Monthly Archives: April 2013

Starting Organics

I was inspired by An Organic Wife as she wrote what is in her pantry. It occurred to me that many making the switch to organic, dont understand how to do it.  They always tell me its expensive and they dont have the budget.  What I do is simple, I take time to look around. Sometimes it takes months for me to find what I am looking for. Organic doesnt happen overnight. First you have to have a plan.

Meal Plans are the best way to save money.  If you know exactly what you are going to eat, you wont be tempted to buy a bunch of other stuff. Get a large calendar, dry erase board, or piece of paper to hang on the fridge. Now go through your house and put together some meals out of what you already have.  If you only have one meal that is fine, but most people have at least 3-4 meals they can make.  Write them down, in no particular order. Now look at anything you have as a staple like pasta, rice, potatoes and make a few more meals that would require you to buy meat. Then start your grocery list.  Your goal would be to at least have 7 meals planned ahead of time. Go simple. If you have a bag of potatoes, then do baked potatoes one night. It requires hardly anything and not having meat wont kill ya. Dont spend your money on bacon bits..just go without for one day. Just plop some butter and maybe sour cream and do broccoli or some veggie on top.

Got Pasta?? A can of cream of mushroom and pasta makes a great meal..no meat required.  Use your imagination and scour the web for recipes that dont require meat..it takes time, so do it instead of being on facebook 😉  Meat is expensive and if you can go two meals a week without it, it will save you money.  Dont forget to plan breakfast and lunches if your kids are home.  Pancakes are easy to make from scratch, muffins can be made and frozen ahead of time, eggs are good. Dont buy cereal..ok weed them off cereal..it is junk full of sugar, highly processed, and expensive!! I make waffles and freeze them ahead of time. I also make muffins and freeze those. All can be done in a few hours on the weekend and are much healthier than cereal.

Ok got your list?? Now how much do you normally spend a week? $100, $200?? You will find that the more you plan and only buy what you will eat, you will save money. So lets say you are able to save $30 over what you normally spend.  You’ve shopped your list..it came to $170..your budget is $200..now is when you look to buying bulk.  Amish stores are great for this. Dont worry if it’s not organic to begin with..pasta, rice, beans all need to be bought in bulk.  So your $30 can be spent on like 2 bags of pinto beans, a huge bag of rice, and 4 boxes of spagetti noodles. I dont know how much that really is but shop at walmart or a large chain store for now so you get really good prices. Actually you should be able to get what I just said for like $15..so if you buy that and there is still money left then go to the fruit isle and buy something organic..like apples.  Rule of thumb if you eat the skin, buy organic!  You may have to go to another store to buy organic, but the gas really isnt that much of a difference.

When you get home, put away all you bought on your list and leave out the other items so that you remember what you bought extra.  Now since you have two bags of beans, put chili down as a meal for week 2,along with cheesy chicken rice, and spagetti.  Now is the time to start your list for week 2. Write down what you need for those meals and make some other meals with that stuff also..if you dont want them all for week 2 then do a few for week 3 but buy all the supplies in week 2. For example. You want spagetti but not twice in one week, so buy what you need doubled week 2 and do it again week 3 because you will still have pasta left over.  You keep doing this week after week. Look for what you have left and make meals that work with what you have. When you have money extra, buy bulk of items that go along way. If you buy a 5lb bag of rice, you wont need it again for a while. Subject your family to at least 3 rice dishes a week one week and then buy ground beef in bulk.

Always remember to use what money you saved for something organic. If you bought apples last week and you still have some, buy carrots this week. The goal is to have so much left in your house that you are only buying a few ingredients and more money is left for organics.  It may not be much, but if you are eating one organic a week that is helpful. Apples, oranges, carrots, celery..they all can go multiple weeks..so buy those first when you start and then the next week you can buy something that doesnt last long, like broccoli, or kiwi.

I hope this has helped you start to transition to organics..the better deals you can find and the more you can buy in bulk of big staple items the more money you will save over the course of the month to buy organics. That is how I did it and you can do it too. It really just means cutting out buying “snack” foods that your buying because it looks good or you think your kids cant live without. Believe me..they can!  Make as much from scratch as you can and become a Suzy Homemaker..it saves money!

