Quazi's self-sufficiency projects

Discuss lifestyle changes to better survive disasters. This category is for topics pertaining to being self reliant such as DIY, farming, alternative energy, autonomous solutions to water collection and waste removal, etc.

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flybynight
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Re: Quazi's self-sufficiency projects

Post by flybynight » Sat Feb 29, 2020 5:51 pm

WELCOME BACK Quazi. pull up a chair and grab some beet soup :awesome:
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quazi
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Re: Quazi's self-sufficiency projects

Post by quazi » Sat Feb 29, 2020 7:47 pm

Thanks, I have been crazing borscht lately. :rofl:

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Re: Quazi's self-sufficiency projects

Post by Halfapint » Sun Mar 01, 2020 12:12 am

Oh man this brings me much joy! I loved your posts from a free years ago! Glad things are still going well for you! We finally lived on to our property but it’s beeen so wet (record rain fall) I haven’t been able to get the coop set up. But pigs are high on the list as well as goats!

Keep the pics and things coming!!!!
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quazi
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Re: Quazi's self-sufficiency projects

Post by quazi » Sun Mar 01, 2020 4:55 am

That's awesome that you got moved out to your land! Hopefully next year won't be so wet for you. We had the opposite problem last summer, it was the hottest and driest summer that I can remember.

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woodsghost
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Re: Quazi's self-sufficiency projects

Post by woodsghost » Sun Mar 01, 2020 4:14 pm

quazi wrote:
Sun Mar 01, 2020 4:55 am
That's awesome that you got moved out to your land! Hopefully next year won't be so wet for you. We had the opposite problem last summer, it was the hottest and driest summer that I can remember.
Welcome back! You and a few others got your homesteads and must have got busy. Good to see ya back! I'm sorry about last summer. I'd read it was rough on people and wildlife.
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quazi
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Re: Quazi's self-sufficiency projects

Post by quazi » Tue Mar 03, 2020 1:38 am

Thanks, I'm glad to be back!

Yeah, last summer was bad. Plus beetles killed nearly all the spruce trees in the area and there were big fires around the two towns south of us. I'm worried we're going to be next.

I need to drop more trees once I finish shoveling, but there's just so much to do.

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Re: Quazi's self-sufficiency projects

Post by JeeperCreeper » Tue Mar 03, 2020 2:46 am

Quazi welcome back!!

I don't know if you heard, but your property value is gonna probably drop cuz we are neighbors now!!!


Well kinda... I'm in Eagle River

But still, close enough!!

I don't know why I never saw this thread before, but you have quite an operation going!
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quazi
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Re: Quazi's self-sufficiency projects

Post by quazi » Tue Mar 03, 2020 3:04 am

That's awesome! I've got a brother in Eagle River.

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quazi
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Re: Quazi's self-sufficiency projects

Post by quazi » Mon Mar 23, 2020 11:50 am

I haven't done anything the last couple weeks except for shovel snow. I've learned that if I do 5+ hours a day I do something to my back that makes my hands go numb, so I've been trying to avoid doing that. The snow is deep enough that we can no longer move the bulldozer through the ditch, which means we have to walk it down the road in the middle of the night throwing 2x6's under the tracks to keep it from damaging the road. It's a big PITA.

I guess the one fun self sufficiency thing has been starting seeds for the summer garden and our plant nursery business. Nothing worth taking pictures of yet. We don't normally plant in the actual garden until late May but a lot of stuff needs to be started inside as early as February to have a shot during our short summer.

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quazi
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Re: Quazi's self-sufficiency projects

Post by quazi » Mon Mar 23, 2020 12:19 pm

Our hens have been laying lots since it started getting light out. I would guess we have ~13 hens, but it's hard to keep count of them. Here's a little egg pron.
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(Please excuse the stove, I am a filthy bachelor.)

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quazi
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Re: Quazi's self-sufficiency projects

Post by quazi » Mon Apr 27, 2020 7:41 pm

Been sick for over a month. When I feel better I try to get as much work done as I can.

