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Cedar's 13

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Animal Husbandry — Learn how to drive a draft horse team - In Progress
We picked up a pair a few weeks ago and I will now need to learn how to pull logs, mow with a sickle mower and use a dump rake with them. I have driven singles before, but not a team. With Z getting the 60 acre (plus 40) farm, there is over half of it in woodlot with tight trees where we would not be able to get a tractor. I need to be able to work the woodlot of 20-70 year old trees. Also the ground is fragile there since it basically is in rainforest. The horses haver many years of experience as logging horses. The horses will pretty much keep us fuel free and they can help produce their own feed, other animal feed, as well as our own food and firewood. We also have riding saddles for them so they can also be entertainment, and we can also possibly do waggon rides with them for income. Since we will have a farming farm open to the public, they could also be an added attraction to bring people. Since that is also in elk country, they can be used for packing.

Gardening — Crash course in Silviculture - In Progress
Managing, using, conserving, and repairing forestland. There was not an option for forestry or silvaculture, so I opted that it is REALLY a LARGE gardening project. I don't know alot about woodland management and with at least 60 acres out of 100, I need to learn this to keep the forest healthy for us, for wildlife and the ecosystem. This is something I can easily learn from the local college. I like learning new things. I need to walk with a timber cruiser and see what s/he has to say. There is lots of flora and fauna on this land and I want to make sure I don't mess up anyone's home, whether it is a mushroom or an elk. Income, firewood, lumber, wildlife refuge, added value for other ag products.

Carpentry — In Progress
House building With the new house being built over the footprint of the old one, there is going to be alot of steps I have not participated in before. Although I can swing a hammer and use a saw, I have not built that many things and I am excited to be able to help on this project. At the minimum will help me when I build other buildings such as the outhouse, poultry breedings pens, the cow stanchions and more.

Beer Making — In Progress
Make beer because Z has all the equipment and I got him hops from a interview I did for the newspaper. Even though I HATE beer. I was raised on a vineyard in Oregon when 'they' said winegrapes could not be done here. Dad had about #11 vineyard in Oregon, and now there are over 500. I used to play out in the winery with him, dabbled a bit in distilling (not for 'shine, although when I was in West Virginia I saw the copper stills there) and I like the science of making these types of things. Security through food for the family??? Fun to see if I can pull it off?

Animal Husbandry — Hogs - In Progress
Put my class from a few weeks ago to good use and start AIing livestock, so I get better at it. Not only do I do conservation with heritage vegetables and fruit trees, but I also do with animals. Most of the livestock I raise many people have not heard of, let alone seen. So the gene pools in areas tend to be close and I need to go 'out' to keep them from getting too inbred. Some of the cattle genes I want to bring in from Scotland as frozen semen. Some of the hog genes I need to bring in from the mid-west. The area the farm is in, creates some challenges with livestock and how we want to raise them. If the farm had been elsewhere, I likely would have chosen other breeds to raise there. But with the way and where the farm is, these are the breeds I selected. 10,000 varieties of heritage vegetables go extinct each year and so do 60 breeds of heritage livestock. I would like to help prevent this from happening to our heritage or at least slow it down enough maybe more people can have the opportunity to find out about them and start raising them too. I was a vet tech for 22 years for large, small animals and worked on a conservation zoo for endangered wildlife which most no longer existed outside zoos. We did embryo transfers and such and I became interested in that. I do not believe in some types of AI, such as the un-naturally broad breasted turkeys which cannot naturally reproduce, but to bring in semen from distantly related or not-at-all-related to produce offspring, I do not have an issue with. I can also hire out as a AI tech if I wanted so that is profit, keeping us from having to keep a male of a certain species which can take up room, feed and could be dangerous (like a Jersey bull) for only using him limited times a year (like 1-2 in some of our cases). We should be breeding our sow in January/February.

Weaving — In Progress
Perhaps set up my floor loom finally by the end of the year. You know, I have carted that darn thing which is the size of a pickup bed around to four houses and two countries and I have not set it up yet. Now I have two of them. Hopefully soon I will have a 600 sf log cabin to use as my teaching space and office and I will no longer have an excuse in leaving it in pieces. I even have a willing victim friend who is awesome weaver (she has 8 looms) who has volunteered to help me warp it. It is for education, income, teaching, and being able to make clothes for me and my family if I want to. I think it has a 58" reed in it.

Alternative Energy — Planned
Hydro power (pelton wheel) since we will probably have a good source for that at least 9 months of the year. I am not sure we can do this, but there is a strong creek coming down the hillside to the river. It would be awesome if we could put a power generator on a diversion or something even if we create some of our own power for 9 months of the year, since although the creek runs 12 months of the year, with the 3 months of rain we don't get in the summer, the previous owner state it will get enough flow, although it also is spring sourced. I have always been interested in alternative power through my father (who was an industrial electrician) in the 1970's and I would like to know if it can be done, how to set it up and how to keep it running. If we can, we can have some (plus) self security for producing our own power. I have really been interested in Pelton Wheels since I saw a working one deep in the mountains not far from here, where it has been working since the 1860's, giving electricity way away from towns when many of those towns at the time lacked it. I always like the ... "Can it be done?" theme.

Food Storage — Spring House - Planned
Spring House on same water source as above. It so looks like there is a foundation for one on the creekline at a natural spot not too far from the heritage house. Until 1970, they used the creek and finally a hand pump next to the lilac bush for water. I would like to restore a springhouse if there had one previously to preserve the ambience of the century old farm (again, working/teaching farm open to the public) and teach people about them, but they are also practical for me to store extra produce from the garden, extra milk/butter from the cow. I have been in spring houses before and if the electric does go out, they are just about as good as a refrigerator. Not to mention pretty nice to hang out in on a hot day.

