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"Hippies" Unite!

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  • "Hippies" Unite!

    Okay all you crazy Hippies, what amazing counter-consumerism, wild & crazy, beautiful thing are you working on for your farm?

    We've already got our Chicken Tractor which I'm lovin'.

    Our next project is going to be a solar pop/beer can heater for the chicken coop! Not sure it's going to work, but it seemed like a really fun thing to try. For now we're still in the collecting/drinking stage .
    "For some people it's not enough to just be a horse's bum, you have to be sea biscuit's bum" -anon.
    Nes' Farm Blog ~ DesigNes.ca
    Need You Now Equine

  • #2
    Wait...your chickens like warm beer? Are they European?
    You jump in the saddle,
    Hold onto the bridle!
    Jump in the line!


    • Original Poster


      I thought it was whisky that was supposed to warm you up in the winter?
      (or brandy maybe?)

      Popcan solar heater: http://lifehacker.com/5574597/build-...n-solar-heater
      "For some people it's not enough to just be a horse's bum, you have to be sea biscuit's bum" -anon.
      Nes' Farm Blog ~ DesigNes.ca
      Need You Now Equine


      • #4
        How PC for them to call the plans 'for a popcan' solar heater.

        We have a Canadian forced air wood/coal furnace. Gramps set a hot water heater next to it and ran pipe thru the furnace to heat our water. The old cistern is lovely too.

        We live in the original 'old hippie farm house' on the road. (back in the 60-70's; we bought it in '79) They had kept chickens in the basement, it was quite a mess to clean up.
        Don't let anyone tell you that your ideas or dreams are foolish. There is a millionaire walking around who invented the pool noodle.


        • #5
          Cool Chicken Tractor!

          I'm sure my neighbors think I am some sort of Back-To-Nature freakazoid.

          Exhibit A:
          My "wildflower meadow" - at least an acre that, were it theirs, would be mown lawn with neat circles of mulch around evenly-spaced plantings.
          Instead there's a random assortment of perennials, grasses & opportunistic flowering weedage (Queen Anne's Lace, Solidago, thistle, etc) that finally - after 7 years - showed enough color this year to look intentional.
          At least to me

          Exhibit B:
          My berm.
          Started with rocks, soil and other spoils dug up by my excavator when he made the pad for the barn & arena.
          My intent was to have it block the view from the road & create a visual barrier between my pastures & the public.
          First year it was planted with tons o' perennials given to me by a neighbor.
          Most of which bit the dust except for the violets, a few hostas, some truly spectacular white iris and the unkillable orange daylilies I've heard called ditch lilies.
          Right now it is an impressive barrier indeed.....topped as it is by a stand of Monster Ragweed - around 6-8'.
          I'd pull this down except it harbors a population of sparrows and killdeer and hey!, they need a place to live too, right?
          *friend of bar.ka*RIP all my lovely boys, gone too soon:
          Steppin' Out 1988-2004
          Hey Vern! 1982-2009, Cash's Bay Threat 1994-2009
          Sam(Jaybee Altair) 1994-2015


          • #6
            Nothing really specific, currently. But as a child of the sixties we are kind of hard-wired to be thrifty, recycle, beg, borrow, steal where necessary and not be subject to conspicuous consumerism. My husband made his wonderful salmon smoker from an old fridge and found parts, and we are rather famous for its products.

            He harvests his grapes because they are lousy eating and makes grappa. Then he and one of his buddies distill it and have pretty potent moonshine.

            When we moved to this property 35 years ago, every time we dug up something we unearthed more stuff - in the old days people did not go to the tip, they just dug a hole and dumped stuff in it. Found in the pastures several old carthorse shoes, bottles, flat iron and nostalgia.

            Sharing is alive and well here, too. We get gifts of wine, veggies, honey, fruit, in return for grappa, liqueurs, extra donations that we can't use, and it is truly wonderful to be able to give and share our bounty.

