Monthly Archives: February 2013

I know why…

lana You know in every shelter dogs life, there is the why are you here??  I think I know why. At least    this is the only reason I can think of at the moment.  When you get a dog, you have to find out why someone got rid of it. Then, you have to decide if you can fix/ or live with the problem.

  1. Did they move and couldnt take her? Maybe, unknown because she was roaming the city streets.
  2. Is she potty trained?  Yes, fairly well for being in a place with no bathroom access for 30 days.
  3. Does she bark excessively? No, just at people coming in which is good.
  4. Is she bitey? No, she doesn’t even like to play bite.
  5. Does she hate cats? Yes, but she has prey drive..its the breed traits. That can be trained out.
  6. Does she have too much energy? No, she is calm in the house even though she does require a lot of running, but what shepherd doesnt.
  7. Is she bad with kids? I would say no. Mine are 11, 12 and she licks them to death.
  8. Does she jump up on people? Yes but it took her one day to stop..so No for the long term.

I was running out of questions to ask myself…

  1. Is she a “bad” dog? She has had no formal training and she is 1 1/2 so if that makes her a bad dog, it was the owners fault.
  2. Is she crate trained? Yes, she will go into a crate and sleep all night long fine.
  3. Does she have separation anxiety?  BINGO! We have a winner!

All the other bad things have changed in this week, except for this.  She is going absolutely crazy when I leave.  I dont know what happened or why she is doing this. She doesnt even really know me. It makes me think she had this problem and that is why they just “let her go.”  Alot of times people will just turn their dog loose because they think all shelter dogs get put down. Well it is true some do, but if there is nothing majorly wrong with them, they get adopted fairly easily. Facebook is awesome at helping people adopt. You can see what your shelter has without getting in the car only to be disappointed they had nothing you wanted.

So now we are dealing with that. How bad is it? Well I left her in the house while we left for one hour to see what she would eat…nothing but she left a huge pile of poo on my kitchen floor.  So we crated her that eveningfor 4 hours, after giving her a walk to drain some energy, and came home to a half destroyed blanket and partially destroyed crate.

I left her today for an hour and this is what I came back to.

lacy crate

That front bottom bar was bent in also. I had already bent it back before I snapped the picture.  Guess she really hated me being gone…or did she hate that pillow?

 

Happy Homesteading!!   😀

Categories: Uncategorized | 7 Comments

Post slow down

I’m at a point in my blogging career that I am running out of things to post!  Tragic I know. Most of you look at my posts daily. I used to have two weeks scheduled ahead for just such occasions, but they have dwindled down to ..this… no more scheduled posts.

Right now I am at a point where I am focused on learning. That means reading and reading and reading..and not really having time to blog.  I need to make sure that this rotational grazing is all it can be this year.  I need to make sure that turkeys are a good fit and that they don’t costs me more than I can afford.  We are still saving for a house and plan on moving this summer, but I can’t spend if I cant sell and get a profit or at the very least return on my money.

I need this all to work this year because my husband is always skeptical at my new ideas.  I’m tired of it.  I don’t think anything I do is a fail. It is all a learning experience.  How do I know what I want to raise if I don’t try?  I might hate turkeys, but I wont know till I raise them.  How do I know how many of what animal will fit on rotational grazing if I dont try on my little acre before we move?  The new house will have a lot more acres that I will need to manage. I need to know I can do it on a small scale and move on up.  What is the point of making a large investment on a property with a lot of acres if you don’t do anything with that?  I would hate to fail on a larger scale and lose more money!

Sorry..this is more of a rant I guess today.  The point is I am doing more and more research to be sure I can do this.  It is all still very scary to jump into, but I’m still going to try.  My time is being eaten up with reading and researching. I need to get this done before the lambs come in a few weeks.. then a month after all the chicks and turkeys will come..then the garden will come..

I will try my hardest to continue to blog on what I am doing as I am doing it, but just know that my posts will probably slow down to only a few a week.  If you have anything you would like me to post about or any questions, feel free to comment below and I will try to make it a topic of a post for you.  I don’t claim to know everything but I do follow a lot of people who do know a lot   😉

Happy Homesteading!!   😀

Categories: Homesteading | 8 Comments

Learning the Rules

Well I told you yesterday that we got a new shelter dog.  She is very sweet, but I probably wouldn’t have picked her out of all the ones there. My husband really likes her. In all new adoptions there are rules to learn.  No matter what your household is like, rules, especially for dogs, is a must.

lacy1

This is our Lacy. Yes her ear is always like that unless she’s REALLY exciting..then you get both up.  She has been in the shelter for a month.  In the shelter there are rules.  Doggy rules.  Rule 1: This is my kennel. Dont come in it.  Rule 2: This is my food, no other may eat it.  Rule 3: This is my water..go get your own. Rule 4: This is the only bone I’ve gotten and I dont share.  These are basic doggy rules and the longer they stay in the kennel usually the more enforced they become.

