Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Good sleepy morning from the mountain...

Sorry I did not post yesterday, I had a very long day, which resulted in me not only not getting up on time this morning, but forgetting to put up supper last night.  I hate wasting food and it was good food too, I am such the animals will like it.

It breaks my heart to waste fish.  It is so hard to find fish that is not contaminated, I feel like when I go shopping or fishing I should have a mini lab with me and a Geiger counter.  I only eat fish that in the bible it says are safe to eat, they must have scales and there is some other requirement, which I do not remember off the top of my head.  any it amounts to a very small collection of fish that we eat.  I love salmon, but now my Salmon must come from Russia where it is still relatively safe to eat in small amounts.  The salmon coming from America is in many cases tainted with either chemicals and in some cases spikes the Geiger counter, it is all very sad.

I have hopes this year of harvesting trout to smoke and put up for the winter, it is great on the grill too, but it requires time to fish.  Just will have to see what we can do.  Mushroom hunting time is upon us as well.

Today will be another busy day here as I have a pile of school work to do and the children's school work to go over, so planting will be paused today for me.  I can tall you the baby goose is doing well and the three sisters have poked there happy heads above the ground to see the sun, they look great.  Today our weather will be in the 70's (f) it would have been a great day to plant and do stuff.

I love you all but must get to work...

Be Blessed

Monday, April 21, 2014

Good raining morning from the mountain

Good morning from the mountain, as the soft rain falls I am still thinking about last night.  We need more security, that is for sure.  I plan to buy a system to tell us when some one is near our gate and our neighbors. So I guess I will have to start baking bread and cakes and head down to the farmers market soon.

In regular farm matters I have a defiant sheep who refuses to stay in the paddocks or the barn.  My lead on new sheep was a dead end.  So we will still keep looking.  I really need a ram and at least one more ewe, though getting two ewes would be best.  that would give me three ewes and on ram which is an easy number to deal with.

I am enjoying milking the two goats morning and night, we are making some lovely cheese, mostly feta as I do not have the right rennet at the moment to do the harder cheese. I have been teaching our 8 year old to milk the goats, he is so cute, as long as he can spray dad with milk he is interested.  I normally would not condone the waste of good milk, but some times you have to go with the flow.  He is learning fast and I think in the future may be a better milker than I am.

 I plan to make soap again as soon as school lets out.  I need to make enough for us to use for the year and some extra to sell and barter with.  We use only Natural plant oils from Kosher sources in our soap, plus our farm fresh honey.  Even our plain soap is wonderful, and when I make chocolate, well it is amazing.

As far as selling eggs is doing, we are doing a little better then breaking even.  I still have to get photos of the black and copper marans up. We are still trying to win others to our cause, so we are sending out eggs to a family member in Illinois hopes of getting them to raise their own chickens. They are in an area where they are aloud three chickens and no roosters. It could be a great opportunity for them to become a little more self reliant and closer to their food and nature.  So I am excited to get the box out.  I do feel a bit sorry for the postal people though, our carry will pick up 8 boxes today, she is not going to be really happy. I had to order more tape and boxes as well.

The gardens are coming along nice and for the first time when some one came to the house, I was not ashamed.  Sometimes I feel like I should fill every spot of ground with food, I just want to make the best use of the land. It is hard to do so much, to have to plan out every little thing.  I know in the end it will be worth while though, I just have to hang in their.  With school still going on it is so hard to finish any project, I am blessed to have such an understanding husband who has taken on so much of the farm work while I attend classes.  It is a blessing to have such a good partner in all this.

Still looking for barley to plant, found a 40 pound bag of regular buckwheat seed, organic origin in the new kitchen, I have no idea why it was out there, but is is going to be planted in every pasture till it runs out. We did good with it the first year we tried it.  The bees made very dark honey from it and the deer are crazy about it.  We never get any to eat, but that is alright as long as the animals have what they need.  Plus the deer...yummy.

I guess I need to get off of here for a while and get the boxes ready to ship, I have math to do, kids are already doing there school work and I still have that goofy paper to do for history.

Be Blessed

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Life on the mountain after dark....