            So we are still hippies, in a way, 'cept we like our comforts, too. My truck, though is like something Jed Clampert had in the Beverley Hillbillies.
            Proud member of People Who Hate to Kill Wildlife clique


            • #7
              Not hippies, but growing up in the mountains we didn't have running water, electricity, phones, cars, nothing like that.

              We had a really nice creek that we hand dug a ditch from, above the house and that water we kept in a cistern and gravity flow into the kitchen sink.
              The kitchen sink drained directly outside into a flower bed.

              Got the great idea of trying to get hot water, so we got a corner shaped metal tank we inserted in the very large fire place where we cooked and always kept a fire going.
              That fire place was what warmed the house in the winter.
              The water pipe went from that tank to the kitchen sink and so, voila, now we had hot water, sometimes boiling water.

              Our drinking water came from a little spring 1/3 mile from the house.
              A kid's chore was to run over to it with unfired clay pots and bring them back full of fresh water, that was used only to drink.

              We boiled, cooked, washed and watered the stock with the ditch/cistern water.

              We kept a large garden and much of that was sold to the store in our little mountain town, about 1 1/2 mile from our farm.

              Sometimes, you are a "hippie" by choice, other times, that is the way the world around you is.


              • #8

                I am finding more to do with my recycled Billboard since the one I ordered was almost double what I needed for what I initally needed to cover. Highly recommend them if you are looking for heavy duty tarps, shop around. I bought it from recycledbillboards.com but then found a local place saving 39.00 shipping fees and about 40% on the tarp.

                Just found an Asian Long Haired Beetle Larve or I am 90% sure it is so its off to the wooded area to find if we have a infestation of this invasive species.

                Just finished weathering a few bat houses to put up soon.

                Of course the gardening.........


                • #9
                  hmmm, not sure if this is hippie or just red-neck---Whenever something comes apart, my first thought is "Can I fix it with baling string?" It may be a temporary fix until I can do better or it may work just fine w/the hay string & stay that way. I like working with hay string; it is free and plentiful.
                  There is no such thing as "bad" horsemanship or "good" horsemanship. There is simply Horsemanship or the absence thereof.



                  • #10
                    I make beautiful aged compost from the manure and straw from our 6 horses. I pile it up, water it in summer, and have a system for turning it. I make about 40 cubic yards of finished compost per year.
                    I put an ad on Craigslist periodically and people come and I load their truck with my tractor. They get beautiful "black gold" compost. I have repeat "customers." I never charge for it. Always free.

                    But some wonderful trading happens. People are so grateful and want to give me something in return. It has been so much fun. They bring: homemade jam, zucchini nut bread, honey, veggies, garden seeds, dried herbs, sage to smudge my house, frozen lemon juice for lemonade, chicken eggs, etc.

                    I love trading like this! And for the record, I was born in '68 so not a hippie but definitely born in the summer of love!


                    • #11
                      If the baling twine will not fix it, Duct tape will !!

                      Actually, this thread shows how simple life can be the best. We are happy, uncomplicated and like to share like we were taught to in kindergarten. We do not like waste, we are used to honest hard work and don't buy into the keeping up with the Jones' mentality.

                      I'd probably see eye to eye with all these posters, including enjoying our horses.

                      My husband's family was definitely pre-hippie. It was their way of life for generations with no running water or electricity and living off the land as the pioneered across Canada from the east. Babies were had at home, people died at home and only staples were purchased by the sackfull - families were large then.
                      Diapers were washed by hand, water drawn from the well and heated with wood.
                      Proud member of People Who Hate to Kill Wildlife clique


                      • #12
                        Well, in between getting ready for a hurricane, I've been frantically canning peaches that I had ordered in advance at the farmers market...of course not knowing how crazy this week would turn out. Not sure if that's hippie or not but it's not common anymore for folks to preserve their own food as much. When I was a kid, everyone did...but not so anymore. I have apples to do next as well as to dehydrate some.

                        I guess having an organic garden is a bit hippie also. So strike one there for me. I also have chickens running loose foraging all around the farm. Definitely old fashioned..maybe a little "homesteader" in flavor.

