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Snow Days… Gods When Will it End…?

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Firstly.. Sorry to not have written anything in a while. Life in general has been hectic here.

Now about Snow days… the first year we were hear we had sooo much fun with them. Seemed like every other week the school would cancel days on end. Well in the last 2 months aside from the normal time off they have had an additional 2 and a half weeks off. …and last week it got ridiculous. The last couple days they had off there was no snow on the ground and one of them was a day it rained all day. I jokingly said on Facebook that it wasn’t a snow day it was a “rain day”.

It was so bad that back on Monday I joked about the fact they’ll call school off on account of heat… as it was in the 50′s in January. The intense cold did give us a minor problem. Our pipes froze, just one segment and it was the important one. The outside pipe leading to the house from the well. So instead of waiting for thaw we just went out and bought some PEX pipe and re ran it.

On the pigs we were going to get… Seems they died in the cold we had along with the goats these people owned. Now my only problem with this is that we own 1 goat. She lives in a shelter made of tarps, concrete board and some rolled roofing. Theirs had a post beam structure and 3 goats in total. I’d think the three goats would be able to keep each other warm. While the only help my goat had was hock deep straw and my daughter’s blanket. Shrugs

We got our van which was out of commission working again. Spent over $300 on the repairs till we replaced the right thing. Funny thing is everything we replaced needed it, but wasn’t the problem till we got to the final one. It was the MAP sensor something that costs $40. Well at least we now have a new…

Fuel pump

Fuel filter

Distributor cap

ECM

Spark Plugs

Spark Plug Cables

..so we know if something else happens they won’t be those.

My son gets to go on his first maneuvers with the National Guard next weekend, hope he enjoys it. Right now all we are currently doing is making plans for the building we are going to do. The house is low on the list, have so many other things we need doing first. Well house, outdoor kitchen, layer house/yard, goat house/yard, pig pen (as we are planning on trying for some other pot bellied s).

Well That’s it for Now.

Be Well, Be Safe, and Blessed Be…

Pot Bellied Pig info

Well since Sunday I’ve been searching online for info on raising pot bellied pigs for meat. Well, oddly… there isn’t much info on it. The most of the info online about pot bellied pigs is on the “pet” trade for them. The only places where they even mention it tend to be online forums. So I went around and posted pretty much the same question to all of them.

 

“I’m getting 5 pot bellied pigs, once I can buy and set up the fencing for it. However I’m not finding much about how to care for them. I’d like to know some basic info about care.”

 

Well, I’ve had a few responses. A lot say DON’T it’s too fatty that it’s only good for lard. Also that you don’t get much from them. I expected with a small pig you wouldn’t get much, small pig; small meat. Now the ones saying it’s only got for lard have from the responses only butchered one pig and it was one they bought at what they considered proper weight.

 

Now aside from the ones who wanted to know more as well there were a few that raise pot bellied pigs normally who have ALL said… “..if you are getting a large amount of lard then the hog is OVERWEIGHT.” Seems that a pot bellied pig NEEDS to be a bit on the “trim” side. Also every one of these regular raisers of them have said they prefer to butcher them a bit on the old side. As in older than most would butcher a typical hog.

 

They have all said you will get mostly sausage out of them. Though you will get some small hams. That is fine by me, though I am thinking of trying to get some chops out of them. I am not expecting to get roasts out of them at all.

 

That’s what I have learned at the moment. If/when I learn more I’ll pass it on!

 

Be Well, Be Safe, and Blessed Be…

So Much for Self Sufficiency, a Farm Under Fire

Originally posted on homesteaddad:

I don’t know Mark Baker, but I have met someone who does.  I am saddened that our government is sticking it to the small farmer.  I don’t know if they are working with Big Pork to eliminate competition from small farms who are able to fill a niche market, but no matter what the letter of declaration describing the types of pigs that are considered feral would encompass almost all types of pigs.  I would however guess that it was written so that pork grown at large industrial feed lots are exempt.  I don’t think, at least I hope that those at the Michigan DNR who are enforcing this are bad people or acting maliciously, but whoever approved this prohibition is either in cahoots with Big Pork or is poorly advised.  As someone who would like to have a small hobby farm, and be able to raise my own food…

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Free is Always Good

Well yesterday was an interesting day for us here. A year ago, I believe we cleared (not completely left some nice oak trees) for a pig enclosure. Then me and Silver were discussing it and decided we didn’t want the hassle of a full sized pig, as they can be dangerous and require really good fencing here. As if they get “away” from you you WILL be fined. Wild hog (read a feral) is a problem in this state.