This is a problem when you have a dog already and bring one in.  The dog in your house has different doggy rules. Rule 1: This is my house, but my house is your house.  Rule 2: Yeah that’s my food, go ahead, try some.  Rule 3: Here is the water, same some for me cause I might want some after we play. Rule 4: Oh hey this is my bone, take it, chew it, I’ll get it when your done.

lacy2

Two lives merge and most of the time one dog gives in to the other. Most of the time, at least at first, it seems the shelter dog gives in to the dog who’s home it is. This is not always the case.  I write this because although most adoptions are great, seamless, and dogs get along well, not all are that way and you have to be prepared to be the Alpha.  We brought Lacy home towards evening.  The next day was when we had to set the rules straight.  She had prison rules, Annie had home rules.  Annie only eats once a day, usually before bed, but today it was around 1. She walked over to eat out of her own bowl and Lacy decided it was hers.  It was not pretty. A quick NO and both dogs split.  Then I made Lacy lay down and watch Annie eat what she wanted.

I had given both dogs a bone before I went to town. Lacy was crated with her bone and Annie was left out with hers. When we came home, I let Lacy out of her crate. She decided that since her bone was gone that she would take Annie’s.  Now Annie, having remembered the whole food fiasco, decided it was her bone. Rightly so, I gave it to her. Well again Lacy went after Annie.  NO! Both dogs take off running. I grab the bone and put it in Annie’s cage for later.

lacy 3

Lacy has decided that this house is a big kennel. It is all her’s and Annie has nothing.  So now it is up to me, the Alpha, to keep the peace and make Lacy realize we all have to share and prison rules don’t apply.  There is no room in the house for fighting.  She only ruined it for herself because now she is bored and wants to play, but Annie will not play with a dog who attacked her twice. Can you blame her?

Lacy really is a good dog. Most would have taken her back to the shelter by now. I mean she chases cats, chickens, is food territorial, and has fought twice with the original dog of the household.  To me, I see a dog who has had these rules for a month and one day is not going to change it all.  In this 24 hour period I have seen Lacy change.  By being a calm and assertive alpha, I have gotten her to sit on command (she only did it if you pushed her down each time), you can snap your fingers and point to the floor and she lays down (to scratch her belly, but still hehe), she lays in the living room while the family eats dinner, and she doesn’t go into our laundry room if I am in there and have told her to stay out. She sits to get the leash snapped on, she sits when she comes in so you can take it off, and she will leave a room if you tell her to “go.”

Please realize that although shelter dogs may have “faults” at the beginning, they play by different rules.  They either play by prison rules, or they play by the rules they had at their other home.  That doesn’t make them a bad dog. Give them time to learn the new rules before you decide to send them back because they don’t fit your expectations.  You have to take them as they are. It’s not their fault and they will adapt to your rules if you are a good Alpha.

Happy Homesteading!!   😀

Categories: Homesteading | 1 Comment

Shelter Dogs (long read)

I want to talk to you today about a problem that America has.  Recently I heard that a certain breed of dog won the Westminster Dog show…so all of a sudden the demand for that dog skyrocketed.  I remember when 101 Dalmatians came out and all of a sudden everyone had to have one.  We are a society that has to have the latest craze. The problem with that is when the next craze comes…the other is left behind.

I used to breed Boxers. I did it for 6 years. I had no problem finding homes for my dogs and I made a lot of money. I love Boxers and did what I could to ensure I had a market. The best way to market your dog is to show it.  I got involved in showing. I got to know people. I bred to champions. I produced puppies of the highest quality. The problem with that was that while I was making money selling puppies to “good people, with good homes, ” there were shelter dogs losing their lives because there were no homes to take them in.