 

Happy Homesteading!!   😀

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Categories: Homesteading | 3 Comments

Skill: New Family Business

Well recently I was reading an article by Joel Salatin. The person asked him at what ages their children started their business and at what age should kids start a business.  He replied his son started around 10 and that kids between 8-10 should be starting a small business.  So it got me thinking, if my children are 11 and 12 they are behind the game!  I dont even know what their passions are. I mean I know my youngest wants to go into the army and the oldest wants to be a policeman..but what business could they start to earn money, learn about responsibility, and would be easy enough for them to do?  So I asked my children..what sort of business would you want to start? The blank stares were enough to say..ok they dont know either.  We took some time to think about it and I asked my youngest son..what would people of our small town use or buy that you could sell year round?

mealwormsThe answer my friends actually came from Old School.  I had posted about my chickens and she suggested growing mealworms. So I suggested it to my son.  I told him these would be easy and people like to fish around here. They can be fed to tank fish and lizards. In the winter you could sell them for people to feed their chickens as extra protein. (People can also eat these, however that is just gross in my opinion.)  He thought that was a great idea!  So we are starting a new business here on our little tiny acre, Mealworm farming.

We ordered mealworms today, bought the containers, bought the bedding, and will go to the grocery store and buy the food.  He will run this himself. Mom put up the start up cost, which will have to be paid back, but he knows that and is excited that he might be able to make money.  It will take some time to get the business off the ground but I am hoping my father will be the first customer. We priced dried mealworms at the store so he can stay competitive. I have a dehydrator so we can easily do the dried worms. I told him I would even buy some until others started. My girls(chickens) would love them.

I hope this will teach my child about real life. If he decides not to go into the army, then he will have a business to fall back on.  This learning opportunity will help him manage the financial part, take care of living creatures, take labor..minor but still labor, he will be learning how to market and sell..I mean what better way to teach a child about life then to have a business of his own?  I am still working on an idea for my older child. He is really into computers. I know my brother could help him by teaching him things..but I think we need to start smaller. I suggested earthworms because again we could sell the worms for fishing and then the poo could be used as fertilizer. He wasn’t all that interested and earthworms take longer to produce then mealworms. I actually did do earthworms for a while, but forgot to water them because I have a million pokers in the fire and you’re bound to forget one. I’ll stick with lambs and chickens.  I opted also to only raise two turkeys this year..if one dies..it dies. I dont think I can handle 8 right now on this acre. Live and learn.

Mealworms will be ready mid summer for those who want some. I’m not sure how into this he will be or how large of a scale he wants to do, but all we have to do is beat out everyone else on the web right? lol.

 

Happy Homesteading!!   😀

Categories: Homesteading, Skills | 2 Comments

Mini Pie

So I was bored. It was raining..again. I had this can of pie filling. Yes..actual store bought, high fructose, cherry pie filling. Shocker I know, but at one point it was for a church dessert and I didnt need it so there it was on the counter.  I decided to try to make mini pies.  The thing about eating store stuff is that my body cant handle a lot. Rather than make a whole pie which normally gets divided into 6 pieces…4 of which gets split between us all and that leaves two more..one for mom and one for dad..sorry kids.. kids shouldnt eat sweets 😉 ,this makes 12 yummy bite size portions that I can actually eat without it upsetting my digestive system.

I started off with homemade pie crust.  The recipe is this:

Plain Pastry-

1 1/2 c sifted all purpose flour- um I dont sift and I only use white wheat

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 c shortening- I used softened butter

4-5 TBS water

I”m sorry but I”m not going to explain how to make a pie crust..if you need to know because your just starting out, watch a youtube video or find a recipe book with instructions.

Ok anyway I took a muffin tin and left it right side up. It said you could make tart shells by doing it over a custard dish or I could have turned it upside down but maybe if I make a chocolate pudding pie or something I’ll do that.  Anyway regular muffin tin, right side up..I rolled my dough out flat with a rolling pin.

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Then I found a large soup mug and pressed it in the dough.

