We humbly ask for your vote..

As some of you may know, Maria and I have an Etsy shop where we sell her hand tie dyed sewing projects and my hand forged knives and other metal work.

Etsy is having a contest this month to give away $10,000 to the shop that gets the most votes. The money is designated for small business improvement and we could step up our business greatly with a prize like that.

It doesn’t cost a thing to vote. You can vote for as many shops as you like, but only one vote per shop.

So, as the title of this post says, we are humbly asking for your vote. If you decide to help our cause and would be willing to share the link in a repost blog or any other type of social media we would be truly grateful.

Http:wshe.es/k85wcZlr

Thank you for reading a nd following our blog. We are thankful for each and everyone of you. We all know that the greatest asset to a homestead is community. And this community is a true blessing.

We hope you all have a wonderful weekend.

Chad and Maria

The old girl is working well..

We finally got our old tractor up to the farm. I had confidence in her abilities, but had no idea that she would work as well as she does. In about an hour I was able to clear as much as it took us in 4 other visits.

She was running strong, and with the brand new bush hog deck from County Line products she was eating brush like mad.

We had a friend help us haul her up there and I felt bad for him because it was a 3.5 hour drive up and there wasn’t really anything for him to do while Maria and I did our normal clearing activities.

We didn’t stay that long to work that day because TJ (the friend) needed to get back to work the next day.

I did want to cut a little more but I unfortunately hit a pretty solid stump hiding in the brush and the shear pin on the pto shaft did what a shear pin is supposed to do. It sheared. Since we hadn’t brought our own truck with us, we didn’t have any spares meaning we were done for the day.

Notice the end of the pto shaft?

Tj being a trooper. He’s a great friend and really helped us out. 

So, we are going back this weekend with a pocketbook of shear bolts and really put the old girl through her paces. We hope that everyone has a wonderful weekend!

Chad

A little pre-work snow fun..

I know A lot of folks got some snow over the weekend and there are a ton more in the northeast that are going to get a blizzard in the next couple of days.

Maria laughed about the snow we got. We found it funny for a couple of reasons. One of them is that since is from Maine and I’m from Indiana this little dusting wasn’t really a concern as it seemed to others around here. The southeastern coast of North Carolina doesn’t get much snow at all so people have a tendency to freak out.

The other reason we found it humorous was that the local weather man was pretty adamant that we would only get some rain…not an inch of snow.

So, we had a little snow ball fight where I inadvertently whitewashed Maria on the side of her head when a snowball hit the side of the house as she tried to duck. She wasn’t mad because like I said, she’s from Maine and knows the rules and risks of the snowball battle.

I sure do love that woman! I have known that for quite a long time, but when she came home for lunch the other day, still dressed really nice in the dress that she decided on that day and walked through the back gate to where I was working in the forge. The reason I realized how much I love her is that as nicely as she was dressed, she came through that gate toting the two new front tires for the tractor that FedEx had dropped on the front porch. She is the best ever!!!!

So….my true love, my soul mate, my best friend and I are taking that tractor up to the farm in the morning and putting it to work…

We hope that everyone has a great day and be sure to let the ones you love know what they mean to you.

Chad

Tractor prep update..

In our last post I told you all about our new tractor.

We’ve got a little update on getting it ready for the farm.

Maria initially named her Debbie, but since we know someone named Debbie it was a little weird talking about her so we renamed her Darla (the tractor, not the friend lol) Deere.

We are still waiting on a couple of parts, the starter and muffler, but I got a lot done today. I removed and repainted a bunch of panels and brackets. I fixed and rewelded the linkage for the throttle. I installed a work light to the fender and wired it up. The battery cables needed a little love so they now look a lot better.

We took a ride to Tractor Supply today and drooled over the three point implements that are available. And then we picked up a few things for Darla. Some new locking pins, a towing shackle, a new top link for the three point hitch, and some cans of paint for her rattle can therapy. The paint alone has her looking like she’s ready for the county fair.

