Friday, October 31, 2008

Compost, Chickens and Walnuts

It's a beautiful day here today and I feel great. So pretty in fact that even my arthritis decided to give me a day off from it's constant nagging pain. Wish everyday could feel this good. So I have been outside playing on the farm.
Started a new compost pile today in the garden where I raise corn. I decided to make one right in the middle of the spot and then spread it all out when planting time comes in the spring. This pile is started with a good amount of cow manure then adding leaves and the mess from the chicken run and coop.

All this came from the coop, mostly old wood chips and sawdust that I put in there in the spring last year. Losts of good nitrogen in that pile of poop.
Cleaned out the chicken run too and add some hay and leaves for them to play in. Would love to let them free range but the cyote's would have all in a night. They are happy and well feed.

New material for the nesting boxes that I hope they will soon start using to lay eggs again.

Some hay on the floor of the coop.

Come on in girls and check it out. Hope it's to your liking.

I have a bunch of walnuts to get hulled out. This is the way my Great Greatmother taught me to do it. When I was around 10 or so me and my cousins decided we were gonna hull some out for her. We ofcourse used our hands and got walnut stain all over them. Our Great Grandmother in all her wisdom told us that only one thing will remove walnut stains from your hands.......Time.

So with the walnut on the ground she showed us how to take our shoe and press down on the nut and then roll your foot around a little.

The hull comes right off with very little effort and no stain on your hands.

Now, just gotta do the rest of them. I'll hang them in a onion sack in the dry until they are good and dry, they crack eaiser when they are completely dry.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Pictures of a Homestead House Wanna-be

Here are a few pics from inside the house, Liv does such a good job making it look all pretty and all, I thought I would share some photos

Just to let you know you are in the laundry room.

Cabinets in the laundry room. One of my favorite things is this wooden pop crate turned counter shelf.

An old ladder we found somewhere and Liv decorated.

This is an old wooden highchair that was used by my only sister, she was born in '72, so it's been around a while.

An old dresser base someone gave me long ago now acts as storage/shelf and hids Liv's computer desk.

Everyone has a fall decoration tree don't they?? LOL

Off-Grid sewing machine from the early 1900's, still works like a charm.

An odd chair with some old suite cases and a picture of Savannah.

1925 RCA Victor Victrola, in perfect working condition, that we use to play old Christmas records around Christmas. The shelf on the wall is whats left of a very old wooden chair, we cut the legs off and shortend the seat area and hung it on the wall, everyone loves it that sees is. Also and old tube type radio sets on the record player. I guess you could say it's an old time version of an entertainment center. haha!!

Every homestead must have a good heat source, and a good place to sit an smoke when it's too cold to go out on the deck.

My Command Post !!

Ok, here is the real Command Post, Liv's chair with an old ironing board/step stool/chair for a table.

Cedar chest that I picked up for $5.00 at a yard sale acts as our coffee table.

And ofcourse every homestead has a 42 inch plasma, the girls told me they did.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Cracking nuts and my favorite Magazine

Well I have finally found time to crack a few hickory nuts that we have picked up around the yard and field. This is the way that I crack them. It takes time but I don't hit my thumb with a hammer either.

First I remove the outer shell of the nut. It will just peel right off a dry nut.

Nut with outer shell removed.I then place the nut in a small vise that I picked up somewhere cheap. A larger one would do a little better.
Slowly turn the handle until you can see and hear the nut start to crack. At this point remove the nut from the vise and you can crack by hand pretty ease. If this picture wasn't crap you could see the crack in the nut.
The result is a cracked nut that you don't have to chase all over the yard and it's mostly still in tact. Just remove the nut meat with a nut pick and repeat.

This is probably my favorite magazine in the whole world. Countryside Magazine - The Magazine of Modern Homesteading & Small Stock Journal. What struck me as most interesting when I first purchased this magazine, years ago, is their Philosophy that is posted on the first page of each new and interesting issue.

