Heating up our tools in the forge in blacksmith class on Friday night.
Since I was a kid I was always interested in ancient cultures, and one of my favorite civilization were the Vikings. I am also 1/4 Scandinavian so I grew up with my grandma flying the Norwegian flag in her backyard, and being introduced to different Scandinavian foods, and treats growing up.
I have always been interested in combat, and the various weapons and tools being used. The idea of being a blacksmith and having the ability to make something from hot raw metal is incredible.
Back in January 2018, we decided to join a blacksmithing class at a local community college. This was a great opportunity, but also a huge annoyance. The first night we showed up, the teacher was over 30 min late (which was the first of many). Throughout the 10 week class she never taught us anything about being a blacksmith. She turned the forge on and we kind of just watched everyone else. She did teach me to weld though which will be useful.
In all honesty, we just watched the seasons of Forged in Iron, and it got us up to speed on a lot of basic things, but there’s only so much you can learn from a show. It did help a lot introducing and explaining what a lot of the BS terminology was.
We basically we all in on a forge that a blacksmith in Seattle had built. He showed us how it worked, and gave us a lot of pointers and ideas while we were there. People like him should be teaching these classes. We learned more in 30 min about BS than we have in 8 weeks of going to class.
We got the forge up and running, and it was way more simple than the forge from class. it also burned our gloves, and worked better with the tongs we have right now. i have had a problem finding gloves. I have small hands, and most of the standard leather burn proof gloves wouldn’t fit me. I have had this problem with aprons too. i ended up just looking around online and reading reviews to find some that would fit me.
So far in preparation in the homestead, we have already taken a bee course from our local county club. We will be ordering our bees next week, and finalizing obtaining housing hopefully in the next few weeks. We only had one hive, but a buddy from blacksmith class hooked us up with 2 Langstroth hives which we will be cleaning soon.
The next step after cleaning the hives will be to paint them, and I will be posting pictures of it as soon as they’re completed.
Plans for the garden are coming along too. We have decided to use raised beds since the area we are planning to use has a tendency to flood. The area gets the most sun during the day which is what we are looking for. We are going to level it out more before we begin building the fencing and laying the beds. Hopefully this it will help the flooding problem. The type of plants and seeds for the garden is still being determined, but it should be decided in the next few days. There will be a veggie garden, an herb garden, and plants that bees love to encourage pollination.
Chickens are also on the agenda. We plan to build a chicken coop, with a shelter for the bee hives out the back side of it, and the chickens will stay in the front. The type of chickens has not been determined yet, but they will be chickens bred more for eggs.