So I am sitting here, windows open catching up on some school work , when we here the dogs barking, and because we her two of the dogs, no big deal.  then we hear the third, there are people in a Chevy style truck with a flat bed trailer stuck on my road and you may be thinking to your self, well they are out on a country road.  Yes that is true, it is 10:30 at night and they are out on a country road that goes one way in the middle of no where and are stone ass drunk to boot.  They got stuck as there is no where to turn around, I sent Michael down to great them and when I called for him and they heard my voice they freaked, I wonder if they heard the gun, my gun is legal registered  and the whole yards and I am a crack shot.

I am not going to allow people to rob us, thank G-d the gate was closed and locked or they would have most likely been up here at the main house. I did call our sheriff's office and said what I saw and that they could catch them if they hurried, maybe at ridge or the main road.

 I am sure to get a lecture from the Sheriff about the fact they could have been lost...rolling my eyes, if you are lost on a one way road, in the middle of no where on top of the mountain after 10 pm and drunk I feel no grief over you.

I am sick over it all and wish I could mover further away from people.

Be Blessed

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Baby goose

Greetings from the Mountain, we have been blessed with a sweet little baby goose.  Geese are some of the strangest and fascinating of creatures.  We aloud a young goose to set an egg, mostly as she was far to protective to take it away and we thought its just one egg.  Anyway it hatched and the whole flock has spent its full and undivided time protecting it.  Overt the years we have hatched baby guess out and aloud the geese to foster them when they were a little larger.  This time they hatched it and it amazes me to see them all being parents to it.  It is truly a site to see thirty plus geese caring for one tiny goose.  When it walks around it has no less then four geese surrounding it, as if it were a president, squawking as they walk .  When the baby stops, they stop and each face a different direction.  They are great parents, I just wish they would go back to laying.

Anyway I thought I would share this with you, a little happy from such a hard year.  I think we should name the goose prosperity, as it is so protected.  Maybe it is a sign of better things to come, time will tell.

Be Blessed

Friday, April 18, 2014

Good Morning from the Mountain- How is the new goat doing, how is the new feed -is winter over-inflation

Good morning from the mountain, I am sorry about not posting yesterday, it was just a long day.  I did the school think and passed the math test I needed to get done, just a few more weeks to ago for this semester.  I am having issues getting next semester set up, as the bridge that would shorten the journey by some 20 miles is still out.  It is the same bridge we fish from, so it is bad for so many reasons.  Plus we are still trying to figure out if I have to take the computer class or not.  My teacher is worried about me taking the Physical Science class and the higher end math at the same time, so am I.  So I guess if I have to take the computer class I will live with it. That means another round of let's play tag with the Trio people.  For those of you who do not know what Trio is, it is a government sponsored guidance counselor who helps student who are going on the 4 year college or greater.  The college I attend also has a program called Career Pathways which loans books out to students, I think it is the more valuable of the two, aside from the fact Trio offers a really good transfer scholarship which I will get to help pay for the ongoing cost of college.  So on to the farm stuff.

I met a very nice lady at the grocery store yesterday, we were both looking at plants, she asked me about a kohlrabi plant that was extremely over priced, a buck for one plant...No..... She also told me about her long running fight with the federal government telling her how to run her farm.  The are so hot and heavy about having people register everything they have, including cows.  The USDA say that if you have four cows and plan to sell cows or bulls from them, they must be registered. It is very strange how they feel they must know where ever food animal is, but people rarely talk about it.  I just read yesterday that the Ukrainian are forcing Jews to register, I am sure there is nothing sinister about either event.  What an interesting world we live in.

On to the goats, our long term milk goat, Ice Cube put a new hole in her leg jumping the fence.  She literally went to greener pastures as we let food grow for them in one paddock and then more them once they eat it down.  Normally we move them, but she made a choice with out us.  So I washed the wound out with peroxide and coated it with blue coat.  I got tetanus to give her a shot yesterday, so I will do that today. The new goat is starting to do a bit better and I think she is getting along with Ice Cube and the Jacob Sheep very well, they are all moved to the first Paddock where there is lots to eat.

Yesterday we stating doing the rounds of shots, the dogs get a seven in one, tetanus for everyone.  I still need to go to town and get rabbies shots for the dogs.  The fun never ends when you are a farmer.