One day during my breeding days, I called the local animals shelter. I wanted to let them know that if they ever got any boxers in that I would be able to find them homes quickly. I asked them if they had gotten any in recently. She said no but that there were lots of other dogs that people didn’t seem to want. She asked if i could try to find some of them homes.  She also informed me that she was getting at least 2-4 dogs in a week and that in the last month they had to put down over 20 dogs because they couldn’t find a home.  I stopped.  My jaw dropped and I quit breeding.  I couldn’t believe at the number of them they were putting down and I am a small town.  I can’t even imagine how it must be in NY or Chicago. Most of my pups were going to NJ.  How many of mine, ended up in a shelter, or died because they weren’t what they wanted.

I ended up selling all my adult dogs to homes I hoped would keep them, and kept my original boxer named Zelya.  She was a brindle and had come from an abusive home. She was the best dog ever and she lived many wonderful years here.  Then she developed a nerve disorder. The lining comes off the nerves and it affects their ability to walk or control their muscles.  It finally was time to put her down.

I have always had a pet of some sort in the house. I had Zelya for 12 years. I was so distraught that I didn’t know what to do. I had to have a dog to come home too after I put her down. I went to the local shelter and pleaded my case.  I told them that I just wanted to look. I wasnt even sure there was one in there I would want, but I needed to look.  When I got inside I saw the sweetest little dog ever!  It was very hard to be happy when I knew I was going to make another appointment to end the life of my baby girl.  When everything was set, I cryed and buried my baby girl and drove immediately to pick up the newest member of our family.

annie

This is Annie. She is a far cry from a boxer, but she is ever so sweet. Her story was that she was thrown out of a van in the middle of town as they were driving.  The car behind stopped and picked her up and brought her to the sheriffs department. She was paw printed and put in jail. No, lol They called the shelter and they came and got her. It turns out that the day I came to look at her was her arrival day.  The next day I had taken her home. How is that for the luck of this dog! Oh and the car behind that picked her up??  My next door neighbors daughter! I had brought Annie over to meet the neighbor and her two golden retrievers. Her daughter was there and did a double take. She asked if I got the dog from the shelter and I told her yes, that she was thrown out of a van. She said, “Thats the dog I picked up!!”  It was meant to be!  We have had her for 4 years. She was potty trained, crate trained, new how to sit, and didn’t know how to  play.  Well we remedied that!

Like I said it has been 4 years and we are looking at getting another dog. Where? of course the shelter!  Shelter dogs are the best. Some have had horrible lives, but others were simply thrown away because someone wanted the newest breed.  Before you buy a dog from a breeder, no matter how reputable, please go look at some shelter dogs.  Many are older dogs and are already housebroken.  A dogs love is the same whether it is old or young, mutt or purebred. It breaks my heart that people can be so heartless.  Please I beg of you not to buy a dog that is not from a shelter. If all the demand for purebred dogs left, we might be able to do away with facilities that must stay open because someone wanted something new.

FYI we did find a lovely german shepherd mix and we have named her Lacy. Here is her shelter picture. She now has a happy permanent home with us. The only problem. She really wants to “play” with the chickens and cats.

lana

 

Happy Homesteading!!   😀

Categories: Homesteading | 2 Comments

Pallets my eye

We have pallets. We don’t have many, but we do get 3-5 a winter because we get pellets for our stove.  It was so nice the other day that I decided I would grab out a pallet and tear it apart.  My plan was to build a turkey tractor out of it.  I needed something for when the babies are not really babies, but teenagers and hawks would still find them a great meal.

I grabbed a crowbar, a hammer, and started working.  OMG are you serious??  Who does this?? Well I know of at least one person who reads my blogs that uses pallets. He is Mike from The Tiny Homesteaders.  I know he can’t possibly be tearing apart all these pallets to use unless he is like the incredible hulk.

I consider myself a fairly strong person. You give me a crowbar and a hammer and I can usually tear apart anything!  Do you know they use twisted nails in those things?  For those of you girly homesteaders that have no idea what I am talking about. It would be like trying to pull a screw out of a board. I say use screws! At least then I could get them out!!

So my day consisted of removing two boards off that pallet before I decided it’s not worth it at this point.  With the ground still too frozen to run fencing for my rotational grazing, I hung out with the kittens and chickens. I cleaned out my garden of the old tomato plants, took out the tomato cages, and pulled up my landscape cloth between my rows.  At least part of the day was productive!