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Next I took the circle and placed it in my muffin tins. Pardon the stained muffin tins 😉

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I placed cherry pie filling in and baked it for 20 minutes. Yummy. Top with a small scoop of homemade ice cream like I did or some whipped cream.

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Enjoy and Happy Homesteading!!   😀

Categories: Homesteading, Recipes, Uncategorized | 6 Comments

Rotations

sheepWe have started the rotations! We have 7 areas they are able to use and those will be further divided in half as summer grass grows. The only problem I am having is that it keeps raining!  I have two sick sheep..heard a third sneezing. The two worst ones are on antibiotics and thinking maybe I should give this third one a shot as well. We lost a lamb last year to pneumonia and I cant lose three! They seem to be doing well. I just need warm days and it needs to either rain or not..no scattered showers.  We built a new temp shelter on the side of the house which is to the left of the picture. This picture was taking out my bedroom window.  You can see where I had my fence two days ago behind the sheep. I moved it so they could graze the other half of the back yard for the next two days. Our septic is here and it grows like crazy!  Other than that, they seem to be doing well. Still eating and pooping plenty!  The chickens are two paddocks behind them. Going to keep it that way because turkeys will go in between them when they get old enough. So far so good, so keep your fingers crossed there is no drought and that they eat more than they are now..we might still need to mow.  That’s ok because I”m going to experiment with silage for the chickens this year so that they have good green stuff year round.

Happy Homesteading!!   😀

Categories: Homesteading, Livestock | Leave a comment

Big Egg Names

I was curious..sometimes I get that way when I’m bored. People give me egg cartons to repack my farm eggs in. It is amazing where people shop and the different varieties they get. You can learn a lot about eggs by the tax id addresses they provide on the carton.

I grabbed an egg carton and it was very plain. I dont know the store it came from or anything. It didnt have a company on it. On the back of the top it gave the “packed by” and it turns out it was Pearl Valley Eggs.  I saw a picture on the bottom of the website which upsets me but here is a news story done on them. I must say it looks like one of the better commercial egg producers.

http://www.thedailyjournal.com/videonetwork/604831305001/Pearl-Valley-Eggs?nclick_check=1

On to my next carton. This carton was from Aldi. On the back it says “packed by p.o box blah blah seymour indiana..so again..research. It turns out that it is from Rose Acre Farms. Did you know that Rose Acre is like the second biggest egg producer with plants all over? Their variety of eggs are listed here http://www.goodegg.com/sales.html and really is just a change in feed. Rose Acre probably produces the eggs you would eat at the store..Eggland Best, Goldenhen, and the Rose Acre brand.

Here is their history..sorry havent looked up youtube or anything to see farming practices. http://www.fundinguniverse.com/company-histories/rose-acre-farms-inc-history/

Kroger eggs come from the 9th largest egg producer called Ft. Recovery Equity Inc. They are also a wholesale grain elevator it says. Really I couldnt find much info at all on it, but they do produce regular and also cage free. I also found a company address listed on the carton for an Automatic Egg Producers in Manchester In but cant find any info at all except an address. You know one of these days I should take a drive..its not that far..They also list an F Highway anderson MO but again..no info..cant even find a company name!

Next carton is Hillandale Farms. They are distributed by them in OH and have three packed by tax id numbers and addresses, OH, PA, IA. Lets look it up shall we…hmm… looks like its the largest producer of eggs around people..we found #1 Cal Maine Foods! Here is their site for your leisure viewing http://calmainefoods.com/

Wait you have got to read this http://calmainefoods.com/investor_relations/index.html looks like Rose Acre farms and Cal Maine Foods are all selling Eggland Best…hm…cant imagine why the largest and second largest companies would work together! I found this video on youtube. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tmDtgpgaC6M

 

Bottom line: Know your farmer and see your chickens and the area they are in before you buy the eggs. If you buy from the store please use only eggs marked with the United Egg Producers Certified eggs. It will have it on the carton if it is.  This at least holds some sort of standard. Here are the standards they set..although it doesnt say how much room cage hens get..its not much but at least you know. Here is the link, just scroll down http://www.uepcertified.com/about-us.php#q10.0

 

If you are close to me, I have eggs for sale 😉 Organic Free range, pastured at $4.75 a dozen. Next month to be soy free!