Our feeding milio and wheat to the chickens seems to be going well, they are happy healthy and laying eggs.  I think we made the right choice for us.  The people at the feed store are using what we learn to help others who are fighting the GMO feeds.  However that said their other branch is giving away free corn seeds and soybeans to plant in "Deer Plots", so now they are poising the deer.  I really feel the whole GMO thing has gotten out of hand and this proves intent to further contaminant Nature it's self.

Is winter over will I be able to finish planting all this corn, and other tomatoes, peppers etc.  Oh gosh I hope so.  This past week as reeked havoc on the farm and I just need to get it all done.  The grocery store has raised its prices again on fresh food, Artichokes were $4.00 each, apples were $1.29 per pound on sale, plums $4.00 per pound as well as grapes.  A small handful of tangerines were almost $7.00.  The world is changing and so our we.  I am glad that I planted artichokes,the best part is they come back year after year.  I am planting a a lot plants this year that do not need replanted every year, it will cut down on work and add to our food stores.

So back to the chores I go...

Be Blessed

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

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.

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

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

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  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


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 I need to get ready for the day ahead.

Be Blessed

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

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

Thursday, April 10, 2014

New feed 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 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

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Sunny morning ....

Good morning from the mountain, lots of sunshine this morning so lots of plants and seeds going in the ground.

Got the cutest little email from park seeds this morning showing what garden plants you could grow and harvest in just thirty days.  Okra takes 30 days, who knew and many other plants...I love fast growing food.  Most everything I am planting takes at least 80 days if not more likely most take a hundred days...So I am going to plant some quicker growers too.  I do have beets and radishes in the ground, but I want

Bought more onions to go in the ground today. I am staggering there planting so I do not have three hundred onions all at

I have decried to add a rare tree to my collection, I am looking for the seeds to Quinine bark tree from Peru. The seeds are so hard to find, so at the moment I am a bit bummed about it.  Not giving up though.  In Florida I worked for this lovely women, her name was Porsche and she grew very rare and unusual plants and herbs.  I would give tours for her in her gardens. It was a great deal of fun and I learned many interesting things about food. At the time I was working with/for her I had no idea that in the future, my now I would be doing much the same as what she had done.  She was the nice person who taught me that lavender was edible, and I still use her lavender cookie recipe  to this day.  When I was not giving tours I was illustrating her newsletter.  Porsche was a brilliant women who taught me to lay out a plan that makes you happy, makes the world a better place and educates people.  Mind you at the time computers were still a new fad that many thought would soon die out, but yet here we are talking right now.

I think I may try to do a newsletter with the CSA boxes this year, teach people how to use more of what we grow, I can not wait to send the first boxes off.

I also wanted to share that our local Sheriff has decided to make the prisoners grow their own food and Mahanaim Farm is donating seed to this cause.  If you are local please consider donating your extra seeds and plants to the cause.  They also make them pay for staying in our one gets a free ride, so in our county if you do the crime you are going to be working the garden...Well done Fulton County!

Well lots to go and do so I need to log off for now...

Be blessed

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Dreary morning from the mountain...

Good morning, it looks like another dreary morning from the mountain.  I am sitting here writing to you and thinking of all the work that I need to get done today, so many seeds need to be put in the ground. I have staked out three sections for the three sisters planting and hope to get the seeds all in the ground by the end of the week.  Because I do not like to till the soil, it means a lot more work for all of us.  We must dig each hole and drop the seeds in cover it and go to the next spot, it is much the same way my ancestors would have done for thousands of years.  They were some hard workers, not only did they have to get the seed into the ground, they had to time it all with out the use of our high tech gadgets. The lose of a crop could mean the lose of many lives in the upcoming winter.

What fascinated me about three sisters planting was the genus of it, he you have three different crops sharing the land and making the land better after the growing season.  The three plants together provide a nearly perfect protein and keep well for long term storage.  This is how they work.  The corn reaches out to the sun, the beans climb the corn and the pumpkins or hard squash or gourds keep the ground covered, protecting it from moisture loss.  All take around 100 days, so it is a plant and stay out of the garden crop.  It requires far less water then most conventional forms of gardening and uses less space as well.  You will harvest a about a ton and a half corn per acre, I have not run the numbers on the beans or pumpkins, but I would guess it to be a good number.  Very few crops today can provide that sort of yield with out killing the soil or use of toxic chemicals.  Our ancestors knew that these three plants protected each other from pests and other problems, today we call that companion planting.

