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Friday, June 26, 2015

Our Own TV Series!

The producers of Gold Rush interviewed us this morning.
I know, it's silly...but we did an interview this morning for it. A production company in London called RAW TV has interviewed our family to potentially be in a short tv series on living the self-sufficient lifestyle.

Apparently this is a popular thing across the pond right now? I guess you can say America is kind of waking up to the idea too. For several years now we've been trying to move farther away from the big city and closer to rural America.

We were tired of the crime and pollution...the 90 minute commute time to work (one way!)...and all the other joys that come with living in an overpopulated area. So we moved from Arizona to rural Idaho.

My children now ride their bikes on a private dirt road that has but one other house on it besides mine. We have enough land that we can grow as much food as we want and raise several animals. We currently have around 27 chickens (lost five last weekend to Lucky) and 5 pigs. We've planted six fruit trees and one of our apple trees has popped out three little baby apples (we're SO excited!).

Anyway, this film company thought this was all very interesting and of course my girls thought that having their own reality show would be a hoot. It would be nice to offer something to the American public that was a total polar shift from the Kardashian junk on the tube now.

So what do you think? Would you do a tv show if asked?

Let me know in the comment section...if there is anybody left out there.

OJD

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

5 Pigs Added for 4H Projects

Working on becoming friends first...
Now that the 32 chickens have room to roam, we've gone to the next level. We've added five pigs to our homestead to raise for 4H. We got them on Sunday (today is Tuesday) and we'll be raising them until the county fair in September.

At that time, the girls will show them to the best of their ability and if they do a good job, maybe even come home with some ribbons.

Wifey hanging with the boys
We're learning as we go and having tons of fun doing it. Idaho and the American Redoubt has been very good to us. We are so happy we moved here.

Lots of friendly people and wide open spaces to explore and enjoy.

I'll try to post a video of the day the pigs were brought over. I didn't have a trailer to load them into so the folks we bought them from were nice enough to deliver them.

They have even offered to take them to the fair for us. The girls are SO excited!



~OJD

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

All Are Gathered Now

Frosty pulling the Jeep home to Idaho.
After four months, I finally had enough cash to make the last run to Flagstaff and retrieve our last two cars. The Jeep Cherokee, which is our daily driver, was hauled back with the use of a U-Haul trailer. The old pickup truck, with it's oversize tires, was left behind becuase it would  not fit on any trailer that could be rented.

Thanks to my best friend, it was successfully driven 750 miles to our new home. Not without a few pains, of course. Needless to say, all that went wrong was a power steering line blowout. When we first discovered it we thought we had cracked the block. I checked the oil dipstick and noticed it was normal color.

If you crack an engine block, water seeps into the oil pan and turns the oil a milky white color. This was clearly not the case and so we pressed on...careful not to drive over 55mph just in case something else went wrong.

That made for a very long drive. What Google Maps says should have taken 11.5 hours took 17 hours total. We left Saturday at 0930 and arrived home around 0300 Sunday morning. I had a rental car on standby and my buddy drove it back to Flagstaff where his truck was waiting to return him to Phoenix.

It wasn't cheap but I finally have my cars in one place. The old Suburban that I bought back from the fire for $400 can finally be retired for emegencies. We nicknamed it Frosty because it melts in the heat (the house fire burned all the plastic on the outside, enough that the insurance company totaled it.) Once I fix my power steering, I'll drive the old truck daily to work and back. Wifey gets the comfy Jeep Cherokee for her daily driver.

In the back of the pickup was an additional bonus: all of my fencing supplies. I can now finish fencing in the garden, new chicken coop (still being built out of pallets) and have some left over materials for additional fenced areas if needed or wanted.

I just wish weekends were longer so I get do more of the stuff that I WANT to do.

~OJD


Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Care for Your Water Canal to Ease Flow

Tilled garden, starting to fence it in.
In my last post I mentioned that I bartered for a tiller. It has been of tremendous use around the homestead. Not only did I till up our new garden area but I was also able to till out the water canal by the street. This canal, as it was explained to me by a neighbor, is my responsibility to keep cleared out so that when adjoining farmers begin to flood irritate their crops and it comes flowing into my runoff canal, it doesn't back up into the street.

If it gets to the street because my canal is clogged with debris, the city comes out and shuts off the water...to EVERYONE. At least, that's what I was told. So I dutifully spent a few hours trenching out the canal to excellent condition. My only options were digging out by hand with a shovel or tilling it out with my new Husqvarna.

The tiller option was not necessarily less labor, as I thought it would be given it is powered by a motor, but served to be quite a struggle to hold in place as the front mount tines dug through years of overgrowth and uneven canal walls. By the time I was finished, however, the canal was equal distance from side to side and the same depth all the way down the canal. I was quite impressed. My shoulder and back muscles...not so much.

video


With that project complete, I've turned my focus back to our new garden. There are still fencing bales remaining so I began to put up a perimeter fence. I placed the t-posts ten feet apart which in retrospect seems to be too far apart. I unrolled the bale and hooked my new garden tractor up to it. With the aid of the tractor, I was able to pull the fencing taut and tie it with wire. Two loops around and twisted at the top, middle and bottom of each post held it good and tight.

My new garden tractor pulled the kids around the yard
I got as far as my supplies would allow and am now waiting for more posts to complete the project. About ten more posts should do it as I have ample fencing wire for this project. I'm now eyeballing the area adjacent to the garden for a possible goat pen.

Oh, and I bartered for the garden tractor. I traded to full-sized arcade games that we had in storage. The kids weren't too thrilled but, then again, they weren't the ones responsible for mowing three acres. The Craftsman riding mower is awesome. It's used and worn but I still love having it.

~OJD