 

Well yesterday our neighbors from down the road came over and asked us if we might be interested in some Pot bellied pigs. 5 of them for free. Well, pot bellied pigs don’t get very big and while they still need sturdy fencing.. and “rooting under” fencing their requirements are about what a goat needs aside from height. While the goat may jump a 3 foot fence the little piggy won’t. So we are going to go out and buy some fencing and set up a pig enclosure in about 2 weeks then we will be the proud owner of a small herd of pot bellied pigs. 2 adult sows.. 2 young-uns.. and one boar.

 

Also these same neighbors were looking at Momma and said, “you know, We have a horny goat at home how about you bring her by and we’ll see if we can’t get her pregnant.” Yeah on 2 counts! So Momma is over visiting a right handsome fella right now and hopefully we’ll get something out of that.

 

I’ve been up before the sun this morning making bread and feeding everybody else. I even have some laundry going.. and we’ll see what today might bring us.

 

Be Well, Be Safe, and Blessed Be…

Good News Tuesday!

We had an interesting morning this morning. Well first with the wonderful ..-balmy- temps(in the 20′s). I sent the kids off to school bundled up aside from of course the creature known as the teenage boy. What is it about them that makes them thing it’s macho/manly/whatever to go about when a penguin won’t in just a sweatshirt and pants? Well, as long as the school doesn’t phone me to complain about it I’m happy.

 

We had some good news this morning. The company who financed our building had sent us a late notice, for our last payment on it. Now we thought we had paid it, guess not. Anywho, Silver calls the company up this morning to tell them sorry we’ll get it out on the first with the required late fee included. Company had no problem with this, the call lasted maybe 5 minutes. Not ten minutes after that the company calls us back saying that after they looked up our account and did some math.

 

They owe us $12.

 

WOW!

 

Nice huh? Here we thought we were behind and come to find out we are paid off. Good for us!

 

Hopefully the rest of the day will continue on this trend.

 

Hope your day goes so well!

 

BE Well, Be Safe, and Blessed Be…

We’re Back!

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Well everyone looks like we have some internet again, though it’s not very good and we have a bit of restrictions to it. A good deal has happened here since I last updated the blog. We bought 2 goats, which unfortunately we only have one now as during the time they had been playing together the younger of the two was injured and died from it. The remaining goat we have is named “Momma” she is black except for a small white spot on her head and she’s over 5 years old. The only info the seller gave me on her is that she is a “Spanish” goat and that her last kidding she had 4 kids. Now all I need is a buck for her and maybe I can increase my population. I am looking to buy her a friend as well, the one plus to the death of her old friend is that now Momma is a much friendlier goat that she was when we bought her.

 

In the last few months due to one of our neighbor’s moving away we acquired some building materials so we have an addition to the building we live in. So now me and Silver have a fully private bedroom (YEAH!).

 

Most of our chickens wound up getting eaten by a stray dog, and now we are down to just our rooster and 2 hens. I am hoping to fix that problem this Spring as well as get out rabbits going as well.

 

I am making some new planting beds based on a few different ideas I have read over the last few years in the clearing behind where the dome house will be built. I have taken the idea of lasagna gardening,Ruth Stout’s(correct spelling?) no till method, and a permiculture idea. I have started with a 4 foot wide bed that has at the bottom of it a bunch of brush and twigs. On top of that I have put a layer of composted chicken manure. Next a batch of mixed top soil and bagged manure. I am also sheet composting on it as well as adding wood ash as winter goes by us. Next throughout winter I will be adding the occasional layer of straw to it. Come spring when I clean out Momma’s “bedroom” I’m going to add that too it as well as any left over hay once there is good forage for her again. I have high expectations for these beds. I am also going to attempt to plant some bee balm at the ends of the beds in hopes of attracting lots of bees.

