Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Day 142 of 365 days of our live on our small family farm in the USA

Been a long day her on the farm, not a bad one, just long.

Right now I have so much to get done that I am not really sure where to start.  I may scrap some more metal, that seemed to go really well today, we had a lot of fun and made a few bucks, even got some t-posts and an old amo box for the bears to put there treasures in (at least their pennies are off my floor, lol).  We ended up giving 8 bucks for the t-post and box, t-post sell for over five dollars and closer to six, so they were a bargin to say the least.  That is 30 plus feet of fence we can get up and that thrills me. 

The garden is coming along nicely, and each day I add more stuff.  Our little blue berry bush yeilded only half a cup of  berries, which is ok since the goat ate most of the bush when I bought it home. I am sure it will do better next year.  The autim olive and the pear tree are both in fruit along with the black berries and the chickory is also ready to harvest, so my kotchen is about to get busy.

I am thinking about giving away some garden seeds to city people who might like to try their hand at growing something, I figure if they grow a food plant maybe they will start to get an idea of not only real food but the work that can go in to it.  Feel free to let me know what you all think.
I am ready for a vacation, none planned in the future until the roof is fixed and up to snuff, but is is nice to dream of Drury inn's nice soft beds, clean rooms, that I do not have to clean, hot food, cold drinks, indoor pool and jacouzi and large color screen color tv and bath tub....ewwww have to quite talking about
Anyway back to work, we love you all and are glad you are there.

Be Blessed
Shekhinah, Michael and all the kids and critters on Mahaniam farm

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Day 141 of 365 days of our life on our small family farm in the USA

I know it has been 13 days since our last post here, but things are like crazy busy and sometimes just crazy.  Ok, for one thing our cow is back and building a lovely bag, of course we are all very happy about this and she seems to be glad to be home as well.  I bet she was super glad this morning as we had a rather nasty storm here and she got to ride it out in the safety of the barn. 

Money continues to be an ongoing problem with the farm, I have tried all kinds of ways to generate new revenue, so far none have worked, perhaps it is too close to the 4th of July for people to want to part with their money.  None the less I Will not give up and will just keep movingvforward.  Tomorrow I hope to scarp some metal and get a few bucks to get us threw, I know it will be ok. 

The weather has been brutal here in Arkansas, where it has gone from very wet to desert dry with super high humidity which has made every outside chore an over whelming task.  It is talking so much longer to get anything done it is just crazy.  When we do get rain now it is explosive, often we get hail as well, plus high winds, not the greatest weather for ones garden or live stock.  When it storms it is impossible to sleep as there is aways the worry of lightning starting a fire or animals getting struck; it can some times be very scary living on the mountain.
Living on the mountain makes you aware of how fragile life can be.

On to our gardens:
We are up to watering twice a day most days now.  As to the most recent storm, we did not lose any plants from the garden , we did have to go out and pick them up as we had what I can only guess were very strong straight line winds, by gosh it was scary.  Rachael and I were at the door during part of it and the wind seemed to roar to life and move everything in its path.  The plants that did take the worst damage were the Jerusalem artichokes and the corn, only one tomato plant saw any ill of the storm and it was blown over basket and all.  The gardens themselves, even in our drought conditions are doing well and we have harvested lots of fresh yummy food.  Our bathtub lettuce patch has produced five salad dinners for us and along with our green peppers, tomatoes and onions were a big hit the other night, when friends came over.  We have harvested out first green beans, tomatoes (daily task), peas (almost done), onions, green peppers, hot peppers, spinach, cucumbers, wheat and a few other things I can not think off of the top of my head.  I have harvested some peppermint and dried it for winter use and plan to list some for sale soon as well.  We had a really hard time for some reason finding pole bean seeds, but in the end we did find two nice varieties and they are in the ground, one is a purple bean the other a yellow wax bean, so in a month I should have plenty to can.  Our wild gardens are doing well, we are already picking wild black berries and today Rachael brought in five pounds of hen of the woods mushrooms.  They will go nice in tomorrow dinner...

No new babies in the barn yard yet, soon I hope...

We are getting a new mini horse at the beginning of the month, I wanted to have a place for the little guy as he needs to be worked with.  We got him from some very nice people and he is quite lovely. I know the babies are going to love and cherish him.  I bet they are riding him in a month and getting him to pull a wagon as well.

Lets see what else is going on, 4-h stuff as always, my daughter will be the new leader for our area in Jan of 2012, I know this will make all the area parents happy.  She is really great with kids and wants to work with children and horses in the future.

