“If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.” – John Quincy Adams
Welcome to Bear Mountain, where we pray that the above quote will begin to ring true, and our actions — our example — will inspire others to Live Free.
Beginning now, and on into the future inasmuch as our own survival will allow us, we at Bear Mountain will be the example of Living Free, so that you can see what we’re doing, learn from it, and adapt it to your own life. Through pictures and text, we hope to share our own journey along the path to true freedom and independence from “the powers that be”. Our story, including successes and failures, ups and downs, joys and sorrows, is here for you to see and, God-willing, join with in your part of the world.
For starters, we don’t have much. Everything we do is done as resources become available. We use as few Federal Reserve Notes (FRNs) as possible in all of our efforts, employing networking, “community outreach”, and barter as often as possible. We are not experts in any given area, but are sharing what knowledge, information and skills we’re able. Living Free is not a product offered for sale. It is an ideal, a philosophy, a way of life, and its only price is your commitment to it. It is the way Americans once lived their daily lives, and it is the way of life we must return to, if there is any hope of restoring America.
They call me Griz, and I do most of the writing for this blog. These people are my family, this land our home. Welcome, to Bear Mountain.
An Introduction to Livestock: Free Chickens and Converting an Old Shed
The above photo is from this past spring, when we were preparing the ground for planting. At center is Shan, Griz’s Wife, using a pick-axe to soften up the hard western Pennsylvania ground. Left is Justin, Griz’s youngest son, and the one in the orange tank on the right is JoDeann, Shan’s youngest daughter. Off to the left you can see the pile of brush accumulating from clearing the land for growing space. The house is over one-hundred years old and, at one time, used gas lighting, wood heat, spring-fed water, and an outhouse.
Networking: It was through one of my Facebook friends, and the podcast, that we were put in touch with a man named Paul who had twenty birds he was giving away. While we had been wanting poultry since before the time of the above photo, the project had never come to fruition, until now.
Somewhat suddenly we were presented with the opportunity to get the poultry portion of our little Homestead started. But, the potentially brutal cold of a Pennsylvania winter was looming, and all we had was an 8′x10′ shed. None of us has any experience building a chicken coop, and only two of us (both young girls, JoDeann-12, and Savanna-14) had any experience with chickens. But we all knew it was something that we had to do to survive the future. So we put our faith in God, and jumped right in.
This old shed had, at one time, housed a malnourished horse that Shan had rescued from certain death. It needed work, but it was structurally sound, so we knew it could be converted into an operable chicken coop. We just weren’t sure of the details.
The thing is, Shan and I knew that God would provide. We also knew not to concern ourselves with form so much as function. It didn’t matter that we weren’t using new lumber to do everything, because the objective was to get the conversion done and functional first, and then worry about improvements later. Which is what we did.
All we bought for the conversion itself was two sheets of 7/16″ OSB, and a screen door hardware kit, from Lowe’s (we refuse to patronize Home Depot). In total we spent less than thirty FRNs (Federal Reserve Notes — they’re not “dollars”), and only because we didn’t already have what we needed in this regard, and didn’t know anyone who did, to barter with.
(Bartering, in the very near future, will be the only option for Americans who truly wish to be free. Cash will no longer exist and will be better suited as fodder for wood stoves and campfires. Believe it. Prepare for it. We will do our best to show you how.)
In the picture on the right, you can see the opening that once was the front of the shed. The angled bracing at the corners, the 2×8 floor plate (it’s what we had available), and the 2×4 at center, set flat instead of edge-wise, as center support for the sheeting that will close-up the coop. But before we could close this side, we had to have a front door.
At left is the door we cut into the front, right-hand side of our coop. It measures (approximately) 30″W x 72″H. Logically, we used the piece we cut out as the door itself.
The door was reinforced with the top “slats” from pallets that Shan’s oldest son, Brandon, brought to us from various sources…for free. My son, Justin, did the reinforcing of the door and helped hang it.
This is the hardware kit we used. I chose it because the springs for automatically closing the door are integrated into the hinges themselves, thereby eliminating the need for an external spring, and more hardware.
This is the “finished” door (for now), with the “slat” bracing from pallet top-wood. You can see its simple construction, and ease of use.
The final step in enclosing the coop, was to cut and attach the sheeting to the open side.
(Pic to be added)
Now that the conversion was, for the most part, complete, it was time to go get the birds. But wait! We had to have bedding first! As luck would have it, we know the farmer who lives just over the hill from us, so I sent Justin and Vanna to ask him about straw or hay, at least for temporary bedding. Off they went, and within about twenty minutes my cell buzzed and Justin was on the other end, calling from “Farmer Don’s” house phone, telling me to drive on over and get a pickup bed of hay…for free!
Not being one to procrastinate (at least in this instance), Jody and I jumped in the Silverado and drove up to the farm, where Justin and Vanna directed us to the proper spot for the hay.
While I shook Don’s hand and thanked him, the young’uns loaded up the hay.
More to Come: As of right now, Shan and I are working folks; meaning we have to earn private bank notes by working for someone other than ourselves. In addition, we have a multitude of obligations we must tend to regularly. This leaves us to working on things as we’re able, and as we can make the time according to priorities. We are no different from you in this regard. Hence, the Bear Mountain Project page is updated as time allows, and is an ongoing effort. We appreciate your interest, your diligence and your patience with us as we work to bring you more informative content, when we are able. Please follow and subscribe to griztalkradio.com, so that you will receive email notification of updates to this page, as well as the rest of the blog.