Our Philosophy

It's not a single idea, but many ideas and attitudes, including a reverance for nature and a preference for country life; a desire for maximum personal self-reliance and creative leisure; a concern for family nurture and community cohesion; a belief that the primary reward of work should be well-being rather than money; a certian nostalgia for the supposed simplicities of the past and anxiety about the technological and bureaucratic complexities of the present and the future; and a taste for the plain and funtional.
Now, the people that came up with that are what I call Good Folks. Check them out and I'm sure you will like what you see.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Wish this crop would have done better

If only I could grow more of this crop things would be a little eaiser around here. We use a lot of this and there never seems to be much left over to can, but every little bit helps. To can this crop, fill jars with product, no need to leave an inch head space on this one. The more you can get in there the better. No boiling water bath or pressure canner needed. Dig a hole in the ground and bury, be sure to mark the spot.

Just kidding, I would never part with my mason jars. haha!! That's what coffee cans are for.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Canning "Survival Chili"

Well I made a big batch of my World Famous Chili today and I canned what was left over. We love chili and was wondering if we could can it at home, Hormel does it so, I thought we should be able to also. After a little research over at Jackie Clay's Blog I found out how to can my own at home. We ate all the chili that we wanted and still had 5 qts. left to can. This will provide easy meals that you just heat and eat, that's my kind of cooking. I much rather can foods than freeze them because ya just never when the electric my be off and you loose all the stuff in the freezer that you can't eat up pretty quick. Plus this is good Survival food. Throw a quart in your 72 hour bag as you head out the door and you have a good meal that's easy to prepare. I guess I may have to start calling it "Survival Chili". In an power outage one can heat it up on your woodstove, you do have one don't you? If not think about it getting one soon, the grid is and will be even more unpredictable in the future (Near Future)

Here's the question that one of Jackie's readers ask:

Canning chili with beans

I was wondering if I am able to pressure cook can chili with beans. I am only able to find recipes without beans.

Yes, you may home can chili with beans. I do it nearly every year, which gives us convenient, instant meals without the chemicals included in store-bought chili. Besides, mine tastes like chili, not some flavorless goopy paste.
Make up a big batch of your favorite chili, then ladle the hot chili into quart jars to within an inch of the top of the jar. Remove any air bubbles with a wooden spoon or spatula.
Process the chili in a pressure canner only, at 10 pounds pressure for 90 minutes. If you live at an altitude above 1,000 feet, consult your canning manual for instructions on increasing the pressure to correspond with your altitude. — Jackie
2 qts. filled and ready for the canner. We canned 5 qts. in all.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Guess what I've been doing ?? haha!!

Just can't seem to quit making apple butter.

Getting jars filled and ready. 6 soldiers ready for battle.

I guess I better get to cracking those Walnuts and Hickory nuts.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Making Apple Butter

As you may recall, I was lucky enough to be given a lot of apples. Well, we love apple butter and have been making up a bunch for ourselfs and to give as gifts. All my family back in West Virginia have let me know that they expect some apple butter when we come back for Thanksgiving, so I have been busy.

First you need apples (Free ones will always taste better) We for some reason or another we don't have a food mill. I can hardly belive it myself, but we don't, so I had to peel all those apples. Like nearly all of my reciepes this one came from here. Lucky we found this really cool apple peeler at a yardsale this summer for 25 cents. Best Quarter I ever spent.
Place apple on top.

Start turning the hand crank.

And you have a neatly peeled apple. These are much faster than peeling by hand but the best part is that it wastes none of the apple. All you get is a very thin peel.

The most important part of making apple butter is having a good helper. Katie is testing the apples to make sure we use only the finest in our apple butter.

Me, happily at work.

Cut the apples into slices and cook until soft.

It's gonna look something like this. Cook in a crokpot over night. It gets darker as it cooks.

