Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Good morning from the mountain and new book

Good morning from the mountain, I have some great news!

I have written a new book on hydroponics and I think you all are going to love it.  My book is easy to follow, detailed and it will not be long before you have fresh vegetables in any climate, and the parts to make the system are well within the reach of most people.
Plus the money goes to help our farm reach its goal of being off grid.  If you read only one Kindle book this year, let it be this one.


Be Blessed

Monday, October 20, 2014

Good morning form the mountain...

Good morning from the mountain, sorry I have not updated this before this but, we have been making ourselves busy preparing for the winter that will be soon be upon us.  We have actively acquired wood to burn.  We filled the propane tank, and received hay for the animals, our freezers are full.  Still have more to can and can food to go through from past seasons.

Still have a bull to put in the freezer, a sheep and maybe a goat.  I have a few hundred more jars of fruit to can, which will open up freezer space for more meat. I am glad that we raise our meat and I am glad we do, as the price in the grocery store is quite insane.  The prices of other staples have also gone up more than 30%, butter is nearly $5.00 per pound, never thought I would ever see that high a price.  Just a month ago I was buying it for $2.49 a pound.  Cheese has not gone up, so I know it is not a higher milk price item, I am starting to feel that there are just too many greedy people in the world.

As to the new kitchen we are moving forward, still lacking a few windows, but we have one wall almost finished.  I can see it all coming together and look forward to soon cooking there in all that space. 
In the matters of our garden, we are still picking green beans, have a lovely pumpkin on the vine, tomatoes on the vine as well, spinach and okra are doing very well indeed.  We managed to get nine rows of leeks and turnips in the ground.  Ten rows of beets and three rows of radishes, so I think we are doing very well there.

One more thing I would like to talk about is Isis, if these people are the force that the news tells us, I have a real and perfect solution that Roosevelt would have loved.  Let every country drop what they are doing for seven days and come together, wipe them off the face of the planet.  Give them no up time, go after them 24 hours per day and guess what, no more Isis.  If we as a planet got together, we could put an end to all of this bunk.  You could do the same with other problem people, make a list of them, drop it in a hat, and pull a name, seven days of obviation and then peace.  After you hit a few names on the list, it would end the war, and it would make us so sick of fighting we would have to work harder for a better world that we could have.  Just saying, you are going to use the troops either way, the money either way, why drag this crap out.  Dragging it out makes the bad guys the winners and all of us fools.

Be Blessed

Monday, September 22, 2014

Good afternoon from the Mountain

Good afternoon from the mountain, I am sorry for not including you in our rounds of the world sooner; honestly I have just not been up to it.  School is going as well as to be expected, and the children continue to grow wiser and wiser by each passing day.  

In our homeschooling we are studying Teddy Roosevelt the author, a president by chance and an all-around interesting person.  His books are quite interesting and chocked full of interesting facts about the world that he lived in.  I recommend any of them…

So today I went to buy feed in the state next door, I can be found doing this very same thing at least once a week, but this week differed as a friend shocked me by telling me I was crazy, now in his defense he did not come out right and say that, he explained that he knew someone who was crazy like me.  Hmmmmm!  I know it was not meant in an offensive way, but somehow it is as painful to be as a branding iron set to stun.  Why I wonder do people think, I am crazy for living closer to the earth and rebuking the need to be one of the crowd.  It was not too long ago that I was one of the crowd, just fifty or so good years too late to most accounts. 
I value my lifestyle in which I grow most of our food, where we raise our own, milk, eggs and meat, where we also forage and hunt.  In my world it is more important to get off grid that to have a new fancy car, watch, cell phone, or another gadget that one pours life into.  I value books; I value family and do not create in my children’s lives endless ways to be without them, but rather live my life with them.  I think team work can be learned best in a family and less in a sport.  We are simple people living a perfectly simple life, one in which we chose solitude and knowledge over the noise chaos and daily life that most people live.  I think it is far from crazy for us, and many who came before us it is quit sane. 
As to the farm, I was blessed to have a buyer for a good portion of our birds and maybe the bull calf.  I am feeling better that we can go forward with a little less and maybe get past this all.  We still need to raise money to pay for the propane and the hay as well as the stuff we still need to finish the kitchen. I need to go for now as I am due at a class… Be BlessedShekhinah 

