Farmerjan's journal - Weather

farmerjan

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Yep it is "all in the details"...... :barnie :duc :he:th:rant:somad

Hopefully this Thursday.... meeting with the ins lady before the closing, she will have all the papers ready she said , and go over anything I might need.... she has done this more than once, said to just keep my eye on the "end"....

We got a downpour last night that was unreal.... 1.6 inches in about an hour and they got more just up the road at a neighbors.... The grass is really going to grow....

Finished doing the bush hogging at the pasture in the farthest field.... all except for the parts he is going to do. Took the fox with me and turned it out on some of the pastureland that backs up to the power lines up behind where the foxhounds are kenneled. It will have a chance to have a life there.... better than me shooting it. Pretty far away from most "civilization" so I hope it finds a place to establish its' self.

Then I went to town and picked up the feed I had called about yesterday late afternoon... they set it out under cover next to the scales... I was too tired and hurt too much after all the days testing to make the trip into town... The calves got shipped from here at the landlords' so no noise Friday night and I got a pretty good night's sleep. Still achy this morning, but not as tired and out of sorts. Got it in the barn in the cans.

Also stopped at a farmer's that used to milk and sold out last year due to getting injured.... he still has a couple of cows/heifers coming on, really loves his dairy cows, show/purebred/registered Brown Swiss and Holsteins... I am going to take some of his milk samples and another registered farm is going to "put these cows on test" , so that they will have records even though he has them at his place and milking them there, not with the other herd. He is as honest as the day is long and very particular so am not concerned that the milk weights won't be perfectly accurate... he helped this other farm show some of their cows at the show last weekend and you can tell he is really glad to be back "doing" with the cows. Just the injuries and rebuilding/fixing the knee and ligaments made it impossible to keep milking the 50 he was before... but he is like a kid in a candy shop being able to have his couple of cows.... and going to the show and interacting with the other breeders/farmers....

DS cut hay today at the one place. It is on a fairly steep hill side so the ground ought to drain and dry good. Probably tedd it tomorrow unless he says to just rake it. He was in a rush to get down to the gf again this evening. I think he should have taken the mower and gone and done the last 9 acre field at the other place and then it would all be finally done 1st cutting. So late.... Anyway; There was some storm damage and some trees down right around this place and the house next door. Cows were out into the neighbors field, then went up through the woods and are in some pretty rough terrain. He didn't have a bucket with him, to call them to follow him back to the field, and his following them wasn't doing anything productive so finally left them in the woods and some cut over land. Says, tomorrow he will take a chain saw, and a bucket and see it they will come in ..... if they don't go back on their own tonight. I will go up and see if I can help with whatever.

Going to be time to do 2nd cutting orchard grass with all this rain and new growth. The sorghum/sudan grass has grown 2 ft in a couple days.... it will be ready to cut in 2 weeks if it keeps up.... and he will get a 2nd cutting of it if he gets it done here soon.... even after getting it in so late.

Stopped at a buddy of DS, (and a friend of mine too) that has an outside wood stove to ask him about it and he told me several things to look for and what to get and not get.... and how it has saved him tons of money after it got "paid for" in propane savings.... and how he NEVER runs out of hot water and never has to cringe because he can turn the thermostat up and get warm on a cold day, and not worry about the cost of the propane..... Said it took about 8-10 years to "pay for it" but he has had it 15 and has never regretted it.... So it may not get done for this winter, but I am going to be near where he got his, so will talk to them, and get some estimates..... Might be something that I can get a better price in the spring when they might be slower.....We'll see. Then his gf came down and we all talked for a bit... had never met her face to face, she is nice to talk to though. The first thing she asked after we were introduced was how my ankle was doing; he has mentioned me in conversation as he did the feeding for us when ds broke his femur last Nov..... and how I was going to have it replaced and then after I got it done and ds had mentioned me a couple of times.... then ds got back with this gf and this buddy says he never sees or talks to him anymore..... this buddy is one that is not in favor of this relationship and has known son's gf all his life as she went to school with them.... so he knows her and her reputation.... but here is a girl (woman 35 or so I guess) that doesn't know me from the man in the moon and was nice enough to ask me about my ankle when it doesn't make a hill of beans to her.... we talked about a bunch of stuff; nice to have someone who would make conversation back....seems like a nice person.