Happy Homesteading!!   😀

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Dry Seasonings

I found these listed on facebook. It was a good thing too because I am almost out of taco seasoning and I wanted to make some instead of buying.  These have have good reviews from people but some say to leave out the salt. Just do what you think is right and to your taste!

Taco Seasoning:

1/2 cup chili powder
1/4 cup onion powder
1/8 cup ground cumin
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon paprika
1 tablespoon sea salt
Put ingredients into a jar and shake.

Dry Onion Soup Mix:
2/3 cup dried, minced onion
3 teaspoons parsley flakes
2 teaspoons onion powder
2 teaspoons turmeric
1 teaspoon celery salt
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
Mix all ingredients in a jar, then give the jar a good shake. I’d recommend shaking the jar to mix the ingredients well before each use.
Use 4 tablespoons in a recipe in place of 1 packet of onion soup mix. Store this in a dry, cool place.

Ranch:
5 tablespoons dried minced onions
7 teaspoons parsley flakes
4 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon garlic powder
Mix together and store in an air tight container.
For dressing: Mix 2 tablespoons dry mix with 1 cup mayonnaise and 1 cup buttermilk or sour cream.
For dip: Mix 2 tablespoons dry mix with 2 cups sour cream.
Mix up a few hours before serving, so the flavors all blend.

 

Happy Homesteading!!   😀

Categories: Homesteading, Recipes, Uncategorized | 4 Comments

Seasoned Salt

Last night I made dinner using Lawry’s Seasoned Salt.  I started looking at the package and it said NO MSG stamped on the front, which tell me it has it in there since they are making a big deal of it. There are many forms of MSG and many times something that is labeled no MSG will say natural flavors. That is a code that a form of MSG could be in there. The more a company tries to say it doesn’t have this or that..or makes a big deal about being natural, I steer clear.

The ingredients in this seasoned salt, which I use a lot by the way, are as follows: Salt, Sugar, Spices (including paprika and turmeric ), onion, corn starch, garlic, tricalcium phosphate(prevents caking), natural flavor, paprika oleoresin(for color).  Then in red print next to the ingredients says No MSG. So twice it has told me hey I’m good!  So after realizing how much we ate of that last night I thought to myself, “Hey I can make this.”  So I set out to do just that.

First I poured myself a little bit of the seasoned salt into a bowl for a taster.  Then I got out 1/4 tsps and 1/2 tsps and all that small stuff. If I screw it up..it won’t be wasting all my spices!  It took me a little bit but I found that I actually liked the one I made better.  So I gave it to my husband to taste. He said, “This isn’t Lawry’s??”  Nope!  I will tell you it does not taste the same. It’s close enough for me..but when I tasted the Lawry’s again I about puked at the amount of salt..literally.  I had my son taste it too because he was curious. He had to rinse his mouth out because of the amount of salt.

Here is the recipe I came up with..oh just a quick side note…..notice up there in the ingredients it says spices but doesn’t say which ones except for paprika and turmeric ?? Well my friends they don’t have to list them if it doesn’t change the nutritional value of the product. I personally think every herb or season would change the nutritional value in some way as far as what the item carries in vitamins or minerals, but the label people don’t require all that stuff on there..just the basics.  Isn’t that sad that all our ingredients don’t have to be listed??  They can simply say “Spices” and get away with it!

OK seriously here is what I put in there. No surprises.. its all on the ingredient label on the Lawry’s bottle! I am listing a big batch..it will fill the economy size bottle about 3/4ths of the way.

Seasoned Saltphoto (7)

2 1/2 TBS Salt

1/4 C Sugar

1/8 c Turmeric

1/4 c Onion Powder

1/4 c Garlic Powder

Up to 1/4 c Paprika- start with half that and add to your taste

That is it. I didnt include anymore “spices” because honestly it tasted great to me. It isn’t overly salty to my taste buds either.  We have yet to try this on potato wedges, which is what we usually eat this on, so it might need to be tweaked with more salt if it doesnt seem enough.  You could even cut the sugar down a bit if you wanted.  Its all up to you and how you like it!

