Prepping: For “Real” Farm Life

It’s spring here in the Outback and the time of year when we get back to nature and chores.  In the winter, there are a huge number of “rules” most city-folk don’t know.

Walking on the grass, when frozen, tends to kill it.  Driving a tractor on good earth is verboten for 3-days after a heavy rain.  The big ag wheels leave ugly ruts that will trip you to walk on at night.

We are already seeing the local endangered species:

prepper cat

I say “endangered” because while Zeus the Cat does a fair job of keeping down the outdoor critters, he’s been getting more and more underfoot lately.

I don’t know if he can sense that Elaine and I are aging, or if he has a side deal with the insurance companies or some saw bones that we don’t know about.  Fortunately, in springtime, the farm cat is shooed out of the house and now has to fend for himself at least one snack break per week.  Our broken hips will have to wait for fall.  (so to speak)

Name this Farm Implementname this odd farm implement

No, this is not a trick question.

Why, to most people this probably looks like a 6-foot hunk of 6X6 I-Beam.  It weighs about 230 points and no, I only pick up one end at a time, nowadays.  Navel hernia and all.

What turns this into a useful farm implement is the notching that you see at either end.

When you wrap a couple of lengths of chain over the notches and tie it all to the tractor’s tow bar (which means taking off the 3-point implement which is a PITA) you drag this around over a field that you’ve seeded.  If you’re lucky, this dirt drag will push enough seeds down out of bird beak range to seed parts of the lawn.

For “row cropping” and my wild sunflower project, rather than hand planting, it was tines-down with the front loader forks and then backing down so the teeth cut furrows.  Then a nice “biblical” as yee sow…and then drag this sucker over the seeds to bury ’em.  I can plant an acre an hour, easy.

Of course, while it works fine for grass, I have no idea about sunflowers so this summer I’ll get back to you.  Key Point Here:  Time spent farming is time away from reading, snoozing, drinking or chasing the missus.  Plant faster, live harder.

Name that Soil Condition

Every prepper knows what this is

If you can’t name this soil condition, you’re already in the Soylent Green line.  Because you are NOT going to survive a real prepping event.

Because it’s not a condition:  It’s a fire ant nest.  And if you don’t have the brains to know that, your life expectancy in the wild may be measured in days or months, not years.  Sheesh.  Get the eyes off the phone, right?

Reuse,  Recycle.  Repurpose.

recycled and reused license plates

Sure, not particularly impressive, but a minute on the bending brake to do two license plates at once with the same angles, and presto!  Here we have a “spark-arrestor” for the shop grinder.

Sparks from metal grinding will set off sawdust…and with a 4-day fire response time  (1-day for forest fires) we do worry about sparks.

Again, if you could not recognize what the machine is, or the purpose of the bent up license plates, you have moved closer to the front of the Soylent line.  You prepper survival time is down to, I dunno, a few days, tops?

If you can get a pretty good feel for the carbon content of steel you’re about to weld – without having to look up spark trails in a damn book – you will be ready to run that ox-acetylene welding rig that is oh, so deliciously EMP resistant.  We keep one set of fair-sized tanks and two regulators and hoses just in case.

prepper parts seeking projectHere’s a Real Toughie

This is a typical real-life situation that crops up in the Olde Farmer’s life on a “purty reg-lar” basis.

This package of 1.25 inch stainless steel bolts shows up from China after being order on Amazon months and months ago.

Here’s the farmer problem:  Which project were they for?

  • Making up a lightning harness for the ham radio tower feed lines? I seem to remember some bulkhead pass-throughs…
  • Mounting on the tower for the solar panel and a rain ocver for the winch?.
  • Something to do with the recycled bed project.  Pictures on that one of these days.  What do you do with an old gel foam bed, right?  Make furniture.  As much as a tool-buying excuse as a…well could be for that.
  • Something in the power supply for the Loudenboomer linear amp that’s in restoration.
  • Something Elaine ordered.  Usually her ideals of bolts have to do with fabric, though.
  • Some other project long-ago forgotten…

Honestly, even I, the great old grouchy one has no frigging clue.  I remember I needed a bunch of parts.  Had to be stainless, and had to be an inch long.  But damned if I can get any further than that.  Email me if you remember the project…

Prepper Farm Woo-Woo

Last weekend when we got back from our Oklahoma Casino Statistics Refresher Course (that consisted of only the lab fees associated with the class), Panama Bates,, who had guard duty, took me out to the shop and asked:

“Care to tell me about this little bit of woo-woo?” 

farm glove mystery

I spent a couple of hours going through everything out here and every one of these gloves is for the left hand.”