So that is that. Stayed about an hour and just talked about different things.... about the house and all that too. Said that it will be good if I can get the outdoor wood furnace especially since it is baseboard hot water already there so perfect with next to no converting anything.... his is hot air, so they run the hot water through like a "radiator" so the fan blows the warmed air through to the duct system.... Was nice to just visit.....

Came home; ate the last 3 ears of corn the farmer gave me, and a small ham slice from the butcher place. Going in to get a shower here in a few minutes. Not sure what will need doing tomorrow.... but I guess that I will be up to it....
 

Senile_Texas_Aggie

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Miss @farmerjan,

I wish you would start a YouTube channel, showing all of your adventures. One of my favorite YouTube channels was "North Texas Hay", where they showed their hay operation. It would be fun to watch a channel like that with you as the star!

I am glad that your DS's girlfriend was nice to you. Should they get serious enough to get married, it would make it a whole lot easier for you if she liked you than disliked you.

Regarding the outdoor wood stove, I am glad you found someone who can tell you about his experience and help you decide. If you do get one, I hope you will invest in a good bit of firewood equipment to help you process it.

Senile Texas Aggie

For those of you on the forum who (like me) don't know much about outdoor wood stoves, here is a YouTube video that talks about a family's experience after owning one for 4 years. They reside in Wisconsin:

 

farmerjan

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@Senile_Texas_Aggie , if you are referring to the last post, it was the gf of our friend that was so decent and nice to me..... in the conversation about my ankle.
If my son is to consider marrying HIS gf, I will have a very bitter pill to swallow. Since she has made a few comments about how a friend of hers is getting divorced and all the crap she is going through, and that even with a prenup in their case, she helped make payments on a place that he had before the marriage, but the lawyer has said since she has helped to pay for it since the marriage, that she is entitled to a portion of it.....and that she doesn't think that getting married is such a good idea, I am hoping that she doesn't want to get married and that it won't happen. She had been married and got divorced and "came out very well" in it.... one thing my son did make a comment one day that if he were to get married he would have a prenup so that everything he has worked so hard for, that he acquired before a marriage, he would not lose it all, if the marriage were to split up. First sensible thing he has said....
 

farmerjan

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One other thing, there are alot of outside wood burning furnaces in this area. There are also a couple of brands. This was one of the things this friend was telling me.... and how much more efficient the one he got is, than a couple of other brands that are touted. He has a couple of friends that have a different brand, and said they are using more wood and refueling twice a day. He says that he seldom refills more than once a day, and usually every other day as that is one of the things this brand is supposed to be better at. So, that is a really good selling point for this brand. Off hand I cannot remember the brand, but will let you know once I go to see the company.

It will not be cheap. But, I think that in the long run it will be a sensible move. Unlimited hot water is a big draw. The water heater at the new house is electric, and if I wasn't considering the outdoor wood burner, I would switch it to propane once I get my stove in. But leaving it, with limited use, would be fine if I get the wood burner.

There is alot of wood that we clear off the fence lines every year. My son gives it away. I expect to pay someone to work it up and I can load it on the truck to bring to the house. Even getting it delivered, this friend said that it would be a wash as far as to cost compared to fuel oil for the furnace. Another thing, the furnace is going to have to be gone over and all since it has not been used for nearly 7 years. If it has problems, it may be wise to go ahead with the wood furnace sooner, rather than replace the furnace, although I am thinking that I will want the furnace for when I am down with the knee replacements.... but I won't know until I get into that. It was working when they ran it out of fuel in order to not have fuel oil sitting in the tank. There will be a residual amount, and that will have to be cleaned out also.
The boxwoods have to go as they are right there at the back where the fuel tank is and all. Not much maneuvering room right now either.

The motor that circulates the water can be run off solar, as in the video you referred, and that is a plus for this area as we do tend to lose our power some. Even a few hours in the winter, it gets cold quick. It would keep the house warm.... the only thing that I would have to be concerned with is not "using water" so that it doesn't need to be replenished into the system if the well pump isn't running. I have toyed with the idea of a cistern for extra water storage, but at the "new house", it would not be gravity as here at this house, as it is pretty flat from the well to the house. Lots to consider.