Our three plots will each be different, we hope to see what will work best for the soil and climate.  All three will be as close to what our ancestors would have planted.  Know to our knowledge there are five different kinds of corn that Cherokee would have planted, one is the blue corn that we are planting for the tribal association, one is the green corn and white eagle, the other two are questionable so I will not list them here.  They all grew pumpkin or squash, some times gourds, the most common one they planted seems to be a tan pumpkin, which I could not find seeds for.  There are over 5000 different types of pumpkin and they all started here in America.  I had hoped that my father who grew up on a farm in Europe would have had an answer for me as to an older world variety that I could get, but he told me they did not eat there pumpkins, but raised the to feed their animals. For some reason I found that interesting.  Perhaps that is why his animals we never  I will have to give that some thought, I wonder if chickens like pumpkin?

Anyway today is a school day and I have tons to get done, so I will wish you all a pleasant day and be on my way.

Be Blessed

Monday, April 7, 2014

Rainy morning from the mountain

Good morning from the mountain, we are in rainy season, some places in the world call it monsoon season.  We will have almost three straight days of rain, followed by a day of not rain, followed by more rain.  Don't get me wrong I prefer rain to drought, just need a few more days to give some seeds a change to sprout.

We have set up a booth at the local indoor flea market, which is great as it gives us more exposure and hopeful a little more income.  The location is Camp Trading Post in Camp, Ar.  The Trading post is open Mon-Sat and also severs some food and also had cold drinks.  You will know it is our booth, just look for the sunflowers and the green dove tags.  I think we will do well there and encourage everyone to go and shop there.  As soon as I have the ok, we will have farm fresh chicken and duck eggs for sale up there as well as fresh baked bread and other farm goods, such as honey and jam.

Had a lovely day yesterday, went to work with Michael, he trimmed two donkey and one very tiny, very special horse.  When we did our first stop I got to spend some time with a dear friend and while Michael worked we talked about life, grinding grain, the proper use of a grinding stone, wild food, corn and gardening.  It was nice to share with some one with common interests and health concerns.

She is planting her garden in tubs this year, to make it easier to tend and she is well on her way to food security.  One of the things she is doing with her tubs was amazing, she plans to use plastic pop bottles to fill most of the containers and then put her soil in.  She said this will make them light and easier to use as well as conserve soil.  Most people do not know that plants only use the first six inches of soil to grown in.  Plants like lettuce even less.  I like to re-use plastic containers that cakes came into to grow bug free lettuce.  You was h the container, than you take the clear half, put in half an inch of organic soil, sprinkle on the seeds, water it, put the black bottom on as the top and wait a full week, you should have salad sprouts, now take off the lid and harvest when they are the right size for you.  If you take only the larger leaves you will get about three months of use out of one batch.

I love container gardening, it gives you a freedom you could have not other way and opens up every where as a potential garden.

I have some great news about some of our seeds, the artichokes have sprouted, it took forever and I was about to give up when I saw life...still no life signs on the cotton though.

Today I am hoping for some more tomato seeds in the mails and the trail of tears black beans, they are both plants that take around 100 days to produce.  I still need to find tan pumpkin seeds to complicate the planting of the traditional three sisters.  I hope to find them today, I was encouraged by one of my friends to look on ebay and since I am out of ideas that is where I am headed latter today.

Today is of course a cheese making day we made more feta cheese, it is so yummy.  I feel like cutting some greens and frying them up, just so I can use the

You can tell it is spring in the Ozarkas, Elisha found a wasp in the house, but not before getting stung.  Thank goodness we had some of Miss Dawn's healing salve, it took the pain away, right away and starting taking down the swelling as well and I had gave him his allergy meds just a half hour before all this happened. The wasp has been caught and been put to death for his crimes against humanity.  I found the hole in the screen where I think he got in and I will be fixing it today.  Wasps will sneak in everywhere here, I honestly have never seen anything like it and I have lived in a lot of places.  Arkansas can be tough in the summer between the wasps and the flies, scorching hot summers and now cold long winters.  G-d may have given the Ozarka great beauty, but he also gave the people here there share of hardship.