(Mike I need tips or I’m going to grab a saw and just cut down the sides!)    🙂

Happy Homesteading!!   😀

Categories: Homesteading | 15 Comments

Garden Shares

So I did it, I started my first CSA..kinda lol.  We are planning a move this summer. I did such a good job not eating on my stash of garden stuff two years ago that last years canning was more than enough for us this winter. I still have a lot left and it will be plenty for next winter.  I wasn’t sure what to do with my garden. I love to garden. I have to have one this year.

My brilliant plan came while looking on Local Harvest.  People were doing CSA’s which are Community Supported Agriculture or Community Shared Agriculture. It’s eating local.  Farms sell packages of produce..some sell other things like pork, beef and other things.  It is a great idea for a large farm. They do minimal work and then make a nice profit. Local Harvest is a great place to find farms in your surrounding area. Check them out here.

I only have an acre..but good thing for me, I have a nice size garden on that acre.  I need nothing but corn. So I decided to plant half my garden with corn.  The other half my garden I decided to sell garden shares.  I only have enough for 4 plots.  I am selling 8 x 25 plots for $100 each.  I also made an order form. I listed the veggies I would grow, the price per batch along with the approximate amount of that vegetable.  I also, on that order form, included at the bottom that we would have stewing hens, turkeys, roosters, and lamb for sale. This should get them thinking.

At first I thought no one would bite.  My mom and I sat down. I knew about what each plant produces and so we tried to price according to what they would buy at the store. I thought it was fair. Besides this was going to be grown organically and with love! By love I mean my sweat and tears in the hot hot sun.  Still, you have to remember I am in a very small town. They are mostly older folks who are on limited income.  I also offered free things and will give out more if my garden produces more.  I want those who buy from me this year to know that I appreciate their help with buying the house.

Well to my surprise, I got someone to buy a share the same day!  I let them know they could swap out some veggies for others not listed if they did not like certain ones or if they didn’t need need as much of certain ones.  It’s about being flexible.  I hope this brings more families who want to eat healthy and I hope it brings more sales through our other animals in the fall.  My hope this year is all the money I put into researching and trying rotational grazing with more animals will at least cause me to break even financially.  If I come out ahead that is an added bonus and I will consider it a blessing from the Lord.

 

Happy Homesteading!!   😀

Categories: Gardening, Homesteading | 6 Comments

Gobble Gobble

The season is fast approaching…chick season.  This year on our homestead we are venturing into turkeys.  People look at me like I am crazy. The one acre is small to most farmers, but it is big to me if I use it right.

The first several years I started with a garden that was about a 20 ft x 30 ft square. I fed our family many a meal out of that. People thought I was smart.  “What a way to save money” they would say.  Then I made it bigger and bigger and now it is at the point I can barely keep up. They now say “well that’s a lot of garden for one family, are you sure you can handle it?” Well yes and no. I do what I can and with God’s loving blessing it hasn’t failed miserably because of my lack of time and motivation.

Three years ago I added 10 chickens. I promised my hubby that 10 would be enough..but as the years have went on I have bought more to “replace” and have yet to totally get rid of my first flock who are now turning 3.  I bought an incubator and birthed a rotation of march and fall chicks.  March chicks lay by Oct/Nov when the older girls molt and the Oct/Nov babies produce when my March chicks molt for the first time. This ensures I always have dozens of eggs for my church.  Now I have 27 chickens and supply about 5 dozen eggs a Sunday to my church…I’m the crazy chicken lady with the huge garden.

Last years babies hanging by the water cooler.

Last years babies hanging by the water cooler.

 

Last year we added sheep.  I got stares from the neighbor. “Are you sure you have enough space for them?”  Sure I do. You can easily raise 6 sheep on one acre using rotation and set your lawnmower free. I only had 3, 2 most of the season.  Sheep are super easy to keep and they are fun to play with. It was a lovely added adventure.  I learned that sheep like goats will eat clothing. Well ok to be fair I was chasing them and it wasn’t so much eat,but grab my clean shirt sleeve, pull it off the line, and take off down the yard.  So with two sheep, a huge garden and at 20+ chickens I got comments like “Oh my gosh, how do you do it all?”  oh did I mention I make almost every meal we eat from scratch??  Yeah once they found that out I was like a God to them or something.  I kept telling them it’s easy when your home all day and you actually WANT to do that stuff.  Is it hard for me to go outside weed my garden, throw the weeds to the sheep to eat, all the while talking to my chicken girls?  No.  Is it hard for me to hang laundry outside and take every few minutes to chase a lamb around the tree? No.