 

Happy Homesteading!!   😀

 

Categories: Homesteading, Recipes | 2 Comments

Eating Healthy

I’m going to address this simply because I think the words Eating Healthy are losing meaning.  What is eating healthy?  I recently decided to have this conversation with my mother and sister.  We all have different “healthy eating.”  I would never eat the way my mom eats healthy and she would never eat the way I eat healthy. My sister falls somewhere in between.  There are people who eat worse than me and people who eat way better than me. There are so many different eating healthy that I try not to even say it anymore.

To my mom eating healthy is eating a low fat, low carb, low sugar diet. She is a diabetic.  She watches what she eats. She only buys the things at the store that say low fat, but then she checks the sugar amount. She only selects the products that will not raise her blood sugar and only eats the serving size. She counts all the carbs in her day and doesnt eat very many veggies. She’s more of a fruit girl.

My sister eats fruits and veggies. She makes smoothies out of store bought yogurt. Everything she buys can be bought at walmart or Aldi. She picks the things that are low fat, low carb and tries her best to eat whole foods when possible and cook from scratch.  Her fridge is full of processed items that seem whole to her because they are simple like a healthy cereal, tortillas, and the canned biscuits.

I eat nothing like my mom   😉 I do not think her way of eating is healthy at all and she feels the same way about me.  I eat kind of like my sister in one aspect and not in another. In our phone conversation the other day, I said, “There is a whole nother level to what you are doing that you dont know about.”  I meant it.  She eats fruits and veggies..but not organic.  She eats meat..but not grassfed. She raised her own hogs…but not on organic feed and not on a pasture.  She seemed a bit confused..I told her it was a conversation for another day because I didnt have time to explain it all.

So how do I eat?? My healthy isnt even to the standard I wish it was!  I’m working on it though.  My healthy is eating meat from the farmer who raised it.  I go to their house, I buy the beef or pork. If it is beef it is grassfed, no grain.  If it is pork it is pastured and fed organic grain.  If it is chicken it is mine. Now on organic grain..soon to be soy free (stinking feed place 😦 )  If it is lamb it is mine, pastured, grassfed.  We hunt rabbit and squirrel and also deer, although deer eat GMO corn and soy..not the best..but free meat..I can live with that.  I drink milk straight from the cow. The cow has no antibiotics or hormones given. It is pastured when they can and also fed corn that they grow themselves. It is not organic though I wish it was, but at this point I cant do jersey milk..its just too rich for me both in cream and in price!  I at least know the way the cow is raised and I can visit and pet her if I choose to. Fruits and veggies are grown from my own garden or neighbors who dont use pesticides or sprays. If I buy from the store I buy organic on as much as I can and also try to stay in the US if possible. I buy bulk organic wheat berries, bulk organic rice, organic pasta. I make my own bread, muffins, waffles and anything else I can with as many organic items as possible. We do not eat breakfast cereal at all and eat real butter. I use olive oil, coconut oil, butter, or animal fats when I cook.

What I wish we did better…cut out potato chips. My family eats them like candy, probably because we dont eat that anymore. Condiments, spices, chips, ice cream cones, soda pop, some soups like cream of X for cooking, white sugar, cheese slices, and lunch meats are still our downfall.  I honestly will never give up condiments. We hardly use them and its not worth my time to make them. I’ll go to Whole foods now and purchase the best ones I can find. Spices..another whole food solving issue. I cant find organic here in town.  Ice cream cones…well that is my hubby and I say something to him to please not buy them because I can make ice cream and do, he doesnt listen..they taste too good. Soda pop..the kids and I usually dont drink it. Its a treat thing, but my husband drinks it like water so its always here. Drives me nuts! The cream of X soups I am really trying to get rid of. I have about 10 more cans of cream of chicken and then they are gone for good. White sugar, well I use a lot of sugar in baking and canning of jellies. It is the best solution at the moment until I can find organic raw sugar in 20 lb bags for a decent price. Even then the sugar is processed, but I cant afford organic rapadura. Whole foods did have sugar canes though so I will look up what I can do with those. Cheese slices…well I’m going to pay the extra and go raw cheddar cheese bricks that cost $50 and tell them to never eat cheese lol. Lunch meats right now are store bought nitrate free ones. I really want to be able to find a way to have maybe some nitrate free ham shaved instead..or maybe I can do sort of a pulled pork thing with chicken or turkey..not sure what to do for that just yet. That is all I can think of besides chocolate. As little as I use, mostly for mood control, I’ll stick with a dark hersey brick. I also wish I fermented more, but the kids dont seem to like veggie ferments..so maybe that just isnt for us.