Be Blessed

P.S. You know we are giving away a breeding age pot belly pig to one lucky person, and that time is coming, we only need a few more likes on Facebook....I am wishing all of our Facebook friends and family who entered the best of luck, and remember you are reasonable for picking he up if your name is drawn.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Evening news from the mountain...

The leeks and kohlrabi have spouted, i am so happy, still no growth on the artichokes or the cotton, might still be too cold. I have lots of greens popping up their little heads.

In surprising news we have duck eggs, yes folks the Muscovy are laying and so are the Cayugas.  so now everyone is laying but the Guineas are laying.  Michael finished the new run for the Muscovys, some are more domestic then others and I am sure he felt some were possessed.  Muscovys can be little terrors with their very sharp claws, but for the most part them are normally tame.  They just did not want to move and they sure let him know.  These new ones are really tough..I hope they are equally as yummy.  We hated to pen them, but do the wolfs liking the taste of them it is best.

My green corn came today, so as soon as the beans get here we can get them all in the ground. Got the pumpkin seeds already...I will try and get a photo of the corn seed, it is so pretty.

I can't wait...

Be blessed


We are still alive...on top of the mountain

Good Morning from the mountain, we have survived the night after having a wicked storm, with tons of lightening, strong winds and lots a scary sounds.  The main house did not seem to take on any new damage, we have not checked out the other buildings yet.  The wind out side is still fierce and as I sit typing this I can hear it roar across the roof and the trees outside.

We managed to get a lot of food in the ground before the storm, potatoes, onions, some more radishes and some lavender, plus butterfly weed or milkweed.  It was a amazing to let the seeds of the butterfly weed go, watching it float through the air, finding it's own new place to grow.  Most people do not know that not only it is a good plant for butterflys, but for people as well.

there are over 100 different kinds of milk weed in America, each has many uses as I have listed below, it is truly a wonderful weed.

In world war 2 it saved many people, just check out this link and learn more.  There is still a market for milkweed pods to be used in place of down and you can use it at home for you own sewing projects it makes great stuffing for pillows and quilts.

Milk weed has also been used as a food and to provide other fibers.  You can make cordage from it, just check out this neat link I found,

Here is a very general link about the plant,

You may wonder what we, here at the farm use it for.  First and for most butterfly food, Monarch butterflys can complete a whole life cycle on these plants, they lay there eggs on them, the young caterpillars eat the plant, and then become beautiful butterflys.  Monarchs, like bees have be in a steady decline since Mono cropping in the 1920's as well as pesticide use rose. Now with more modern pesticides, like Round up they may have few years left to share the plant with us. I hope to help them stay around a little longer.

Back to what we use it for, along with it's use as a butterfly food, it is a people food, the pods when young and green are pickled at our farm for winter use.  The young flowers we steam as many of you would broccoli, in fact it tastes much the same.  The fiber we will gather this year to make cord rope and the fluff we will save for quilting.  It is really wonderful plant to grow.

Below I have listed a few websites that have many ways for eating this plants, some recipes and help identifying it because like all plants it has cousins, one of it'snot so friendly cousins is Dogbane....not listed as good to eat thought we have eaten the blossoms before, steamed.

This site gives you great photos and cooking ideas:

Great video - I do have to say I do not like tomatoes with my milkweed, I prefer home made butter, a little white wine and some fresh garlic.

"She selects wool and flax and works with eager hands. She is like the merchant ships from afar. She gets up while it is still dark; she provides food for her family and portions for her servant girls." Proverbs 31:13-15

I am making Feta cheese today with my goats milk, it is a two day process but it is a start and with so many yummy greens ready to eat I can not wait for the feta to be done.  I like to fry up wild greens with butter, garlic and such and add the feta at the end, salt and a little ground pepper...yum, just can't wait.  About 25% of the green food we eat comes from foraging. More or less, depending on season and year.  In a good year it can be close to 50% or more.  

Along with foraging for greens, we forage for wild fruit, such as blackberries, roses, mushrooms, and herbs.  We also hunt, so much of our food is wild, with a good portion of what we raise on the farm.  Some of what we eat still comes from the grocery store, but it is less all the time and is mainly what I consider luxury items such as white sugar, coffee, junk food (hey don't judge), and such. We are very near to the point where we could do with out most of it.  

