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Stone Baerm Adventures

 
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So I'm visiting the Stone Baerm Homestead (https://permiemilkmaid.wixsite.com/my-site) to learn about permaculture and help out this summer. Today I got a tour of the gardens and the barn.

I'll have my own plot to experiment on, and I think I'm going to start with a hugel bed as it's something I've read about a lot but never put into practice. Later tonight I'm going to be introduced to night chores at 11 which is later than my usual bedtime, but I will adjust over time!

My first impressions are that just about everything is reused if possible - wood, scrap metal, food scraps, it all gets reused. My first task helping with dinner was to dump the compost into the chicken coop. Man the chickens here are big.

I had a great massage from the massage chair here.

I've also already learned about the magic of hemp. Before petroleum was used for just about everything, hemp was used. Ropes, fabric, even parts in a car that would be fiberglass now were made from hemp at one point. Sometime in the 20th century it was made illegal so it wouldn't compete with oil, and it seems to have worked. Thankfully it is making a comeback! It's making me wonder about all sorts of things we did before oil was used for just about everything...I'm gonna be doing a lot of learning in this area I think.

Finally, the baby goats are very cute. Very inquisitive and sweet.

I'm hoping to post here daily, even if it's short. I'll be sure to take some photos to make this even more fun.

*Edit* Does anyone know the best place to post something like this? I know the boots at Wheaton Labs post in the Wheaton Labs forum but I couldn't find another place like it, so rural was the closest match. If someone knows a better place let me know or feel free to move it. Thank you!
 
pollinator
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Sounds very cool Cam. I checked out the homestead website and find myself impressed. I hope your adventures are enlightening, productive, and inspiring.
 
Cam Haslehurst
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Lew Johnson wrote:Sounds very cool Cam. I checked out the homestead website and find myself impressed. I hope your adventures are enlightening, productive, and inspiring.



Thanks Lew I know they will be!

Today started with 3 eggs for breakfast that were taken out of the barn last night, with some goat cheese curds melted on top. Good stuff!

The big task today was some sheet mulching of some grassy spots on the property. We put a layer of cardboard down, then rolled a bale of straw overtop to leave a layer on top. One of the bales was a little misshapen, so it was a workout to move and we had to use forks to spread it out. The other one rolled just fine and was much easier to work with. I put together a gif of the second sheet mulching we did.

Following that it was break time. I had some goat's milk yogurt with berries, oats, cinnamon and raw honey. It was another good meal. I also began watching Geoff Lawton's PDC videos on DVD. I've been zipping around from topic to topic when I'm learning about permaculture, but this will give me a very good base knowledge to go off later on!

More to come.
sheet-mulch.gif
[Thumbnail for sheet-mulch.gif]
goat-yogurt.jpg
[Thumbnail for goat-yogurt.jpg]
baby-goat.jpg
This is one of the babies (haven't learned all their names yet) roaming around while her mother was milked
This is one of the babies (haven't learned all their names yet) roaming around while her mother was milked
 
Lew Johnson
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Are the mulched spots going to become growing space for edibles?
 
Cam Haslehurst
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Lew Johnson wrote:Are the mulched spots going to become growing space for edibles?



I believe so. Last year they grew potatoes in one patch and they were very successful with no watering other than what the rain gave. The area in the gif is in the beginning stages of building soil as it's on bedrock.
 
Cam Haslehurst
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It was a quieter day today as it was drizzling just about all day.

We went through morning chores, where I tried to milk two goats, both with zero success. It's a bit of an interesting hand movement you need to actually get the milk out of the udder, and I haven't figured it out...yet.

Then we did a walk around my plot I have to work with, and went over sun/shade patterns throughout the area. We also found all the potential materials that could go in my planned hugelkultur bed. Lots of stuff to say the least. I put together a very rough diagram of what I'm thinking, and am open to suggestions or questions as this is all brand new to me.

The rest of the evening will be spent on reading, the PDC videos or practicing the movement to milk a goat.
Screenshot-2021-05-03-7.31.47-PM.png
Professional drawing of potential bed
Professional drawing of potential bed
 
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Hi, Cam

Thanks for sharing.  I added your thread to our Projects Forum as that seems the closest to what they do at Wheaton Labs.

I also added it to the Permaculture Forum since this is all about permaculture.

