Horse for lease!

I was speaking to a friend at church last night and he mentioned to me that you can lease a horse! 

Who would have known?

I looked today on kijiji and sure enough there are several horse available for lease. 

Leasing a horse first before buying might be the best thing to do. We can see first hand what's involved as far as the time and money commitment. Also we can confirm if it's still something we want to do after the first few months. I think it will be, but this might be a good opportunity to know for sure.  

Horse for lease...

Colloidal Silver

While physical silver is probably the most undervalued commodity in the world, colloidal silver is probably the most overlooked natural antibiotic in the world. 

 

Colloidal silver is NOT ionic silver. Only use colloidal silver from a trusted source. While ionic silver can actually make your skin turn permanently blue, colloidal silver is a powerful medicine. 

 

Colloidal silver is distilled water which has silver molecules added to it through an electrochemical process. The silver is not dissolved into solution but rather in suspension. 

 

Silver has many uses in the medical industry due to its antibiotic properties. Hospitals use silver in wound dressings and also in surgical bandages to prevent infection and speed up recovery. 

 

Some scientists say that colloidal silver has no effect on people's health and that it doesn't have antibacterial properties. Although silver has been proven to have significant health benefits, but because silver can not be patented,  there is no money in it or reason to promote it.  How rediculous is that?

I have several friends who take colloidal silver and have seen the benefits first hand. There is also articles written on how giving a little to plants will kill fungus and other diseases. I think it's time I tried this colloidal silver for myself!

Cryptos continued

If you haven't read the post below on cryptos maybe start there first. 

So, how do you buy cryptos? The first thing you need to do is find a place that sells them. I have bought from Atlantic Gold and Silver which have locations in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick.  You will need to set up an account there or where ever it is you decide to do business. 

You also need a digital wallet to keep your cryptos in. I recommend downloading Exodus and using it. Exodus can store dozens of different cryptos. You can also exchange one crypto into another with the Exodus interface.

Once you buy a crypto have the salesperson send it to your digital wallet. You will need to give them your Public key for the appropriate wallet. If for example you bought Ethereum you will need to give them your Public Ethereum key.  Theis key is a alphanumeric address code that can only be used to deposit funds. Never give anyone your private key as they can then withdrawal money from your account without your conscent. 

Always research the crypto that you want to invest in first. Be sure it is legit and not involved in something you don't agree with. As mentioned some cryptos are not currencies but rather applications for different tasks. 

 

 

Some popular cryptos

Crypto-currency

I'm blogging here about something that is not really homestead related. However you can make some money and maybe buy a place out in the country and start homesteading or pay off some bills. 

 Have you heard of crypto-currency?

You likely have heard of BitCoin which is the most popular one and also has the highest price. I heard of Bitcoin 6-7 years ago and it was worth about $30. Last fall it was over $25,000 a Bitcoin!  I didn't invest in Bitcoin but that would have been great!

So, what is crypto currency? Well it is a digital currency. People "mine" them using computers. Special computers spend many hours... solving complex mathematical algorithms. When the task is complete the reward is a BitCoin. How is it a currency? Well if a bunch of people agree on something having value, and the item to be used is limited in quantity, then it can be used as a means of exchange. Salt was used many years ago as money. It is useful, and it's quantity is limited. Unlike the Canadian and American dollar, which can be printed whenever the government wants to inject more into the economy. There is nothing backing our "fiat" currency which is the problem. Once upon a time the dollar was backed by gold but since 1971 it isn't any longer. There is nothing of value backing our money. Actually we have a debt based economy which doesn't work and always eventually collapses. 

Cryptos have a finite number. For example originally there were 21,000,000 Bitcoins available to be "mined". There are only 16 million now as the rest have been "lost". 

Bitcoins are stored in a digital wallet on a computer. If the owner of said wallet forgets the "private key" for the wallet the Bitcoins are locked forever. There's basically no way to recover them without the passcode.

What can you buy with Bitcoins? In some larger cities like Toronto there are a dozen or so Bitcoin ATM machines where you can exchange your Bitcoins for physical Canadian dollar bills. Some places accept Bitcoin as a method of payment. Some car dealerships for example will take Bitcoin as payment for your new vehicle purchase.  A friend of a close friend of ours has moved to the Philippines as Bitcoin is accepted there virtually everywhere, to buy groceries, to get a haircut etc.  

Are there other cryptos? Yes, there are hundreds of cryptos. Some are intended to be actual currencies while others are applications or platforms to build apps.