                        My husband is talking about (note we are still in the planning stage...you know men) building solar panels for us. He got some dvd or whatnot that shows you how to do this inexpensively. Our electric bills are bad for this place so that would be super welcome.

                        I keep trying to talk my husband into turning our house back into a duplex, renting it, and putting up a Yurt to live in. Don't laugh, some of those yurts are amazing. We live in a structure that was a duplex and have been wanting to convert it to a single home...but that is an expensive undertaking and we have not gotten very far other than a hole in the wall to walk through. I would suspect that if we do put up a yurt one day, we will almost certainly be labeled hippies.

                        As it is now I wonder what our neighbors think. Any given morning we have turkeys loose that went over their fence, chickens in the yard, horses of course, and now ducks. I'm sure they think some major whack jobs live here now...farming the old way versus just building a chicken house and locking all the birds inside.

                        Foxtrot...I was raised in a family much like your husbands...very self sufficient hard working farmers. We bought little for food as we raised or grew most of it. I wish I'd paid more attention to food preservation when I was a girl but "Canning for Dummies" is a good book for adults who want to give it a try!


                        • Original Poster

                          DB having just moved in ourselves, I'm sure our neighbours are thinking the same thing . Actually having steadily added horse, cows, chicken, lamb, turkey, goats, ducks, other horse... they are probably just hoping we are going to stop sometime soon .

                          I love canning!! I just learned how to do it on my own a few years ago & do a few jars of pickles every year (BTW I hate pickles, I do it to give them away). This year I didn't have the time for my cucumber plants, but I do have a large bag of currants frozen waiting to find the right sized jars!

                          The crab-apples are coming in too, not sure what I'm going to do with 3 whole trees of them... but jelly sounds good . Plus I just found something new at the back of the paddock, not sure what it is yet, but maybe chokeberry which is supposed to make a nice tea.

                          There are some amazing videos on youtube, and that's really all you need to learn.

                          If we ever build new, I'm only doing it if we can make a straw-bale house! No plans to do that any time soon we love our century old place. Yurt/rent is a great way to pay for the reno though DB!

                          OM I have learned the only thing that should not be fixed with baling string is fences (temporary is fine but you have to actually fix them) other then that - it fixes EVERYTHING!

                          If we we're going on record I was born in the '80s.
                          "For some people it's not enough to just be a horse's bum, you have to be sea biscuit's bum" -anon.
                          Nes' Farm Blog ~ DesigNes.ca
                          Need You Now Equine


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Daydream Believer View Post
                            I wish I'd paid more attention to food preservation when I was a girl but "Canning for Dummies" is a good book for adults who want to give it a try!
                            I've been fortunate in that I've got one Grandma left - and I've bent her ear a few times. She's the one who taught me to can. I spent many a hot summer afternoon snapping beans when I was a kid.

                            I remember being resentful at being used as child labor... but in truth it was a wonderful time in my life and I wouldn't have missed it for the world. That and being a barn rat was a great way to grow up. There is not much to be learned hanging out at the mall with a bunch of other pre-teens. Nothing good, anyway.

                            Maybe I'm just waxing nostalgic. Dunno.
                            Brothers and sisters, I bid you beware
                            Of giving your heart to a dog to tear.
                            -Rudyard Kipling


                            • Original Poster

                              I don't know JS that's the way we're bringing our kids up & they love it now .

                              Can't keep the 3 year old from playing with the meat chicks, he thinks they are hilarious! We're going to have to buy him some pet chicks in about 3 weeks when the meat chicks go in :S.

                              But the boys are SO happy - for them it's been 3 months of pure bliss since we moved in! Lots of space to run around, animals to pet and play with, new things to see & places to explore . I had the 3 y/o IN the water tank yesterday scrubbing it because he asked to!