Well now you know how I eat..how do you eat??

 

Happy Homesteading!!   😀

 

Categories: Homesteading | 15 Comments

Chicken Feed

A comment on my last post about switching feed has me now writing this post.  The questions were what am I feeding now, how do I know the other feed will work, and what feed is it? I am answering this way because when I was trying to figure out what Joel Salatin was feeding, it was too illusive..never did find it..maybe this will help someone around me find feed.   😀

Ok Currently I have 26 hens, I also have at least 8 more female chicks that will lay in 5 months.  I feed Nature Wise Layer feed from Nutrena.  It is a soy based feed. I chose this feed because it doesnt have antibiotics or hormones in it and all the other feeds around me do.  I use their rewards program and so that was saving me money also.  My chickens lay great in the summer and not so great in the winter but a yearly average is 6 dozen a week.  Currently the feed price is about $15 a bag..just shy + tax. I buy a yearly average of 5 bags a month, summer it is less, winter it is more.  That comes to $80.25. Divide that by 4 average weeks. $20.05 and then divide that by 6 dozen gives you $3.34. I live in Northern Indiana and the girls cannot go out most of the winter due to the snow amounts. I do shovel when I can to get them out and moving but they wont go out anyway most of the time.  That is why I go for a yearly average. Summer they roam all over the place and feed bills go down, but winter months kill me.

How do I know the other feed will work?  I found a guy who buys this feed already.  He has been feeding this to his girls for at least a year. He has customers who cannot tolerate soy what so ever.  He not only sells his eggs to them, but also the chickens as stewing hens when they quit laying. He raises all his birds on this.  I went to see him about turkeys and told him about how I couldnt eat my eggs.  He said that many people are allergic to the soy that is put in the feed and gave me a dozen eggs.  I tried them and found that I could eat them with minimal discomfort. On a scale of horrid 10 to hardly anything 1…store eggs are a 11, my eggs are about a 5, and his eggs were a 1.  Believe me I kept eating that entire dozen just to make sure, and then I bought another dozen just yesterday. He charges $5 a dozen to cover the cost of gas to go haul the ton.  The feed is expensive which is why I wanted to make sure I was able to eat his eggs first before I bought.

What is this new feed? There are two places I have found that I can get organic feed, one is in Lebanon. They want $30 a bag. Not do-able for me..that is way too much to change over all my hens.  The other place is Honeyville Organic Feeds. They have two locations of Topeka and Wolcottville.  They recently were taken over by W.O.L.F Coop which sells organic feed in I think Wisconsin. This is the place the farmer I talked to go his feed. It is a special mix done by the grain elevator.  He buys by the ton. I cant. I dont have room to store it and it would take me forever to use it, plus it would go moldy in the process.  So I called and they offer layer feed in bags for $21.50. That comes to $115.03 a month with tax included. Divide that by 4 weeks is $28.76 a week. Divide that by 6 dozen and you have $4.79.

I truly wish it was cheaper and if I went with exactly the feed costs each month the price would fluctuate a lot..keeping it yearly is a great way to let people pay the same price year round. Out here normal “farm” eggs go for $2 a dozen. The feed has to be the cheapest out there.  I do not know how much feed these guys are actually giving their chickens or how good of egg is laid. Organic eggs go for $3.50. I do know that chickens can get a huge supply of food from just scratching around, but you have to realize I live on one acre. On that acre I have a house and a garden which almost take up half an acre. My girls cannot find enough food out there to make me satisfied they are eating enough and staying healthy. I offer food all the time and they would eat the feed at their leisure along with free range.  This year instead of letting them roam around willy nilly, I am doing a pasture rotation system with my sheep and them like Joel Salatin does with his cows and chickens.