Friday, October 17, 2008

I am a Hunter - Gatherer

I have, I guess always been somewhat of a Hunter - Gatherer all my live. I love to look for and find things that I can use or re-use in some way or another, wether it be food, lumber or just good old junk. As of late I have been a Gatherer. Gathering walnuts, hickory nuts, pears and apples all for FREE. Walnut trees are all around us as are hickory trees so nuts are a good easy distance from the house. Fruit trees on the other hand is not something we have got around to planting just yet, got to get that done this fall or in the spring. Luckily, a guys down the road has 2 huge old pear trees. I seen him the other day and he told me that everyone in his family had picked pears from the trees and they are still loaded with fruit. After a few minutes of conversation he ask if I would like to go and pick some for my family, well not being one to turn down free food I said I would love to have some. He told me to get all I wanted but watch for the bees, they seem to be everywhere there. I picked, from the ground and from the tree nearly a bushel of fresh pears. Well as fate would have it, one of Liv's family members seen me picking the pears and ask if I would like to come to his place and get apples. Wooo-Hoooo !!! You bet I would. His trees had produced like crazy. He said that about 20 people had come to pick apples and they are still everywhere you look. He was right! Never have I seen so many apples from so few trees in my life. The limbs were so heavy that some had been proped up with 2x4's to keep them from breaking. I was told to PLEASE take all that I could to keep them from rotting on the ground. I picked 7 large bags full. I have plans to make Apple Butter and Apple Cider and some Apple Sauce, some will go in the freezer and some stored in the shed for winter eating. We have been so blessed this year with people giving us food. The folks around here are for sure the best.

Katie and her Mimi Gracie (Liv's Mother) gathering hickory nuts.

Just a few of the many walnuts that we have gathered.

This is just 1 of 7 bags of apples that I gathered. This one weighs 23lbs.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

"A Little About Goats" II - Terminology

This information was taken from Please feel free to check out their site for more on Goat Terminology. Many of these terms I have never used nor will you under normal care of your goat. Our boer doe ,Daisy, is showing signs of kidding anyday now, when she does I will be sure to post all about kidding. We will kinda learn together you might say.


The fourth or true digestive part of a ruminant's stomach that contains gastric juices and enzymes that begin the breakdown of complex materials.


A drug or other agent used to cause abortion. Other agents could be considered as toxins or poisons from plants, trees, etc.


Expulsion of the fetus (or fetuses) by a pregnant female before the normal end of a pregnancy.


A condition when the rumen becomes too acid. Usually due to over-consumption of grain.


Acid Detergent Fiber; an indicator of relative digestibility of forages.


Toxin produced by the fungi Aspergillus flavus and Aspergillus parasiticus.


The fetal membranes that attach the fetus to the membranes of the pregnant female and which are normally expelled from the female within 3 to 6 h. after parturition.

AI (Artificial Insemination)

The technique that involves breeding of females without the males being physically present.


Before death.


A compound that kills or expels internal parasites - such as worms.


Chemical compounds from living cells, that inhibit growth or kill microorganisms.

Artificial Rearing

Raising a kid on milk or milk replacer.


Wasting away or decreasing in size of cells, organs or entire body; due to disuse, disease or severe malnutrition.


This involves the use of castration rings (bands) to remove the testacles.


Male goat; frequently used to describe an older, adult male goat - non wether.

Body Condition Score

A value from 1-5 (thin to fat) used to estimate condition of an animal.


A large oval shaped pill containing antibiotics.


Tiny larvae that crawl into nasal passages.

Breeding Season

The period of time when the doe is showing estrus.

Brood Doe

A doe kept for the purpose of continuing a desireable bloodline and genetics in her offspring.


Broad-leafed woody plant, shrub or brush.

Infection with bacteria of the Brucella group, frequently causing abortions in animals and remittent fever in man. Also called Undulant fever, Malta fever, or Mediterranean fever.


Male goat.


Baby male goat.


Tool used to castrate bucks by severing the cord without breaking the skin of the scrotum.


Method of fighting among goats (especially bucks) by the striking of the head and horns.


Caprine Arthritic Encephalitis, a goat virus alot like AIDS in humans.

Calcium to Phosphorus Ratio

Relative amounts of calcium and phosphorus in the total ration. Usually recommended to be at least 2:1.


Goat meat.


Cubic Centimeter, same as ML; 3CC and 3ML are the same thing in shots.


Small organisms associated with pneumonia, abortion, diarrhea, conjunctivitis, arthritis and encephalitis.


Type of infectious abortion.


Caseous Lymphadenitis, an abscess disease of goats that is highly contagious.


The production of genes or individuals which are genetically the same as the donor.

Clostridial Organisms

Anaerobic bacteria that produce spores under certain conditions.