Monday, September 8, 2014

Good afternoon from the mountain

Good Afternoon from the mountain, I am sorry it has been so many days since my last post.  I am desperately trying to find some way to make things work out on the farm, but I just cannot seem to find a way for all the pieces to come together.  At current I have taken the largest cow to the butcher and I know I am not going to get more than a few hundred pounds of meat from her, but it will be good quality meet that will end up costing us about $1.19 per pound, not too shabby for organically raised beef.  So I will take what I can get from her, as she was not going to produce any more useable milk for us.  

The butcher said we picked a good time to eat her, even with her poor weight as the older dairy cows get to tough to eat.  Honestly I had no idea.  But I am glad I took her and the place seems very nice, it was impeccably clean as well.  The staff was compassionate, and quick in what they did, it was like watching a well composed Opera, where every movement had purpose and meaning. In short I was very pleased. 

For those who might be wondering why she did not weigh more, it is because we have had her calf on her for over 11 months now and he is a plump tender looking creature who is now near the size that she was, except with a lot more meat.  I felt it was worth the trade for more tender meat. He will be going to the butcher very soon. 

One of the things I was most pleased with was the fact I could watch the whole process at the butcher shop and was even invited to return this Wednesday morning to see the cow being cut up and learn more about the whole process.  I have seen many videos, but I think being a part of it may give me a better understanding of the greater process involved.  All knowledge is good knowledge and if I someday want to be able to hunt larger game animals, such as Moose, Elk or Buffalo, than this knowledge will help greatly. 

So that is where I am with the first cow and soon the second.  I have decided since I could not find a buyer for the goats or the last sheep, that we will eat them as well.  When all the big animals are gone our freezer will be full and that is at least something to look forward too. 

In regards to the birds on our farm, I have had two troublesome events take place.  First is the fly in and contamination of our Cayuga eggs.  I have not seen wild ducks, but our last batches of Cayuga ducks show the signs of wild Mallards.   So I will be replacing or refunding that person I am sure, but when you free range birds you set yourself up for these sorts of events.  I should be glad it has not happened more often.  So my choices are to stop selling them all together or to sell them with a warning of possible duck crossing.  I am not sure what I will do yet.  My next problem arose with the new OEG self-blues laying and me putting the two pens together, what a mess this now is.  I bought what I was told was OEG Dutch Blue, they are not there are a cross at best as worst blue OEG. This mean when they breed they can make blue chicks, lemon chicks, splash, or a combination of them.  It also makes them less desirable.  

Unscrupulous dealers have put this part of my hatching egg business at risk at best and at worst shut it down.  I will never make back the money spent of these chicks, the dealer will not return phone calls and well it just goes downhill from there.   So now each hen must be taken out and placed with the roo I know is pure and we must wait on her eggs to hatch and see what we get, if they are half breeds, they will be sold off at a loss, full breeds re-penned in another area.  I guess I can sell them as mixed for now, but it is heart breaking to pour your heart and soul into them only to be disappointed so many months later.

Onto other farm events, my eldest son was by about a week ago and butchered out a quail pen, so he has some quail for his freezer and we have some in ours.  It helps to size down and I cannot wait to do the pigeons. 

The gardens are still holding fast, though we have lost a lot of the tomatoes and all of the beans and cucumbers to the heat.  I will try one last batch of beans and hope for the best.  I am trying to figure out if I can grow beans hydroponically and that may in the end be the answer for us.  I have the young tomato plants and some peppers plants ready for the new hydroponics system, now I just need to get a few tasks out of the way to set the first one up. 
I am setting up a disposable dehydrator today to help tiny up the produce and I am hoping to put it to good use.  The more I put up the better off we will be and I still have pears and pumpkins that need done.  We did get some into the freezer, but I will need that space for meat so I am glad for the cooler weather that is coming so I can get back to canning. 

