Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Good night from the mountain...

Good evening from the mountain, it has been a long day, started out by going out into the fringed cold to milk the goats.  Both gave good amounts of milk and the new goat who still has no real name has started to tame down a bit.  After that I drove down to the trading post to drop off the food egg orders and went to school.  I went to a two hour lecture that was said to help with finding a job, it dealt with how to fill out a proper resume and such.  Then I went on to take a mathematics test. After that I did the shopping, got petrol fro the van and went home.

I was followed home by a dear friend who is helping Michael to clean our barn out, thank goodness they are getting to it, the barn is a mess.  Our friend gets the manure, we get some much needed help, it is good for every one.  My friend and his wife are amazing people who plant a huge garden every year and his wife cans everything.  I so look up to her and her thrifty ways.

Latter I worked some in the garden with the boys, and found out a wild animal is digging up and eating my potatoes.  I am so not happy with this and plan to trap the creature as soon as I can.  I was out there looking to see if we had any damage from the extreme cold that we had last night, when I discovered the potatoes, I thank G-d that we lost no other plants.  I did see some damage to the leaves of the Chinese cabbage, something is eating holes in the leaves, so tomorrow I will take egg shells out and put them under the plants and wait a day to see what happens if I still have problems I will take the de  earth out there and as a last resort I will make bug repellent.  It is simple onions, Garlic and hot peppers with a little dish soap added, and then sprayed on plants.  Bugs hate it.

Everything else seems ok, we did have to move the cows further away from the donkey to prevent a fight, but if that is the worse we have to deal with, it is a good day.

Lots to talk about tomorrow, but tonight I need to go and get some rest, stayed up to late watching the moon go red...


Be blessed
Shekhinah

Monday, April 14, 2014

Ebay shipping issues...

Farming is a pain when you can not get the Ebay window to let you print shipping for a customer.  Ebay is a real pain with many things , but this is the first time I have had issues with it not wanting to let me ship to a client.  It does not like the address as it includes a gate code.  The person has a gate Ebay, get over your self, if I could afford one I would.

Anyway so they have me deleting this and that and the guys say, "delete that little think after the word gate".
That is an exclamation mark, I say.

He says , "yeah that thing"....

I say, "well with out that how will they know where the sentence ends?"

He says, "that is the only way we can do it."  "We are limited to 40 characters."

I ask to be transferred to your supervisor, the man smarts off and says, "they are only going to tell you the same thing I say to you."  Nice smart off to the client a fine tone to set.

Ebay go home your drunk and you do not give two cents what the sellers think or you would fix these problems and get some American or even the Queens English speakers in there.  Does it really say you money when we have to stay on the phone for over a hour?


Every time I have to stop doing other farm stuff to do stupid things like this I become angry. In the end the women told me to go to the post office site, I said, it will cost me over $3.00 more to ship, which would come out of my pocket.  She told me it was not her problem, to which I replied that if I told her that she would be working a full hour and get only half as much pay , how would she feel, she said she would be angry....really, rolling my eyes.  This is what is wrong with big business. You can not just make money , but you must consider how you are acquiring that money.

 I have not even finished my first cup of coffee and I have to battle Ebay.  I swear here before all of you as soon as Facebook has it's online money system in America, I am going to it and dumping Pay Pay, as soon as they offer auction platforms, I am leaving Ebay.  I am sick over junk like this, almost twice a week I have to call either Ebay or Pay Pal who are by the way owned by the same people.  How can a company do business like this and make money, well they can't just look at the earnings or lake there off.  He is a link to a site called the Motley Fool, they are pretty up to the moment on this stuff.

http://www.fool.com/investing/general/2014/01/20/ebay-earnings-what-to-expect-from-its-2-pronged-gr.aspx

I think Ebay should rethink what it is doing and if Pay Pal gets the chance to jump ship it should.  No reason they should go down with the ship.  Now there is no question in my mind that what Ebay has done building it's auction site could be thought of as amazing, but building something and maintaining it are far different things and I think the Ebay goose may never lay the golden egg that everyone believed would happen.  With their lake of good customer service it is assured to fail!

Well back to work for me, no bees no honey, no work no money!
Be Blessed
Shekhinah



Morning from the mountain....