An oxycyt that destroys the lining of the small intestine causing diarrhea and death; (also known as coccidiosis)


An oxycyt that destroys the lining of the small intestine causing diarrhea and death; (also known as cocci)


The first milk full of antibodies for the kids, essential to their life.

Corpus luteum

A ductless gland developed within the ovary by the reorganization of a Graafian follicle following ovulation. Also known as an extract of this gland of the hog or cow, the chief principle of which is progesterone. plural = corpora lutea.


Any of a class of steroids, as aldosterone, hydrocortisone, or cortisone, occuring in nature as a product of the adrenal cortex, or synthesized. Also called corticoid.


An enclosure into which young (small) animals may enter but larger animals cannot. Any feeders in this area or in farrowing crates or parturition pen that are only accessible to the young are called creep feeders.

Critical Temperature

Maximum or minimum environmental temperature tolerated by the animal before additional dietary energy is required to maintain normal body temperature.


The offspring resulting from mating a buck and doe of different breeds.


Mating plan involving two or more breeds.


An organism that proliferates in the small intestine.


The process of removing animals that are below average in production, unsound or undesirable.


Goats which are below a required standard.

Custom Feeding
The practice of having livestock fed and managed for the livestock owner in another facility for a fee.


To castrate.


The condition where a larval form of a tapeworm has encysted or embedded itself in the tissue of its host.


The loss of body fluids by fever, virus or heat.


The practice of removing the horns on a goat.


Female goat.


Baby female goat.


The oral administration of medication.

A penned area for holding the herd for an extended period with or without housing.

Dry Matter

(DM) The portion of feed that is not water.


Instrument used to apply heavy rubber bands (elastrator rings/bands) to tail and scrotum for docking and castration. Some breeders also used this method for disbudding.

Embryo Transfer

Recently fertilized eggs from donor doe are transferred to the uterus of a recipient doe, usually by surgically exposing the uterus of the recipient.


To waste away physically.


Inflammation of the brain usually with severe signs such as fever, incoordination, and convulsions.


An inflammation of the intestinal tract.


Actually misnamed "overeaters", it is a toxin in all healthy goats, that multiplies with a stressor to cause stomach cramps and death.

Enterotoxemia Type C

Disease that affects goats in the first two weeks of life causing bloody infection of the small intestine and rapid death.

Enterotoxemia Type C and D Toxoid

Vaccination given to young goats to build up antibodies against Enterotoxemia type C and D. It is also available combined with tetanus vaccination.

Enterotoxemia Type D

Disease that affects unvaccinated goats that have been placed on high energy diets.


A heritable trait in which the lower eyelid is inverted, causing the eyelashes of the lower lid to brush against the eye.

Esophageal Feeder

Tube placed down the esophagus of a goat to administer milk or other liquid.


Hormone that causes regression of the corpus luteum and stimulates estrus.

Estrous Cycle

The time period from beginning of one heat to the beginning of the next heat. Usually about 16-17 days.


The period of time when the female is sexually receptive to the male, Usually 24-36 hours, also known as "heat".

External Parasite

Parasites that may be found on the hair, skin and in the nasal and ear passages.


Efficiency of an individual in production of young. Animals that bring forth young frequently,
regularly, and, in case of those that bear more than one offspring at a birth, in large numbers, are said to be fecund.


The ability to produce offspring.


The unborn young in the later stages of development.

Flight Zone

Maximum zone of comfort or security of animals.


Management practice of improving a does's plan of nutrition just prior to mating to improve ovulation rate.

Foot Bath

Chemical and water mixture, that goats stand in, used for the prevention and/or treatment of foot rot and foot scald.


Fiber-containing feedstuffs such as silage, hay and pasture.

Forcing Pen

Pen used to confine animals prior to moving them into treatment chutes.


To come into milk.


Stimulating milk production.

Gambrel Restrainer

Restraining device that is a gambrel-shaped piece of plastic that is placed over the top of the animal's neck, with slots on either side to hold both front legs of the animal.


An inflammation of the stomach and intestines.


Period of pregnancy beginning at conception and ending with birth (142-152 days).


Fostering a kid onto a doe that is not its natural mother.

Group Fed

Feeding system where all animals in a group are fed at one time.

