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Dan Grubbs
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Ever wonder about farm auctions? They can be a great source to find what you need and even what you may want. But, it's easy to get carried away. Here are some common sense tips about planning to attend a farm action. What are you fun auction experiences?

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I know the photo quality is poor and it was after sunset so the lighting was terrible. But, we've relocated the high tunnel from the homestead we sold to our new homestead. This past weekend I was able to install the two end walls. Now, I'm ready to affix all the aluminum track that receives the wiggle wire that holds the plastic in place over the entire structure. Won't be long and I'll be done!

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This was from last Saturday. I came back from a farm auction and picked up some great buys. When I drove up and parked my truck when I got home, our flock of laying hens all raced out to see me and gather around my feet. This pretty buff Orpington was content to let me cuddle with her for a bit. I'm also happy to report that our girls are back in production after the winter. I don't put a light in my coop because I want them to have that needed winter break. They have responded well and are laying eggs that are slightly bigger than last year.
2 Photos - View album

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We didn't dive in to solar energy like the Kirby family has, but we are starting small with a 100-watt system to run two LED lights in our barn. I've blogged about it over at Stewardculture if you're interested in reading the steps I took, even creating what I like to call the redneck circuit board.

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Here's my blog post about greenhouse basics over at Stewardculture. Enjoy.

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Considering adding a home-scale greenhouse or hoophouse or even a hightunnel to your place. Here are a few helpful thoughts to consider. This is my latest post over at my blog Stewardculture.

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An interview I did of Jason Fowler the editor of Sustainable Traditions.

Three Feet Ahead

By Dan Grubbs

The pace measured in steady footfalls
Seems to me the more natural.
With limbs that stretch only so far
My step followed by step
Affords a view of the world unblurred.
This pace reveals the Creator’s love;
A love expressed in provision of abundance.
Bending dew-covered blades of green
My feet carry me by the yard, not the mile.
Progress understood by a different scale.

Cackles and clucks are wind carried
With fresh odor only to be interrupted
By smells of the chicken run, sharp and musky.
Low eastern sun bathes Orpington and Plymouth
Inviting them to a new free day.
Simultaneously communal and independent,
The flock subdivides and scatters
Staking claim to scratching patches
Fulfilling their own food-web role
Pecking larvae, seed, and grit.

A pitchfork of hay is a unit of commerce
Where compost, bedding, and gut are the banks.
Here helping hands freely given are more valued
Than slips of greasy paper, tattered and creased.
Things are noticed here, methods different
As life is divided by seasons, not minutes.
There is no fear of the time necessary
To walk and return favor to a neighbor
Exchanging a tool with a smile of gratitude
For helping stand up a barn wall or two.

The distance from back door to barn
Is no great distance to the world,
But a world exists between, nonetheless.
Where else can you hear jay and cardinal
Squawk at the grey squirrel as he performs
His own high-wire act on thin tree branches?
This world where tomato and cucumber vine and stretch
To their potential only to be plucked, jarred and pickled.
Dill weed grows tall here and fills the nostril
And floods the mind with flashbacks of childhood.

Strides taken here are not a striving or a straining.
Pace is not considered but allows my mind
To ponder if kale is ready, if eggs are nestled,
Or if my hand needs to feel the familiar handle of hoe.
Chores done in the time necessary, not more or less,
But the right amount of time that affords a view
Of design that is identifiable as work of the Divine.
Each of my steps in this place leads me onward
Without worry or dread but paced
Knowing the journey is eternal.

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Here's the my latest post over at the Stewardculture blog.

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