A rather dreary day again and so cold to night, right now it is 46, doubt we will reach our high of 52 f.  Low tonight 30, brrrrrr.  So my day will be filled with cleaning, washing food eggs, delivering food eggs and such.  Still need to bring more stuff up to the flea market.  It will be a long day , plus pay the bills and get my school work done, then grade the kids work.

There will be no swimming for the boys today, far to cold, no point in worrying about planting more seeds today, just have to get every thing else done.

 I do have to get the lawyer on the phone and see about pushing suing the North Arkansas Electric Coop and their contractor.  I am not giving up and they will have to pay for the damage they have caused.  I also plan to get the ACLU involved since they claim they do not discriminate, yet they use business funds to pay for what amounts to a Christian picnic every year...feeding people only pork and playing only Christian music.  I have no desire to attend an event like that, even though in reality I am helping to pay for it.  They believe that they good old boy network will protect them.  I guess much like them commentating on my G-d we will see.

I will try and make cheese today, have to see how it goes.

The boys are learning about the universe in Science, Cosmos has been a big help with that, though not the quality of the original airing it is still a good show.  They are working on their writing and math, so there day will be full as well.  Art was canceled for today as it is too cold to make the stepping stones that we had planned on making.

Have to go now, I will try and check in latter...

Be Blessed
Shekhinah

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Swimming, dandelion jelly and the new milk goat

The boys are loving the swimming pool and it is hard to break their focus of it.  The weather has been nice, but now it is raining again.  Good for my pond fish and good for the gardens, bad for doing much else.

Before it started we went out and gathered dandelion flowers to make jelly with once we have enough.  I am already thinking about the fair and entering canned stuff.  I want to have so much more then we entered last year.  I got third in the state on something, but I have forgotten which jar it was.  Maybe this year I will get a second place in State, that would be nice.  I am hoping to enter at least five flower jellies.  Kudzu, rose, dandelion, violet, and maybe elderberry.  We will just have to see as the time draws closer.

I and Glenda went to almost Salem yesterday and picked up a new milk goat. She is a La mancha from a different line then ours, but the same breeder. She is about half the size of the one I have now.  The two goats met this morning and it did not take long for Ice cube to show the new girl that she was the boss.  They called the new one Love, hate it...Michael thinks we should call her knuckle head, as she does not listen well.  I am thinking some think nicer, but I have not come up with a good name yet.  I will have to work on it.  She appears to be a bit of a terror, took Michael quite a bit of time to catch her and bring her in to be milked.

I walked around the gardens today, looking at all the new life, it is really amazing what a few nice days can do.  We picked the first of the asparagus, some curly dock green and some field garlic to go into tonight's supper.  We will make some thing with the left over turkey as our big meal for the holiday will not happen quite yet.  To be honest I am no feeling the whole Passover thing right now.  Not many people seem to read the part in the Torah where it tells you to stand up and eat in haste.  I just think a forced sit in, well it is just not my thing!  I think I might even feel a bit offended over it all.  When G-d being holy removed the Jews from Egypt it was not because we were slaves in the way we think of slaves, I doubt they were walking in chains, many were known to have slaves of their own.  I think it was more of assimilation issues, they were so much like those they served, they were living much the same as the Egyptians were.  They were owned a lot of stuff, much like to day. All of us to some degree have made ourselves slaves to the things we own, the life styles we lead.  Our ancestors could never imaged the lives we lead today, with so much stuff.  Even the computer I am typing from is a form of bondage.  Just see how much you can get done in the real world with out it.  My point is that if we really wanted to remember that G-d freed us, maybe we should quit putting the chains back on.  I think it is wrong to though the motions of any event, just because it is tradition, to be blinded by this is its own slavery.

I am not a slave my clothes, my cars, my home or anything else.  I wear what is comfortable to me, it need not be fancy, I dress in a lot of black, not because I am Jewish, but because I like black and it shows dirt less, and well let's face it, I am a bit clumsy...lol  I wear my hair long, so does every one in my household, I do not change when the styles change, this is how I am.  Even if Pork were Kosher, I still would not eat it, I turn up my nose , so to speak at many Kosher food items, that even with the Orthodox label are not even close to Kosher enough for me.  I only eat Kosher bugs, i.e. certain crickets and grasshoppers.  If it is made from cactus bugs and has a Kosher label on it, no thanks.  If it has GMO ingredients, I will pass as well.  I judge the Rabbi who put the money in his purse to in error for allowing it to be so.