Guard Dog

A dog that stays with the goats without harming them and aggressively repels predators.


Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point, an internationally recognized and recommended approach to food safety that anticipates and prevents hazards associated with ingredients.


See estrus.


Parasitic worms.

"Herd" is a term that describes a small (or large) group of goats. Goats are "herd" animals meaning that they will thrive better with one or more of their same kind in numbers. By comparison, almost every species is given a specific group term; "flock" of geese, "pride" of lions, "pack" of dogs, "school" of fish...


Low levels of calcium in the blood.


Low levels of magnesium in the blood.


Inability to keep warm often caused by cold or wet weather.


Intramuscularly, in the muscle shot.


Developing resistance to a specific pathogenic microorganism.

Intermediate Host

An animal or other living body in which a parasite completes part of its life cycle and usually causes no damage.

Internal Parasites

Parasites located in the stomach, lungs and intestines of goats.

International Unit

(IU) Unit of measurement of vitamins and drugs.


Disinfectant used on navels of newborn goats that helps dry up the navel, thus closing the passageway into the body of the goat. Also applied to hooves of newborns by some breeders. Veterinary iodine contains 7% iodine while common iodine for humans contains 2% iodine.


A wasting disease of ruminants, contagious in their fecal matter (poop).


Bloodsucking ticks that pierce the skin causing serious damage to the pelts.


Compounds found in the blood of pregnant goats suffering from pregnancy toxemia.

Known Carrier

An animal that has produced offspring with a genetic defect.


Baby goats, either sex.


Having babies.


The period of time when the doe is producing milk. Normally from birth of kid to weaning.

Lactated Ringers Solution

Used for adding body fluids to a dehydrated goat (known as LRS).


Family of plants bearing seeds in a pod. Alfalfa hay is an example of a legume.

Leucocyte (leukocyte)

Usually referring to white blood cells.

Liver Flukes

Small leaf-shaped organisms that roll up like a scroll in the bile ducts or liver tissue.

Loading Chute

A chute used for loading animals into a truck or trailer.


The dark blood discharge a doe has for several weeks after kidding.


Used for adding body fluids to a dehydrated goat (known as Lactated Ringers Solution).


Roundworms found in the respiratory tract and lung tissue.

Mange Mites

Mites which infest and damage the skin and hair.


Poop, nanny berries, fecal matter, excrement.


Inflammation of the mammary gland caused by bacterial infection, resulting in reduced milk


An inflammation of the uterus.

Milk Fever

Substantial reduction in plasma calcium which interferes with nerve transmission, causing partial or almost total paralysis occurring at or just giving birth and initiation of lactation.

Milk Replacer

Artificial milk substitute fed to young goats.


Inorganic substance found naturally in all body cells, tissues and fluids.


To make less harsh or severe; using goats to control brush or weeds is commonly referred to as


Milliliter, same as CC; 3CC and 3ML are the same thing in shots.


An animal with a single compartment stomach. Goats are not monogastric.


Toxic compounds, produced by fungi, that contaminate plants.


A mother goat; infrequently used depending upon your location.

Natural Immunity

Inherited resistance to disease that varies between breeds, strains within breeds and individuals.


Examination of a dead animal to determine cause of death.


Also called Roundworms, nematodes are among the most abundant animals, occurring as parasites in animals and plants or as free-living forms in soil, freshwater, marine environments, and even such unusual places as vinegar and beer malts.

Nitrate Poisoning

Condition in which toxic levels of nitrates accumulate in plants.

Nose Bots

Tiny larvae that crawl into nasal passages.


The third part of the ruminant stomach located between the reticulum and the abomasum.


A stage in the life of coccidia (a protozoal parasite) that is shed in manure. Goats become infected by ingesting oocysts from contaminated pastures.


The hole in the end of a teat.


Primary female reproductive organ.

Over the Counter Drugs

(OTC) Drugs that can be purchased directly by the producer.


This refers to how avidly a goat will choose from among several different choices of feed.


An organsim that lives off of a host.


Females that have produced young.

Parturient Paresis

Substantial reduction in plasma calcium which interferes with nerve transmission, causing
partial or almost total paralysis occurring at or just giving birth and initiation of lactation.