We've been starting lots of seeds.
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Re: Quazi's self-sufficiency projects

Post by woodsghost » Mon Apr 27, 2020 8:46 pm

Looking great! What all are you planting this year?
*Remember: I'm just a guy on the internet :)
*Don't go to stupid places with stupid people & do stupid things.
*Be courteous. Look normal. Be in bed by 10'clock.

“It's a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don't keep your feet, there's no knowing where you might be swept off to.” -Bilbo Baggins.

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quazi
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Re: Quazi's self-sufficiency projects

Post by quazi » Tue Apr 28, 2020 1:14 am

We have a plant nursery selling flower and vegetable starts as a side business*, so we plant loads of different stuff. Like, many dozens of different things.
*Our primary business is normally tourism, but with the virus it's looking like the greenhouse is going to be our main source of income. :ohdear:

I want to plant loads of cabbages, zucchini, potatoes and beets this year. I've got ~250 feet of fencing around my duck run that I'm hoping to load up with peas, beans and nasturtiums. I'm going to plant lots of pumpkins, tomatoes, peppers, brussels sprouts and onions, but those things are pretty dicey in terms of whether they'll amount to anything. Kohlrabi are one of my favorite garden plants but they always seem to get ahead of me. I really want carrots, but somehow it seems like I've killed them the last three years straight. We still have loads of broccoli from last year, but our cauliflower was a bust so I'll plant more of that.

I'm really hoping I start feeling better soon, and that my back won't be all messed up during spring planting (they think that nerves in my back might be pinched causing all sorts of weird problems).

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Halfapint
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Re: Quazi's self-sufficiency projects

Post by Halfapint » Tue Apr 28, 2020 1:46 am

Ouch, yeah tourism isn’t doing well. Working for the major airline in Alaska, we are hurtin.

I was going to spend this year as a garden rebuild year. Take my time, clear the garden area. Start building it back up and adding layers and layers over the next year. But well that Rona hit. So We for a 24 yards of dirt delivered yesterday and the garden is getting 6” of compost dumped on it. I’ve got starts. My mom has starts and we set up a place at my fiancé’s moms for more starts. We’ll probably have enough food to feed the 4 of us for a year or more.
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quazi
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Re: Quazi's self-sufficiency projects

Post by quazi » Thu Apr 30, 2020 11:29 pm

Halfapint wrote:
Tue Apr 28, 2020 1:46 am
Ouch, yeah tourism isn’t doing well. Working for the major airline in Alaska, we are hurtin.

I was going to spend this year as a garden rebuild year. Take my time, clear the garden area. Start building it back up and adding layers and layers over the next year. But well that Rona hit. So We for a 24 yards of dirt delivered yesterday and the garden is getting 6” of compost dumped on it. I’ve got starts. My mom has starts and we set up a place at my fiancé’s moms for more starts. We’ll probably have enough food to feed the 4 of us for a year or more.
Yeah, this year is probably not the one to skip gardening. I hope your plants do well.

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quazi
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Re: Quazi's self-sufficiency projects

Post by quazi » Fri May 01, 2020 11:57 pm

We had more roosters than we needed. Put off butchering them since at fall they were still pretty small and then during the winter they didn't cause much trouble. Now that it's been warming up it's become a constant brawl so we butchered two of them today. One other is going to a friend of the family. Hopefully things will be settled down after that.
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Re: Quazi's self-sufficiency projects

Post by Halfapint » Sat May 02, 2020 12:35 am

quazi wrote:
Fri May 01, 2020 11:57 pm
We had more roosters than we needed. Put off butchering them since at fall they were still pretty small and then during the winter they didn't cause much trouble. Now that it's been warming up it's become a constant brawl so we butchered two of them today. One other is going to a friend of the family. Hopefully things will be settled down after that.
Image
Good looking birds! Look on the heavy end as well! We picked up over 200lbs of processed “organic” chicken for less than 60¢ a lb (processed as in gutted and plucked). That out off my plan on buying meat chickens this year. So meat chickens will be planned for next year.
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quazi
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Re: Quazi's self-sufficiency projects

Post by quazi » Mon May 04, 2020 11:28 pm

Halfapint wrote:
Sat May 02, 2020 12:35 am
Good looking birds! Look on the heavy end as well! We picked up over 200lbs of processed “organic” chicken for less than 60¢ a lb (processed as in gutted and plucked). That out off my plan on buying meat chickens this year. So meat chickens will be planned for next year.
Thanks! They were pretty tasty. My mom's boyfriend made them into enchiladas.