I found out here at this house, that I was spending over $400 a month the first year, for fuel and was never really warm as there was no insulation in the kitchen.... Plus it is forced hot air heat and I hate it. The baseboard heat is warmer and not the "off and on" of the hot air. There is some insulation in this house, especially in the rooms that were redone, so it ought to be better on costs. Then I went to the small infared heaters to heat separate rooms, all electricity users, and so the electric bill went up alot over the winter months. And being at the mercy of the power grid working.
The one nice thing about my old propane kitchen stove, is it does not have any electric igniters or anything. I can cook anytime the electric is out and often did in CT when I lost power up there. So if the house is warm, and I can cook, then if the power goes off all I need is a couple of Kerosene lamps to get through a power outage..... for a short period of time. If I do a generator, and it is propane, then I can live for a fair amount of time without the "power grid". Yes, I will be dependent on the propane but won't need to run it all the time.

We lost our power here for 5 days in June several years ago. Called a derrachio that took down trees and made one he// of a mess. Hot, and had to haul water to cattle for hours on end from a spring that was gravity fed....because the well pumps weren't working because of no electricity..... where I still get water now. At least if I had the provisions here for my own electricity, I could manage to cook on the propane, and even use the water from my own well to help haul water to places instead of waiting in the line that was at the spring for an hour or more at a time while all of us locals were filling tanks to water our cattle. Plus having the "luxury" of being able to take a shower.... It makes you stop and take stock of things when you are severely inconvenienced like that.

The wood furnace Rocky said will probably run $10,000 now, but again he said that he "paid for it in less than 15 years and figured that out with saved propane, and also figured in that he was also clearing fence rows etc so his labor was a wash as it had to be done so he just brought it home and used it instead of leaving it to rot. He also has some cattle.

If I have to have all the installation, it will cost more; he said him and another friend did alot of the "prep" work themselves. But say for round figures, it costs me $15,000. If I save 1,000 /yr in fuel oil costs ($2.00 gal x 500 gal for the winter and I use about 200 gal now with the added electricity for the infared heaters so that is being conservative) and then the electric for the water heater, at say as little as $200/yr.... so 10 years is 12,000 saved. Then the cost of having someone cut up the wood, so @ 10/hr for some wood cutting (maybe 50 hrs?) it costs maybe $500 yr. Remember, the wood has to be cut down off and out of the fences etc, so it is not like the wood costs except for the labor. So take 5,000, in labor, off the 12,000 saved so saving 7,000 in 10 years. So this way it will take 20 years to pay for it....
There is one other thing about the wood. These furnaces will burn anything and you don't have the worries about creosote in chimneys and all like a wood stove in a house. AND, we are having a horrendous problem with the "emerald ash borer" that is killing a large number of ash trees in this area. There are dead trees standing everywhere now, and more dying. My son said that they are going to have to start taking these trees down as they will become a menace to the roads and such, with falling down during storms since the roots are dead and the trees are no longer stable. It is sad to see a perfect looking tree that should have leaves on and doesn't; like in the early spring and you are waiting for the spring weather for them to leaf out.... and they never do. There will be a supply of wood from multiple sources and although VDOT is not supposed to favor any one over another like to drop these loads at a private persons house, they also make agreements with people to dump like a load of stuff, so that they don't have to haul it all the way to the landfill or somewhere and it saves them time and fuel and manpower.
Ash is a good hardwood and burns very clean. It also splits very good. Used to burn it in CT before I moved south.

The thing is, the electric is not going down, and with the instabilities in our world, if things don't start to get back to "normal" then things are going to start costing a whole lot more. Inflation is going to go up and the money we do have is not going to go as far. I was never a doom and gloom person, but I am very concerned and even a little scared of the way things are looking overall. If I have something like this, where I don't have to worry about paying out money every month for fuel oil, that might not be available , and can use that money for something more necessary, then I think that I am ahead.

Plus, the idea of unlimited hot water for a shower or a nice long soak in the tub is close to heaven in my book....

If I also do get into some sort of milk/cow/herd/ share thing, I am also looking at using ALOT more hot water for washing of and sterilization of glass jars. Plus washing milking equipment..... this sort of thing will make that payback quicker, too. Even things like canning, and heating the hot water bath canner.... put hot water in the canner to shorten the time the water has to heat to get to temp. things like that....
If it is run off a solar panel for the pump, then once that is paid off, it is "free" electricity and the pump will run with few concerns. Solar panels are cheaper than they used to be, very little goes wrong, and even the "green new deal group" is pushing for that. Of course the wood is "polluting the air"....
 

rachels.haven

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You know, I think wood is considered "carbon neutral" by the people who evaluate such things. Personally a mix of wood and solar sounds good to me (dh wants geothermal, but dang, that's pricey).
 