The act of bringing forth young; childbirth.


A highly contagious disease that affects the eyes of goats (also contagious to humans).


The big membrane that the doe expells after kidding.

Post Mortem

After death.


After birth.


Before birth.

Pregnancy Toxemia

A metabolic disease of pregnant does generally caused by diet deficient in energy during late pregnancy.


Living organisms used to manipulate fermentation in the rumen.



Prolificacy (fecundity)

The number of offspring actually produced by a female.


Nitrogen-based essential nutrient, composed of chains of amino acids, that is present in all living things.

Protein Supplement

Feedstuff that contain a high level of protein. Fed to animals in addition to their base diet.


A mixture of feedstuffs fed to animals over a 24 hour period.


The addition of body fluids which have been lost from fever, illness, heat, etc.


Extracted from the fourth stomach, the enzyme component rennin is used to coagulate milk.


Section of the ruminant gastrointestinal tract consisting of the reticulum and the rumen that is the primary site for microbial fermentation of feedstuffs.


The second compartment of the ruminant stomach, also known as the second stomach. The lining has a honeycombed appearance to increase the surface are for absorption.

Rigor Mortis

The permanent contraction of skeletal muscle associated with death.


Coarse, bulky feed high in fiber such as hay, straw and silage.


The large first compartment of a ruminant's stomach containing microbial population that is capable of breaking down forages and roughages.


Pregastric fermentation chamber that host a large microbial population.


A group of animals that chew their cud and characteristically have a four compartment stomach.


The process of regurgitating food to be rechewed.


Diarrhea usually only associated with incorrect milk feeding.

Shipping Fever

Respiratory disease usually accompanying transport.


Green forage converted to a succulent feed of 30% - 40% dry matter for goats by storing without air (as in silo or air-tight bags).


The father.


A highly contagious (also to humans), viral infection that causes scabs around mouth, nostrils, eyes and may effect udders of lactating does.


Subcutaneous, under the skin shot (sometimes written as SQ or sq).


A management practice used to cause the goats to cycle at the same time.

Systemic Disease

A disease where more than one portion of the body is affected; often the whole body or one or more systems.

Total Digestible Nutrients

(TDN) Standard system for expressing the energy value of feeds.

Trace Minerals

(TM) Minerals that are required in very small amounts.

Urinary Calculi

Metabolic disease of male lambs characterized by the formation of stones within the urinary tract. It is caused primarily by an imbalance of dietary calcium and phosphorus.


Portion of the female reproductive tract where conceptuses devolop prior to birth (womb).


Injection, given to healthy animals, used to stimulate prolonged immunity to specific diseases.

Vaginal Prolapse

Protrusion of the vagina in does in late pregnancy.


Small organic compounds, necessary for proper metabolism, that are found in feed in minute
amounts. Deficiencies result in distinct diseases or syndromes.


Castrated male.

White Muscle Disease

A disease caused by a deficiency of selenium, Vitamin E or both that causes degeneration of skeletal and cardiac muscles of goats.

Withdrawal Period (or time)

The time when a drug must not be administered prior to marketing to insure that no drug residues remain in the meat or milk.

A one year old goat.


Diseases of animals that can be transmitted to humans.


The product of fertilization, ie. a cell formed from the union of an oocyte and a spermatozoan.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Puppy Pictures & Katie

My little Katie Bug holding the puppies. We have 2 boys and 1 girl. Katie says "I promise I take good care of 'em dad."
I had to lay a shirt over her because she likes to go naked all the time. She calls it being a "nakey butt."

Sunday, October 12, 2008

A Little About Goats Part I "Breeds"

This is the first in a series of posts about goats. I say a little about goats because that is really all it is and will be. I am in no way an expert and have only owned goats for about 3 years so I hardly know all there is to know about them. I will be posting some of the information that I have found in diferent places, book, the net and so on. If I am mistaken in any of the information please leave a comment to let me and my readers know. There is a lot of information out there for those of you who may be interested in owning these wonderful animals and I will provide links for additional information. First lets talk about the different breeds of Goats.