People say that cryptos aren't real money.  I don't think what we use as money, is real money actually. Places accept it as payment but there is nothing backing our dollar and secondly "they" can print as much as they want to. When it's unlimited there is no real value. 

Some people say they don't trust a digital currency. In reality, our money is digital anyways. If you have $5000 in the bank they don't have a shoebox in the back with your name on it and $5,000 in cash inside. It's all ones and zeros on a screen. That's no different than Bitcoin really. Bitcoin being limited in quantity is actually better contributing to its value. Some people say Bitcoin is going to $100,000, I've even heard a million. Who knows really. I would say though that cryptos are here to stay whether we like it or not. 

There is an oppourtunity to make some money investing in some of these cryptos. Eventually most of the cryptos will be gone I think and only the real and useful ones will remain. Stellar Lumens is a good one to look into. It is supposedly replacing the swift banking system.  I heard that they signed a deal with IBM as well. 

Another one that looks quite promising is Digibyte. The good thing about investing in cryptos is you typically don't have to invest thousands of dollars to make some serious money. A few hundred dollars put into Bitcoin or Ethereum when they first came out would have made you a few million dollars.  

How to invest? More on this later... stay tuned!

Phonetic Alphabet

Have you ever tried to spell something over the phone to someone? It sometimes gets to the point where you are saying "B as in Bob.... no not Vee, Beeee as in bumble bee". Wow 🙄

 

You might not know this but there are words that have been selected that are recognized internationally. 

Here is what I was taught when I took ground school for flying. 

A=Alpha

B=Bravo

C=Charlie

D=Delta

E=Echo

F=Foxtrot

G=Golf

H=Hotel

I=India

J=Juliet

K=Kilo

 L=Lima

M=Mike

N=November

O=Oscar

P=Papa

Q=Quebec

R=Romeo

S=Sierra

T=Tango

U=Uniform

V=Victor

W=Whiskey

X=X-ray 

Y=Yankee

Z=Zulu

Quick Updates Thursday 27th

The rain finally ended after about 36 hours of precipitation. It didn't pour the entire time but we definitely got a lot of rain in the past day and a half. 

 

I was able to work on the woodshed for a couple of hour this afternoon. I used up some plywood that we had left over from previous projects and was able to get over half of the roof sheathed.  The structure is strong however it is not actually anchored to the ground. The weight of the woodshed itself is what is keeping it in place. It is on stable ground but I could lift a corner of the structure up as the 4x4 pressure treated posts are just sitting in the concrete deck blocks. Speaking with my neighbour I think we figured out a good way to secure it to the ground. More on this later. 

 

We harvested the second of two watermelons. This one was at least pinkish red inside. It tastes good but it's not quite as sweet as I expected. The underside of it was a cream colour and it sounded hollow when i knocked on it.  I've recently read that these are two signs of a ripe melon. 

 

We were able to finish canning the tomatoes we roasted from our garden. We couldn't finish it yesterday as we didn't have any citric acid.  Some recipes for canning tomatoes call for a 1/4 tsp of the citric acid to adjust the pH to proper levels which will inhibit bacteria growth. None of the local grocery stores had any in stock. My wife read that places that sell items for wine and beer brewing carry citric acid. We ended up finding some at the local brew store. 

 

Tractor time

I'm looking at tractors again. Winter is coming and I will need to have something to clean the driveway that's over 1km long. We also burn wood for heating and there is a lot of firewood to move. We plan on clearing about an acre of land later in the fall and the tractor will come in handy for that as well. I have topsoil to move, a garden to make larger, and I have to do some road maintenance especially if this rain keeps up. All jobs that a tractor will make a lot easier.  If we get horses next year there will be hay bails to move as well as manure to haul  

 

We are looking at getting a used one in the 40-50hp range. Apparently this is the most popular size of tractor. Used ones, especially with a cab aren't available for very long once they're listed. 

If I can get the financing this might just happen.  

 

I decided today to sell my motorcycle as I don't have time to use it.  I really like bikes and have had several of them.  In the past few years I only have had a chance to get out for a ride a couple of times a year.

Unfortunately I usually get a sore back after riding for any length of time.  Rather than seeing the bike just sit there and pay insurance on it I think selling it is the "mature" thing to do. The money from the sale will help pay a few bills off which is always good. 

 

 

Rain rain go away...

It has rained most of the day here and lastnight as well. The weather network was originally calling for up to 90mm!!! That is almost 4 inches in a 24 hour period.  They then reduced it to a mere 50mm lol. 