I know you will have a great experience there and learn a lot so please keep sharing!
 
Cam Haslehurst
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Anne Miller wrote:Hi, Cam

Thanks for sharing.  I added your thread to our Projects Forum as that seems the closest to what they do at Wheaton Labs.

I also added it to the Permaculture Forum since this is all about permaculture.

I know you will have a great experience there and learn a lot so please keep sharing!



Hi Anne,

Thank you very much I appreciate it! I certainly will keep on sharing. This is not only for permies to see what's happening here but also to show my family what I'm up to, as cell coverage here isn't good enough for calls and the internet usage is limited. Here is today's entry.

--------------- Goat Milking - Tutored by Daisy and Lucy ---------------

Today was another quiet day due to some on and off drizzling.

I milked two goats though! They were Daisy a boar cross, and Lucy, a pure Saanen. I got the equivalent of about a tablespoon out. So maybe saying I milked them is a bit of a stretch, but it's an improvement over yesterday! I just wasn't squeezing hard enough before. I will complete the milk a goat BB I just know it. Even if it is a ways away.

The other work today was clearing out the chicken coop. It's got quite a smell to it, pungent and sharp. I helped bring out several wheelbarrows of the hay/manure mix out to the edge of the property for the chickens to pick through again in the brighter light. While I was at it I got some pictures of the chickens and the goats. If you take a look at the last photo, you might notice some darker hay next to the fresher stuff. They have been putting the hay there for years now, and the slope of the land has actually changed because so much soil has built up. The driveway is wider than it once was. The power of compost!

IMG_20210504_172011_997.jpg
Baby goat checking out some empty feed bags
Baby goat checking out some empty feed bags
IMG_20210504_172247_568.jpg
Making sure the wheelbarrow is in tip-top shape (little blurry as I had to zoom, this little one still isn't used to me)
Making sure the wheelbarrow is in tip-top shape (little blurry as I had to zoom, this little one still isn't used to me)
IMG_20210504_163453_905_compress84.jpg
Chickens checking the piles again to see if they missed anything
Chickens checking the piles again to see if they missed anything
 
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I enjoyed reading your first post, Cam and will look forward to read more.  This certainly does sound like an adventure. Grandma Jones


 
Cam Haslehurst
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Mary Ann Jones wrote:I enjoyed reading your first post, Cam and will look forward to read more.  This certainly does sound like an adventure. Grandma Jones



Hey Grandma,

Welcome to Permies! I'll be posting everyday unless we lose internet or something like that. There is a lot of info on here so if you want some tips for growing good tomatoes this year I can find some neat threads for you to read through.

Good to hear from you!
 
Mary Ann Jones
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I would enjoy reading the tips on growing tomatoes. Cheers, Grandma
 
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Hey Cam
I love reading your posts!  Milking the goats sounds challenging but fun.  You'll get it.
You sound like you have found a place that you fit in really well.
Mom
 
Cam Haslehurst
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Mary Ann Jones wrote:I would enjoy reading the tips on growing tomatoes. Cheers, Grandma



Here you go! I did a quick search and found two threads you might like.

https://permies.com/t/156044/flavorful-Tomato

https://permies.com/t/153236/Instructions-growing-tomatoes

Lorianne Haslehurst wrote:
Hey Cam
I love reading your posts!  Milking the goats sounds challenging but fun.  You'll get it.
You sound like you have found a place that you fit in really well.
Mom



Hey Mom! It is a challenge but I'm getting a bit more out each time I do it. I forgot to include in yesterday's post, but orange peel and vinegar makes a fantastic cleaner. I feel like you've mentioned it before when you saw it in a magazine but we've never tried it. Kate says it has cleaned things that no other cleaners could have an effect on.

--------------- Fiddleheads and Feed ---------------

So today I came along for some errands. A first for me was some foraging we did, picking fiddleheads. There were far more there than we could hold in our bags, and in just a few days a new patch will be ready for a harvest. The ones we picked were close to a small river - close enough for the soil to be moist but not so close to be muddy or soaked through. The areas that got more sun were further along too.

Following that we did some running around, and we picked up a 1 ton bag of feed (that's 2000 lbs or 907 kg!). I liked watching the suspension on the pickup truck sink down as the bag was lowered into the back. No quick corners were taken and the speed limit was not exceeded with that giant bag in the back on the way home.