This year we are adding 5 turkeys along with more chicks.  I have been reading all I can on pasture raised turkeys. It is fascinating. My husband thinks I am crazy and when I mentioned more rotation on the animals he looked at me with those concerned eyes and said, “Your not going to put them in the front yard are you?”  My reply was “Yes, I want to retire the lawnmower this year and they wont be there if we have people over. Just when we absolutely need to keep the grass down. Besides I’ll do it while you are at work.” *smile sweetly and kiss the hubby*

Bourbon Red

Bourbon Red

Narragansett

Narragansett

 

When I mentioned keeping turkeys the first word out of my sisters, and others mouths who have raised turkeys was “Do you know how much they EAT!!???”  Yes,  yes I do.. a lot.  The problem with all said people who asked is they did not raise their turkeys on pasture rotation at all. They cooped them up in a small area which had no bugs, grass,or weeds and then fed them solely feed. That is NOT my plan. Heritage turkeys can get up to 50% of their diet from the outdoors.  It is all in how you raise them.  Wild turkeys don’t buy bags of feed to eat..they roam through the fields, woods, and yards to find their food.  If I had a nice woods I don’t think I would buy hardly any feed.  I am prepared to feed them at night before they go to bed, but other than that, they are free to forage all day for food, just as my chickens do.  I will feed them more feed when they are babies of course to get them to the size no hawk will some swooping down and take any, but they will be weaned onto pasture like all the other animals and given supplemental feed as needed. I also am not going to raise them fast and fat to slaughter..they will grow naturally slow like they are suppose to.

My only dilemma is what breed to get.  I only have two choices as to where I buy my chicks. I have Smiths Ace Hardware who only sell the Big Breasted Bronze turkeys..a non heritage breed and Tractor Supply who sell heritage breeds but on their order form it says minimum of 25.  Yeah..I want 5..no more, no less. So at this point I have to hope and pray that our local TSC will get the two heritage varieties I am leaning towards as a store stock so I can buy 5.  I will probably go in and talk to them about it and see if they can combine orders with someone who wants those as well or see if they will be able to get some into the store and call me.  I am leaning towards either Narragansett or Bourbon Red.  I read that Narragansetts are very docile and friendly birds, but the same article did not say about the Bourbon Reds which is what I’d like to raise this year.  I guess it’s God’s plan.   🙂

This year we will have 4 lambs, 40+ chickens, and 5 turkeys. How much will my acre hold??  Only the Lord knows, but I plan on stretching the land as far as it will go this year to see!

 

Happy Homesteading!!   😀

 

 

 

 

 

Categories: Chickens, Homesteading, Livestock | 6 Comments

Award?? Me?? Why Not!

liebster-award12

I was nominated for an Award! Yeah I know right? So who is crazy enough to nominate me? Maple Creek Cottage. I’m so glad I subscribe to her blog.  She is awesome. She reminds me of an old soul, full of wisdom. I enjoy her blog very much and look forward to reading every post. She is very real in sharing her life and that makes me feel I know her even though she is miles away. Check out her blog and start following.  You’ll be glad you did!

