Here it is Friday and I am going to try to recap our week as best I can. Things have been so busy around here. We get up early and go, go, go, until we can't go 'no more'. :-) So typical of Spring time, as the days get longer so does our activity. We stay outside working until the sun squeezes us back inside, then have a late dinner. The children's winter bed time is 7pm. We have been eating dinner around 8 this week. But I also find they are sleeping in a little later in the morning, so they're still getting what they need. :-) I let them, because it gives me some "quiet time" for prayer and planning and such...so it's a win win. :-) We have been working on getting these big olive barrels clean. They are 55 gallon food grade drums that had olives imported in them and we want to use them for grain. However, we can not seem to get the olive smell out of them! :-) We have tried various methods: castile soap, power washing, thieves essential oils, simple green and even bleach. We tried about a qrt of bleach and filled it with water and that wasn't strong enough. So now we are trying a half gallon of bleach in one barrel to see if it is effective. We put it in at the end of the day yesterday (now only testing one barrel until we find a solution!). I think I'll just let it sit until Sunday and then dump it dry it out and seal it up and then sniff it on Tuesday and see what we've got. Does anyone else have any suggestions??? We really wanted to use these barrels for our own grain...but may end up just using them for animal feed and other farm uses if we can't get them clean. :-( Hey does anyone know if there is such a thing as food grade bags that fit in a 55 gallon drum???
Do you remember that super long list of projects we were hoping to accomplish with out big chunk of tax money this year? Well, we had to take off one of those projects...the sewer. Man, it was a tough call! We have a "drain field" right in our back yard that seeps more than it ought! We have had it assessed and estimated for new pipe to be run to fix the problem...but our money is not going to stretch that far. The YUCKIEST part - is that our super huge wooden play structure has been sitting in it!!! It has been quarantined for quite some time because we were hoping that it would be a moot point with the fixing of the sewer this fall....well once we came to the realization that we just couldn't swing it - the reality of moving the play set sunk in...Yesterday, Ben disassembled into three large sections and took the goodies off of it (swings, slides, rock wall,etc.). Then Elijah and I pitched in to move help move it. We had a (really faithful) friend stop by and help too which was really nice because we were at the largest section at that point and it was very nice having the extra man power! We took 4 pieces of 4" PVC pipe that was 10 feet long, and used it to roll the structure to the side field. We used wood pieces and a couple strong 2x4's as levers to tip each section up onto the first pipe, then some got in front and some got in back and we rolled it up on the pipe. We gave a couple feet between each pipe and rolled another pipe under. Once we had two pipes under it was very manageable...because we could "teeter" the unit over the pipes to get the next pipe under. We would roll it a ways then the last pipe would spit out the back and Elijah would grab it and run it around the front and we we would repeat with two pipes at a time. The pace was slow and steady, yet smooth and it went without a hitch. No back injuries or anything. The grossest part was getting it out of the initial sludge patch and dealing with those "messy" pipes. (YUCK!!!) Papa was able to get the whole play set reassembled and leveled before the sun went down. It was another victorious homesteading moment! We found the first pipe in our woods some time ago and that is what gave us the idea. We ran out to purchase three more at $10 each. The cost to move the play set ended up being $30 dollars, but having it relocated...was priceless! :-) We figured since this method of moving very heavy, awkward and large objects, was so effective, that we would probably use it again in the future...We thought they might fill another need in the future too...so we decided the pipes were a good investment to clean up and keep.
We have been "meaning" to upgrade our fencing for the sake of our new flock of sheep. It has become clear to us that it is not adequate enough for them. But we did pretty good in our first week, they were content just where they were, as is. Well...that all changed as the end of Shabbat was approaching. We were eating and one of the kids looks out the back window and yells the sheep are in the back yard!! The whole flock of 17 was grazing right outside the back door. (The grass is always greener on the other side, right?) Well our breed of sheep are known to have very keen defensive instincts ...in other words, they are very weary of activity of others and are quick to flee if they sense danger!! Long story short....we had a very difficult time trying to get them back into their field. So difficult that, in fact, we failed -- that night at least. We got one baby in the barn and hoped that would lure the flock back. It was dark and our efforts were fruitless. They did come back by morning and as it turned out, they were back in their field...all but one that is. We have lost a baby...Despite our searches on foot, four wheeler and car, we can't find him. We pray He finds his way home. But at this writing he has been gone 2 days. :-( Needless to say...the following day was fence amendment day. We picked up over 6oo ft of sheep fencing and did the perimeter of the field they are in. We have so much more to do in the front field and are going to create more paddocks which will help up manage the flock better and move them around more easily. What a learning process! I am sad about our lost lamb... On top of him being lost, it is turkey hunting season, and we have coyotes and dogs that run free in our area! Not to mention..he was nursing...I am not sure how he will fair with out mamma ewe in that sense either. :-( So...that is all I am going to share for this week.
Until next week - May YHVH bless you and keep you and may you keep your flock within your gates!
Much Love, The Tribe of Ben
Welcome to Home Shalom!
Welcome to Home Shalom and Shalom Farm. We pray your visit here be blessed. We are learning to walk in the Ways (Torah) of our Father YHWH and follow Y'shua, His Messiah until He returns to "set things straight". We call it a "Messi-Life". Our walk is neither tidy nor perfect, but it is filled with passion, devotion and desire to serve our King. We are learning to be humble servants, and to be good stewards of the things that He has entrusted to us: His Word, our marriage, our children, our family, our community, our health, and our farm. Hitch your horse and stay a while--our door is always open!