farmerjan

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Could be about the carbon neutral on the wood, except that there are places that are banning wood burning stoves and new installations unless they have a catalytic converter because of the smoke. I remember several years ago that there were a few places in ?maybe Colorado? that were banning any new wood stoves because the wood smoke was "lying in" the valleys and causing air pollution,,,,,,?
Geothermal is constant and you don't have to worry about it ever running out unless the earth's core goes cold. Doubt it will happen in our lifetime (LOL). But yeah, I heard it is pricey.
 

rachels.haven

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Gee, I hope no one was depending on wood heat when they banned the smoke during that inversion, if that's what was going on. Wood may be "neutral" but it probably still degrades air quality when trapped if that makes sense.
 

Bruce

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except that there are places that are banning wood burning stoves and new installations unless they have a catalytic converter because of the smoke.
Yep, many of the early outdoor furnaces put out a lot of smoke particles, far more than a quality wood stove. Some people just made their own with no consideration for the pollution. So yes you do want to get a good one.

it was the gf of our friend that was so decent and nice to me
I was thinking maybe you could swap your DS and his GF for the friend and his GF ;)

The water heater at the new house is electric, and if I wasn't considering the outdoor wood burner, I would switch it to propane once I get my stove in.
You would still need a water heater for non heating seasons. I can't imagine you would want to be running that outdoor burner 24x7 all spring, summer and fall. The heat pump water heaters are the most energy efficient but you would have to calculate the cost of use based on your electric cost vs propane cost for a "regular" water heater.

We have an "on demand" propane water heater and I hate it other than for showers (*). It goes on once it registers 1/2 gallon/minute flow. Well if you are using just a bit, then just a bit, then just a bit it NEVER heats any water. The HE washing machine is connected to it directly. I doubt we could ever actually do a Hot wash and most Warm washes are colder than the specs for the washing machine. I don't think the dishwasher would get enough hot water either. I suspect they were much more efficient before all the water efficient appliances came about.

I put a 12 gallon 110V electric heater in the crawl space right under the kitchen sink so there is no wait for hot water. The propane heater is run to it and everything but the washing machine connects to it. Before I did that when I would shave before my shower I would run the water until it was hot, then on and off for rinsing the razor. Then into the shower. There was always a section of the pipe that had no hot water in it and you'd notice that when you got in the shower.

* Actually given those 2 RIDICULOUSLY long showers (the ones I know about, I'm sure there were others) when DD1 and her BF were here, maybe a tank that ran out of hot water would have been good! The showers would have been substantially shorter.

Plus it is forced hot air heat and I hate it. The baseboard heat is warmer and not the "off and on" of the hot air.
I beg to differ! Baseboard hot water or forced hot air will both do the "off and on" thing based on the thermostat. The only systems I know of that don't (if you are smart and don't do daytime setback which WILL cost more money when the 240V electric heaters kick in) are radiant floor and geothermal heat. What I didn't like about the baseboard in the old house was:
Furniture blocks the airflow so they are less functional and having to take all the covers off every spring and CAREFULLY vacuum the fins of all the dust they accumulate. Must be careful not to bend the fins.

What I did like was I had it installed with one zone for the mostly open first floor and all 3 bedrooms and both bathrooms upstairs had their own thermostat. We could keep the master bedroom at 60° (DW likes to sleep in a cold room) but still have a 70° bathroom for showers. Can't do that with forced air.

You know, I think wood is considered "carbon neutral" by the people who evaluate such things. Personally a mix of wood and solar sounds good to me (dh wants geothermal, but dang, that's pricey).
I REALLY want geothermal but no one around here will install it. I've called everyone around that potentially does and not even a quote. One guy came by and looked everything over, had some interesting ideas like the fans in the existing furnaces could be used to push the air through. Never heard from him again even after I tried contacting via email, no response. I did get a quote from one company, phone "interview" for details, for $50K which didn't include any electrical or duct work. Totally ridiculous. At $10/ft for wells, two 500' wells would be $10K. There isn't even close to $40K in the hardware and installation to connect it to the existing ductwork. A quick look with Google says the machines that convert warmish water to hot air cost a few thousand dollars. When I asked for a breakdown of the extra $40K I got no response.

I've resigned myself to having to find some sort of efficient heat pump that can connect to the existing ductwork. The now popular mini-splits just wouldn't work in this house. I don't think "whole house" heat pumps are anywhere near as efficient as the mini splits.
 

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