Monday, July 14, 2014

Container update - moving dirt and painting. Pig update - farrowing pen

We started our weekend this past Friday by celebrating the boys birthday.  They're 34, and definitely not boys, but it is a term of endearment for the twins.  Besides, it's been awhile since any of us has been 34, so they are the youngest of our crowd. I tried baking them their favorite crunch cake.  I bombed apparently, it was nothing like their mother used to make them.  I hunted high and low for a recipe, found one that had 5 stars, etc.  It tasted really good, but my recipe called for coconut, theirs would have had pecans.  Anyone know of a recipe for crunch cake that includes pecans?

The Moose and I got an early start Saturday morning.  I laid down some mulch around the coop area, since it's rained so much lately, it was really wet.  So on went another layer.  Of course the girls had to get in and help scratch it all into place.  The Moose fed the pigs, which were very hungry and from the sound of it, hadn't been fed in a month of Sundays!  Then it was off to the container.

We had about 10 loads of dirt brought in and dumped next to the container. We are finally at a stage to finish getting it buried in.  The Moose spent the better part of the day, moving dirt into place. The solar panel frame is just about done, and the welding to the container should begin (as long as it doesn't rain AGAIN), this next weekend.  Miss Brenda and I finished painting the inside ceiling.  Painting above your head is a pain.  I got more paint on me than the ceiling!

The Moose has already laid down tile in the cooler floor and we just have some painting to do on the inside of it as well which shouldn't take too long.  Once that's done, I'll introduce you to a really "cool" way to refrigerate a space that won't cost an arm and a leg, and doesn't need 208v electricity which will be nearly impossible in a crap hits the fan scenario.  110v will work with our solar panel system.

Then it's on to setting up the control board for the solar panels, battery pack and shelving for foodstuff inventory.  It's been a year in the making on this project, but it's finally coming into the home stretch.

We built a farrowing pen for our gilt that I'm guessing is ready in the next month or so.  We moved her and the two others we think are also in the family way in an area just for them, so we can make sure they get enough to eat and get acclimated to a new space.  The males have been permanently moved to a "boys only" area.  One item that we've failed getting a handle on is controlling which gilt is bred when we want her to be. It's just been willy-nilly and we may have more than we actually wanted bred.  Now that the boys are gone, we'll be able to watch them closer and develop a plan for further breeding and/or the freezer.

If you get a chance swing on over to The Small Hold site.  The last few articles are about a term he's coined; "sustainers", and most recently an article that gives thought to how we're going to feed our livestock when the feed store is closed. We have quite a bit of space around our property that we can use as grazing land, especially for pigs, considering they thrive in our area.  We just need to come up with a way to move and contain them in a specific area.

No bobcat sightings this weekend.  We hope he's off watching someone else's livestock.


  1. So glad your container project is finally on the home stretch....Such a feeling of accomplishment! I am excited to see your little piggies....we won't breed ours till next spring...we had a really harsh winter here last year and we just don't want to raise pigs through that...your winters are much milder I am sure...I love hearing about your progress...keep on, keeping on!

    1. I don't blame you for waiting to have little piggies. We have very mild winters, and I'm actually worried about the excessive heat this time of year. How do I keep Mom cool when she's kept in a farrowing pen without a wallow? Her space is shaded and well ventilated, but nothing seems to beat the wallow.

  2. Sounds like you are really making some progress. What wattage are your panels?

    1. 1600 watts, I'll be sure to include as much info as I can when we finally get them up, along with photos.

  3. Izzy,

    The container sounds like it's almost where you want it to be. Painting above ones head is such a royal pain in the butt.
    I can't wait to see your final project with the solar panels.
    Stay cool and enjoy your accomplishments.


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