I still have not gotten out to the hives either, so it is another task on my endless list of things needing done.  When you have a farm your list never ends and people rarely understand why you cannot just leave and do other things.  I guess you could, but you would likely come back to one heck of a mess.

As to our dear little children they are busy learning.  They are also ready for their first deer hunt and I am glad that they will be able to hunt.  I found bullets for their guns at the feed store of all places and hurried myself to the purchase, so they are ready.  I hope to have deer meat for the table and jerky for snacks. 

Not much else is going on, other than the College and I continuing the dance of they know what they are doing.  I am now being drug through a money counseling event that is of course mandatory. It must be done face to face and I was asked if I minding driving two hours to be there.  I explained I did mind and I was unable to comply and then a time was set, ten minutes later she called to change it telling me I needed to compromise, really?  Hmmm, so that led to me having to take time from my class to go and see her, even though the class is mandatory as well. All in hopes they can shame me for borrowing money, rolling my eyes, they call it help. I see it as a waste of time, if I have only one semester left at your school why put me through it, I will be one of the less than 20% that leave with a degree.  Perhaps they would do better to speak to the new people coming in, as I myself am in for a penny and a pound with no choice but to do the deed and finish my degree. It makes me sick to think that people from outside of this country coming in as illegals and they will go to college for free and I must work and struggle, go into debt. 
Anyway I must go back to work…
Be Blessed

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Good morning from the mountain..

Good Morning from the mountain, dreadful day, I am up, the sun is up and no rain.  I dreamed of thunder this morning.  The ground is so dry that even upon watering it, it becomes dust again.  My plants just need to hold on a few more days.

School is coming along as well as it can be expected.  I finished one section in math and thought I heard the angles rejoicing at that moment.  I just pray I can finish and retain the information long enough to finish the class.  My other classes are fine, answer questions, read reply…

We have a bit of a predator problem at the moment, Michael saw a coyote up near the house in midday and we are both horrified over this as the puppies were outside at the time.  It is not normal for the coyotes to appear in the daytime like that.  It could be that it is sick or worse that it has been watching our animals for a while.  So we are on alert with loaded guns, I cannot let the pups get eaten or our birds.  To make matters worse, our geese are molting which makes them a target for predators like this.  Everywhere we go on the farm the ground looks like snow, but it is goose feathers.  Poor geese, it is so hot and they seem to suffer in this heat.

I will be doing a lot of trapping this winter, you can be sure of that.  The predators have gotten so much worse over the last year.  At this point I am unsure why this is such a problem, the wild animals have plenty of deer and rabbit to eat, as well as squirrels, but still they are looking for a free meal. 
I have finally made an appointment with the butcher for the big milk cow, so next month she will be in the freezer and since the bull calf is near to her size, we will do him very soon.  I plan to put the goats in the freezer as well.  They will fill our freezers and provide meat all winter long, I feel a cold winter coming and the thought of being without meat is not one I chose to think about. 

In other news I have found a new mill to buy from in our state, so blue corn meal in on the way.  They have much of the grain I was buying from another source, but it was out of state and would often take weeks to get out grain and I really do like having bread.  So I am hoping this will all workout.  The best part is the mill is one of a handful in the States that is using a millstone that is over a hundred years old and that the grain is ground using it and water power.  To me this is the way all meal should be produced.  I hate store bought flour and meal.

Well, dear ones I need to get to work, there is nothing but work that needs to be done before winter gets here.

Be Blessed


Monday, August 25, 2014

Still no rain and Ferguson

Well no rain here, thunder and the sky fell dark, but no rain.  Yet is was so unreasonable hot I swear I saw a butterfly melt.  Tomorrow it may rain, oh how we hope so, oh how we pray for rain.  Our gardens are in a terrible state.  I would like to talk to you more about the farm, but I feel I must get something off my heart.