New other farm news, one of our new hives will be ready to bring home to the farm on May 16, which thank goodness is on a Friday so I will not have to take time off of school to pick them up,  the other hive, we are just not sure.

We have decided to eat our older milk goat, Rebecca, as she is now to old to breed. Putting food in her and waiting to find her dead is not a good game plan in my book, so she will go and be made into goat stew meat.  Moo cow too will go into the freezer and will give us many good meals.  Michael is worried she will run off again and take the bull cafe with her.  So after much talking we have decided to take her off and brand him.  We talked about castrating him, but do not really see the value and it will not stop him from running and that would be the only reason we could see.  He will go into the freezer in the fall.  So branding him to make sure if he does get out that we can find him again, since he looks like every other black bull calf out in our neighbors fields.  Branding is something we have never done, never had a reason before now, but I guess we will learn.  I bought a branding iron, the kind you put in the fire, the kind that most likely my family in France had used long before our time.  The brand is a large C for Camp, our location and a capital M for Mahanaim farm, nothing fancy, but no one else is branding cows, so it should be ok.  The brand was inexpensive and at a cost of just $8.00 with free shipping.  I will be going through old books here at the farm to learn the proper way to use this branding iron and for after care tips.  The bull calf is not exactly tame so I figure we are in for what could be a dangerous fight with him.  Much prep is needed before the day of the event, which I think I many have video taped for internet and to help others who may not have access to the kinds of books and knowledge we have.

Have to go for now dear ones, I have cheese waiting to be made...

Be Blessed and have a great day...


Thursday, April 3, 2014

Good Morning from the mountain...

Good Morning from the Mountain, we are experiencing severe thunderstorms, which makes farming anything but fun...

Plants and seeds still need to go in the ground, so we will work between storms.  Michael still has to do the farm chores and all the big animals need to be moved to the barn, it will be sloppy, dirty work, but we have to protect the animals we have left.

For the next few hours we will be off line, but we will be thinking about you all and wishing you a blessed day.

Be Blessed

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

I wrote a life letter to Direct TV

DIRECTV really why you got to be like this, man I thought we were close. Now you don't even what to talk, remember all those special times we'v had together, waiting till 2 am to get the service installed. The times I called like everyday for weeks, I hate to say good bye, but are you really worth my time? All you do is give me excuses anytime I want to watch a show with you, I asked to to record my shows and for a while we were tight, I could really feel the love, but as of late you just tell me it's not your problem. I told you in the begin the money was not a gift you had to earn it. Now you have changed and not in a good way, you stopped providing me safe and good weather, and started seeing other people. I know new people are exciting, but we have been together for a long time, it would be a shame to let it end this way....what do you you want to work it out...?

The made up, but we are now just friends...

Only I could have such an interesting life...

Be Blessed

Burpee's quality and service-or why I will never buy from them again!

I just got off the phone with Burpee's, I have been trying to place an order for two days, yesterday I finally go the order to go through and guess what it is still not sent, it will go out tomorrow maybe, first class mail.  I paid almost $5.00 shipping to ship two packs of seed and it takes them two days to do this as well.  The women was so rude I can hardly believe it, I asked to talk to customer support she said she was it.  The whole time she talked to me, she talked over the top of me, not caring about my concerns or anything thing, telling me if I did not like it I could just cancel the order.  What the heck, then she says basically she is doing me a favor and had they gone out the regular way they could take 2 weeks or better, nice discloser.  So when you pay for shipping and handling they get handled alright.  That is why I will no longer use them, as it is this was their last chance as many years ago I ordered live blue berry plants that arrived dead and then told me they were dormant, months latter when still nothing happened they said I killed them, and refused to replace them, I can not kill what was dead when I got it.

Just thought I would share with you how one of America's oldest seed company feels about it's customers, I hate to be a burden on them so after this I will never order again.

In the future we will be using this company to replace the seeds I would have bought from Burpee.

Now I need to get Direct TV on the phone and lower our package with them.

Be Blessed from the very busy Mountain...


Oh Google why do you hate me so...

Good morning from the Mountain to everyone but Google.  I have spent the last hour or better trying to get into this account, nothing on my end has changed but it locked me out and then just let me back in.  It is so very frustrating.  Google go home, your drunk!