                              I've heard a few adults complaining about having been relegated to the plucking squad when it was time for the meat birds. Sitting outside with friends & family, talking and doing pretty simple manual labour then having a big feast - somehow doesn't sound to me like the worst Saturday afternoon activity .
                              "For some people it's not enough to just be a horse's bum, you have to be sea biscuit's bum" -anon.
                              Nes' Farm Blog ~ DesigNes.ca
                              Need You Now Equine


                              • #16
                                Not sure if that's hippie or not but it's not common anymore for folks to preserve their own food as much.
                                Perhaps I'm a hippie, or perhaps it's just that I live in western Oregon (including 5 years in Eugene, where the streets are paved with granola). Here, you're a bit weird if you're not into organic gardening, sustainable green living, or preserving food (or at least pretend to be). If you don't have a green thumb, there are farmer's markets on practically every block. Solar panels, yurts and domes are not considered at all unusual or eccentric.

                                I live in a somewhat redneck community near Portland where Dueling Banjos alternates with the Grateful Dead. That guy blasting down the highway in his big, ole' truck likely has an organic garden. My only complaint is that people don't get my idea of garden art. They tell me that the dump will indeed take the rusty box springs that my roses grow through...
                                They're not miniatures, they're concentrates.

                                Born tongue-in-cheek and foot-in-mouth


                                • #17
                                  Sometimes I just wonder .... what do city people have to talk about???

                                  I read all the truck, tractor, pasturing, gardening, haying, fencing, barn building, vetting, breeding, foal raising threads and wonder.
                                  Don't let anyone tell you that your ideas or dreams are foolish. There is a millionaire walking around who invented the pool noodle.


                                  • #18
                                    I'm a bit of a vain hiippy but still a hippy.

                                    I garden organic and preserve everything I have time for, today was mostly a day off. Just threw together a batch of Elderberry/Chokecherry wine. Peach is already fermenting. Just learning the ropes of micro wine making and thinking about trying beer this winter.

                                    So far I've canned peaches, pickles, and stewed tomatoes. Frozen corn, broccoli,cauliflower, wild raspberries, wild blackberries. More tomato products to go plus apples. Potatoes, beets, carrots, cantaloupe, squash and pumpkin left to harvest. What can you do with spaghetti squash?

                                    It's been a tremendous undertaking while working full time. I have not ridden hardly at all this summer. Hope to make up for it later this fall.

                                    Did you know if you gave your horses apples for treats that some 15 years later you will have a regular orchard? We must have 50 some trees that were NOT there 16 years ago.

                                    DH built a chicken tractor for my pet bantams as well as a large coop for our egg layers. He hunts and fishes. I gather.

                                    Oh and DH brought me some ripe hazelnuts so I'll be picking some of them too.

                                    Just need a coffee field and some wacky tobacky.
                                    And a bunch of money so we can go off grid.


                                    • #19
                                      Don't have the wonderful first-hand heritage of some of these posters, but my folks lived on the homesteaded farm acreage of great grandpa (from Norway) and told tales of canning, horrendous winters, homemade outside solar showers, and riding the seed planter behind two draft horses.

                                      My form of hippie life is to have stayed in the same house on 3acres since 1978, mightily resisting the marketing pressures of buying a new house and moving constantly.

                                      We have over 75 different varities of trees, all planted by us, every kind of fruit tree that will live here, berries, grapes, and raised beds for summer gardening.

                                      When the old roof goes, there will be solar shingles on the house, and I'm looking at solar-powered lights and fans for the new barn being built.

                                      Time to close the shop and run - gotta go, there's more to add but not this minute!


                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by JSwan View Post
                                        I spent many a hot summer afternoon snapping beans when I was a kid.

                                        I remember being resentful at being used as child labor... but in truth it was a wonderful time in my life and I wouldn't have missed it for the world.
                                        Oh God, the green beans! If I *ever* see another kitchen table with a three-foot pile of green beans on top of it again I think I might faint I finally got my driver's license and I went out and bought Mom FLATS of canned green beans to persuade her to give it up!
                                        Last edited by Mosey_2003; Aug. 29, 2011, 04:13 PM. Reason: Grammar FAIL
                                        It's a small world -- unless you gotta walk home.