I tarped over the pile of topsoil I recently had delivered. I tarped over some of the firewood as well. I also put some tarps up around a section of the perimeter fence of the duck pen. I installed the tarps on the end of the pen where their house is located. This area already has a roof over it to mainly allow the ducks to get out of the sun. I didn't want the driving rain to blow in trough the sides and soak the straw and also potentially their house so thought I would put up the tarps. Having the tarps up will also reduce the wind blowing through which usually gets stronger in the fall and winter out here.  The tarps will also prevent 3 feet of snow from filling up that end of their enclosure. 

 

Roasting some homegrown tomatoes

Had a chance to work on the wood shed today

Horses!

It's not official yet... but there has been some talk of us getting two horses as soon as next year!

I really like horses. I would love to have one. The issue is horses are very social animals so you shouldn't get just one. They do a lot better when they have a companion to hang out with. So we are going to have to get two instead of just the one! I'm okay with that. :-)

My wife has never been horse back riding. I have been out riding maybe 6-7 times when I was younger. It is pretty awesome. My brother had horses for years and when I visited with him I would hang out a bit with the horses in the field.  

There are several things we have to consider. It's a big time commitment and also a financial commitment. We will also have to build a barn for them. Our good friends that live 25 min away are getting horses and are just starting work on their barn. Pretty exciting stuff.  Maybe we will all be out horseback riding next year... on our very own horses!

Ive been reading about horse breeds and their different personalities lately. There is alot you have to know when it comes to having horses. There is a whole other language to learn as well. 

 

 

Stock photo of a beautiful horse.

The younger the horse is the more expensive they are typically. (This is not always true for thoroughbreds which are race horses.)

When I was looking at horses for sale here in NS there are many available. The older ones were between $1500-$3000 whereas some of the younger ones were double that. Horses live for a very long time and they can be riden until they're 16-20 years old.  So buying a horse that's 8-9 years old is okay and wouldn't "break the bank". 

Goldenrods in front of our deck.

Goldenrod

Goldenrod are a common wild plant found throughout most of Canada and the USA. Apparently there are over 100 species of Goldenrod... who knew!

They have been in bloom here in NS for a few weeks. They are important for bees as they are one of the later blooming flowers that bees can harvest nectar and pollen from. 

Bees need to store up a lot of honey for themselves to over winter and this  plant really helps them build up a good supply of food for the long winter ahead. 

Goldenrod flowers are edible as are the leaves. The leaves can be cooked like spinach. How cool is that!

Time flies!

I can't believe it's almost the end of September. I have a lot to do this week. I would like to finish the wood shed and start getting the firewood loaded into it. It won't be long now before we start using our wood stove. 

There are quite a few vegetables to harvest from the gardens still. My wife and I plan on making more zucchini salsa. We will also jar some tomatoes, and possibly make some pickles. 

I would like to plant a few more fruiT trees if we can afford to. In 2-3 years we will be happy we did when we are enjoying the fruit. 

 

Some fresh vegetables!

Some red onions, cucumbers, zucchini, carrots, potatoes, tomatoes and a green pepper. 

Watermelon... but is it ripe yet??

The first (which was the only) watermelon we picked was not ripe yet.  I was a little disappointed as mentioned because watermelon is my favourite and it was our first time growing them. This one is pretty large and I'm thinking it's close to being ripe. I will have to read up on how to know for sure when they're ready to enjoy!

One of 8 cantaloupe! Awesome

Cantaloupe might be in my top three favourite fruits. We have several that are quite large and the rest about half size. I hope they are ready to harvest soon. We had a frost warning last night so I covered up the tomatoes, watermelon and cantaloupe with burlap and a tarp. I didnt cover anything in the greenhouses as it should be ok. 

One of 5 pumpkin

I planted 3 or 4 pumpkin plants and they grew very large. Massive leaves which ended up getting "white powdery mildew" on them. Apparently it's pretty common especially if it is a humid summer. 

I didn't see any pumpkins except for one small one last week. Today I was checking things out a little closer and there are several pumpkins, one being quite large. Maybe 15" in diameter. I think we will try making some pumpkin pie and also dried seasoned pumpkin seeds once we harvest. 

DIY Cedar HotTub (MorningChores)

Wood fired HotTub

I might try and build a cedar HotTub this fall. It will be heated via a woodstove. The above picture is what it should look like when it's done. MorningChores had a good article on how to build one. It's nice to be able to relax in the HotTub after working all day especially if it's cool or cold outside. 

