For most of the world, there is little thought that goes into disposing of something. You simply put it in the trash bin, set that bin on the curb roughly once a week, and it magically disappears. When you live where we do, though, there is more to it than that. For those in our “neighborhood” who elect to pay for regular trash service, they pay roughly ten times what it costs in the city for the privilege. As an alternative, we have the option of bagging our trash and hauling it off to the local dumpster once a week … Read the rest
Editor’s Note: Liz started this with Michael a while ago, but hasn’t been able to convince him to finish it. Rather than wait for what will probably never happen, I’ve decided to post what he’s done so far for the benefit of people who want a view of our world through the eyes of Michael. Who knows what this would have looked like had Michael finished it, but for now, enjoy the sneak peak. –Peter
Today Michael and I decided to make a book. He asked me to take pictures of “bugs, animals, chickens, Thornton, and cracks in the dirt.”… Read the rest
This day has been approaching for some time now, and finally arrived… A gaggle of goat kids, barely over the trauma of having their horns or other body parts removed (as was the case for the males), have been traumatized again. Having reached adolescence, it was time to wean them from their mothers by forcibly separating them. I’m such an evil man.
Today has been a day of musical goats so to speak. Atticus (Cocoa’s baby), Patricia, and Stephanie (Nippa’s girls) had to go away today so their mothers could rest and I could get more milk. At the same … Read the rest
The weekend after Thanksgiving we took the family up to Waco to a harvest festival put on by a group of anababtists who farm using traditional (non-mechanized) methods, teach traditional crafts, and generally do things a bit slower than the general population. Along with selling their wares, they teach a series of seminars on self sufficiency, skills like blacksmithing and beekeeping, animal husbandry, etc… It’s interesting and fun to spend a few days wandering, watching, and listening. This year, Liz came home with a few “good ideas.” Good ideas generally mean work… lots of it.
We’ve been meaning to put … Read the rest
Every project we’ve done so far in the “yard” has been geared towards something that produces food or is food. So far projects have included things like the barn, fence, chicken coop, electric to the barn and coop, water to the animals, etc… The only thing I’ve done to the yard is to cut back the brush and let wild grasses grow in. Not much of a yard, and not particularly good at keeping the mud down when it rains.
Now that some of the major projects are done, and all the animals have homes and water, I decided to … Read the rest
A while back I wrote that free cats were hard to keep. That hasn’t changed. Since that post, we’ve had another three to four cats go AWOL. All of them quite friendly, dedicated, and effective at keeping the mice under control.
Our most recent mouser (Cocoa’s friend seen above) lasted only a few weeks. At this point, I can’t even remember it’s name because we’ve been through so many. Needless to say, it was named for some Shakespearian character (Guildenstern maybe).
The unfortunate thing about cats around here is that they are just about meal-sized for coyotes, and they … Read the rest
The coyotes seem to have given us a break recently. Between permanently moving Thornton outside and doing a better job making sure the electric fence isn’t shorted out, we haven’t lost any animals to predators in a few months. So what do we do to celebrate… get more animals I guess.
Nippa the milk machine had a pair of very nice kids last March. Rex, the boy, has found a home with Linda’s (the lady we got Nippa from) neighbour, but Linda figured Nippa could use some company and sent Cocoa our way rather than continue to spend money to … Read the rest
Nippa, the milk machine, generally produces almost exactly the amount of milk we tend to drink every day as a family. However, when one or more of us aren’t here, the milk can begin to pile up in the fridge. Recently I spent several days out of town for work, and Sydney had spent a week at summer church camp. That translated into a couple gallons that were threatening to go bad if we didn’t do something useful with them. To add to the problem, Liz had bought a half-gallon of cream from the dairy down the street, but had … Read the rest
Liz has never really liked the idea of an “inside dog,” coyotes were wreaking havoc on our chickens, and we were planning on going on a family vacation for two weeks and leaving the Dog outside to “protect” the other animals and to make it much easier on the family who was going to be feeding and watering the animals. The dog would need somewhere to get out of the weather. Because the barn is behind the back pasture fence and I don’t like the idea of the dog hanging out in the chicken coop I decided the best option … Read the rest
I love bread. However, with the nutrition approach Liz has adopted you’re supposed to soak all grains overnight in an acidic liquid before consuming/cooking them to break down phytic acid. The conventional (if you can call it that) method is to add a few tablespoons of cultured whey to act as a starter and get lacto-fermentation going to generate the acid. However, I don’t like the flavor the whey adds. To make it worse, most of my recipes for homemade bread don’t include an overnight soak/rise.
Sourdough, on the other hand, essentially is an overnight soak because it can take … Read the rest