They're some mix up of dual-purpose and layer breeds that we've accumulated over the years. I've tried raising meat breeds in the past, but my experience has been that chickens just aren't a very economical source of meat for us (plus it's frustrating how much work they are to butcher versus how much meat we get). For eggs they seem worth it though. Some day I'll get some easy source of cheap feed going, but that's a long-term project.

Chicken for $0.60/lb is pretty great!

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quazi
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Re: Quazi's self-sufficiency projects

Post by quazi » Sun May 24, 2020 2:22 pm

Rough start to chickens this summer. We lost one due to an accident (he managed to get himself wedged in behind a wall somehow). One just died, no idea why. Another got sick and was acting like she couldn't walk, but after isolating her for a few days she got better. Then a couple days ago a falcon got another one. It landed on top of the chicken and ripped it's guts out through its back. (I decided to take the picture at a less gruesome angle.)
Image

Plus we gave away a rooster and a couple hens. We've still got seven hens and one rooster.

News got out that I wanted to setup an honor system farm stand and now things are starting to sound like a headache with other people wanting to be involved.

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quazi
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Re: Quazi's self-sufficiency projects

Post by quazi » Tue May 26, 2020 1:44 am

We officially opened our greenhouse for this season (we've been selling things for about a week already but hadn't been telling people). This is our main greenhouse that we sell things out of. We've got another one that holds excess plants and a third that is primarily for our own stuff.
Image

We also put in a new potato patch today.
Image

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Re: Quazi's self-sufficiency projects

Post by Halfapint » Tue May 26, 2020 9:35 pm

I’m so jealous of all that flat land! Looks amazing! Sorry about the loss of the chickens. We have a nesting pair maybe 2 of red tailed hawks on the property and I worry if we get chickens, that’ll be the fate. I prefer free range to let them take care of pests around the garden.

Hope you have a huge success in the new potato patch
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quazi
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Re: Quazi's self-sufficiency projects

Post by quazi » Sat Jun 06, 2020 11:43 pm

Halfapint wrote:
Tue May 26, 2020 9:35 pm
I’m so jealous of all that flat land! Looks amazing! Sorry about the loss of the chickens. We have a nesting pair maybe 2 of red tailed hawks on the property and I worry if we get chickens, that’ll be the fate. I prefer free range to let them take care of pests around the garden.

Hope you have a huge success in the new potato patch
It's a really good piece of land. My grandparents homesteaded here back in the '60s. There isn't much flat, dry land in this area of AK. It's mostly hills and swamps.

I definitely prefer to free range the chickens. Not only do they find a lot of their own food (during the summer) but it also just makes me happy to seem them running around. It does make them more vulnerable to predators though. Thankfully I think the falcon got scared off.

Been super busy planting the last week or so. We've got the garden in earlier than we have in probably fifteen years or more. There's still a chance it will frost and kill everything, but I don't think it's going to this year.

Got some ducklings in the mail yesterday. They're going to get moved into the greenhouse in the next day or two, and once they are big enough that the ravens and magpies won't eat them they'll go out to the garden plot they're fertilizing.
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Re: Quazi's self-sufficiency projects

Post by boskone » Sun Jun 07, 2020 12:12 am

Have you ever dealt with guinea fowl, quazi? They seem like people either love them, or hate them.

Since you seem to have experience with ducks and chickens, I was curious what you might think of guineas.

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quazi
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Re: Quazi's self-sufficiency projects

Post by quazi » Sun Jun 07, 2020 5:07 am

I don't have any real personal experience with them, and don't know much about them. My brother worked on a farm that had them, and he really liked them. I ordered some last year, but they took too long in the mail and all died save for one. That one lived with the ducks (who didn't like her, but were too slow to run her off). She was a super active bug hunter, and would fly ~8 feet or more up to snag them. Something ate her the summer we got her.

My mom and grandparents raised them once years ago. My grandma tells me that they are vulnerable to cold and wet (two things we have in abundance).

I'd like to try them again some day, especially if I can find some locally to buy.

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