 

Since not having the internet here I’ve taken up to getting up at 3:30am and starting my day off with the animal feeding chores. I’m usually done in 30 minutes which then I make Silver a pot of coffee me some tea and watch the early edition of the news then I watch AG Day. You want to hear something weird? By watching the program I have noticed that while yes it does fall under the heading of most “national” news broadcasts (AG Day/Farm report), AG Day does contain a lot of good info about what is going on in the food system. Even more interesting is some of the commercials on during the program. Like ones for herbicides…

Did you know…? that now just using glyphosphate is not good enough? Granted I had some idea of this watching local farms who don’t grow canola, having canola“weeds” in their corn and soy fields. “Roundup Ready” now includes something called dicampa(spelling?), my guess would be for the “super weeds” and for the unwanted crops(read as weeds) popping up in their fields. So I wonder how long that one will last. I have also seen a commercial for a “weed control system”, this “system” includes 5 different kinds of herbicide. Now I know there are many large scale farmers who farm the way they do to make a living and love what they do. I just wish that we didn’t need the large scale farms and could supply the populous with smaller farms who does have time to go out and hand kill their own weed problems.

 

On another subject the recent decrease in the food stamp amounts federally. Now I know there are a good deal of people out there who do abuse the system, however for those who do need it; this is really going to hurt them. Our local news this morning highlighted a college student who needed to go to a food pantry due to this decrease. Problem locally here is I know in the county I live in if you need to use the food pantry you can only use -ANY- of them once a month. So if you go to one that gives you only one day of food and you still need to cover a full week because you funds won’t stretch that far you can’t do anything but try to make what ever you have on hand last till you can buy more or go again. With the talk of milk prices possibly going up very high and the talk of all food prices going up if the farm bill doesn’t pass soon… I think there will be big problems in this country involving people having enough to eat if they don’t make enough money.

 

Well I guess if you living in Washington state now you might be able to afford your food bills with the increase in the minimum wage there to $15.. however I get the feeling that due to that the number of jobs will drop considerably.

 

I am hoping to be able to keep the blog up to date, and I hope I give everyone something to think about as well.

 

Be Well, Be Safe, and Blessed Be…

Busy weekend ahead.

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We spent most of the week relaxing as the kids have been visiting their grandmother.  So we had been hoping to get a ton of work done, but then it got hot, so due to no kids we’d sleep late then it would be too hot to do any work outside shrugs it happens. Yesterday we spent about half the day helping out Queensized Tink and her family with a building project.

 

I managed to pick some broccoli out of the garden this morning which we will be eating with our dinner tonight.  We have been getting strawberries and I’ve been drying a good portion of them.  I am also putting some away to make jam with once I have enough.  My Elderberry should be blooming soon and I’m hoping  that they don’t do like last year and die after blooming.  Now the broccoli I picked today made me smile as last year we had one “make it” and it only got as big as my thumbnail.  This morning I got 4 big florets one the size of my fist with wise.

 

Our tomatoes are coming along nicely and I’m starting to get some tomatoes on the plants, my peppers will be “popping” soon.  As like my tomatoes and all my cabbages they are growing huge.  They are also covered in flowers.  The new rosemary plants we potted with my onions and hot peppers is trying to take over the pot.  Our other rosemary does not grow as happily, so that’s really good.

 

The roses are getting ready to bloom as are the dahlia’s I have planted.  Pity though that they will probably bloom this weekend  while we aren’t home.  See we have to go pick up the kids Saturday night.. and will be back very late Sunday.  So knowing my luck they will both bloom Sunday morning.

 

I have also started gathering off of my “old fashioned” day lilies the buds so I can dry those for putting into soups and stews this winter. I have a recipe for making paste that I’ll post when I have a chance that takes dried tomatoes and shows you how to make tomato paste from it.  It sounds much easier than the “cook down” method.  The person who wrote the book that it is in in stated that the point of making paste is removing enough water to make it thick so if you start from dried you only have to add enough to thicken it.

 

Well, I’m heading out now as we have some prep work for our trip and for our shopping trip tomorrow.  Everyone have a great weekend!

 

Be Well, Be Safe, and Blessed Be…

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