One of the reasons I raise my own meat on the farm is because the Kosher butchers to me are now where I deem them questionable as our the farms. I dislike commercial farms very much and feel it is wrong to treat any animal in such a manor.

I do not want an animal to suffer on my count so it can be my food, and I am not against the eating of meat.  I love meat and we make us of all we can and give the priest share to the poor and widowed and yes the stranger in the land.  When a animal is killed it should be killed quickly and be treated with respect.  It gave its life , so that you would live.  A very deep emotional bond should be between us and our animals, they should live happy healthy lives and have a kind death.  Being a farmer is not a job, it is a life style and while I see Homosexuals fighting to protect their life style chose, there are few fighting to be farmers.

As a farmer, I feel we should live in kindness, I am not a communist, I am not even sure I a capitalist, I feel I am a realist. I see the world for what it is.  I know I can not fix everything, but I do not have to stand by and watch it all go down the crapper either.  I can chose to grown our food, raise our children in a way that merits G-d and the earth.

To those of you celebrating the holiday, I wish that it is peaceful for you.

Be blessed from the Mountain

Shekhinah

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Good morning from the mountain...

Good morning from the mountain, yesterday afternoon it was nice and warm, well into 90 degrees f.  The boys swam in our pool for the first time this year. they seemed to have had a very nice time.  Our pool is not fancy, just a Walmart special above ground pool, but it makes them very happy so that is all that really matters.

 I did manage to get a few more plants in the garden, though I have bunches more to go.  But they will wait till Sunday, today is the day we go to the Trading post down the road and try to part with some of the smaller animals.  We hope to sell chickens and a few potbelly pigs, baby chicks, who knows what else...

We plan to be there for a few hours, but can not leave till our house sitters get here.  Yup things are bad in the world when you can not leave your house with out some one to watch it...but that is where we are at, so we must live with it.

Anyway new goat will be here today too...so I need to get ready for the day ahead.

Be Blessed
Shekhinah

Congratulations to Liz Koch the winner of a female breeding age potbelly pig!

Friday, April 11, 2014

Sunny good morning from the Mountain...

Sunny good morning from the Mountain, I am busy working hard to get the egg orders out, already milked the goat, did the breakfast thing.  It is going to be a warm day here today, with tons of work needing done...a lot of work got done with out me yesterday while I was at school.  Our friend Eddy stopped by and helped Michael to start on cleaning the barn, they could a good section of it done and Eddy got some more fertilizer for his crops.  We invite other farms to come and remover manure if they need it, not every farm has livestock.  It helps us all.

Tomorrow we will set up at a local business to promote the farm, I hate working on Saturday, but sometimes you do what you must, I know that G-d understands.  We will give away seeds tomorrow to anyone willing to plant them, sell some baby chicks, and some other animals...I hope it will be a good day, as our electric bill is over due and must be paid.  It is always something and I so look forward to going off grid.  Our first solar panels should be here anytime.

Shipping to the farm is so slow, I have been waiting on a two shipping for a week...ugh!  I hope the sneakers at least get here before tomorrow...lol

On to stranger news, I was listing to NPR(National Public Broadcast Radio) yesterday and I heard that America and the UN plan to send troops to the Ukraine.  To all of our readers from the Ukraine I want to apologize for my country butting it's way into your affairs.  It is not the people of America doing this, it is our leaders who do not listen to us.  The only reason both America and Russia as doing this is for your farms, your grain to be exact.  I hear that you are the grain belt of the region, and that your land is still clean , unlike most land here int he states which has had decades of poison dumped on them.  I pray for you all each day and hope that your battle ends with out damage to your fields.  The last time America butted into affairs like this was when it went to a "limited war", with Korea. Russia according to our history books was held jointly by America and Russia at the time.  It was a long dawn out mess. The called it the Korean war, but when I was a child, they called it a "peace keeping action", things always change with time.  Again I pray that you and your fields and families are safe from harm.

Time for me to go work the fields, love to you all from the mountain...

Be Blessed
Shekhinah

Thursday, April 10, 2014

New feed plan...new milk goat...

