, vegetables and jam were in “excellent states of preservation” after 46 years. However, long storage is not recommended. For high quality (versus safety), the broadest guideline given by the U.S.D.A. is to use high-acid canned food (fruits, tomatoes and pickled products) in 18 to 24 months, and low-acid (meats and vegetables) in two to five years.

It is important for you to keep food stored at as cool, dark as possible (below 75 degrees but not freezing). This is the best and most important thing individuals can do to keep their long term food viable. If done, your storage could last 20-30+ years, depending on the product and storage conditions.

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First Speeding Ticket??

This is just to good not to pass on.

1896 Arnold Benz Motor Carriage is largely held to be the very first car to receive a speeding ticket.

The 19th century was a tough place to have an automobile. The law at the time required drivers to maintain a speed of no more than 2 mph and be proceeded by someone walking in front of the vehicle waving a red flag. For reference, that’s a little quicker than the average speed of an ambling cow.

Exceeding the speed limit, traveling at an estimated 8 mph. To make maters worse, no one was running ahead, waving a red flag. He was convicted of speeding and made to pay a lofty fine of a shilling “plus costs.”

Car Port project(1)

Summer project: build a Car Port for daughter and family has begun.
1,225 pounds of assorted steel arrived on sight this afternoon.

Just so there are no misunderstandings. When I say build a car port, what I really mean is son-n-law and grandson will do the real work while I set in the shade, drink an adult beverage while I use a long pointed stick to get this thing standing, welded up and bolted to their existing concrete slab.

First wash the oil off of the square tubing. This tubing is made in Mexico and has a heavy coat of protective oil that must be removed before the steel can be prime painted using a red oxide steel primer.

The cut up list has been developed. Steel will be cut to length, purling brackets and base mount plates used to bolt the up-right poles to an existing concert slab will be welded in place. Primed and painted before being installed.

The car port will be a flat top 20 foot by 24 foot structure 8 feet tall. Ample room for 2 full size cars or pick-up trucks to park.

Cut-up List
7 – bars – 8 inch C-purling 25 foot long
7 – 23 foot 10 inches(roof and frame purling)

4 – bars – 8 inch C-purling 20 foot long(roof and frame purling)

3 – bars – 3X3X14ga square tubing 24 foot long
9 – 8 foot long (up-right poles)

2 – bars – 1-1/2X1-1/2X1/8 inch Angle Iron 20 foot long
8 – 1 foot long(corner ties)
14 – 2 1/2 inches long(purling supports)

1 – bar – 2X3X3/16 inch Angle iron 20 foot long
18 – 3 inches long(up-right pole bolt plates)

1 – bar – 1-1/2X1/8 inch flat 20 foot long
20 – 3 inches long(reinforcement weld on purling ties)

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Purple Martins Scouts Checked Out My…

Purple Martin scout birds were seen checking out my house I set up last spring. However the Sparrows have been trying to move in and they are fighting the Martin scout birds away from the house.

In this area we have 3 or 4 different types of Sparrows, but the most aggressive is the common English house Sparrow.

The English house sparrow is native to most of Europe and the Mediterranean region. In North America it is considered a non-native invasive pest and is not protected under U.S. native song bird laws. It has been characterized as a pest, and poses a threat to native birds. It will eat almost any seeds, but where it has a choice, it prefers oats and wheat.
In my case they raid grain in chicken feeders and scratch placed on the ground to feed my flock of chickens.

I remove their nesting materials from my Martin house daily and given the opportunity I dispatch them with my pellet rifle. However this has not deterred them from continuing to attempt to nest in my Martin house.

In an effort to remove them form the area around the house I am building Sparrow traps. The first trap is nearly completed. It is constructed out of 1/2 X 1 inch welded wire and it is 18 inches wide, 21 inches long and 8 inches tall with 2 entry funnels. With luck I will have it in place and baited before noon today.
Total cost for constructing 2 traps will be around $20.00 or maybe $22.00 US dollars.
** Construction Note: Trap size was based on available wire size. Constructing 2 traps from one 30 X 120 inch roll of wire.

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Porch Swing and Old Lady’s

To good not to pass on..

Defense Attorney: Will you please state your age?

Little Old Lady: I am 8o years old.

Defense Attorney: Will you tell us, in your own words, what happened the night of April 1st?

Little Old Lady: There I was, sitting there in my swing on my front porch on a warm spring evening when a young man comes creeping up on the porch and sat down beside me.

Defense Attorney: Did you know him?

Little Old Lady: No, but he sure was friendly.

Defense Attorney: What happened after he sat down?

Little Old Lady: He started to rub my thigh.

Defense Attorney: Did you stop him?

Little Old Lady: No, I didn’t stop him.

Defense Attorney: Why not?

Little Old Lady: It felt good. Nobody had done that since my Albert died some 15 years ago.

Defense Attorney: What happened next?

Little Old Lady: He began to rub my breasts.

Defense Attorney: Did you stop him then?

Little Old Lady: No, I did not stop him.

Defense Attorney: Why not?

Little Old Lady: His rubbing made me feel all alive and excited. I haven’t felt that good in years!

Defense Attorney: What happened next?

Little Old Lady: Well, by then, I was feeling really “spicy” that I just laid down and told him “Take me, young man. Take me!”

Defense Attorney: Did he take you?

Little Old Lady: No! He just yelled, “April Fools!” And that’s when I shot him.

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Mama And Doctors

Eat Your Vegetables – Mama Said and Mama was right ‘again’.

Some vegetables, flavors intensify as the plant matures, which is why the so called baby versions have a wide taste appeal with just as many health benefits.
Experiment with baby artichokes, beans, beets, cucumbers(2-4 inches long), okra(small is better), peppers, turnips and squashes(4-5 inches long) and carrots (the ones sold in bunches, with greens still attached not those sold in plastic bags, which are simply regular carrots, trimmed down.