I was at a loss for words.  Finally, I managed to explain that “Panama, I honestly don’t have a clue.  As you can see, right-hand gloves just seem to disappear and we’ve never been able to find them.”

Here’s the terrible Truth:  We had 14-left handed gloves a year or two back.  No one seems to know what happens to the right-hand ones –  they just, oh, like family values and ethics in government, just seem to disappear over time.

Until recently, we’ve been too polite to make a point of it.  But yes, the woo-woo goes on.

Write when you get sensible.  OK, rich…no sensible required.

George@ure.net

8 thoughts on “Prepping: For “Real” Farm Life”

  1. The missing ‘gloves’ are with the missing ‘socks’! Just fine the socks that disappeared in the dryer. No problema!
    Had a navel hernia years ago (18+?). Had a stainless steel mesh square backed with something akin to mole skin inserted through the navel. Bit of pain, but not enuff for drugs. All is still well and I can attempt to chuck logs or small trees these days around. Absolutely mortified my doctor when discussing the log chucking. Get it taken care of soon.
    Now drying my own seeds. Working pretty good so I feel better.
    Water, water, water. Plan for drinking water if the electric net goes down.

  2. No problems with your quiz, but why don’t you run chains past whatever implement you have installed to the drag? It’s not that much of a load, and you’re only doing a few acres. You could always put a hook or two on the back of your bushhog or whatever if it has a strong frame.

    I don’t worry too much about sparks on my grinders since they’re nowhere near woodwork at all. I suppose that’s the downside of being a woodcrafter. I’ll just keep a sawzall and skillsaw for when it’s needed and stick to metal.

    BTW, get some oxypropane nozzles for your torch. Propane is cheap for cutting and saves acetylene for when you really need it. Of course, for now the plasma cutter is best if it’s nearby.

  3. The right hand gloves went missing when the user pulled it off to do some task that needed finger control, putting the glove down on the ground or on top of a vehicle instead in a pocket…

  4. George

    ” I remember I needed a bunch of parts. Had to be stainless, and had to be an inch long. ”

    You ordered nut and bolts from china? How strange. I hope you didn’t expect to put much of a load on that stuff.

    I have given up on buying fasteners from everybody except Ace hardware. You can go there and root thru the bins and get very good quality hardware at a fair price. Nothing is bagged up in little plastic pouches so that you have to buy more than you need. And none of it is soft metal that they call stainless.

    I’m sure there are other hardware stores that also supply quality hardware. It seems that those stores near places with lots of marine activity usually have a larger selection of fasteners and other interesting items.

    If you really must mail order it try McMaster-Carr. Their a little pricey on delivery charges but they have a huge inventory.

    As for China I’m still waiting for an order of SN74LS76 chips I bought six months ago on ebay. I know the guy shipped them but the USPS apparently lost them. They are obsolete and as rare as hens teeth.

    I had to work a substitution with another part for my project.

    p.s.

    Clothes dryers are portals to other dimensions. You may never see the lost gloves again.

    • OMG Try tractor supply for bulk nuts and bolts! Kicks it I didn’t want to drive into now and no, not load bearing…

      • I told Mrs UndertheDRADIS that a clothes dryer executes a quantum field effect. Things will rotate in and out of our universe, which is a similar effect of having a toddler.

        She is beginning to believe me.

  5. The probability of loosing 7 right hand gloves and no left, is 2 to the 7. This is 1 in 128.

    Mark “Red Dog”

  6. the trick.. is to pair them up..
    when you put them away.. fold the cuff over the other one and put away a pair.. the same with socks.. mate them fold the cuff down and toss in the basket.. you will always have a pair..
    I buy all black socks.. ( the same brand ) and all white socks..

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