The Upside of the Polar Vortex

Snow removal

The polar vortex that gave Saskatchewan an extra helping of winter this year, gave me the chance to read a lot of blogs written by other homesteaders. The conventional books, journals and magazines that I have read most of my life have set me up for a very predictable set of expectations. Publications that have to pass over the desks of editors tend to have the rough edges polished out, and have been massaged for broad appeal. Unfortunately this often means dumbing down and removing that little spark that is present in the best story telling.
There are some compelling, smart and funny people telling their stories in blog form. The problem is that it takes a lot of time and effort to separate the wheat from the chaff (and there is a lot of chaff). After wading through dozens of blogs that were confusing, boring, repetitive dear diary monologues that tended to trail off ……. I found a handful of well written narratives that showed an occasional spark of brilliance. The best ones have the ability to engage the reader in the whole package of how the homestead is made, as well as how the homesteader was created. To be a homesteader in a 21st century post-industrial society is to be at odds with almost every norm and convention currently prevailing.
I have learned a lot from these people, and I hope to learn a lot more. As the weather warms in the coming weeks, I expect to have less time to read and post but I will be gathering photos and materiel for future efforts.

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6 Responses to The Upside of the Polar Vortex

  1. Would you mind to share some of these? I’m always after a good read. Thaanks

  2. Thanks for stopping by. Please feel free to share anything from this site. I am looking forward to reading more of your blog, and checking out some of the others on your blogroll.
    Cheers!
    Mark.

  3. muddome says:

    Awsome looking tractor. A front end loader is worth it’s weight in gold on the homestead. Is that a 4WD Mahindra?

  4. Its been a great tractor for me. This one is a Kubota B7100 4WD hydrostatic. It was the last of the small compact class (nowadays called estate tractors) that was made completely in Japan. After this model, production was shifted to the U.S. and quality suffered. I bought it new in 1995 and have never had any serious mechanical issues. The only thing missing is a backhoe, and when we sell a piece of land in Alberta, we hope to fix that deficiency. I see you have the Mahindra, how are you liking it so far?

  5. muddome says:

    Had mine about a year now and I quite like it. Bermed the back of our house, moved snow, trenched in my solar cable and lots of heavy lifting that couldn’t have been done without it. It’s like having 30 employees for about $1.30 a litre.

  6. I am definitely having backhoe envy. With foundations to dig in, trenching for water and electric lines and hundreds of stumps to remove, not to mention the vast number of other digging jobs and projects that it takes to run the homestead. The formula for the next tractor is “the smallest 4WD Diesel that will mount a backhoe and a cab”. I am trying to resist the temptation to save a few $ by omitting the cab. Even the early (east) homestead will have 700′ of driveway to clear snow from, and longer term plans call for as much as 2000′. Since I plan to stay on the homestead until I fall face first into my oatmeal, a cab would probably be a good idea.

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