Best Chipper Shredder for the Homestead 2018

A Chipper / Shredder can be an invaluable asset on a small homestead.  Not only does it help you clear unwanted brush and yard waste, it lets you do so in a way that produces mulch and compost.  Up to this point we’ve used ours mostly to create mulch for our paths, our firewood area, and a couple of recreational areas.  But we’re looking forward to using the shredder to produce finely chopped carbon for our composting.  Chipping won’t really produce the type of material you need.  But the chipper breaks wood, bark, and leaves down to small enough pieces to get good surface contact with the greens in your compost piles.  It’s a win / win / win. After

We have FUNGI!

Yes, yes, I know I harvested this one early.  What can I say, I got excited.  This is the first shitake that has fruited on the logs I inoculated last December.  I’ve had plenty of fruitings on pre-inoculated logs, but not on logs I inoculated myself. First, that’s a really quick fruiting, so things seem to be going well.  I was a bit concerned, as there have been some false turkey tail ( or some kind of shelf mushroom anyway) growing on my new logs, and I was worried they would take over the whole logs before the shitake had established.  But it looks like I was worried for nothing, because the shitakes are kicking butt and taking names.  Excellent!

Today’s Harvest (God is Good)

Today was a good day.  The harvest is starting to come in.  We’ve been able to harvest a couple of cucumbers and peppers here and there, and some rhubarb throughout the Spring and Summer.  But the pace is picking up.  Tonight we harvested our white and yellow onions, and a good number of cucumbers and zucchini.  In the next few days we’ll have to harvest rhubarb, green beans, green peppers, cherry tomatoes, more cucumbers and zucchini, more blueberries, and some of our late-bearing blackberries.  Yesterday we harvested about 25 lbs of food in all, and we have probably another 35-40 lbs to bring in over the course of the next week.  So, we’ll need to get busy canning, blanching, freezing,

Deer B Gone

The deer and rabbits are playing havoc with my perennials and fruit trees.  They’ve chewed the branch tips off of my apple tree, decimated my azaleas, and are generally ticking me off.  And since I’m limited by both geography and the calendar on the, um, methods I can employ to combat these fuzzy marauders, I have to resort to less-than-lethal deterrents. So off to the big-box hardware store I go, only to discover that commercial repellents cost about $27 per gallon!  Wow, there must be some potent ingredients to justify that price.  I must learn more.  What are the active ingredients; let’s see. Hmmm, the first one is putrescent egg solids.  Wait, I’m paying $27/gallon for rotten eggs?!?  Maybe there’s

Inoculating Shitake Mushroom Logs

Today we’ll walk through the process of inoculating oak logs with Shitake mushroom logs.  Using this method you can grow mushrooms for your own use, for sharing with friends and family, or for selling to CSA, farmers’ markets, or to restaurant customers.  With just $30 of commercial spawn and a few inexpensive tools, you can be harvesting your own mushrooms in just a few short months.

October Update

Wow, it’s been awhile since I’ve posted.  No, we’re not closing up shop.  Just running into the same thing we run into every September/October.  This is our BUSY season.  This time of year we’re busy closing up the garden, hunting, finishing up year-end lawn work, etc.  And this year has been even more hectic than most due to the Mother Earth News Fair, some issues we had with some trees (more on that later), and the fact that we’re still trying to get our home ready for sale. Anyway, we do have some videos almost ready to post; our first experiment in making mead, one on the “tree challenge” I mentioned earlier, and a few others we have up our

A Productive Day

While the girls are off visiting family, I’m getting some work done.  Yesterday I changed the thermostat and bypass hose on the truck, did the yard work, weeded the garden, and maybe most importantly, got the first real harvest (aside from an earlier bean pick) from the garden.  Not too shabby for a day’s work.

And so it Begins

And so it begins! My lovely wife, Mrs. SSP, started the canning season tonight with green beans. Way to go babe! Lots of shows coming up: EDC update Putting the greenhouse together Refurbing a 1970 USMC jerry can Garden updates and much, much more I have about a dozen videos in my head, and in various levels of completion. Stay tuned!