Goat Breeds

Goats can and are raised for many reasons around the farm and homestead, Dairy Goats are raised for their abilty to produce a good amount of milk, though all goats give milk, these will give you the most amount of milk. Meat goats, these are ofcourse raised for thier meat which is known as Chevon and eaten throught the world. And ofcourse if you just want a pet you can just purchase the goat that most appeals to you. Here is a great link with lots of information of Goat Breeds. Please read as this will help you learn a lot about which goat would be best for you. There are many breeds so don't let that scare you.

We have, here on our small farm, 2 Boer does, 1 Pygmy doe and 1 Pygmy Buck. Ok, now why did I choose these breeds. The Boers where close by and well bred and cheap. We fell in love with these flop eared girls as soon as we seen them. The Pygmy doe, I seen at a local flea market and just felt so sorry for her. She was being kept in a small dog crate. I was larger enough for her but I just wanted to bring her home and let her have a much better life. Through a friend I found Cheif, our Pygmy buck. We were looking for a buck to add to our small herd and he was perfect for us. So, we just sorta fell into these breeds so to speak. We would love to add some Dairy Goats to the herd in the spring.

This is just the start of what I hope will be an infomative series of posts for those readers who would love to own goats. Please be sure to follow the links provided. Rather than copy and paste this information I would rather let you follow the link and maybe find more information than I would have provided. Stay tuned for "A Little About Goats" Part II in the near future. Next we will be discussing "Terminology".

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Firewood, Goats and A Good Book

Well I have finally got all the firewood split and stacked. I think I should have enough ready for 3 winters stored. I am glad to finally have this chore done and over with. I can rest a little easier knowing that I can keep my family warm if the electricty where to go out. This is all hardwood save for a few pieces of poplar that will be used as kindlin to start the fires. As you can see I took advantage of a few pine trees to help hold the wood in place. These are now covered with plastic and tarps to keep the weather out. On nice sunny days I will uncover the wood so it can get a good breath of fresh air which will help dry it further.

In the background you can see some of the wood storage, nothing fancy just a place to keep it dry. I had planned on building a large wood shed this year but it just never seemed to happen. Like many other things around here. lol Well there's always next year, or at least I hope there is.

A faithful reader of this blog, Cath, has ask for some information about goats and shown interest in owning some of her own. After some thought on the matter I have decided that I am going to write a series on goats and what few things I have learned from them and about them. So stay tuned, coming to a monitor near you this weekend, "A little about Goats" - Part I. Until then here are a few pictures of my girls just hanging out in the yard.

"Look, there's daddy, is that food that he has in his hand?"

Daisy resting up to have those kids soon, I hope. Maybe she's just lazy.
Emily investigating the wood pile. She is so nosey.
Lou Lou asking " What am I supposed to do with all this, I can't eat it, can I?"
Zoro's Field

Got a new book from Amazon today and can't wait to dive into it. My cousin, who lives near Statesville NC, had told me about it in a phone conversation a few weeks ago, he knew it was my kind of book. After hearing about it and reading the following from Amazon's review I just had to have it. I have also place an Amazon link to the book for those who might also like to own a copy. Well, I have a 1000 things to do but 999 of them will have to wait as I hope to lose myself in the pages of Zoro's Field.
Review from Amazon's page:

After a long absence from his native southern Appalachians, Thomas Rain Crowe returned to live alone deep in the North Carolina woods. This is Crowe's chronicle of that time when, for four years, he survived by his own hand without electricity, plumbing, modern-day transportation, or regular income. It is a Walden for today, paced to nature's rhythms and cycles and filled with a wisdom one gains only through the pursuit of a consciously simple, spiritual, environmentally responsible life.
Crowe made his home in a small cabin he had helped to build years before-at a restless age when he could not have imagined that the place would one day call him back. The cabin sat on what was once the farm of an old mountain man named Zoro Guice. As we absorb Crowe's sharp observations on southern Appalachian natural history, we also come to know Zoro and the other singular folk who showed Crowe the mountain ways that would see him through those four years.
Crowe writes of many things: digging a root cellar, being a good listener, gathering wood, living in the moment, tending a mountain garden. He explores profound questions on wilderness, self-sufficiency, urban growth, and ecological overload. Yet we are never burdened by their weight but rather enriched by his thoughtfulness and delighted by his storytelling.