Communication — Ham radio license - Planned
My grandfather had his ham license and I remember his shack in the basement along with lots of scary looking electronic tubes nearly as large as I was. I have his ham logs and some of his other stuff. MINUS the radios themselves. I used to have a rig in my kitchen for a few years, not knowing it was a ham radio and yes I used to talk on it. But now I would like to take my classes to get licensed and learn what I am doing and how to repair and all that stuff. I want it for various reasons going from nostalgia of what my grandfather did. I saw what ham radio did for us when I was in SAR. I see this one as security and communications when there might not be any other means. It might even be fun.

Water Catchment/Filtering — Planned
Crash course for watershed management, erosion control. (There was no 'right' catagory for this one either). Again, wanting to preserve the ecology of the place and with water running downhill to the creeks, rivers, wetland I want to make sure any farming activities I do there, do not create washouts, mud into the creek/river. Make sure I am not going to dry up the wetlands if I clear some brush uphill/east side from it and always keep in mind any changes I do can mess up native plants/animals.

Bio Fuel — Planned
Possibly making biodiesel for Z's truck This one might be nixed now since his truck half died. However, when it gets towed to the garage at the farm, I will be tearing it down to see if we can fix it. I used to work on lots of quarter mile cars for the racetrack, but never diesels which were not semi trucks. So it will be a bit of a new thing for me. I have had an interest in biodiesel and would like to try it even small scale to see how it is done.

Electronics — Planned
Learn basic electronics, like build a radio from scrap like they did in WWI. This goes back to my 2012 New Years Resolution for learning electronics. My brother built a small radio when he was in 4-5th grade and I remember it working quite well. I know during WWI they used scraps off the Jeeps to make radios for the trenches. It fascinates me that something so useful can be made out of so little. I would like to know the knowledge on how to make one. So for entertainment, learning and one day could be security.

Education — Economics - Planned
Learn basic economics better than I have a grasp on now. I fear that what I know, I really don't know, so I think I really ought to know what it is all about. I think in a way I am afraid of knowing, which is why I am forcing myself to know it.... you know?


Animal Husbandry — Learn how to drive a draft horse team - In Progress

Two months ago we went to go look at a team of Clydesdales for me to go 'test drive' (don't look at the lines, I am not holding them correctly. The horse was on voice command and the lines were apparently too short and I did not want to be right at his rump since I did not know him and end up with draft horse feet in my face). We ended up buying them. The older horse "Cody" drives wonderfully and was so happy to work. "Whiskers" was like "Umm.. I have been on vacation for three years and you want me to put on a collar?" But he did decide to work for me. My plan is that normally when you get them hitched together, one talks the other one into working too. I hope "Whiskers" goes along with the plan. We had not closed on the farm yet, so the lady we bought them from, agreed to hold them for us until the farm closed. We were pretty sure that by buying extremely large animals we jinxed ourselves. But we didn't.

"Cody" & Cedar


"Cody" & Cedar thanking him for driving so nicely

That was the last we saw of them until last Sunday when a friend trucked them 4 hours for us to the new farm. The horses seemed to like their new home. We let them settle for a bit and then we tacked up "Whiskers" into a draft horse sized western saddle to see if he could be ridden as well as driven. We discovered he is green broke and would put up with a green rider.

We do not have work collars for them yet as the collar has to be sized right for each horse. Nelson said he would bring some for us to test fit on them to see what size they were so we can order or locate some. However, we have alot of practice to do before we can even drive them, such as putting a singletree on a post and 'driving it', so we can keep our hands even and such... (and fix the wonky lines). Been reading THE guru draft horse expert author Lynn R. Miller also from Oregon. Z ordered about 5 of his books. And I have been slowly getting to read through them.

Contacted a farrier who will deal with draft horse feet and get them all trimmed up on Saturday and deal with the quarter crack in "Whiskers" front right foot before it gets any worse.

Basically this week we are just introducing ourselves to these gentle giants and gaining some trust from them and getting acquainted to working with them and how they react to things. I have been squashed and broken by horses before which were much smaller than these guys.


Water Catchment/Filtering — Planned
Crash course for watershed management, erosion control. Again, wanting to preserve the ecology of the place and with water running downhill to the creeks, rivers, wetland I want to make sure any farming activities I do there, do not create washouts, mud into the creek/river. Make sure I am not going to dry up the wetlands if I clear some brush uphill/east side from it and always keep in mind any changes I do can mess up native plants/animals.

It has been raining alot there, so I am finding the different paths that the water is taking to get to the creek, the river and where it is pooling up at. SweetPea and I checked out the spring house today on the other section to see what was in the house, how the water got to the house, where the source of the spring was and where it went downhill from the building.

Found a winter creek and how the main creek has the remains of an old dam on it. Talked to the former owners two days ago and asked if there had been a springhouse on it for cooling foods and they said there had not been and that was a great idea and they should have done that. (They are in their 80's and 90's and were born on the place). So they answered a couple of my questions and I resolved to indeed make a springhouse here too.


Animal Husbandry — Hogs - In Progress

We took an all day class at Oregon State University in Swine Reproduction and AI-ing. Our teachers were Swine Breeding Specialist Dr. Tim Safranski with the University of Missouri (who was the one who mainly taught the class) along with Gene Pirelli, an Oregon State University professor and the district extension specialist for livestock and forage. We got to do hands on necropsies of the reproduction tracts and got to do hands on AI-ing.


wow.. i had an answer that you know everything, but you are learning some new useful skills! good job Cedar! Those horses are huge!


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