Stock photo of woodshed

Woodshed Construction

I started building a woodshed today. I have the corner posts up and somewhat plumbed. I used pressure treated 4x4s for the posts and I plan on using 2x4s for the rest. It should look something like the picture above. It will be 20 feet long and 5 feet deep. It should be able to hold about 4 bush cords when it's finished. 

Duck duck duck goose!

Just kidding! All 4 are ducks.  We definitely have 2 females which are hens and 2 males which are called drakes. The females have bills that are more orange in colour and the males have a teal coloured patch on the wings.  As mentioned earlier, the hens are the "quackers" and the drakes whistle. 

The hens should start laying eggs in another 2 months. 

My wife has finally come up with names for them! The two females are Daisy and Suzy, and the males are Peanut and Blue. 

4 duck duck duckies!

New garbage bin :-)

I'm just about finished our new garbage bin (box 🙄) I started it yesterday so I'm making good progress. ☺️

I just have some finishing touches to do and it will be good to go... errrr I mean fill. 

Re-installed corrugated fibreglass

Last year we added 2 feet in height to the duck pen to make it easier for us to work inside to clean. As a result of the extra height the rain was then able to blow in and wet everything... their food, the fresh straw etc... not a good situation. 

We installed some excelite fibreglass panels around the top section of the pen and that stopped most of the pen from getting soaked in a rainstorm. 

It is suppose to rain tomorrow with possible chances of a thunderstorm so I thought I better "git er done" 😜

Bee hive inspection

September Hive Inspection

I finally had a chance to check the hive today.  The upper super (deep box) had the center 6 frames loaded with comb and honey as well as capped honey.

The four remaining frames of the top ten were empty. 

When I say capped honey what exactly does that mean?  First the bees build the "comb" which is made of wax. It is typically yellow in colour and is then filled with honey 🍯by the bees. Where does the honey come from? The bees collect nectar from flowers and mixed with an enzyme from the bee, the nectar becomes honey.  The honey at first has too much moisture in it so the bees wait until the moisture is reduced to about 17% then they cap the honey on the comb with more wax.

The reduction in moisture is assisted by the bees flapping their wings and the warm temperatures in the hive. 

Capped honey (white) and uncapped

I then removed the upper super (hive box) and inspected the lower one which is the original we started with.  The lower super had a lot of action going on. Most of the frames are full of both honey and or brood. Capped "brood" is what eventually turns into bees within a few weeks.  A bee typically lives for 6-7 weeks. The female "worker" bees do all the work in the hive. 

 

I noticed that the bees had been making propulus. It is a brown thick adhesive that the bees use to seal off any cracks in the hive so that other bugs, rain and wind can't come In.  Propulus makes removing a frame for inspection difficult and made seperating the upper and lower supers, super difficult. ☺️

We might not be able to harvest any honey this year as 5-6 frames of honey, per super, needs to remain in the hive for food for the bees.  I could add a "honey super" ontop of the two supers we have but that probably isn't the best idea. A first year hive often doesn't produce enough honey to harvest. The honey that is there is required for the bees to survive the winter. I feel that if I add the honey super they may start making honey in that hive box before they have the second super filled with honey.  The honey super is where the honey that is harvested is stored by the bees. 

September!

Where has the summer gone! It's already September.... which is my favourite month of the year!

 

It is usually a bit cooler in September and the leaves start changing colour by the end of the month. Apple trees will be ready for the picking and my birthday is in several days!

 

I have a lot of things that I hope to get done in the next 4-5 weeks. I would like to finish the wood shed and get it stocked full of wood. I would also like to finish the garbage box I started to build today.

 

I might also add to the garden that is fenced off. There is another 20feet available to the south because we relocated the duck pen. 

 

Before the end of the month there will be alot to harvest out of the gardens and greenhouse. We will then have to prepare the gardens for winter. I also hope to plant some garlic which is done in the fall if I'm remembering correctly.

 

We plan on canning some of the vegetables we harvest this year as well.  We hope to preserve some tomatoes, carrots, and cucumbers and also make more zucchini salsa!

 

At some point I will have to check the chimney to see if it needs a cleaning. I imagine we might use the woodstove to warm the house up at some point this month. I will try to delay using it as long as we can as I welcome the cooler weather. (I don't particularly like the heat). It has been going down to 12C the past few nights which is great for sleeping!

 

If I have time I would like to take my motorcycle for a trip around the Cabot trail before the end of the riding season. The drive around cape Breton is beautiful and doing the trip on a bike in the fall would be spectacular!

 

4 cords that have to get relocated