Some things I have learned this week, trac pone is not the phones from us...the company has no idea how to do business and are rude.  Just try to find some one who speaks English there...go a head I dare you and if they threaten to return your call , they are doing just  By the way even with their double minutes deal you still end up paying nearly 15 cents per minute.  I did not buy this for me to use, I bought it for my eldest son.  It took a total of two weeks to activate this phone, I told him to donate the phone to charity when the minutes are gone and we will try another brand.
As to the new house phones, they are junk, Uniden direct 6.0 are not the phones for use, it is hard to use them, they are hard to hear on and I have decided that my ten year old phone are getting new batteries, the new phones are going to charity, maybe some one else can use them.

Gonna watch Soliet green with the kids tomorrow...if you have not seen it, you should watch it.

Well dear, I have to get back to the every day farm chores and water the garden...

Be Blessed and know that some one some one is thinking fondly of you right now!
Shekhinah, Michael and all the kids and critters on Mahanaim Farm

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Day 128 of 365 days of life here on our small family farm in the USA

News From the Doghouse
Been awhile since the last post, and my previous did not get posted for some reason. Got woke up by a Happy Bear who tricked me, 1st said it was 8 and I said it was too early to be 8, then he said it was 6 and I said wake me at 7 and he said it was already I pry my eyes open to see the clock and it was 7:11 AM lol my future chess games are in trouble with him, I see.
Yesterday walking dummy dog we spooked up a wild turkey early in the morning. When we dumped trash on Monday, Elisha went with me and we found a cute little turtle. He told everyone it was a baby mountain turle, and everyone said it was a land turtle, he said no it was a baby mountain turtle and they were dumb and stupid, or so I was told lol
Been doing horseshoeing work as well as other stuff... we made $65.60 selling scrap metal junk from cleaning up the yard and property, the other day. Today (Wednesday) we went and did an old horse and made $40 and then in town the Boss made $35 on the lottery scratch tickets, so we had a pretty good field day I guess. At 1st, felt bad about buying gas for the van and filling up a gas tank, but figured that we were working tomorrow and needed the van gassed up, just the extra for the gas can was a squeeze, but it worked out alright.
We went to the grocery store and the feed store, so we are stocked up for a few days a least. Finally got a planted box built for the Bears and got the giant pumpkin, watermelon, squash, and sunflower planted. We have blackberry starting to ripen and the apples are doing ok, the pears seem to be coming along alright as well.
The incubator had a gizmo malfuntion and killed a nice clutch of eggs, including a few peacock eggs, turkey, ducks, black quail, silkies, turkens, and a special turken variety crossed with silkies. We got a few turkens with extra silkie toes, and was looking forward to the next established generation of them.
Have been doing all sorts of things around the farm, trying to get it all contained and organized I guess. Making progress getting things built sort of. Got the big new pool up for the Bears, and been slowing filling it up, trying not to put too much of a drain on the well systyem and water level. Got the back porch pretty much cleaned off of cages, and started working on clean up of the studio house. Trying to rearrange everything to function more efficiently and /or smoothly.
Its been 6 years since we were in Ingless, Florida and seen Opar, the father-in-law, patriarch of everything, being the last remaining sole/soul survivor of that generation for our families. Its approaching the 6 year mark since we came to Arkansas and left the comfort and security and consistancy of civilization to come here and live in the challenge of day to day attempt at harmony and certain inconsistancy. I guess we have done well in one sense and just seems we have failed so miserably in another sense. Not sure how to explain that more clearly at the moment.
To answer an e-mail question....we use @ 56 to 58 kg a day on grain, although we are bringing that amount down in usage, due to butchering chickens and some sell offs. We sold some pigeons the other day, more helped us out buying more hay than anything else.
Lots has been going on the last few weeks, just been too tired to type or the Bears are on doing school work. Think about writing alot of stuff all day long, but when I get in and rest and eat dinner, have a shower I am about ready to go to bed anyway. lol
Be  Blessed
Michael, shekhinah and all the kids and critters on Mahanaim Farm

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Day 127 of 236 days of our life on our small family farm in the USA

Another fun filled day or running about and getting stuff done, before Rachael and Dah'veed go off to their 4-H event.  We worked on a few horses had to make an emergancy trip to the dentist for Rachael and than off to Walmart for sneakers for Michael, who bought 2 pair.  Michael and Dah'veed went to help some one move a bed.  We got a call latter about al the 4-H plans getting changed, some one died, another person had just had surgury, so the kids will be leaving here at 3 in the morning to go, boy is it going to be earily.  We still have no idea when they will return, never a dull moment.
Still working on replacing the cow and holding our own in these tight economic times, sometimes I wish I was one of the farms where the govenment was paying them not to grow stuff, than I would be rich.  Only kidding, but just working the gardens seems to be an endless task, all by it's self.  Still need to plant more stuff, I wonder if I will ever be done.  I picked cucumbers today, small ones, but they were yummy the kids said.  I guess the peas are done and need to be replaced with beans.  I bought the wrong green beans, I bought the bush kind and the fava should have be planted at they will go in around  Sept and I will hope for the best.  the corn is coming along and I fee we will be able to make use of it.
  Well got to go and get the gardens waters...
Be Blessed and know you are loved...Shekhinah Michael and all the kids and critters on Mahanaim Farm

