Christopher Shepherd

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since Jan 30, 2019
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food preservation homestead ungarbage
My wife,son and I working on a little farm.
Ohio 5b6a
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Recent posts by Christopher Shepherd

Here in Ohio I have had 11-1/2 inches of rain in 3-1/2 weeks.  We had a strait line wind the other night that did this corn damage. My trees are not quite tall enough to slow the wind down yet.  I've been raising this line of corn for 13 years.  I think I may need to pick my seed from shorter stocks with more air roots with this kind of weather.  Its a good thing we harvest by hand.  I can't imagine what it would look like if I could have planted in April like we used to when I was a kid.  This was planted the last week of May in the mud.  We are getting asked by a few new market customers for more peppers and tomatoes because, their plants wilted from drowning.  Tough year here for sure.
1 day ago
Hi, I will be in Wyoming in a couple of weeks for a 2 week vacation.  I love Wyoming and vacation there whenever I can.  Where do you find sainfoin seed?  Is it common at the feed mills?  I think it would be a great addition to our green chop here in Ohio.
1 day ago
I seen this last fall on a couple chickens and turkeys.  We were over whelmed with rain.  We had penned them up using the deep litter method and got a lice infestation.  The meat was fine for us.  
4 weeks ago
Hi hunter. I raise duckweed in kiddy pools that were get given to us.  I keep 2 minnows in each pool for mosquito control.  If it is in full sun all day it will get to hot here, so I put them in partial shade.  I dry the duckweed on a black tv dish that was given to us.  It smells like alfalfa meal when dried.   I use the dried duckweed to eliminate molds in prepped feeds in the summer.  I store it in coffee cans.  When I have extra we feed it straight to the chickens wet.
2 months ago
Here is my proof of concept.  As you can see it is extremely complex!  It works good to tests load little engines too.  I still want to build one that is centripetal pump and heater at the same time.  It would be handy for heating our green house.
2 months ago
I like your idea.  I bought an old mixer for a dollar one day.  It is extremely heavy duty and is serviceable.  I  have been using an old junk ac motor to run it, but I just was given a 1/2 hp 12v dc motor to convert it to dc.  We use it to mix feed.  Its much easier than mixing in buckets.  I have been pondering hooking it to a pedal bike so it doesn't need electric at all.
2 months ago
I think Travis is absolutely right.  My wife and I have always wanted to be out of debt.  We worked 2 or 3 jobs each.  When we had a child we went to 1 job each.  In the mean time the slow growth of the farm started to pick up some bills.  I am 44 and have been out of debt for 2 years now.  I still work full time as a mechanical and a hydraulic engineer.    My wife is a school teacher and loves teaching.  Her schedule works great for the farm.  I work because I have a skill set that I feel extremely blessed to have.  Few have been chosen to get the kind of education I got from where I come from.  

That being said, there are a few thing that let me be both an engineer and farmer.  First I gave up watching TV 20 some years ago.  We have one, but I cant still enough to watch it.  The farm has to many things do. Second we always drive used cars till they won’t move anymore.  Being in my profession the other engineers have a tendency to make fun of my rust buckets, but my payment at $0.   My insurance per year is less than one days tax for working.  It costs me $13.41 in fuel to drive back and forth to work for 1 week with the new diesel tax here.  They often joke when I get fuel that my vehicle has tripled in value.  I can’t imagine working 2 years to pay for the one’s they drive.  

Without the debt It’s pretty simple for me to do the things I need to do every day.  I don’t have to go to work, I want to.  The complicated stuff comes when I need to slow down and observe the farm to make things more sustainable. It’s just too easy to use unsustainable energy.  
2 months ago
I built a unit out of an aluminum disc and some hard drive magnets.  If you spin aluminum past a magnetic field it creates eddy currents that if held together get hot quick.  They will try to push the magnet from the aluminum.  I had a 3/4 horse maytag engine ruining it about 900 rpm.  I put a fan to blow the heat around off of the shaft the aluminum disc was on.  It works.  I suppose you could put it in a container and heat a liquid and pump it at the same time too.

Travis, I use PSI x gallons per minute divided by 1714 gives you hydraulic hp.  Hp times 42.41 gives you BTU per minute.  So 1 gpm at 1000 psi is equal to 24.74 btu per minute.  If you times that times 60 it gives you BTU per hour.  
2 months ago
I love corn, and have grown corn in small plots from the time I was little.  I would get a few seeds and propagate it in a few years weeding out the genes I don’t like. Some plots I started with were only about 10 seeds in a 2ft x 2ft plot. Corn is a C4 plant that loves heat and light.  We typically plant 6 types of corn for different purposes.  We always rotate our small plots and leave the fescue to grow something else next year.  After 4 or 5 years of rotation we plant a green chop in the plots to feed chickens and cows for 2 years, then it goes back to corn, sorghum, wheat and edible beans.  This picture is my son planting our yellow dent corn in a 40 X 60 plot last night.  We have 9 of these size plots, and 5, 10 x 10 plots.  If we get to much cross pollination and want pure lines we just pick our seed from the center of the plot.  The 3 sisters works great if I use a fish such as a bluegill in the middle of the mound.  I usually only do this in small scale in the 10 x 10s because of labor.
2 months ago
I was brought up a totally spoiled child.  I have had a garden for as long as I can remember.  I was born in Dayton and dad and mom had rented a little house with a back yard that was converted to a garden.  Planting, weeding and picking,  is just a normal part of life for me.  We didn’t have money, but we had a bunch of food.  We would raise about a quarter acre of strawberries to pay for new shoes and clothes for school.  I remember going to kindergarten and being made fun of because, my clothes were not up to the modern standard.  I couldn’t understand why they got free lunches, and I had to pack my lunch.  If they only knew how hard we worked to have britches and food, they may have been a little nicer.  Its ok though, it all made me who I am today.  A few years later we got to build a cabin on our own land. We got to have a huge garden.  Dad gave me my own area to grow and raise whatever I wanted.  By the time I was in junior high I was making compost tea so I didn’t have to buy fertilizer.  I grew half of my own feed for my rabbits and all of the feed for my chickens.  I could afford feed because, a bunch of people in the area wanted rabbit meat.  At the age of 10 I had a nice little camper, a fire pit, animals and my own garden.  I only went in the house to get cleaned up and eat because, I can’t cook to save me.  After the chores were done I would experiment my day away.  The only thing that would make me cry is when mom made me go to school.