We have to borrow a trailer to get her up to the farm, so once we do we’ll have some photos of Darla in action.

We hope everyone has a great week.

For the love of a tractor…

Today we had a new member join our family.

We had been contemplating buying a tractor as we are going to need one eventually on our 18 acres. With so much brush to clear between the trees we thought about buying a billy goat brush cutter, but once the brush is cut there won’t be much use for that. So, we came across a great deal on this little beauty.

Its a 1985 John Deere model 850. 25 HP two wheel drive with a three point hitch.

It needs a little love, but since I was a diesel mechanic in the Marines I can handle anything that comes up.

It needs a new starter (current one works but is a bit wonky), a new muffler (rusted out), and two new front tires (a little dry for).

Other than it starts and purrs like a kitten. We started touching up the faded paint just for fun and because I still had a can of JD green spray paint in the shop.

So this will make clearing and working a whole lot faster, and we would need one eventually so here we go. The Lord provided the deal as we were trying to plan things out. The price was really good and really….who doesn’t love a tractor. Btw, Maria named her Debbie Deere…

Busy weekend, crazy week..

We finally got the last 650 feet of driveway cleared for a total of 950 of 12 feet wide driveway. Now we have to start leveling and smoothing it. It was a long weekend. Its been really difficult to stay there over night as we haven’t had much cleared area for a campsite. So we’ve been driving back and forth everyday that we go. Normally that’s not a huge deal, but this weekend we drove 3.5 hours up, worked all day and then drove 3.5 hours back. Then on Sunday we repeated the process. That made for some exhausting days.

We did get that driveway cleared and about 1/2 an acre of the 2 acres were the house and barn will be. So that was really exciting. We rented a walk behind brush cutter and it worked like a champ. Its called a “Billygoat”. I think there are two reasons they named their brand that way. 1. It eats just about anything it gets near, and 2. When you are hanging onto the handlebars and it’s getting into rough terrain it kind of feels like you are holding the horns of a really pissed off Billy goat.

That’s me with the billy goat, can you tell which is which?

Ahh, my beautiful Maria enjoying her new driveway.

So that’s the busy weekend part, now to the crazy week…

After the exhausting, but glorious,work we did we had to return to the daily grind.

While we were both at work on Monday, Maria checked the e-mail that we share for our Etsy shop and other business stuff. She immediately called me and told me that I needed to read it because I finally received an e-mail back about appearing on the television show “Forged In Fire” on the History Channel. 

So it looks like Maria and I will be taking a trip to Brooklyn N.Y. so they can film and I can compete. 

If you aren’t familiar with the show its a blacksmithing/bladesmithing competition for a chance to win $10,000 and the title “Forged In Fire champion”.

I’m super excited to be able to compete and show my smithing skills, but I’m also nervous as hell.

Check out the History Channel website, if you are interested. And, if you are interested in the work I do with knives, or the awesome tie dyed items that Maria makes, come visit us @ noharminfarmin.com or http://www.etsy.com/shop/noharminfarmin

We hope that you all have a wonderful week, and we will post more as soon as we get some more work done at the farm.
Chad

Friendly Farm Visitors…

Hey all, we had the opportunity to make a day trip to the farm today to get some more work done.

We were only able to cut another 150 feet or so of driveway. Only about 450 more feet to go.

The briars got SUPER thick for about 50 feet today….

This was a hard fought 150 feet. But we are getting closer. I do think that we are going to have to rent a skid steer with a bush hog deck though to get this finished. Cutting it with a weed eater and saw blade is rough, slow going.

It wasn’t all had work and struggle today though. We spent some great time in and around the creek. We also downloaded the photos from our 3 game cameras. We found that we had some visitors within the month that we’ve been absent.

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A lovely little doe.

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Two neighbors from across the road.

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She brought a friend.

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Sometimes a late night snack.

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This little fat guy is all over.