It has been an early busy day already, we planted five strawberry plants, one parsley plant and started moving more of the other plants outside.  We still have a cold day latter in the week so the pineapples will have to stay in for a few more days.  One pineapple is getting ready to send a flower up I think, when it does I will be sure to get you all a photo.  My pineapples are grown from pineapple tops from pineapples we ate about three years ago and that is about how long it takes to make another pineapple.  Then you save and root that top and start the whole thing over.  I love regrowing food from scraps.  I have two mango trees grown from seed, many peach threes that the boys grew from seed, plum trees, apple trees and many more items such as garlic onions and potatoes.

Today the potatoes must go out in to the garden, I also need to plant the brussel spouts with the boys, plus a bunch more seeds as always.  I really want to plant the flower seeds up along the sides of the road, we will have to see as it is raining today and tomorrow, which can be good.

I ordered more seeds yesterday and I am ever so happy with my choices.  Yard long beans, an oriental bean, Moonlight runner beans ( an old French green bean), Summer glory lettuce mix, Rainbow cayenne peppers, chocolate cherry tomatoes, red current tomatoes, Oaxacan green corn( good for pop corn, ground flour or eating fresh), and a few other neat things like trail of tears beans, that will grown with the corn.

Can not wait for the new seed...

So for now while the weather is not so bad, I am going to ship eggs out and get the Muscovy enclosure ready for the sweet little loves.

Be Blessed

Mahanaim Farm12 silkie chicken hatching eggssilky hatching eggs2

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

News from the Doghouse

News From The Doghouse and I quit trying to hitchhike a ride off the planet with the million candle watt power spotlight, as it was bringing in more black helicopters than anything else....seemed to increase when I was using Sumerian and Akkadian texts....hmmmm...oh well.

Been awhile since I typed, been very busy. Pulled ticks off me already this season...had Elijah help me unload patio doors for the new kitchen remodel, made him feel like a real big boy, and helped me from squishing my fingers, which happened and I went and got him for help.....the roughest part in the last few weeks was skinning the pet goat, Pudgy, then our beloved little heifer future milk cow, Ruth....have been working at cleaning a pen that had goats and shoveling  that to a wheelbarrow and moving that to a garden, that the boys will be planting in....they have some volunteer sunflowers already, I think.....went to the wild west town southeast of us - Hardy - to a gun and knife show, also donated to the preservation society at the gym there and met cast members from "The Clash Of The Ozarks"...interesting to say the at the farm, still doing all sorts of things, milking a goat mainly, then doing the feeding chores, collecting eggs,chopping wood for the wood burner and keeping us warm, and on and on with many other things it was like 43F wearing a jacket and this afternoon was like 90F on the west porch thermometer and I hung up some steel traps, mostly to get out of the way and getting ready to work on the 1973 Jeep to move and maybe expand the garden area once again on the SW side of the house....until the next time, hopefully sooner than later, have good times.

Don't miss "Clash of the Ozarks", tonight 9 pm central watch it because I said so...

Be blessed

Hot day on the Mountain

It is 80 degrees Fahrenheit here on the mountain, I declare spring in the Ozarkas, flag!

Delivered moms meat to her at school, well she and dad met me there to pick it up, I hope they like it.  some times it takes a little time to accustom oneself to fresh meat.

My mom gifted me a lovely purplish viola, and my ex boss gifted us more corn...Moms plant is happily home in it's new hanging basket.  Thank you Mom...!

With spring more plants are going in the ground, today I purchased Brussel spouts, parley, some replacement strawberrys and replacement rosemary. I also bought a bunch of seeds both on line and at the feed all the way.  I bought some lovely lemon sunflowers, some rainbow colored green peppers and some rainbow cayenne peppers, some black cherry tomatoes, some yard long beans, some new pole beans from France, table queen squash, and some yummy chives.  Can not wait to get more in the ground.

Moving ducks tomorrow and still have one panting bed to work on....and lots of new plants to get into the ground.

To those wondering about "Abagail", I am reworking one part and as soon as it and the cover are done it will go to print. It takes a lot of work and research to create a really good believable story.  So there you have it, it will be done when it is done...but I will keep you posted.

It's been a fun and hot day, so time for me to get some eggs boxed to ship and some school work done.

Be Blessed