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Day 126 of 365 days of our life on our family farm in the USA

I am sorry it has been so long since I have posted.  The loss of our dear Moo cow has been more than I could bare.  Currently we are looking for another cow, but they are very pricey and not being wealthy, it will be a little while till we can replace her.  I did find one a good price, full Jersey, 5 years old, AI bred and due to calf in Oct, her last milking she gave 4 gallons, not too bad.  The price of this wondrous cow was $850, very reasonable, but currently out of our range.  So we will pray that work will come our way and provide us the money to afford her.

  Hay season is now upon us and to get the better price on square bales we must buy out in the field, which mean many days of going out and driving 40 plus miles and then loading the hay into the horse trailer.  We can get 22 square bales at one time this way and the cost is $2.50 per bale, if we wait and he sticks it in the barn the cost goes up to $4.50, so haste is important in this matter.  Often when I get the call, we drop what we are doing and get hay, seems odd I know, but after a while it is just another day at the farm.  Our round bales are ready now as well and are a  bit more than I wanted to pay at $30 each, but we need them for the horses, so I will pay what I have too.  With the three horses we go through a round bale a week, so storing hay, is always a problem here on the farm.  I am grateful to G-d that we have good friends that are kind enough to store our round bales for us.  With our new method of buying and useing hay, we will save alot of money.  The horse hay will cost me $1680.00 per year and the other hay, if we get it from the field will run us about $3360.00, for a grand total of $5040.00 per year.  We can make that work and it beats the over 7000 grand I paid last year.   The grain on the other will not be an easy fix, the cost seems to rise every time I go to the feed store.  It is nearly $10 for 50 pounds of corn.  This is what I have come up with, I plan to sprout wheat and corn in 100 gallon barrels, I should be able to fill the barrels one quarter of the way(about 20 pounds woth of grain) and sprout about 100 gallons of sprouts for the animals from it.  The best part is I can do this year round with about any grain.  It will not only quadrupal the amount of feed, but it will enhanse it, giving it more protien and vitamins.  My plan is not new, farmers in some parts of Europe have been doing it for hundreds of years and farmers here in the States during the last depression, used this method. 

Being a small farmer in America gets harder every day and we must learn to change the way we do things or we are going to go hungry, very soon.  I have heard a lot of discussion as to the way we farm, how it will produce less than corporate farms, but here's the thing, more than 40 percent of what we grow in this country ends up in the trash.  So even if farms like ours grow less food on the whole, it of a better quality and less likey to find it's way to the trash.  We need as a people to waste less and take some reasonability for ourselves.  Just growing one tomatoe plant can produce over 10 pounds of fruit and takes up very little space. It saves fuel too.  If everyone planted a few pots of garden plants, they would reduce the need for corporate farms that are poising the plant and destroying the future for our children and grand childen.  It all starts with us, when we are willing to throw away an apple with a soft spot, instead of cutting the spot off, feeding it to livestock or composting it there is a problem.  Most produce is like that, a small blemish is all that gets it thrown into the trash.  While we are on the subject of food in the trash; in Orlando florida and other places like it; people are being arested and thrown in jail for gathering this waste food and feeding hungry people.  I know it is hard to believe that some one could stop people from feeding some one , but it is true.  I can hardly understand why since no one in the many years they have done this has never gotten sick from eatting the food and they are not profiting off of it.  I wish many more peole were doing it.  Just me I guess.

Our incubator is off at the moment, due to need a bit of repair which I am planning to do very soon.  I have to replace two wafers and than see if it corrects the problem.  It was all very sad as it spiked a few days ago and killed, what would have been many lolvey birds.  I could have cried. 
We are still working on the garden, it is an endless task and I guess I will never be finished, lol.   I canned a bunch of strawberries and blueberries already and plan to can some pickled radish greens and pods latter today, they should be yummy and provide us some much needed winter greens, which we always seem to lack.  This winter we will have to work on sprouting more greens for us and not just the animals.  Anyway, bunches today, a nice roast in the oven and potatoes waiting to be mashed in the kitchen.

Be blessed dears ones and share what you have, as full hands can not be share with some one else who hands are empty and soon everyone will eat.
Shekhinah, Michael and all the kids and critters on Mahanaim Farm