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We also ran a water test on the creek water. We had notice that it was clear and fast moving when we were looking at the property. We figured that if it wasn’t drinkable for us that it would be suitable for irrigation at least.

Well….we tested it with a pretty substantial test kit, and it show’s as a great quality for potability!! I even had some to drink (after the tests) and it was delicious, cold, and refreshing. Here are the results from the test:

Total Hardness ppm : 0

Total Chlorine ppm : 0

Alkalinity ppm : 0

PH : 7

Nitrite ppm: 0

Nitrate ppm : 0

Copper ppm : 0

Iron ppm : 0

Coliform Bacteria : negative  (this one is the poop test, so..that’s good news)

We were super excited about the results of the test. Over all it was a great day on the farm and we can’t wait to spend more time there. It was so good that I even found my sunglasses in the woods that I lost two months ago while we were just looking at the property!!

So this will eventually be our new hometown. I think this sign coming into town pretty well sums up our farm!

Have a great weekend!

Chad

Trucks, chainsaws, and bar oil…

I thought I would share a bit of unfortunate humor today.

On our last trip to the farm I had the truck loaded with just about every tool and implement I could fit in it. When we got back to town, I unloaded the majority of tools, but I left a few. Mainly just a couple of shovels and rakes. One thing I left was a jug of bar oil for the chainsaw. I didn’t think that there would be a problem with it being in the bed of the truck.

I was wrong.

A few days after we got back from the farm, I had to make a run to the steel yard. I had a couple of blacksmithing orders to fill, and some ideas for more projects. So, off I go in the truck.

While loading the truck at the steel yard I inadvertently poked a small hole in that jug with a stick of 5/8 inch round bar. As I was unloading the steel I noticed a little oil in the bed of the truck. No big deal it’ll keep the truck from rusting, so I thought. What I didn’t realize was that it continued to dribble and got worse.

Tonight, we were getting things together for another trip tomorrow. Maria says to me ” you might want to clean up some of the oil in the truck so all the tools aren’t all greasy”. As always she is full of wisdom.

Then the real fun begins. I pulled the rest of the tools out of the truck and wiped them down. Still not bad.

Then I grabbed the jug. Nearly a half gallon of oil had leaked out. After a bunch of kitty litter, sand, and purple power degreaser and a whole ton of effort, I finally got it cleaned and prevented an ecological disaster. Keeping all that crap contained was a huge pain. But, I got it done.

So, my advice for riding around with a jug of bar oil in the back of your truck ( and of course, who wouldn’t?) is…if it is in a plastic jug, put it in the damn tool box!!!

I didn’t include any photos with this post because I was too angry with myself to think about taking any. I was mad, but now it just kind of cracks me up.

Maria and I hope everyone has a great weekend, and feel free to share any disaster stories big or small that you can laugh about now.

All the best,

Chad

The joy of handmade tools…

Part of what Maria and I do to try to make our foot print smaller is to make a lot of what we need instead of buying it.

Maria sews really well and she has made several work related items;

Notebook covers,

Bags,

Lanyards.

I have a tendency to be little bit of a perfectionist when I’m making tools for others, but for myself they must work well but its ok if they are uglier than a mud fence. And they usually are.

This is my home made belt grinder. Ugly? Absolutely!! But, its sturdy as a rock and runs like a dream. Rather than spend several hundred dollars for a belt grinder, I would rather build one. 

I have built a lot of my own tools and racks.

Hammers,

Chisels,

Punches,

Adze,

Froe,

Bush axes,

And of course knives.

Here are a couple of racks I built. One is for hammers and the other is mounted to my anvil for tongs. (No, I didn’t build the anvil, but I made one for Maria and am in the process of making another)

We really enjoy the process of making things and the joy of using the things we make.

Feel free to comment and tell us all about what you make, either to use or sell. Also, if you have anything special that you would like to have but just can’t seem to find it anywhere, let us know. We just might be able to make it for you!

All the best,

Chad