Rules

This award is given to new or up and coming bloggers who have less than 200 followers…the award is then passed along to other bloggers in the same category to help spread the word and support one another. What to do:
1. Each blogger should post 11 random facts aboutliebster-award-quote themselves.
2. Answer the questions the tagger has set for you, then create 11 new questions for the bloggers you pass the award to.
3. Choose 11 new bloggers (with less than 200 followers) to pass the award to and link them in your post.
4. Go back to their page and tell them about the award.
5. No tag backs
So here are my random facts:
1. I don’t hang around people. It’s not that I don’t like people, but give me an animal, Christian music, and a garden and I’m good to go.
2. I have three alternating favorite colors. I’ve had them since I was a child. Purple, pink, blue. I’m in the pink phase right now.
3. I’m an animalaholic.  I’m not a hoarder or anything, but I would have as many animals as I could possibly take care of nicely if I had my way. Thank God I have a hubby to guard against it.
4. I met my husband while trying to set him up with one of my best friends. A guy I worked with sent him a 911 on his pager to come over to his FIL’s house. He arrived shirt off and frantic. It wasn’t love at first site. He was an…. a not so nice person. He thought the same of me..it was destiny lol.
5. I have a tree at my mothers house that I have carved the names of every boyfriend I’ve ever had. The only name not on there is my husband.
6. I’m apparently curious. lol. I asked my son what I could type and tell people. He said I am curious because I ask a lot of questions and read a lot of books.  Most I know are about farming and all that, so I guess it does make me curious.
7. I would and could live off grid for the rest of my life. I”m not talking gas stove, solar panels, and wind turbines. I mean.. park a shack in the middle of nowhere and live, love life.  My hubby not so much.
8.I love Phantom Of the Opera. I mean I’m a freak of nature. I saw it once in high school and I’m addicted. I love the story line and would love to read the book. It is however in French and very limited copies..so probably wont be able to.
9. I am part of a homeschool group. We have at least 15-20 families involved. They are awesome.
10. I don’t have a favorite food.  I have a favorite meal, but not one food I could eat forever.
11. I have started at least 10 businesses in my lifetime and all have failed. I hope to succeed as a farmer lol.
Answers to the questions given to me:
1. If you could live anywhere in the world, and do anything – where would you live, and what would you do?
I would live in France. I’ve always wanted to go there. I would travel all of Europe and then once I saw it all, I’d farm lol.
2. What is your favorite way to eat pasta?
Everyway, but not with alfredo sauce. I hate that stuff.
3. How many electrical plugs are plugged into your computer power bar?  Don’t lie.
We use laptops here mostly, but we do have one desktop. It has the printer, the monitor, the tower, and a lamp plugged in.
4. How do you drink your tea?
I drink Tea ALLLLL the time. I love tea, but I do not like flavors much.  I drink black, green, or chai with two scoops of sugar. Warm on cold days, cold on warm days.
5. Do you read the weekly flyers?
Yes, even though I don’t even buy any of it. I only use the actual grocery store for organic fruits and veggies and toiletrees.
6. The next farm animal on the list is….
Turkeys, then if we move it will be beef.
7. How do you feel about Queen of England?
She is dignified, down to earth, loves her country, and is I”m sure a very sweet lady.
8. What is the first thing you do in the morning?
Grab my phone and look through my email and log onto facebook lol.
9. How long have you been blogging?
For two years off and on on blogger, and this year started on WordPress.
10. If you could renovate any room in your home, which one would it be?
None. We have been renovating this house for 13 years. We are moving and letting it fall to pieces now.
11. What is your favorite moment of the day?
My favorite moment is when I lay down and recount all the things I got done that day. I feel accomplished and grateful that God has given me such a wonderful life.
My Nominees for the Award are- in no particular order:
  1. Simplicity by Choice- http://simplicitybychoice.wordpress.com
  2. That Old School Girl- http://thatoldschoolgirl.wordpress.com
  3. The Tiny Homesteaders- http://tinyhomesteaders.com
  4. Blueberry Acres Farm- http://blueberryacresfarm.com
  5. Our Prarie Home- http://ourprairiehome.wordpress.com
  6. FarmGirl School- http://farmgirlschool.wordpress.com
  7. Life is Lekker- http://lifeislekker.wordpress.com
  8. Happy Chickens in Southeast Missouri- http://hecatesmoon.wordpress.com
  9. Naturally Homesteading- http://naturallyhomesteading.wordpress.com
  10. The Poisel Homestead- http://poiselhomestead.wordpress.com
  11. Evolution of a Homestead- http://evolutionofahomestead.wordpress.com

Here are my questions for the Nominees:

  1. What color shirt are you wearing right now?
  2. What is your favorite day of the week and why?
  3. If you could do without one piece of electrical equipment what would it be?
  4. What would your perfect yearly weather be?
  5. If you had unlimited acres, unlimited money, how many different kinds of animals would you have?
  6. How many photos of family do you have up in your house?
  7. How many hours a day are you on the computer? Be honest!
  8. If you had unlimited money what charity would you support?
  9. How many hours of sleep do you get?
  10. What one chore would you never do again if someone else were to do it exactly as you do?
  11. What is your favorite store to shop at?
Categories: Uncategorized | 3 Comments

Garden Chart

Can you feel it???  The sounds of the birds chirping, the emerging of the robins back into society, the groundhogs prediction of early spring????   I can feel it all through my body..the urge to garden!  Last week I was completely bored with the lack of the To-Do list for outside so I re-potted my indoor plants.  I have a banana tree, a lemon tree, a pineapple plant, and aloe.  Yeah I know..aloe doesn’t fit in that tropical theme, but I wouldn’t be without my aloe!  I burn myself way too many times   😉

So why do I get this urge to plant so early you say?  Most gardens don’t go in until End of May.  Yeah well I”m not most gardeners. I live in Zone 5b. (So most charts say) If you live in this zone you can start your garden as early as St. Patricks day.  Why do I do this you ask? Well I’m a canner.  That’s how I roll.  I cannot have my garden all put in at the same time, because they would all get done the same time.  That my friends does not fit my schedule. How on earth am I going to can tomatoes, if I am snapping a 5 gallon bucket of green beans?  How am I going to make pickles, if I am shucking corn?