You can find the babies at larger supermarkets, specialty grocers, and farmers’ markets such as younger brussels sprouts, can even be bought frozen. Not only do many people find baby vegetables more flavorful and less bitter, but they prefer the texture, too. Young vegetables are tender and require less cooking time.

Brussels sprout salad:
Slice vert thin, add a small amount of vinegarette dressing, toss well and let set for 20-30 minutes. Toss again to coat sprouts with dressing and add a few roasted pine nuts just before serving.

Oil them up judiciously using fats especially heart healthy ones like olive oil can go far in helping you love your veggies. When fat binds with seasonings and spices, it can transform vegetables from a duty diet item to something downright yummy. The link between vegetable avoidance and certain cancers is strong enough to justify a few oil added calories.

Raw veggies probably aren’t the first thing you crave when a snack attack strikes, but you’ll be much more tempted to eat them when they’re dunked in hummus, low fat dip, or your favorite salad dressing. Try munching at work, in front of the TV or when surfing the internet. Snacking on veggies away from the dinner table makes eating them feel like less of a health chore.

The poor lonely onion family, which includes leeks, shallots, and garlic, is rich in compounds suspected to fight cancer, says nutritionist Valerie Green, MPH. But for onion haters, the sharp flavors and strong smells can be almost nauseating. Try slow roasting plants in the onion family, which brings out the sweetness and cuts the sharpness. Brush leeks, shallots, garlic or thick sliced onions with a little olive oil(or ‘real’ butter) wrap in foil packets, and toss on the grill to mild down take the sting.

Tomato’s little secret is making sure you buy those that are vine ripened which eliminates almost all the bitter flavors, says Autar Mattoo, PhD, a molecular biologist with the USDA.

Over mature eggplants are bitter, but the size of this fiber and potassium packed vegetable isn’t your best clue. If your thumb leaves an indent that doesn’t bounce back, the eggplant will be spongy, tough, and bad tasting, even if it’s a little one. To further improve taste, check out its “belly button” at the blossom end, eggplants have either an oval or round dimple. Buy only the ovals.

To reduce eggplant’s bitter tendencies even more, after you slice it, sprinkle it with salt, then wait about half hour, rinse, pat dry and proceed with your recipe. Salt draws out water which contains the bitter tasting compounds.
Eggplants are worth the trouble. The insides of these veggies are high in polyphenols the same chemicals that make apples so good for you.

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WWII Victory Garden Planting List – Heirlooms

Today,my friends I beg your pardon, but I’d like to speak of my Victory Garden.
With a hoe for a sword and citronella for armor, I ventured forth and became a farmer …
Ogden Nash 1943

Smithsonian Institution
WWII-era vegetables Victory Garden
The vegetables planted in the Smithsonian Institution’s recreated
Victory Garden were commonly grown during World War II and can
still be found through seed * catalogues and nurseries.

From a tiny seed I will feed my family. (unknown)

Spring Garden
* Carrot
Amarillo
St. Valery
* Lettuce
Bronze Arrow
Forellenschuluss
Black-Seeded Simpson
Tennis Ball
* Kale
Red Russian
Early Curled Siberian Kale
* Onion
Red Wethersfield
Siskiyou Sweet
* Peas
Alderman Tall Telephone
Corne De Belier
Green Arrow
* Radish
Red Meat
White Icicle

Summer Garden
* Basil
* Lettuce Leaf
Mrs. Burns Lemon
Beans, Bush
Black Pencil Podded
Beans, Pole
Kentucky Wonder (‘Old Homestead’)
Dow Purple Podded
* Beans, Lima
Red Calico
* Popcorn
Strawberry
* Corn, Sweet
Stowell’s Evergreen
Golden Bantam
Texas Honey June
* Cucumber
Lemon
Early Russian
Suyo Long
* Eggplant
Black Beauty
Rosa Bianca
Muskmelon
Hale’s Best
Pike
* Okra
Clemson Spineless
* Pepper
California Wonder (Sweet)
Marconi (Sweet)
Black Czech (Hot)
* Pumpkin
Rouge Vif D’Etampes
* Squash, Summer
Yellow Crookneck
Cocozelle Bush
* Squash, Winter
Blue Hubbard
* Tomato
Yellow Pear
Brandywine
Mortgage Lifter
Cherokee Purple
* Watermelon
Moon and Stars
White Wonder

Fall Garden
* Beets
Detroit Dark Red
Bull’s Blood
Chioggia
* Broccoli
Calabrese
* Cabbage
Early Jersey Wakefield
* Carrot
Amarillo
St. Valery
* Cauliflower
* Lettuce
Bronze Arrow
Forellenschuluss
Black-Seeded Simpson
Tennis Ball
Kohlrabi
Purple Vienna
* Parsley
Extra Curled Dwarf
* Parsnip
Sugar Hollow Crown
* Radish
Red Meat
White Icicle
* Spinach
Viroflay
Bloomsdale Long Standing
* Swiss Chard
Ruby
* Turnip
Purple-Top White Globe

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Going gluten free may raise your risk of type 2 diabetes

I have commented on this Gluten free Fad Trend in the past.

JAMA Internal Medicine research shows celiac disease rates have remained stable, while going gluten free is now trendier than ever.

People without celiac disease or a gluten intolerance may be unnecessarily raising their risk of type 2 diabetes by following the trendy diet. Dr. Geng Zong, a research fellow in the Department of Nutrition at Harvard University’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health in Boston, Massachusetts, said “Gluten-free foods often have less dietary fiber and other micronutrients, making them less nutritious and they also tend to cost more.”

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