brian hanford

pollinator
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since Aug 18, 2015
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hugelkultur kids forest garden fungi bike pig
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Recent posts by brian hanford

I agree with many of the posters here. One thing I have found invaluable over the years is to have a simple view of the end goal. Just a general set of major items you want. Then start with what you need to know for each item.

When I started a 10 year plan for a major farmstead, I would need a few things to get started. I listed the tools and skills I would need. The animals and systems which I wanted. Then how I would get the experience to do the skills and goals I had. I spent 8 years just getting tools and experience. We started a garden, rasised chickens, ducks, guinea hens, and had mini horses. We got a sow and a boar, raising each animal type before moving to a different one. This gave us time to gain the wisdom that was not in the books. I knew I needed a tractor, truck or trailers to haul stuff around, and a shed full of tools. I made a list of all the large dollar amount items I needed. Then we waited and looked watching for deals, yard sales, scrap yards, Craigslist, we purchased several old David Bradley walking tractors. Rebuilt them and used them, finding implements for them.

Going this route we were able to have a plan on what we needed and how to get it. We started with trucks now I only use trailers, they are lower to the ground and can be towed by a variety of vehicles. And we use a explorer, van, and a ranger for towing, before we had a quad cab f350. Gas sucking, large hard to use when not hauling, but now I use the explorer to go to town. then pickup the trailer and get 2 ton of hay, run home drop the trailer and go pick the kids up. When I started I had ideas of what I needed and they changed. I just adjusted my 10 year plan to fit.

Keep it slow, one goal, one animal type, one tool, one skill at a time. Having the the plan and the idea of the destination, keeps you moving forward. Just don't think what you have now for a goal will be the same in 5 years. I had a 10 year idea but I had 6 month, one year, two year goals. They were always changing, adapting to new ideas or goals.

Listen to Paul Wheaton's podcasts there is lots of info and changes he had to make over the years be for Wheaton labs.

Brian
3HR
1 month ago
Sooooooooo, it's been awhile. I started a handyman venture, and subcontracted for internet install. Covid came and work went through the roof. Family member pasted away, well pump went out again, premi calf born, fire burned right down 75' from the house. Phone, power, internet, cell phones all down. So it has been one of those years. Now school is at home, no babysitter and a wild horse coming home soon. LIFE it never stops, still working away at all the goals. Garden turned out really well, huge pumpkins and a bumper tomato crop. Soon as we finish up a few things I will get some pics up.

We started rasing meat rabbits, and converted a old barn to use for it.
The fertility continues
Brian
3HR
1 month ago
We have had our compact 25hp tractor now for over a year. Moving dirt, hay, trailers, loading and unloading logs, butchering cows, snow, more snow, and getting work using the tractor. Are just a few of the necessary tasks we have used it for, my wife how was hesitant to get it. Now can't think of life without it. I have gotten work with the tractor to help pay for it, and it is invaluable with snow on our long drive way. One thing about the tractor vs other options is how versatile the tractor is and efficient. I have plowed with a truck, the tractor is better. Almost any task the tractor does, it is better than most other options.

With just a few implements I was able to take a job, cleaning up a really bad vinyard tear out. Holes every where, bits of fence and old irrigation pvc and poly. The 2 acres was a mess, 3 days and there is a good fence. All the garage cleaned up and the holes filled. Recontoured the area and cut the dry Creek bed in, to finish it off. Even with the 2 other people helping it would have been all summer to do it by hand.

I now have three snow plowing jobs all winter paying each time it snows. This all just goes to show it is how you use the tractor that matters the most. Many people go and finance a tractor, then use it a few times a year. This is a luxury, I chose a tractor that would fit my current and future needs. The long term planning also included ways to make money with the investment.

Really look at what you need now and 10 years from now. Then size what you need to fit, hire out or rent anything you only need for a day or two. My tractor is too small for some of my current needs, and too big for my long term needs. 5-10 years I could use a subcompact, right now a full size. The work just takes a little longer now. But it would be way over kill later to have the larger tractor. We also have more than one piece of land. The smaller tractor is easy to load and transport.

We are bartering to do work on several homesteads which don't have the money for a tractor. And I just rented my David Bradley out to condition and preparing pasture for seed. Having the right tools makes everything work better. I would love to have a bcs or grillo, but I wouldn't want to loan it out. The David Bradley is cheap, easy to fix, and gets the job done. We will be using the tractor and the David Bradley at the same time on one of those homesteads.

I love tractors, I am restoring a farmall cub. That is a luxury item which is still going to do work. My son is restoring a David Bradley which is a luxury as we have three. We have worked one of those hard, and I work my new Holland tractor the same. It's all in having fun while you work, and enjoying life. Tractors are just a part of ours.

Brian
3HR
1 month ago
Spring is here and the work continues, working on the garden and cross fence for pasture. Discing and reseeding one pasture, we have decided to remove a few trees. This will help to expand the garden area.

Brian
3HR
6 months ago
More work and a tractor, we have a bunch of enrichment for the garden.
9 months ago
Working on the barn again, pulled off the other side. And our barn like structure was really a compost pile.
9 months ago
Scrounge up some old stuff and we have a new light. The things that side track me while cleaning up old junk. only thing new I'm going to have to buy is the caps for the pipe.
9 months ago
The barrels setup in the basement for water as we were working on the well. Once the cellar is done they will be moved there and moved higher for better gravity feed. Also going to put a Schrader adapter on and use a bike pump, or our battery powered pump to pressurize the system. Which has worked well so far.

This system has been cheap and effective, worked great for our time without running water. We had all the 3/4 pipe from the basement.

Thanks
Brian
3HR
10 months ago
Fun times, well pump went out. Furnace stopped working, and the breaker box started arcing. Three bad well pumps later and 3 week's without water. The ponds worked great for flushing the toilet. New water storage in the basement 60g of fresh water. it's a good thing we always have back up plans, wasn't much disturbance other than showers. We already had backup heat, and a secondary water pump.


Brian
3HR
10 months ago