Some one asked me last year, what I planted and when.  So I sat down and kinda figured it out. It’s not set in stone or anything, but this is good chart and it’s a great reminder for me as I age and things seem to flee from my memory   😯   I have included harvesting too so that you know a round about time that things start getting done. Harvesting is very laxed because I don’t pay that much attention. I go from a weekly “watch my garden grow” to a “oh shoot this is done!”  So here is my chart. One small detail, on the planting for Sept it says broccoli. Well broccoli has had it in for me since the first year. I have not planted it at that time, but I don’t see why you couldn’t.  Maybe I will try again this year, talk sweetly to it, and show it some love.

garden plantingharvest guide

Happy Homesteading!!   😀

Categories: Gardening, Homesteading | 2 Comments

Lambs

Have I mentioned I can’t wait to get my lambs? I have started preparing for them.  Last year we had three, lost one and raised two on a drought.  We only live on an acre so the drought was not what I wanted, but we survived.  You can easily raise 6 sheep on an acre if you use the grass wisely.  Rotational grazing is a must. A husband who is ok with you putting your lambs in the front yard of your house is also a must.   😉

lambs

This year we will get at least 3. I have already called processing places in my area. The closest one, that everyone uses, wouldn’t process because of mad cow disease. Last year I didn’t know any other processors and so I ended up doing the lambs myself.  It was an adventure, but because we were using the meat for ourselves it didn’t matter. It was a learning process.  I thought it would be like a deer, um, no..it’s not. The entire carcass comes apart differently and the cuts are different too.

Snowball

Snowball

I finally got names of other local (within 50 miles) processors and called around.  It is rather expensive to get a lamb done, but at least they don’t charge per pound, it is a flat fee. A fee, I might add, that is almost as much as buying the lamb to begin with!  I would have to get the meat processed on a day that they had an inspector there so that I could sell the meat from my house.  I could sell the lamb before the slaughter and get it processed a little closer, non inspected for $30 cheaper.  I have heard from a person though they did not like how they did their beef, so we will check more into that.  I talked to her and she honestly seemed very nice and even was willing to let me take the hide back with my meat.  That would allow me to tan the hide and also sell that. Not that I have buyers lined up.

Dirt

Dirt

I’m the kind of person that does not understand Prime Rib, T-bone steaks, New York Strip, Rack of Lamb..you know all those expensive things.  There is no way our family could ever afford to feed ourselves those cuts. When I look at meat I see a broke momma trying to feed her children with the best meat possible.  I see trying to decide what fat grade of hamburger she can afford because she decided to buy an organic bag of apples.  To me, marking lamb up to $5 a pound because you can, considerably kills your market. The point of us raising sheep was to first see if we liked lamb meat.  We had never had it. We couldn’t afford it. Second, we figured we could raise one a lot cheaper than buying cuts at the store.

This year, depending on the price of the lamb in the beginning, we will sell the meat and hopefully make enough to pay for the lamb.  That is my goal.  If I can get people here eating lamb and realizing how good it is, then we will see about trying to turn a profit.  It depends on how they cut the lamb also.  I cut it and got 10 good, family of 4, fill your tummy meals.  We bought our lambs last year for $100. That means each meal was $10 just for the meat!!  Wow..that was a shocker to me.

Cocoa

Cocoa

I had to remember though that it would have been more if I had bought it at the store, it would have been fed grain and pumped full of antibiotics, dewormers, and other things that I never had to use.  My lamb was organically produced and rotationally grazed.  My lamb got love, attention, played with, and died humanely.  I got a wool throw across my piano, I got soup bones for stock, I got organ meat.. if you really think about it, I got more than 10 “meals”. I got a lot of bang for my buck and some awesome lamby friendships.

Happy Homesteading!!   😀

Categories: Homesteading, Livestock | 5 Comments

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