Donate Now!

Donate Now!
Buy a membership or koozies to help!

Thursday, April 09, 2009

12 seconds, that's all the time left

A decision has finally been made. We will be building a straw bale house out at the farmstead. This should be interesting.

Here on my homestead. I replanted the peas. And once again reminded myself why I hate clay soil. Hate isn't a strong enough word, loathe, I loathe clay soil. Now clay soil does have good qualities. Just remember the bigger the seed, the easier it grows in clay. But breaking it up by hand, is well, a tad painful.

They burned the fields all around us yesterday. I didn't go searching for the fires. The wind was calm, and the air was thick with smoke. It's that time of year and most everyone knows what is going on. I say most, because people were calling the news stations and fire departments about the smoke. Last year a neighbor that moved out here from the city (she no longer lives out here) called the police about my mentors fields burning. She screamed at the cops, and screamed at me when she told me about it. I actually felt bad for her. I have lived in Kansas most my life, not in the country, and even I knew they burned fields for spring planting. But this woman was so angry about it, and I still really don't know why. She was mad about smoke going over the roads. She said they should put up signs warning people. They do that on the highway, not on the dirt roads. I am sure that most people see the smoke or see the flames and have a notion that fields were being burned. Not the farmers fault if the wind picks up and the smoke crosses the road. I felt like she would file suit against my mentor any moment.

Speaking of my late mentor, I have a story about him. I think it is funny. Personally when I heard it, I grinned for a very long time. My late mentor was in his 80's. He has been farming this land down the road from us for almost his entire life. Then the farm across the way sold his land, some of his land, and a man bought it, and put 5 acre plots up. My mentor was never very thrilled about it, and I can understand why. His house faces this glorified trailer park. The house closest to him, tore down their old trailer, replacing it with another. The wood from the old home was stacked up in the back of their field for over a year, not neatly stacked, more like thrown and piled up like a future bonfire. My mentor asked them a few times to do something with all the trash. Over and over. Soon the people put up no trespassing signs and kept the pile right were it was. In the middle of a bright day, the old farmer walked across the road, ripped down the no trespassing signs (there was no fence, just a stick with the sign) and set fire to that pile of rotting wood. The fire department came out, and just watched it burn. The old farmer was going to be hit with trespassing and arson charges. I of course giggled when I heard that. He hadn't done it on a burn ban day, and no one was hurt, nor any property (unless you have emotional attachment to the rotted wood and a sign on a stick). He was just tired of looking at it. Then he got into his airplane and flew around like he always did. He was just an ornery old man, and got grumpy when people didn't listen to his side of it.

It's rather lonely without him and his plane here anymore. I miss seeing that plane, and seeing his barn storming friends coming to visit. I know a few other homesteaders, but they are all urban. I adore them, but there is a difference in what we do. And sometimes I really want to talk to a rural steader. The family we buy our hay from, he is the only one interested in farming, she wants to go back to the city. She won't let him have cattle, all they do is grow hay. ~sigh~


Melonie said...

I think your mentor sounds like he was an awesome guy. Then again, I love crochety cranky guys. LOL

The Fool said...

Your neighbor would have fit right in up here. :)

Art Blomquist said...

Nice post. Made me think of some of the mentors in my life.

The straw bale project sounds exciting. I was humming and hawing about using straw bales to add outside insulation to an existing shed.

ChristyACB said...

Please take lots of pictures of the whole thing from start to finish! We would all love to see it, I'm sure. And it would be nice to actually follow progress and get a good feel for what you're doing.

You're just amazing!

HermitJim said...

I'm proud to see you going to straw bale housing. I think it's an excellent choice.

I enjoy thinking about your mentor...reminds me of me!

Sandy@American Way Farm said...

As I began reading your story about your mentor and the pile of debris I thought "Well, if it were me, I'd just go over and set a match to it". Then I got to the part where he did that and thought "A man after my own heart!" Sounds like he was a wonderful guy.

Very interesting about the straw bale house. Keep us informed of its progress. Will be fascinating to see. -Sandy

John Umland said...

I first found your blog a year or two ago searching for info on alternative housing. now you guys are thinking strawbale. cool.
God is good

Cygnus MacLlyr said...

" he got in his Airplane..."

I can synpathize! Great therapy, flting!

I love the ol' guy...:DThen

Nicole said...

I've built a couple of strawbale buildings on the Northern Cheyenne Reservation while I was in college. They are so beautiful and have the most calming atmosphere inside. You won't regret it! Good luck!

Tonya said...

Best wishes with your straw bale home. I just found your site and am looking foward to reading more.

Anonymous said...

I'm so excited about the straw bale construction. We want to use it at Paws & Rest if we can ever get it going. It sounds like a perfect material for building the kennels and our own home at least, if not the cabins too.

Your neighbor was a great man, you are so lucky to have known him.

alrescate said...

Your mentor sounds like he was my kind of guy.

San Diego Farmgirl said...

Anybody who flies off in their airplane is alright by me.

I've heard great things about straw bale homes!

Melissa ~ Mom to 6 said...

Huge YEAH from me about the straw bale house! That'll be awesome and incredibly energy efficient. Your mentor sounds a lot like a good friend of mine that died this past fall - he is sorely missed by us too. He was a farmer and an incredible guy.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...