Yes I am small scale, yes we hope to move to a beautiful 20 acre farm, yes I dream big, but unless someone can find feed for me that is not more than 2 hours drive to get, has no hormones or antibiotics because I care about that, and is a non soy formula so I can eat my own eggs, I have to rely on this feed and try to find the clientele to buy the eggs.

Categories: Chickens, Homesteading | 5 Comments

Making a Switch

Well I know it’s been a long time since I blogged. Don’t worry I didn’t forget about any of you   😉

Here is the lowdown on the homestead:

1. The chicks are getting big. The first batch of 8 are almost ready for the chick area in the coop. The second batch of 10 are waiting to move into the dog crate currently occupied by the first set.  The turkeys are going to arrive around May 1st. Phew cause I have no room right now!

2. Lambs are here and doing well. The white females are super friendly and I really think I will keep one or both for breeding. It really depends on how they fill out and if they have the traits I want. They certainly have the temperament.  We are still feeding on hay. I’m waiting for the first rain fall which was suppose to be tonight but I think wont be for a few more days. Then I can start my rotations around my yard. Well ok I need a solar fence charger first..but thats just a measly too hundred dollars   😯

3. Diesel is becoming a great farm dog. He likes the cats, is trying to herd sheep, and is eating poop. All the markings of a great farm dog lol. He is 9 weeks old today and one ear is trying to stand, the other flops over, so he looks all weird right now.

4. I have my garden marked out(almost) into the 4 plots I’ve sold. I have my regular peas planted.

So now the newest development.  I know I am probably jumping the gun on this but I am making a switch.  I have been unable to eat my own eggs for months. It is a little disappointing to know that others enjoy them, yet you cant even eat one or you are spending the day praying to the porcelain god. Since my god says, “no other gods before me” I have to make a switch to a chicken feed that will enable me to eat my eggs.  Here is the problem…at the moment I bring all my eggs to church.  I have a box that says chicken feed donations. I ask $1 at least although some pay me $2.50..some dont pay at all.  A lot are on a fixed income and love getting eggs from me. I love giving them eggs, but in order to eat eggs that means I have to go buy eggs at $5 a dozen.

If I were to charge what this feed I currently use costs me, I would have to charge $3.35 a dozen. That is run of the mill feed.  So the donations I have been getting is paying for about half my feed bill, if I am lucky.  The new feed is organic, non-soy and is more expensive so I would have to charge $4.75 a dozen just to make the cost.

It really is a dilemma because I love seeing the smiling old lady faces as I hand them eggs. Sometimes they forget their money and I just say dont worry about it.  I would love to continue this, but I want to eat my eggs!!  I love chickens and their personalities rock..but I cant split my flock and feed half this and half that just so I can continue to get half my feed paid for, for half my chickens.  I am switching all my girls to the new feed later this week. I will go tuesday and pick up enough for one month and mix it partially with what I have to wean them off of it and onto the new.  I will make an announcement at church that will break the hearts of all those little ol ladies, that I have to get $4.75 a dozen to pay for feed.

They honestly could care less if it were organic feed I’m sure. They just know they are better eggs than those at the store, but I have a soft heart.  I figure maybe if I can give away 6 dozen eggs away a month at church to those little ol ladies (which would cause me to eat $28 that week of my feed costs), if I use 3 dozen a month..then I only have to find some people to buy the remaining 15 dozen.   😦  I think it is going to be a hard sell in this area, but hopefully someone will see that pastured, organic, soy free eggs are worth the $4.75 a dozen.

Happy Homesteading!!   😀

 

Side Note:  Just went outside to feed the pup and noticed a chicken out..so walked around the house and ALL the chickens were out..they had eaten all my peas and messed up what I had done in my garden..grr..chickens.. Anyway..I’ve replanted the peas and all is well.

Categories: Chickens, Gardening, Homesteading | 3 Comments

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