Friday, July 8, 2011

Day 152 of 365 days of our live on our small family farm in the USA

Ten days have passed since I have been on sharing about our lives and I guess allot has happened.  We were offered to set up a petting zoo for a community event, we are not sure if we will be able to do it yet.  I found out that even as a farmer I must get a new licence.  There are three you can sort of chose from, one is for selling, but I do not need that one,one is for having exotic animals, and one is for exhibition of animals.  As a farmer I sell animals all the time, people see them, so it is all a bit confusing.  Now I have to apply for a class "C" license which can cost anywhere from 30 bucks to 300, the fee is based ont he number of mammals I will be showing, they said birds do not count..hmmm maybe I should just have a birds petting  I also have to get a vet to say they are all healthy and than submit to a farm visit when ever they feel like it, as often as they feel like it. All this to put on what will be a free event, plus the cost for fuel, fencing, hand sanitizer, and endless other things will will need to make this all work out. 

We have had a run of people wanting goats in milk and willing to pay, too bad I do not have any.  Today I got a call for baby goats and or sheep, the people wanted to know if they could feed them cows milk from the store...that is why what I do with our line book is so important, people really as so far removed from the process of food and raising these type of animals that they just do not know and then there are unscrupulous goat and sheep dealers who will raise the goats on cow milk, only because it is cheaper.  The long term problems to the goat or sheep have no bearing on their behavior as to them they are just a pay check.  Just for the record, sheep and goats milk are both universal milks, meaning almost any human or animals can drink them, how milk is not and that is why so many people get sick drinking cows milk. 

Some cool thinks I have done this week was to go to an old west town here in was very cool and looked nothing like the story books from the wild west that I have
I found out that grasshoppers and crickets are Kosher...and now I just want a few different ways to cook them.  Maybe tacos...I also found out goldfish are Kosher which is cool, cause I bought some big ones today for our swimming pool/pond, made from last years pool.  I also got a few sun fish.
Still trying to get all the hay up for the winter, got quite a bit and it made a huge dent in our wallets, I can tell you that, but not as bad as the grain has.  Egg layer mash is now 12 bucks a bag, that is crazy.  I am still working on new ways to feed the animals and us as well, as you could tell above.  We harvested some Kudzu or Kuzu (クズ or 葛) a couple of days ago, here in the US it is a weed, but to use it offers, free fodder and food for the taking. For any of you who do not know Kudzu is a member of the pea family and was bought to America from Asia to help prevent erosion and recondition the soil.  Again for fodder it is fantastic having a crude protein of between 15-18%.  Over 60% of the total digestible nutrient value of the plant, and I have not found one animal who did not like it.  By the acre it is said to produce 2 to 4 tons of dry "hay"; on ground that would not grow anythings else and it needs no fertilizer and no bug spay.  It is hard to bale and that can be a down fall, unless you are doing it by hand and can take a long time to dry out.  The fiber from this plant can also be used to make paper, cloth and other such things.  Aside from feeding to my animals  I make kudzu blossom jelly ( it takes 8 cups of flowers to make one batch ), Kudzu syrup (also takes about 8 cups...), Kudzu baskets, salad from the leaves ( I also dry some for use in stews and soups),I pickle it, make it into Kim chi, brine and stuff the leaves, they have so many uses, I even fry them just like any other green with lots of onions and some wild garlic.  There is even a book: The Book of Kudzu: A Culinary and Healing Guide by William Shurtleff and Akiko Aoyagi.  I think every one should have a copy. 

Our cow is coming along very nicely...and her bag seems to fill a little more every day.

Rachael has gotten her first job as a counselor for the 4-h day camp, I am very proud of her.

Garden is doing well, we have harvested a bunch of cucumbers, tomatoes, green beans and such...
over all the farm is coming along.

Well I guess I need to go and study, I have a test to take some time this week.

Be Blessed dear ones and know that we think of you often, Shekhinah, Michael and all the kids and critters on Mahanaim Farm. 


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