Sunday, June 22, 2014

Good evening from the mountain

Good evening from the mountain.  On the side of good news I am on the mend, no thanks to Obama Care which has made it even more difficult to get in to see a doctor; since they are now all overbooked, but living on the mountain you have to be proactive and able to take what life throws at you.  A few days of drinking a teaspoon of baking soda in a glass of water for a few days helped to take down the swelling.  I was then able to shift the bones back to where they belonged with a loud audible pop.  I am now able to walk and step down on my foot again.  I guess I knocked the bones out of place when I feel many weeks back and with constantly being on it, I was not able to keep the swelling down.  Just to let you know baking soda at one time was used to treat gout.  What it does in the body is break down chemicals such as uric acid; it also can take down swelling from joints.   
Meanwhile, during my recovery, my husband managed to re-injure a horse shoeing wound.  Then our littlest one got stung twice by wasp; it is has been a rough few days.  Both Michael and Elisha are also doing better.  I promise that when we tell the boys to stay away from the area because of the wasps, they will listen. 
Wasps here in Arkansas are darn near as bad as the flies.  We have these big red wasps; I do mean big, and they will chase you down, they rarely give up.  We try hard to keep their nesting areas away from the main building on the farm, but this year it has been impossible with all the repairs we are in the process of making.  There is wood everywhere, and that is what they love to live in.
When you have a farm that is often how it is, you work through the pain as long as you can and bad things do happen.  When you work with large animals, or animals, getting hurt is always a risk you take.  Most days you may get off easy, a scratch here a bump or bruise there and then there are those other days when you are not so lucky.
  A few days ago I had reached that point and will great sadness canceled a speaking engagement that I was truly looking forward to. It is not often that I am invited to talk about foraging, making do with less and our family’s hardscrabble life.  Unless of course we have guests at the farm or on here, the rest of the time no one hears from us and no one knows. 
Today we will be blessed to have a very nice lady and her husband bring us bringing our hay.  We have not been able to produce enough hay to support the larger animals, another fine reason that it is time they become freezer meat.  Hay is expensive and good healthy non GMO feed is as well.  A bale of hay is currently running us $35.00 per round bale.  Our largest cow will eat this quickly in a week, plus a few hundred pounds of grain.  The grain we feed runs anywhere from $8.00 a bag for a 50 pound bag of millo to nearly $13.00 per 50 pounds of wheat.  The alfalfa cost us around $15.00 per 45 pound bale of dehydrated leaves.  You can see how quickly it adds up, growing real meat is expensive, if you can buy beef cow in the store for under three dollars a pound, you should be concerned for the quality as in the real world it is impossible to raise meat that cheaply.
 I do know that most large beef farms are subsidized in the United States; almost all cooperate farm, better known as factory farms, receive government money, unless they provide produce, and then it seems for some reason the government thinks it should get a share.  I have told you  in recent posts about the raisins and how the government seizes a part of their crops every season, but there are many more crops that the American Government takes a share of.   It more commonly called a marketing order:  

Marketing order authorizes volume control measures in the form of free and reserve tonnage. Tonnage is released gradually through the season by preliminary, interim, and final percentages. Under the order, free raisins can be used in any market. Reserve raisins may be sold to handlers for free use; used in diversion programs; exported to authorized countries; carried over to the next crop year; sold to government agencies; or disposed to other outlets noncompetitive with free raisins. All of these outlets have been used in recent years. The order also authorizes minimum grade and size regulations, and minimum requirements are currently in effect. Grade and size requirements established under the order are applied to imported raisins.

He is a list from the USDA website of all the products that they currently admit to using, “Market Orders”, for…

Back to farm news, I pulled up the first green beans I planted, I was not paying attention and they were a new variety, I will watch better next time.  So I have replanted them and hope to pay better attention in the future.  I really do feel stupid about the whole thing, but what can I do, what is done is done.  I planted some more pepper plants and some more corn that I had started a few weeks ago and some garlic, as one can never have enough garlic.  I still have plants to get in and then fall planting starts.  We did get spelt to plant and I should be able to get a 10 by 12 section to plant in very soon. I plant to plant a 10 by 12 of wheat and one of barley; I have that seed ready to go as well.  An area of 10 by 12 feet will produce 30 loaves of bread or so.  It puts things into perspective as to how much we all consume and what it takes to create that food.   
Our corn Oaxacan green is about six feet tall and starting to tassel…I cannot believe it, but it is true so it will be a future planter for sure.  The blue corn still has not done much; I think it is a drier climate corn.  I look forward to the first years of corn and the replanting which will go on this week, without fail.  I have already picked the site that I am going to plant in.  This corn is not found of rows and likes to crow with a few stalks together; it also like to grow with the pumpkins and beans.  Most of the beans did not come up, and I will replant those.   The first baby pumpkins are on the vine; it takes many bees to pollinate a pumpkin, most of them are squash bees an almost extinct bee that pollinates primarily morning flowers.  Most honey bees are not out that early and squash, and pumpkin flowers shut most often before noon.  Maybe in the future there will be no pumpkins at all…
It is all too sad, and I must stop talking about it for now as it brings my heart to a sorrowful place.  Instead, I will say that it is dusk here on the farm, and we are having barbeque beef that we raised, with fresh greens.  So I will go and have supper and maybe work on, “ABIGAIL” a little. 

Be Blessed dear ones…

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