When we got home, I helped unload the feed bag. Now THAT was a workout. I was thinking I'd do some digging on the hugel bed but after emptying the feed I changed my mind.

The rest of the day has been relaxed. I had a couple big helpings of dinner, we watched a movie, and now we're having tea while watching the news. Looks like I may be starting digging on the hugel bed tomorrow.
fiddlehead.jpg
There were too many of these to pick
There were too many of these to pick
bagged-up.jpg
Good little collection
Good little collection
soaking.jpg
Soaking to clean up, then boil to remove the tannins
Soaking to clean up, then boil to remove the tannins
bag-of-feed.jpg
The metal bucket and the front of the truck give perspective on how big this bag of feed is
The metal bucket and the front of the truck give perspective on how big this bag of feed is
little-dusty.jpg
Post-feed bag emptying
Post-feed bag emptying
 
Cam Haslehurst
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Lots of digging today. I started on my two 3' X 10' hugel beds, and I made good progress. Dug about a foot down in each, then put a 6" or so layer of horse manure down. More details at this link.

Tomorrow I might make some more progress and I may do some clearing out of the chicken coop. We might be working on building a new fence around the garden too.
cat-grass.jpg
One of the farm cats in the grass
One of the farm cats in the grass
trillium.jpg
This is Ontario's official flower in bloom
This is Ontario's official flower in bloom
IMG_20210506_175048_899.jpg
Where I got to today on the beds
Where I got to today on the beds
 
pollinator
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Hey Cam!
This looks like it will be a wonderful learning experience for you. Enjoy!
Cheers,  David
 
Cam Haslehurst
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David Baillie wrote:Hey Cam!
This looks like it will be a wonderful learning experience for you. Enjoy!
Cheers,  David



Hey David,

Good to hear from you! Hope all is well at your place and the building is still going well.
 
David Baillie
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Yup still going. The latest Covid lockdown has messed up the schedule with my partner and I having to juggle at home learning for the girls but life goes on. Feel free to drop me a line or two through here. I've more or less stopped contributing on the other sites...
Cheers,  David
 
Cam Haslehurst
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David Baillie wrote:Yup still going. The latest Covid lockdown has messed up the schedule with my partner and I having to juggle at home learning for the girls but life goes on. Feel free to drop me a line or two through here. I've more or less stopped contributing on the other sites...
Cheers,  David



Busy busy. Sure will do, it's good to see how things are going at your place. I know you're full of good advice for solar stuff when I do eventually get into that. I am putting most of my energy into this place too, as I think it's a good cause and they seem to like me so far lol. All the best!
 
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I'm curious about the fiddleheads.  Did you have them for supper? I have only tried them once with a bit of lemon juice and butter.  Did you enjoy them?
 
Cam Haslehurst
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Mary Ann Jones wrote:I'm curious about the fiddleheads.  Did you have them for supper? I have only tried them once with a bit of lemon juice and butter.  Did you enjoy them?



We sure did. They're seasonal, and they are all over the place right now. We have them as a side and they're great with some salt and pepper on them too. I haven't tried it yet but apparently vinegar is good on them.

------------------

So we rebuilt fence today. The current fence around the garden is about 20 years old, and is badly in need of replacing. It is at the point that if one of the goats decide to push it, they will be able to knock it over. Before I arrived here some posts were put into the ground. We're on bedrock here by the house, so getting the posts far into the ground is impossible with what's available. Instead, there are wooden forms that we're filling with limecrete to serve as supports. The forms are made from scrap pressure treated wood.

Mixing that stuff up is a forearm workout. Start with 3 or 6 scoops of lime mix, then scoop sand and stir until you reach a consistency similar to cake icing. Where if you pull the trowel through the mix it will leave a lasting imprint that doesn't immediately sink back in. Then carry the bucket over to the form, pour it in as best you can, scrape out the rest, then put some rocks and scrap chunks of concrete to take up extra space and to provide support. Then repeat until the form is all filled up! We got one form filled up today. My wrists are a little sore, but otherwise it was just a good workout. Especially carrying the full buckets of damp sand - that'll keep me in shape.

