Did you pick them because:
-Possible profit from them?
I had to go look up my list again:
•Learn how to drive a draft horse team. We picked up a pair a few weeks ago and I will now need to learn how to pull logs, mow with a sickle mower and use a dump rake with them. I have driven singles before, but not a team.
With Z getting the farm, there is over half of it in woodlot with tight trees where we would not be able to get a tractor. I need to be able to work the woodlot of 20-70 year old trees. Also the ground is fragile there since it basically is in rainforest. The horses and harnesses were under $1,000 for everything, including blankets and other gear (as well as their experience as logging horses). The tractor we would need would be about $12,000. The horses will pretty much keep us fuel free and they can help produce their own feed, other animal feed, as well as our own food and firewood. We also have riding saddles for them so they can also be entertainment, and we can also possibly do waggon rides with them for income. Since we will have a farming farm open to the public, they could also be an added attraction to bring people. Since that is also elk country, they can be used for packing. So security, entertainment, income.
•Hydro power (pelton wheel) since we will probably have a good source for that at least 9 months of the year.
I am not sure we can do this, but there is a strong creek coming down the hillside to the river. It would be awesome if we could put a power generator on a diversion or something even if we create some of our own power for 9 months of the year, since although the creek runs 12 months of the year, with the 3 months of rain we don't get in the summer, I am dubious if it will get enough flow, although it also is spring sourced. I have always been interested in alternative power through my father (who was an industrial electrician) in the 1970's and I would like to know if it can be done, how to set it up and how to keep it running. If we can, we can have some (plus) self security for producing our own power. I have really been interested in Pelton Wheels since I saw a working one deep in the mountains not far from here, where it has been working since the 1860's, giving electricity way away from towns when many of those towns at the time lacked it. I alwayslike the ... "Can it be done?" theme. On this one I would have to say security, profit as well.
•Spring House on same water source as above.
It so looks like there is a foundation for one on the creekline at a natural spot not too far from the heritage house. Until 1970, they used the creek and finally a hand pump next to the lilac bush for water. I would like to restore one if there had one previously to preserve the ambience of the century old farm (again, working/teaching farm open to the public) and teach people about them, but they are also practical for me to store extra produce from the garden, extra milk/butter from the cow. I have been in spring houses before and if the electric does go out, they are just about as good as a refrigerator. Not to mention pretty nice to hang out in on a hot day. Security? Practicality? Energy saving?
•Crash course in Silviculture. Managing, using, conserving, and repairing forestland
I don't know alot about woodland management and with at least 60 acres out of 100, I need to learn this to keep the forest healthy for us, for wildlife and the ecosystem. This is something I can easily learn from the local college. I like learning new things. I need to walk with a timber cruiser and see what s/he has to say. There is lots of flora and fauna on this land and I want to make sure I don't mess up anyone's home, whether it is a mushroom or an elk. Income, firewood, lumber, wildlife refuge, added value for other ag products.
•Ham radio license
My grandfather had his ham license and I remember his shack in the basement along with lots of scary looking electronic tubes nearly as large as I was. I have his ham logs and some of his other stuff. MINUS the radios themselves. I used to have a rig in my kitchen for a few years, not knowing it was a ham radio and yes I used to talk on it. But now I would like to take my classes to get licensed and learn what I am doing and how to repair and all that stuff. I want it for various reasons going from nostalgia of what my grandfather did. I saw what ham radio did for us when I was in SAR. I see this one as security and communications when there might not be any other means. It might even be fun.
With the new house being built over the footprint of the old one, there is going to be alot of steps I have not participated in before. Although I can swing a hammer and use a saw, I have not built that many things and I am excited to be able to help on this project. At the minimum will help me when I build other buildings such as the outhouse, poultry breedings pens, the cow stanchions and more.
•Crash course for watershed management, erosion control.
Again, wanting to preserve the ecology of the place and with water running downhill to the creeks, rivers, wetland I want to make sure any farming activities I do there, do not create washouts, mud into the creek/river. Make sure I am not going to dry up the wetlands if I clear some brush uphill/east side from it and always keep in mind any changes I do can mess up native plants/animals.
•Possibly making biodiesel for Z's truck
This one might be nixed now since his truck half died and he is looking for another one this past week which may end up not being diesel. However, when it gets towed to the garage at the farm, I will be tearing it down to see if we can fix it. I used to work on lots of quarter mile cars for the racetrack, but never diesels which were not semi trucks. So it will be a bit of a new thing for me. I have had an interest in biodiesel and would like to try it even small scale to see how it is done. So I would say security and entertainment on this one.
•Make beer because Z has all the equipment and I got him hops from a interview I did. Even though I HATE beer.
I was raised on a vineyard in Oregon when 'they' said winegrapes could not be done here. Dad had about #11 vineyard in Oregon, and now there are over 500. I used to play out in the winery with him, dabbled a bit in distilling (not for 'shine, although when I was in West Virginia I saw the copper stills there) and I like the science of making these types of things. Security through food for the family??? Fun to see if I can pull it off?
•Put my class from a few weeks ago to good use and start AIing livestock, so I get better at it.
Not only do I do conservation with heritage vegetables and fruit trees, but I also do with animals. Most of the livestock I raise many people have not heard of, let alone seen. So the gene pools in areas tend to be close and I need to go 'out' to keep them from getting too inbred. Some of the cattle genes I want to bring in from Scotland as frozen semen. Some of the hog genes I need to bring in from the mid-west. The area the farm is in, creates some challenges with livestock and how we want to raise them. If the farm had been elsewhere, I likely would have chosen other breeds to raise there. But with the way and where the farm is, these are the breeds I selected. 10,000 varieties of heritage vegetables go extinct each year and so do 60 breeds of heritage livestock. I would like to help prevent this from happening to our heritage or at least slow it down enough maybe more people can have the opportunity to find out about them and start raising them too. I was a vet tech for 22 years for large, small animals and worked on a conservation zoo for endangered wildlife which most no longer existed outside zoos. We did embryo transfers and such and I became interested in that. I do not believe in some types of AI, such as the un-naturally broad breasted turkeys which cannot naturally reproduce, but to bring in semen from distantly related or not-at-all-related to produce offspring, I do not have an issue with. I can also hire out as a AI tech if I wanted so that is profit, keeping us from having to keep a male of a certain species which can take up room, feed and could be dangerous (like a Jersey bull) for only using him limited times a year (like 1-2 in some of our cases). We should be breeding our sow in January/February.
•Learn basic electronics, like build a radio from scrap like they did in WWI.
This goes back to my 2012 New Years Resolution for learning electronics. My brother built a small radio when he was in 4-5th grade and I remember it working quite well. I know during WWI they used scraps off the Jeeps to make radios for the trenches. It fascinates me that something so useful can be made out of so little. I would like to know the knowledge on how to make one. So for entertainment, learning and one day could be security.
•Perhaps set up my floor loom finally by the end of the year.
You know, I have carted that darn thing which is the size of a pickup bed around to four houses and two countries and I have not set it up yet. Now I have two of them. Hopefully soon I will have a 600 sf log cabin to use as my teaching space and office and I will no longer have an excuse in leaving it in pieces. I even have a willing
friend who is awesome weaver (she has 8 looms) who has volunteered to help me warp it. It is for education, income, teaching, and being able to make clothes for me and my family if I want to. I think it has a 58" reed in it.
•Learn basic economics better than I have a grasp on now.
I fear that what I know, I really don't know, so I think I really ought to know what it is all about. I think in a way I am afraid of knowing, which is why I am forcing myself to know it.... you know?