I am now totally sick of Ferguson and the killing of a "teen", first off that "teen", was voting age, a thief and many other things.  I was not there to see why he was shot and I am sick that I even feel the need to side with the police on this.  I would love to see a toxicological report on that "teen", who minutes before robbed a convenience store on camera, brutally shoving a man, while clasping cigars that he had just stole.  I feel that in an area where over 60% of the population is black than a larger number of black people are going to commit crimes. In my area most people are white or mixed with Native American and guess what hardly any blacks go to jail.  Does that mean the police here are brutal towards people who are not black...no that would be stupid, don't you think?  It is all relative, now ask me about the man who died in a police choke hold, cause that is what people should be angry about, and not so much this. Every bad person that is shot, black or white, native or other is first and for most a bad person, to say more is being raciest. If you think that it is profiling to arrest a criminal, then that is the problem, race does not matter, right and wrong matter and at the end of the day that is all that should matter.  As long as we allow race to be used this way, we as a race shall stagnate and die, because there can be no better tomorrow until we understand that we are all of race, the human race, though at this moment it saddens me to be a member.  Instead of dwelling in darkness, turn on the light!

Be Blessed dear ones

Friday, August 22, 2014

Good morning from the mountain, flat tire and all...

Good Morning from the mountain, I awoke to a flat tire, not that I went anywhere yesterday, but there it is staring at me from the front porch.  It seemed quite alarming to me when Michael pointed it out.  No less is my pain than to see it is one of the better tires, that has caused me this grief and of course it must be fixed this morning and dealt with in an appropriate way or it will grief me for the entirety of this upcoming week end.  I will have Michael put the spare on for now and I will try and make the best of it, till such a time as I can find more time to drive to town and get it fixed.

I had friend call yesterday me asking about tags on goats, so she could take her goats to the auction. Come to find out the tags are quite worthless as they are not running the health test that I was told was required to use the tags. Yet, another empty promise of safety, offered by those who deem with loud rhetoric that they are protecting our food supply. Fine job lads, fine job…

I hate the auctions, they are cruel to the animals and so many sick animals come through them that buying there is less safe than the bed of a town prostitute.  I am sure the prostitute at least washes herself up to at least look presentable.  By similar token the auction house does not even attempt to hide its filth or mistreatment of said animals, rather it states that it is all business. I am sure they feel that way, the heartless brutes, but farming is also about family and kindness, so I leave them to their folly of fools.

To make matters worse I had asked another person of the rules which by lead them to think that I was taking my animals there and it did not go well.  No good deed goes unpunished, more money to the bad.  I cannot put good money after bad, there is just not enough money to go around, it has become more practical to sell the goats for now and buy cow milk from an Amish farmer who I befriended some years back.  At four dollars a gallon I can buy five gallons of milk for $20.00, two for drinking and three for yogurt and cheese making. I will also have more time to tend to other farm matters. That said the goats will go into the freezer long before I would consider the auction house. 

The cow I am taking to get made in to meat, I will have to study the cuts and have him leave it in the larger cuts, which means more work for me, but also more meat for us.  I watched Otto on, “Alaska The Last Frontier”, and he was cutting up a smaller cow than the last one I had done and the number of steaks he got far exceeded what I returned home with.  I am not saying that anyone is stealing from me; I just want to keep an honest man honest. This will also afford me the luxury of packing the meat the way I want. I need to get back to doing this anyway and in truth if it were closer to winter I might have gone and butchered her myself.  I will for sure do the goats myself, as it is not cost effective not too.  The money saved from butchering them can be used in the new hydroponic system or solar panels.

The gardens survive for the moment, though the heat is very hard on them and I just keep hoping and praying that I can keep the larger parts alive for a little long till cool weather flows though.  So far no green beans are put up, no okra, and only a quarter of the tomatoes we will need to make it through the long winter months that are coming.  I am deeply disappointed and I hope that the hydroponics will help get us through.  Yesterday I received the last parts from Amazon and I am elated to get started.

The boys and are reading, “Mark Twain’s Life on the Mississippi”, in part for research for ,”ABIGAIL”, and in part just as it is such a joy to revisit the works of Mark Twain.  I encourage you all to review his books as they are wonderful and revenant even all these years later. 
Barge on the Ohio river at Cave in rock park

One of the bluffs at Cave in Rock park and my two sweet boys and husband.

Well back to the farm chores and school….
Be Blessed dear ones