In non-fence news, I am continually getting better at goat milking. My right hand is getting good, now my left hand just needs to be trained. I had some wine tonight made from graoes grown on the property and it was excellent. Nice and sweet.
morning-start.jpg
This was before the limecrete was mixed with one form complete
This was before the limecrete was mixed with one form complete
part-filled.jpg
Later on with 3 forms and 1st partially filled
Later on with 3 forms and 1st partially filled
20210507_215631.gif
Mixing. This is in real time I have very strong forearms
Mixing. This is in real time I have very strong forearms
bricked.jpg
We hired a professional brick layer to put the bricks down
We hired a professional brick layer to put the bricks down
covered.jpg
Covered up to cure in case we get rain
Covered up to cure in case we get rain
 
Lorianne Haslehurst
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Holy cow Cam.  You are going to look like Popeye when you get home. I remember seeing those trees when we dropped you off.  That fence is going to be nice and solid!
 
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I'm having a bit of difficulty figuring out how to reply to individual posts.  I was really interested in the fiddleheads but couldn't find a "reply" spot.  They look yummy!
 
Cam Haslehurst
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Lorianne Haslehurst wrote:I'm having a bit of difficulty figuring out how to reply to individual posts.  I was really interested in the fiddleheads but couldn't find a "reply" spot.  They look yummy!



They were very good! I'm guessing there's some up at the cottage if you guys are up there anytime soon. Or even on the trails around the house.

If you want to put my post in yours like I just did, just click the "Quote" button on any of my posts. It'll be on the right edge of the post with the +1 button, the -1 button and some other ones. Once you click it it'll open up a draft with my quote already there, then just type what you want to respond underneath.

Once you're in and typing you can click the Preview button to see if it all worked or not. I'll put pics in this post.

----------------

So I did work on the hugels today. Mike Barkley inspired me to give the two beds names, so I did. They are named Hugh and Gill.

We also did more work on the fence! More mixing, more bucket carrying, more rock dropping. And one more post is now complete. It is approved by one of the farm cats as you can see in the attached gif.

I think I am going to sleep in the RV tonight to shake things up a bit.

Screenshot-2021-05-08-10.35.00-PM.png
Quote button
Quote button
Screenshot-2021-05-08-10.36.56-PM.png
Preview button
Preview button
post-two.gif
Kitty approved fence work
Kitty approved fence work
 
Lorianne Haslehurst
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Cam Haslehurst wrote:

Lorianne Haslehurst wrote:I'm having a bit of difficulty figuring out how to reply to individual posts.  I was really interested in the fiddleheads but couldn't find a "reply" spot.  They look yummy!



They were very good! I'm guessing there's some up at the cottage if you guys are up there anytime soon. Or even on the trails around the house.

If you want to put my post in yours like I just did, just click the "Quote" button on any of my posts. It'll be on the right edge of the post with the +1 button, the -1 button and some other ones. Once you click it it'll open up a draft with my quote already there, then just type what you want to respond underneath.

Once you're in and typing you can click the Preview button to see if it all worked or not. I'll put pics in this post.

Hi Cam,
I see what you mean about the "quote" button.  We will look for the fiddle heads.  I think they look like something I'd like to eat.

----------------

So I did work on the hugels today. Mike Barkley inspired me to give the two beds names, so I did. They are named Hugh and Gill.

We also did more work on the fence! More mixing, more bucket carrying, more rock dropping. And one more post is now complete. It is approved by one of the farm cats as you can see in the attached gif.

I think I am going to sleep in the RV tonight to shake things up a bit.

 
Cam Haslehurst
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Quick post today as I am very tired. We did some more fence building! And I added more large-ish pieces of wood to my hugel bed. I chose a bunch of different species and different stages of decomposition to get as much diversoty in there as I could. I'll put photos tomorrow night.
 
Cam Haslehurst
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Another mostly quiet day today as it was pouring rain on and off allll day. I got some cute pictures though. I forgot to post yesterday, but it was another quiet rainy day anyways. I did some scything and sickling (may or may not be real words), details at this link.

I also added a layer of straw on top of the wood in the hugel bed. This is so when I put ash and coffee grounds on they don't just fall through the cracks in between the wood.
Enjoy the photos!
IMG_20210511_103649_412.jpg
[Thumbnail for IMG_20210511_103649_412.jpg]
IMG_20210508_180423_700.jpg
Looking very majestic
Looking very majestic
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