Good afternoon from the mountain. This week we will welcome a new in milk, goat to the farm.  She will give us a little more milk to make cheese with and be a back up plan for us, as two is one and one is none...I plan to make tons of cheese as it is the bulk of our diet, and in the real world a very contaminated food product.  We live in an area where there is a food desert, very little organic cheese makes it out to where we live, so making it offers us a clean and wholesome product.  However one more goat, means even more feed...ugh!

 I have spent a great deal of time coming up with a working feed plan for the livestock, something we could one afford, and two would provide a good quality nutrition for all of the animals.  As I have said before, we do plant and grow some of the feed our selves, and in the past we have talked about spouting wheat.  The corn from the feed mill is officially off limits for my farm as I can not depend on it to be GMO free, on the contrary I can most certainly agree that it can only come from a GMO source.

We have switched to the Hubard feed Turkey grower, which is an all natural feed and we are currently feeding wheat and millo.  However I find myself at a crossroad with the wheat.  I know I will have to replace it with some thing else very soon as they are spraying the wheat this season with Round Up to "dry it" before harvest.  There is too large a risk to the animals, ourselves and the land we cherish to continue using tainted wheat.

We now plan to add more to what we need to grow and to start talking to other small farms to see if we can form some sort of group to protect the food we have left.  Things for us have reached what I deem crisis level.  We are quickly running out of options.

I am growing corn, but corn alone is not a good feed, though planting the three sisters is a very good solution for part of our problem, it will not solve it all.  The pumpkins will supply the animals much needed nutrition, as will the corn but scarcely enough.  We have planned on using the plants themselves at the end of the season will be used to feed the livestock and this is good, but I find myself thinking about the spouting of grain in a very serious way, as it may provide the only form of hope we have to keep the farm running.  If I can not raise animals in a healthy way for them and us there would be no point in doing it at all.

Many days I wonder if I can really do this, I have to plant a massive amount of food for the animals and ourselves and if I fail, we are done.  I think about all those who came before me, working the land, trying to find the next best way to produce more, as I work as hard to go back to the way it was before Mono chopping. Before we poisoned the land growing more to feed less...it is hard and riddled with problems.  Just finding seed that has not been contaminated with a GMO crop is nearly impossible, and when you do find seed it is costly.  Barley seed is very hard to find and organic forms of it have not made them selves present.  In the before time, my family in Europe would have planted pumpkins to feed the animals as well as oats, my dad tells me the animals hardly ever got sick, I believe him.  Each day I fight the war against the new food that offers little to no nutrition, and has been contaminated on many sides.  I almost feel as though there will be no end to it all until nothing at all is left wholesome, then no animals will be spared, nor will we.

I do not give up, I continue to talk to others on the merits of talking responsibility for their food and sharing what ever knowledge I have gained with them.  Today I spoke to a cow farmer who is working on raising cows with out all the junk in them, he like us will have to come up with ways to do this in a world gone crazy with GMOs. I also spoke to a bee farmer about our mutual concerns. She reminded me that man can only live in this world four years after the bees are gone, even knowing this, hearing some one else say the words sent chills down my spine.  She is fighting too, her bees pollinate crops in other states and have been killed of in large numbers due to poisons and bad plants.  There are only so many bees in the world and places like our farm and a few others that are far from the growing centers of GMO crops are protected.  What about the others, will bees truly become an endangered species because we need a perfect tomato or larger yields.  It seems to be the trend of the United States at least to say that the bees are dying from a mysterious aliment called colony collapse, but it's not really that simple or mysterious.  It is devious though, it is evil and it is real...they claim they lost more then 20% of the bees, I am sure in reality the number is far larger.

 Interestingly the USDA is calling for more labeling of bee products as most honey on the shelves of your local grocery is a blend at best, and may be mostly HFC( High Fructose Corn Syrup).  I only use unfiltered honey from my own hive, I no longer trust the stuff on the shelves.  You can do an easy test, as nothing moves like real honey, but honey.  Take a small bottle of corn syrup to the store with you, does the stores honey move like it?  If so there is your answer, consider going to a local farm and buying your honey.

Enough of my rant, I have eggs to wrap and children needing fed, to morrow will be another big planting day here at the farm.  If any of you out their know of a source where I can get none tainted barley please send the information to me.

Be Blessed
Shekhinah